Sassda starts University Sponsorship Initiative

Sassda is investing in the future of the South African stainless steel industry thanks to its year-long sponsorship of 28-year-old Wits University Masters student Abiola Ladenika.

His thesis concerns stainless steel thin wall pipe welding, in sectors subject to more stringent health legislation. This is because practically it is far more difficult to achieve healthy joints than to meet structural integrity criteria, particularly with site welding. The work will factor in changing health legislation in the food and beverage industry and provide benefits for the maintenance and fabrication of new stainless steel pipes in process plants.

Nigerian-born Ladenika, who hails from the Yoruba tribe, will see a year of study sponsorship provided by Sassda to complete his thesis which focusses on ‘the effect of pipe-end forming and alignment in ensuring better fit up, thereby limiting the bacterial count in weld joints’.

Of relevance to Sassda members, the project aims to find a means of managing the fabrication of stainless pipes in new plants while also maintaining older plants to accommodate the changing health legislation and operational conditions, which will go a long way to easing operating costs.

Commenting on his studies, Ladenika says; “I am very environmentally conscious. I have a background in metallurgy and a willingness to find a solution that is going to save people money. My thesis will focus on an approach to the hygienic fabrication of process plants subject to health legislation.”

Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Adjunct Professor Tony Paterson, BSc(Eng), BEngHons, Meng, PhD, PrEng, MSAIIE, MSAICE comments; “The applications for stainless steels in engineering is vast, particularly in the process industry sectors. The department formulates courses to teach students in identifying appropriate applications and the data to support the use of stainless steels in, for example high-temperature or corrosive environments that may be encountered across diverse needs.

“Abiola was chosen because the focus of this particular study will facilitate a better procedure for site welding of stainless steel pipes for the pharmaceutical industry and food and beverage process plants, and will contribute valuable information to the stainless-steel community.”