Understanding friction, lubrication and wear

SAIT Mission Statement

South African Institute for Tribology


March Technical Webinar

The implications of the pending GHS requirements under the OHSACT

“Draft Hazardous Chemical Agents Regulations”

by Belinda Berry

CEO - Lisam South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Tuesday 19th March 2019 at 15:00

Belinda Berry, CEO - Lisam South Africa (Pty) LtdPresenter’s Background

Belinda is a registered professional scientist and holds BSc(Hons)(Chemistry), post graduate diploma in Environmental Law, is a registered SAQA Assessor and Facilitator and a qualified Cosmetics Safety Assessor (Cosmetics) for the EU. Belinda has spent most of her working career (25 years) in the field of hazardous waste, cosmetics and chemicals management.

Lisam is a global software company with its head office in Belgium, specialising in regulatory compliant GHS software, SDS authoring, labelling and distribution for all the major regions globally. Lisam has offices in 18 countries and can provide authoring solutions in more than 50 languages.

Belinda will provide an updated background to the UN GHS globally, SANS 10234, and South African legislative requirements (Hazardous Substances Act, OHSACT, Waste and Transport of Dangerous goods), some examples of SDSs, the information a SAFETY DATA SHEET should contain, and tips on how to ensure your suppliers are providing you with compliant Safety Data Sheets.


“The Advantages of using ester transformer fluids in Sub-Saharan Africa”
by Dr Russell Martin
Chief Scientist, M&I Materials
Tuesday 6th November 2018

Presenter’s Background

Russell is the Chief Scientist at M&I Materials, Manchester, where he leads the Global efforts in Research,
Development, New Applications, Education and Innovations for ester transformer fluids. He holds a PhD in Chemistry and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He contributes to various CIGRE, IEEE, ASTM, IEC and BSI technical & standard groups and was awarded the Cigre Technical Committee Award for outstanding contribution by the A2 (Transformer) division in 2010, and the IEC 1906 Award in (2011) for updating the standard IEC 61099 (Synthetic Esters for Electrical Purposes).

Russell will provide an overview of the following:

  1. Definition of “Ester”
  2. How the chemical structure of esters differs from mineral oil
  3. Key advantages of using esters
  4. Fire Safety advantages of using esters
  5. Environmental Protection is enhanced by using esters
  6. Further ester benefits : Moisture Tolerance and Prolonging Asset Life
  7. Financial advantages of using esters
  8. International standards covering the use of esters
  9. The advantage of retrofilling existing transformers with Esters
  10. Esters : Typical Applications
  11. Conclusion

To view the presentation - Click here


“Diesel: A Tribologist’s Nightmare?”

by Professor Philip de Vaal

Head of Department, Chemical Engineering

University of Pretoria

Tuesday 2 October 2018 at 18:00

Science Park, 1 Northway, Kelvin, Johannesburg

Professor Philip de Vaal

Philip de Vaal is a graduate from the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa, where he obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and a PhD all in Chemical Engineering. After some years in industry, he became a member of staff in 1980 and has been Head of the Department since 2004. He established the Tribology Laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1990, which is entirely self-supporting. His specific interest is in laboratory evaluation of lubricant performance and in laboratory automation. He has been a member of the South African Institute of Tribology (SAIT) since 1987 and was a member of the Executive Committee of the SAIT from 1990 – 2004. He also served two terms as President of the SAIT (1992 - 1994). He has been chairman of the organising committee of 7 of the 11 International SAIT Tribology Conferences

Diesel fuel, and especially diesel fuel in South Africa, remains an interesting topic. During this presentation, an overview will be given on diesel, (both as fuel and as lubricant), interesting characteristics and some common misconceptions. Some interesting points on the future of the internal combustion engine, and the role of diesel and petrol, will be covered.

Refreshments will be served after the proceedings. For the purposes of catering, please ring Gill, Berice or Isabel at 011 804-3710 or e-mail secretary@sait.org.za or admin@sait.org.za to let us know how many plan to attend.


“Carbon, the Chameleon of the Periodic Table”

by Dr Noel Pipkin

Tuesday 4 September 2018 at 18:00

Science Park, 1 Northway, Kelvin, Johannesburg

Noel studied metallurgy at the University of Newcastle, gaining his PhD in 1967. With the Imperial Smelting Corporation in Avonmouth he worked on the development and fabrication of superplastic zinc alloys. Moving back into the academic environmentat University of Newcastle on Tyne he did research in silicon nitride ceramics and nitrogen steels. Emigrating to South Africa, Noel spent 27 years with the De Beers Diamond Research laboratory on the synthesis of diamond and related products.

Carbon forms a range of crystal structures, based on the same fundamental interatomic bonding, each of which offers interesting and exciting possibilities not only in terms of their scientific interest but also offering potential technological development across a wide range of commercial applications.

The structure of these allotropes and their importance in relation to their bulk and surface properties and how these influence the behaviour as one moves from macro to nano-sized materials is discussed together with the opportunities and challenges that they present.

Refreshments will be served after the proceedings. For the purposes of catering, please ring Gill, Berice or Isabel at 011 804-3710 or e-mail secretary@sait.org.za or admin@sait.org.za to let us know how many plan to attend.

Tribology and the DST in Energy Savings

by Patrick Swan

of the SAIT and Aswan Consulting

Tuesday 7 August 2018 at 18:00

Science Park, 1 Northway, Kelvin, Johannesburg

SAIT Tribology Project 2010 was established by the SAIT to assess the position of tribology in South Africa, and was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) regarding energy savings. Since then DST have been looking for ways to promote and further tribology in South Africa, which, with contributions from other sectors, culminated in a report, ‘The State of Research, Development and Innovation of Electrical Energy Efficiency Technologies in South Africa’. The report was prepared by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and handed to the Department of Science and Technology in July 2018. This talk will update our members on the current situation and the opportunities going forward.

Refreshments will be served after the proceedings. For the purposes of catering, please ring Gill, Berice or Isabel at 011 804-3710 or e-mail secretary@sait.org.za or admin@sait.org.za to let us know how many plan to attend.

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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