Thompson Investment Casting, first began manufacturing high quality investment castings in 1946.
Since those early days, investment casting has gained rapid acceptance because of its substantial cost savings over alternative manufacturing methods. Parts can be produced to net or near net shape with improved physical properties. The result is that investment casting has assumed broad applications, particularly in today's high tech, medical, commercial, sporting and industrial fields.
At Thompson Investment Casting, we combine the latest technology with years of experience in pouring most steel alloys, pure copper, copper-base alloys and some aluminum. We produce extremely complex shapes as well as castings with fine detail, smooth surface finishes and cross sections as thin as .020 of an inch. Our weight and size capabilities vary from more than one hundred pieces per ounce to castings weighing over 30 pounds.
Over the years, Thompson Investment Casting has developed a reputation for precision, quality and service. These traits have become the hallmark of our success and have enabled us to assume a leadership role in the casting business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Investment Casting?
Investment casting is an industrial process based on and also called lost-wax casting, one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques. From 5,000 years ago, when beeswax formed the pattern, to today´s high-technology waxes, refractory materials and specialist alloys, the castings allow the production of components with accuracy, repeatability, versatility and integrity in a variety of metals and high-performance alloys. Lost foam casting is a modern form of investment casting that eliminates certain steps in the process.
The process is generally used for small castings, but has been used to produce complete aircraft door frames, steel castings of up to 300 kg (660 lbs) and aluminium castings of up to 30 kg (66 lbs). It is generally more expensive per unit than die casting or sand casting, but has lower equipment costs. It can produce complicated shapes that would be difficult or impossible with die casting, yet like that process, it requires little surface finishing and only minor machining.
Why Investment Casting?
The investment casting process or lost wax process, can produce the most intricate shapes in just about any alloy. In order to produce & machine these parts, you need to have in depth knowledge of the alloys and much experience...both of which Thompson Investment Casting possesses. There is no other metal working process that provides the design freedom to easily cast complex intricate shapes and assemblies as the investment casting process. The lost wax method out performs any other casting process when it comes to superior surface finishes especially when compared to sand casted, forged or welded fabrications. Some specific benefits are:
Reliability The investment casting process provides reliable process controls and repeatability that are maintained from casting to casting.
Tolerances Thompson Investment Casting routinely holds to tolerances of ± .005”. This is not always possible with other types of casting processes.
Amortization Lowers Tooling Cost The initial wax injection mold to produce the patterns, averaged over the entire production quantity, is often lower than other casting tooling costs. Quality tooling produces a quality part and will be more cost efficient in the long run.
Better for the Environment An investment casting is produced from 9 wax patterns which in most cases can be reclaimed and used again. The wax pattern is a great way to see your part before it is cast, thus eliminating expensive revisions and reducing metal scrap. More importantly, the investment casting process produces parts to net or near net shapes which significantly reduces or eliminates the amount of secondary machining. Most scrap from secondary services like machining can be reused as well.
Design & Casting Versatility Thompson Investment Casting works with over 100 different ferrous and non-ferrous casting alloys. This allows our investment casting process to be used in a variety of industries as it produces a wide range of cast and casting based assemblies. Lost wax castings provide the maximum design flexibility for manufacturing complex, multi part products in many cases.
Intricate Design When using investment castings, design engineers can easily incorporate features such as logos, product ID's/numbers, and letters into their component. Thru holes, slots, blind holes, external and internal splines, gears, and thread profiles can often be cast to reduce secondary machining time and total part cost.
Carbon and Low Alloy Steel
Non Ferrous Castings
Copper (400 IT)
Copper Based Alloys such as Silicon Brass or Bronze
Aluminum Based Alloys
Other Alloys such as Monel E, Hastalloy C, etc.
Thompson Investment Casting has engineers ready to help you decide how to best cast your product. Please contact us.