An exploration of the past, present, and future of materials science and engineering.
a year ago

Episode 13: The Science of Blacksmithing

the science behind one of the most ancient arts

Have you ever watched a blacksmith work an old railroad tie into an elaborate metal trinket and wonder "How do they do that?" or "Why are doing it that way" or "What is the purpose of that step?" In this episode, we dive into the science behind those exact questions. We talk about metal deformation, heat treatments, fracture, different steel types, and wrap up the episode interviewing Alexander Wickstrom an undergraduate in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at the University of Utah who led his "Materials Advantage Student Chapter" in their recent TMS Bladesmithing Competition with a truly one of a kind Damascus steel rapier. Check out more of Alexander's work at

If you have questions or feedback please send us emails at [email protected] Make sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, google play, and now Youtube or wherever you find your podcasts. If you like the show and want to help us reach more people, consider leaving a review - it helps us improve and it exposes new people to the show. Finally, check out our Instagram page @materialism.podcast and connect with us to let us know what new material you’d like to hear about next. We’d like to give a shoutout to AlphaBot for allowing us to use his music within the podcast. Check him out on Spotify. And as always a special thanks to Kolobyte who created the intro and outro for our podcast. He makes a ton of really cool synthwave music which you can check out at

Materialism Team: Taylor Sparks (co-creator, co-host, production), Andrew Falkowski (co-creator, cohost, production), Jared Duffy (production, marketing, and editing).

Support Materialism by donating to their Tip Jar:

Find out more at