Howmet Castings

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Howmet Castings
IndustryInvestment casting
Number of locations
27 plants
Area served

Howmet Castings, a division of Arconic, formerly Alcoa, is an American company that specializes in the investment casting of superalloys, aluminum and titanium primarily for jet aircraft and industrial gas turbine (IGT) engine components. Headquartered in Whitehall, Michigan, Howmet also provides hot isostatic pressing, titanium ingots and protective coating services.

Howmet operates 27 facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, the UK, Hungary and Japan.


Howmet can be traced back to 1926 with the founding of Austenal, a company which manufactured raw materials and process for dental appliances. Austenal founders, Reiner Erdle and Charles Prange worked to improve investment chrome base castings utilizing two separate investments: The first coating named 'protective coat" giving a smooth finish was smotherd with alchool binder investment to obtain a correct expansion. This technology replaced gold alloy with vitallium and was popular in depression time. During the 1930s, Austenal expanded into aircraft engine superchargers with superior castings when General Electric asked for help to improve manufacturing practices for wartime production demands.

Howe Sound Company, a metals and mining business, purchased Austenal in 1958, and a year later in 1959, Howe acquired Michigan Steel Casting Co. (MISCO), which provided the monolithic shell process, which uses a ceramic shell with thin, strong walls to increase control of the solidification process to produce a sounder casting.

Howe became Howmet in 1965, marking a transition from a mining company to a manufacturer of precision metal products. Howmet was purchased in 1975 by Pechiney, a multinational aluminum company. In 1989, Pechiney purchased the Cercast group of companies, bringing Howmet into the aluminum casting industry.

In 1995, Pechiney sold Howmet to a joint venture between Thiokol and The Carlyle Group. By late 1997 the ownership structure of Howmet had morphed into a distribution of Thiokol owning 62%, Carlyle 23%, and the public 15%. Thiokol later in 1998 changed its name to Cordant Technologies Inc. By February 1999, Cordant had acquired an 84.7% stake in Howmet.

In 2000 Cordant sold its stake in Howmet Corp. to Alcoa, which merged Howmet into its Alcoa Industrial Components unit. In 2004, Howmet was merged to form the Alcoa Investment Cast and Forged Products unit. In 2007, Howmet was renamed Alcoa Howmet as a division of the newly formed Alcoa Power and Propulsion unit.


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