[meteorite-list] Purdue Calumet Professor To Forge Sword From Meteorite

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:44:43 2004
Message-ID: <200103281823.KAA03915_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Jeanne Norberg, Director, Purdue News Service
Office: (765) 494-2084; Fax: (765) 494-0401
Pager: (765) 423-8662; Cell: (765) 491-1460 Home: (765) 449-4986
jnorberg_at_purdue.edu; http://news.uns.purdue.edu

March 27, 2001

HAMMOND, Ind. - Slaying dragons by sword may be the stuff of Dark Ages
folklore. But in 21st century America, a Purdue University Calumet
engineering professor is doing his part to take the art of ''dragon
slaying'' to a new level.

Sometime this spring, Harvey Abramowitz of Chicago, a metallurgist and
associate professor of mechanical engineering, intends to draw from the
world of outer space to contribute to the creation of the strongest,
toughest broadsword ever made: ''The Dragonslayer.''

Working with colleagues from Northwestern University, Abramowitz' role is to
refine iron from a meteorite in a Purdue Calumet metallurgy laboratory for
''The Dragonslayer'' blade.

''It will be made out of a new metal alloy that will be stronger than any
other sword blade,'' Abramowitz, a New York City native, said about the
one-of-a-kind sword. ''The idea is to create ''The Dragonslayer'' in such a
way that it is stronger than either a Samurai sword or a Damascus sword -
and give it dragon-slaying mythical properties.''

Extracting iron from a meteorite to create the blade is intended to enhance
the mystical dimension of the sword - thereby increasing the sword's appeal
among collectors, said Abramowitz. The plan is to create just one
Dragonslayer and auction it off.

''Sword collectors would pay handsomely for such an artifact,'' said
Abramowitz, a 14-year faculty member, who came to Purdue Calumet after
having served as a research engineer at Inland Steel.

Beyond the sword's mythical nature, the project has scholarly significance.

''The team that I worked with was able to demonstrate, using a tensile
testing machine, that the new alloy could cut through a hunting knife
equivalent to a Samurai sword,'' Abramowitz said. ''Finite element analysis
computer modeling of the new alloy blade, done as a senior design project,
had predicted this. So (our) team validated the model.''

Abramowitz became involved in the project when he spent a sabbatical leave
last spring working with Northwestern colleague Greg Olson, who also is
chief science officer of QuesTek Innovations, a company actively involved in
the computer design and marketing of new alloys.

Abramowitz, whose specialty research fields include materials engineering
and extractive/chemical metallurgy, said he became interested in working
with Olson. ''I read an article in a metallurgical journal about him and
thought I would like to work with Greg on some of his projects,'' he said.

As part of a Steel Research Group headed by Olson, Abramowitz did just that.
Among other projects in which he participated were:

o production of a self-healing alloy composite in which thin memory shape
  alloy wires are imbedded in tin alloys. If the system is placed in tension,
  eventually the tin alloy will crack. By heating the material, the shape
  memory alloy filaments, which also had been stretched, return to their
  original positions, effectively closing the crack. To fully heal the
  material, it is heated enough so that liquid beads of tin form around the
  crack. Upon cooling, the tin structure is void of all previously formed

o completion of a prototype for the redesign of a rolling catalog case; and

o design of collapsible roller blades.

Abramowitz teaches courses in materials engineering, engineering design and
environmental engineering. He also is an industrial consultant.

Purdue University Calumet is a 9,000-student, comprehensive regional
institution within the Purdue University system. Offering undergraduate and
graduate degree programs in approximately 100 fields of study, Purdue
Calumet is located in northwest Indiana, 20 miles southeast of Chicago.

Source: Harvey Abramowitz, 219/989-2473

Writer: Wes Lukoshus, (219) 989-2217, lukoshus_at_calumet.purdue.edu
Received on Wed 28 Mar 2001 01:23:02 PM PST

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