SD Mines bladesmithing team's viking sword wins international student competition

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RAPID CITY, S.D. - The South Dakota School of  Mines and Technology Bladesmithing Team has won the grand prize at The Mineral, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) Bladesmithing Competition. They created a 34-inch, single-edged blade, which was inspired by the historical Arhus Farm sword from Norway.

The SD Mines beat out other universities in the competition including MIT, Virginia Polytech, and the Colorado School of Mines. It took the students over a year and a half to create the sword. One team member says he is proud of the accomplishment!

"It feels great we put a lot of work into this. We've been working on it for a year and a half. There was actually a team from Norway that we defeated, so that felt really good," said Luke Shearer.

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The sword was composed of two dissimilar types of metal, forged together to create a pattern, and heat treated to produce all the properties necessary. Planning was a huge part of the process, but Shearer says it only took about 140 man hours to create the sword.

"Everything in this blade is intentional. There is a lot of manipulation that goes into the material to get all these weird patterns in there. So there is a lot of sketching involved and brainstorming to decide what exactly we wanted to do," said Shearer.

The SD Mines Bladesmiths plan to donate the sword to their metallurgical engineering department, for other students to observe and learn from their accomplishments!

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