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Forge ahead and put your materials science knowledge to the fire in a fun new competition debuting at the TMS 2015 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, March 15-19.
Registration is closed.
The Rules:
  • Produce a knife or sword blade 20-120 cm long (including handle)
  • Blades must be formed extensively by hand hammering or trip hammer forging
  • Blades may be of any material and can be smoothed/polished/sharpened by mechanical means
  • Contest is open to university teams and artisans/enthusiasts
  • Entries must include a video showing the creative process, characterization report, and poster
  • All participants should carefully investigate and act in compliance with all local laws and any pertinent institutional rules and regulations regarding the handling of items fabricated for or entered into the competition
  • Items entered by student teams are required to follow a no-sharpened-edge policy, requiring that all student submissions have a blunt edge
The Prizes:
Prizes will be awarded in two categories: "University Students" and "Artisans and Enthusiasts"
1st place . . . . . $1,000
2nd place . . . . . $500
3rd place . . . . . $250
Honorable mention(s) $100
Additional Details:
  • Student participants:
  • Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.
  • University teams may also include one (1) non-student artisan and two (2) advanced-placement high school students, but at least half of each team’s members must be university students.
  • Recent engineering graduates who received their degree following the 2014 Annual Meeting will be considered students for this year’s contest.
  • Artisan participants:
  • Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.
  • Each team is limited to one sword.
  • Videos should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • There is no restriction on the starting material for the blades. Teams may use: purchased stock material; material that is alloyed, laminated, or otherwise processed by the team; or material smelted from ore. (An additional $500 may be awarded to the team who best produces a blade from ore or most closely demonstrates a historic blade’s reproduction.)
Judging/Scoring Criteria
University Students:
  • Blade (25%) (quality, aesthetics)
  • Video showing bladesmithing process (25%)
  • Blade characterization report (25%) Includes metallography, hardness, flexibility, edge, ease of/need for re-sharpening. Teams must provide original documentation showing the blade microstructure produced and the thermochemical processes employed. This may be satisfied by metallographic analysis of 1) excess material taken from the rough-formed blade or 2) from similarly team-processed material.
  • Poster (25%)
Artisans and Enthusiasts:
  • Blade (30%)
  • Video showing bladesmithing process (30%)
  • Blade characterization report (30%) Includes metallography, hardness, flexibility, edge, ease of/need for re-sharpening. Teams must provide original documentation showing the blade microstructure produced and the thermochemical processes employed. This may be satisfied by metallographic analysis of 1) excess material taken from the rough-formed blade or 2) from similarly team-processed material.
  • Poster (10 %)


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