The University of Wisconsin-Platteville cast in steel team won the grand prize at the Steel Founders’ Society of America (SFSA) CastExpo 2022 Cast in Steel competition in Columbus, Ohio, on April 24.
The 2022 competition challenged university students to use modern casting tools to creatively design and produce a functioning version of a Celtic leaf sword. Each sword was put through a series of tests appropriate for these types of swords.
UW-Platteville competed against 34 other teams, including teams from UW-Madison, Ohio State University, Penn State University and Texas A&M. Despite being a smaller school, team captain Tyler Bleifuhs, an industrial technology management major with a minor in metals processing technology and German from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, credits UW-Platteville’s first-place win to a great team and professors dedicated to the metalcasting program and the competition.
"The team pushed the limits of what professionals in the industry say can be done and created a strong but light sword that swept the competition, using creative and ingenious techniques," said Bleifuhs.
Additional team members included Avery Simays, Jon DeLonay, Kyle Albrecht, Emily Neuburg, Tim Kent, Rawson Mangone, Mitch Millner, Jake Ringelstetter, Grant Roth, Garrett Starkman, Chad Steidl, Eli Trimble, Luca Wagner and Brandon Schmidt.
"It was truly an honor to work with this team. Many of us are seniors, so to have this be a part of our legacy is something special,” said Bleifuhs. “There were many long nights in the lab working. There were sacrifices to our social lives, but we learned so much, and I think that is really what the competition is about. My special thanks to all the team members and especially to our professors, Dr. Kyle Metzloff and Mr. Henry Frear. It made my last semester at UW-Platteville unforgettable."
Teams were required to have an industry partner. UW-Platteville's partner was MetalTek International, who supplied them with materials and expertise.
The SFSA represents the interests of the steel casting industry in the United States and abroad. Members are committed to manufacturing superior products and advancing state-of-the-market steel casting practices through collaboration and innovation.