Nomsa Segapela, an engineer MINTEK and part-time master’s student at WITS University in South Africa, visited NTNU from May 20th to June 17th, 2017.
During her stay, she worked on characterisation of materials as part of her studies. In her own words:
‘The title of my MSc project is “The study of tap-hole clay erosion wear mechanisms using static and dynamic wear tests under ferrochrome slag conditions”. Clay materials utilized in metallurgical smelting operations are commonly referred to as tap-hole clay. The two main uses of tap-hole clay during the smelting operations include: (1) to seal the tap-hole for containment of molten slag and metal in the furnace while the furnace is in operation, and (2) to provide a protective layer on the tap block against wear from the corrosive action metal and slag during tapping. Part of the work I completed in Norway, was to characterise three tap-hole clays from South-African producers. The work included XRD and SEM analysis on the as received clays, and after baking at 950 °C.’
Nomsa at her desk at SFI in Norway:
On a personal level, the exchange meant a lot to Nomsa. Put in her own words:
‘On my arrival in Norway, I was surprised at how everything works. From robots to the efficient transport systems. It is not something we are used to in South Africa. The country is beautiful, and I appreciated how I could literally walk anywhere without looking behind my back. I experienced a sense of relaxation, peace and I could hear myself think. There is a type of “ZEN” in the Norwegian air.
The one thing I learned in Norway is that there is time for everything. Their work ethic is amazing, and I hope to reach those standards of efficiency. I experienced a whole new meaning to the phrase “ask and you shall be given”, because everyone went out of their way to assist us when we asked. Will I ever go back? Definitely!!’
Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 8 September 2017)