May 2017


We live in interesting times and it therefore comes as no surprise that the level of optimism of our members has dropped since the cabinet reshuffle  at the end of March.

In February, 37% of survey respondents thought that business would improve in the next three months and only 6% thought it would get worse. Two months later and only 22% thought things will improve with 16% feeling it would get worse. There has been a slight improvement in the order situation as well as the outlook for the next three months compared to last month and also compared to the same month last year.

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Sassda’s Strategy Workshop helps identify the way forward

At the end of May, sassda held its Strategy Review Workshop. The event was attended by sassda employees, Main Committee members and consultants to the association. The aim of the day was to identify threats and opportunities in the global and local environment that have an impact on South African industry and the stainless steel sector in particular.

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Hypertherm – Reimagining Plasma

Once a chainsaw, now a scalpel

Within the fabrication world, plasma cutting is a staple tool. It’s fast and relatively inexpensive, but it hasn’t always been the first choice where extreme precision is required. Almost anyone you ask will tell you that the angularity present in a plasma cut rules it out when a client needs an absolutely square edge.

But is that really still the case?

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In Conversation with Theo Cornielje

We spoke to Theo Cornielje, the regional director for Hypertherm EMEA


(Laughs) That’s going too far. There are many applications where a tool like a fibre laser is superior. It really depends on the end result that a client needs. However, what I would say is that Hypertherm’s X-DefinitionTM technology has seriously narrowed the gap, both in terms of cost, and in cut angularity. The edge of a plasma cut will never be exactly 90o, but X-Definition brings it so close that, for many applications, it doesn’t make sense to use a laser.

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Millennium Bridge thriving after 18 Years

In 1999, the Durban Roads Department decided to build an iconic bridge over the M41 highway in Umhlanga Rocks, named the Millennium Bridge, to celebrate the 21st Century and the new millennium. This bridge is situated approximately 1km from the Umhlanga Rocks shoreline.

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Cost saving benefits of Stainless Steel Rebar

The need for structures – typically bridges and piers – that last one hundred years or more, with little or no maintenance, rather than the much shorter design life incurred with the use of other materials, are clearly a consideration in the planning of key projects across the country. Against this backdrop, stainless steel reinforcing bar (rebar) in concrete needs to be recognised as a far more reliable way to resist corrosion and provide a superior service life (100 years) and life cycle costing figures.

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3CR12 Rebar Pedestrian Bridge in KZN

In South Africa, the first (and possibly only) project where 3CR12 rebar has been used in a real life corrosive environment was revisited at the end of February 2017 to ascertain how it had performed. The application is a series of reinforced concrete pedestrian bridges over the rail line stretching from Amanzimtoti to Umkomaas on the KwaZulu-Natal, south coast.

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By: Mike Campbell,sassda board & main committee member

I was contacted by sassda’s Stainless Steel Magazine’s Editorial Committee to write a guest article on Ethics for the next edition of the magazine. Why me, I asked myself, as I suspected that I was in danger of entering a potential societal minefield! Then, against my initial fears, I decided to explore the topic.

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Stainless Steel in Biogas Production

Energy production from biomass and waste will nearly double between 2009 and 2035, according to the International Energy Agency, opening the way for massive growth in the production of biogas plants.

The process whereby waste is converted to energy at high temperature creates a highly hostile environment.

During the digestion stage, bacteria transform the organic material into biogas in three steps:

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Hydra’s Bulk Water Storage Solutions

Founded in 1987 by Jose Maciel, Hydra Arc has grown from a supplier of specialised welders into a leading refinery maintenance, turnaround specialist, steel fabrication and construction company.

Training, innovation, the ability to embrace new technologies and an uncompromising approach to quality and safety, ensure that Hydra Arc is able to constantly grow its business both locally and internationally.

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Columbus Stainless hosts Charity Golf Day

Columbus Stainless hosted its biennial CEO charity golf day on Thursday 30 March 2017 at the lush Middelburg Country Club golf course. Present at the Golf Day were a cross section of Chief Executive Officers and Senior Managers from key customers and suppliers within the stainless steel industry.


The objective of the event was to both offer a platform for professional networking opportunities for the stainless steel role players and to raise funds for local charities.

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Contractors undermine Stainless Steel promise

In a tough economy, consumers veer towards the cheapest option and some contractors may be tempted to cut corners. Unfortunately, contractor mistakes cost a fortune, mistakes kill profits and both parties usually blame the other, and often stainless steel itself, through angry exchanges that waste time – so what happens when stainless steel contractors fail to deliver on promises?

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Personality Profile – Theo Cornielje

Stainless Steel Magazine spoke to Theo Cornielje, Regional Director EMEA for Hypertherm. Theo has worked for Hypertherm since 1999 and for the last seven years he has been the director for the EMEA region. Theo came to Hypertherm from the welding and cutting distribution business and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Theo lives in the Netherlands, where Hypertherm’s headquarters for EMEA is located, and is married with three children.


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