Mines students show materials knowledge, bladesmithing skills

Colorado School of Mines continued its traditional strong showing at the annual meeting of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, winning the Materials Bowl and taking second place in the Bladesmithing Competition.

Metallurgical and materials engineering students made up the team that won the Materials Bowl, a materials-themed knowledge and trivia competition that has been held yearly since 2007. Mines has won the contest seven times, including in 2018; no other school has won it more than twice.

Team members were undergraduate students Victoria Avance, Colin Gilgenbach and Kaitlyn Nagel and graduate students John Copley and Melissa Thrun.

For the Bladesmithing Competition, the Mines team crafted a raindrop-pattern welded Damascus chef knife featuring an integral bolster and a stabilized Douglas fir burl handle.

A billet was created using alternating sheets of two different steel compositions, heated above 1000°C, and forge-welded together. The raindrop pattern appeared from holes machined into the layered billet where the alternating compositions were then deformed during the forging process. When finished, the blade was etched using ferric chloride to bring out the contrast between the two different steels and add the Mines logo.

On the bladesmithing team were undergraduate students Stuart Shirley and Itamar Brill, metallurgical and materials engineering, and Tyler Mertens, mechanical engineering; and graduate students Ty Porter, metallurgical and materials engineering, and Matt Zappulla, mechanical engineering. The team received assistance from Dan McNeil of Black Birch Studio in Golden.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu

About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.