Understanding friction, lubrication and wear

SAIT Mission Statement

South African Institute for Tribology

When --- Topic and Presenter --- Event

Improving cutting tool performance VIA ion implantation”

by Thuli Mkhaliphi

University of the Witwatersrand

Thuli Mkhaliphi is an MSc student in the School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering at Wits University under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Natasha Sacks. Thuli’s talk will focus on the use of a surface modification technique to improve the machining performance of cemented tungsten carbide inserts when milling 5%Cr-steels. The talk will cover the reasons for selecting ion implantation, the parameters used to determine the machining performance, and the resultant effect on both the carbide inserts and steel. How much improvement comes with ion implantation?

As a young researcher Thuli not only wants to contribute to the global scientific knowledge database, but is also passionate about doing research which can impact the socio-economic climate of a country. Thus after completing her MSc, she is planning to pursue her PhD, possibly abroad, and thereafter to pursue a career in research, possibly at an academic institution. In this fascinating world of automation, she believes that since machines have limitations, such as the inability to understand the needs of human beings, more researchers are needed in order to drive progress in a country. She believes that being in academia provides a platform to conduct research and to contribute to the development of new researchers by providing an enabling environment for them.

If you would like to watch the webinar - GMT20180605140427_IMPROVING_1366x768Trim.mp4

"Adventures in Wear:

From Underground Gold Mines to Desert Railways to Ocean Floors"

Dr Jean-Patrick Leger:picture thanks to www.vesconite.com

by Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, CEO of the manufacturer of Vesconite

Dr Jean-Patrick Leger completed his BSc (Chem Eng) at Wits and his MSc (Chem Eng) at Durban University. With concerns about social and worker rights, he co-founded the Sociology of Work Programme at Wits, researching (and campaigning for) better safety and health in South African mines and manufacturing. This led to a PhD in Sociology (Wits) on underground gold miners’ work experiences and skills.

In 1992 Leger joined Vesco, the engineering business founded by his father and mother 60 years ago. Best known for Vesconite, its brand of plain bearings and bushings, the company today has customers in over 100 countries on five continents.

Production is based at Virginia, in the Free State, where compounding, extrusion, injection moulding and 70 computer numerically controlled lathes and milling machines provide a precision workshop to the world.

Leger considers Vesco as one of the world's biggest small enterprises - small in numbers, but big in scope and complexity. He is married to Marianne Felix, a medical doctor working with young people from Alexandra Township, aiming to help them embark on careers, whether as nurses or astro-physicists. Felix and Leger are immensely proud of their two daughters, young adults creating independent careers abroad.

Each day at Vesco provides adventures and challenges in overcoming wear.

In a day we may review bearing production for deep mines and mills, seek grease free solutions for construction plant and transport equipment, provide oil free bearings for small irrigation pumps or half-kilometre-long deep well pumps, focus on solving rail/wheel wear on locomotives and rail wagons, offer solutions to reduce the number of dry-dockings of container ships, to make racing yachts move faster, or develop longer life bearings for underwater turbines and remote operated vessels working on the ocean floors.

The talk will be illustrated with photographs of equipment where Vesconite has been applied. The company's training programme will also be discussed - this won the 2017 Seifsa Artisan of the Year award.



“Formula One Engine Development over the years”

by David Beard

CJP Chemicals and SAIT

Presenter’s Background

David enjoys watching and shouting at F1 broadcasts, especially when there is no overtaking. He is astounded by the technology involved in F1 engines over the years, and what is possible, just from burning a few hydrocarbon molecules in a controlled manner. He is a car enthusiast, and was lucky enough to have a chance to participate in Historics Racing, hustling a Triumph TR6 around local tracks.

David spoke about…….

  • The history behind the development of F1 engines
  • The current specs
  • The philosophy behind the rule changes, and whether they worked
  • Technology transfer from F1 to mainstream cars
  • His take on where F1 should be headed – please argue with him!!

If you wish to view the webinar please click on the link below:


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

"Mining 101, or, Learning About Mining"

by Dave Gamble,

2017/18 President, SAIT.

Dave has spent the last 42 years working in the fields of Petroleum products, heavy industry and Mining: 20 Years with Oil Companies, and 22 years with a major global Mining Group.

If you missed the Webinar - you can watch it here

South African Institute of Tribology

Understanding lubrication, friction and wear


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