Associate Membership Program: Apply to Join

Membership to the program is open to all Australian-based companies who meet our definition of an “Associate” – your primary function is specifying and/or using stainless steel. 

Associate Membership is FREE to specifiers and end-users.

To apply for Associate Membership, please complete the application form and return to ASSDA.

Membership is through a non-binding agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding, which entitles the Associate Member to the benefits and services whilst the agreement is current. 

The agreement is open termed and there are no legal conditions or requirements from the Associate Member. We only ask that designated company representatives, or ‘Champions’, help us inform and make their peers and colleagues aware of ASSDA and its services, and also inform us of planned stainless steel projects where confidentiality does not prohibit them doing so.

Suppliers, fabricators, trading agents and mill representatives are also welcome to join ASSDA. Click here for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you on board.



Since 1992, ASSDA has provided cohesive representation and support to all those involved in the design, specification, manufacture and use of stainless steel.  We take great pride in remaining the primary channel for all activities required to support and grow our local industry.

As with every material, it is important to choose the right product for a particular application, and these decisions require knowledge and information. We are finding that this support is more crucial now than ever. The challenges of sound engineering design and economical project delivery are coupled with increasing production cost pressures and a reducing appetite for project risk.

  • As a material of construction, stainless steel can be unforgiving, and requires a certain understanding and competence to ensure it is used correctly and fit for purpose.
  •  Our industry is niche in nature and represents a small subset of a much larger steel market. This means that expertise can be fragmented, and designers and specifiers may have little experience in the nuances, demands as well as opportunities inherent to the material.
  • Global stainless steel demand and use is growing rapidly, at a growth rate of 5.5% year-on-year. Recent analyses argue a growth rate twice that of general steel. With growth comes both substitution of existing materials as well as new applications, but also a need to ensure this growth.
  • Materials engineering expertise can be hard to access, particularly in specialised fields such as metallurgy and corrosion control. We want our expertise in stainless steel and its uses to be as accessible as possible. 

To best overcome these challenges, the Associate Membership Program was developed as a platform for ASSDA and the local stainless steel industry to formally engage and collaborate with materials decision makers and asset owners.

Program Scope

We define an “Associate” as a party (individual, group or business) whose primary function is to design, engineer, specify and/or manage a stainless steel bearing asset. 

Common examples of Associates include engineering companies, project management firms, consultancies, processing plants, architects, councils and authorities.

Our support encompasses a range of forms and tools to assist the in making decisions on the design, specification and use of stainless steel. This includes:

  • Informational publications, both technical and commercial in nature
  • Training programs
  • Expert guidance and technical advice
  • Presentations.


View more detail on the program’s benefits and services, or view the Associate Membership Brochure here.

Associate Membership Program Offering: Benefits and Services

The aims of the Associate Member Program are as follows:

  • Provide support and resources required for making fully informed decisions on the design, specification, fabrication and use of stainless steel.
  • Create a clear conduit for the specifying and end-user sectors to easily and effectively connect and work with stainless steel suppliers and fabricators.

We split access to our offering into two categories: Free and Premium. This is done for two reasons; i) makes it easier to access the individual services needed, ii) we can recover the costs we incur in delivering certain services more easily.

The usage model is simple - Use and pay for what you need. Remember, as a non-profit Association, all the fees chargeable for premium services go towards the running of ASSDA.

Free Premium

Access to:

  • Digital copies of ASSDA publications, including the Australian Stainless Reference Manual, Stock Guide and Food Code of Practice.
  • Free limited technical support (up to 30 minutes per enquiry, at a total of six per year). Additional support outside of this is chargeable.

  • 1 x one-hour lunch-and-learn session per office per year.

  • Listing on the ASSDA website.
  • Assistance in engaging with the local value chain for project requirements/supplier approvals.

The following is chargeable on a user-pays basis:

  • Discounted registration rates to ASSDA educational courses, including the Stainless Steel Specialist Course and monthly webinars

  • Discounted access to hard copy ASSDA publications, including the Australian Stainless Reference Manual and Blue Book.

  • Referral service and access to a network of technical consultants for more in-depth technical support, i.e. studies, reports, site work, etc.


Achievements and Milestones


ASSDA wins its first ISSF Stainless Industry Award - Silver Award for Best New Development for the Murray Irrigation PIIOP Round 3 Project. Read more here.

Launch of ASSDA’s Associate Membership Program, aimed at the specifying community to engage and collaborate on matters and projects relating to the design, specification, fabrication and use of stainless steel.


Expansion of the Australian Industry Stainless Steel Fabricator Project of the Year Award at PacRim Stainless 2019 to recognise three categories: Architecture, Building and Construction; Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical, and; Process Industries.

Launch of a new brand identity to reflect who we are today, better represent our industry and members, and to symbolise our dynamic future. 


ASSDA’s Australian Industry Stainless Steel Supplier and Fabricator Awards is launched at PacRim Stainless 2017. The awards program promotes excellence in stainless steel supply and performance, and in Australian design and fabrication. Three prestigious awards are presented, including ASSDA Flat Product Supplier of the Year, ASSDA Long Product Supplier of the Year and ASSDA Fabricator Project of the Year. The Peter Matheson Industry Service Award was also introduced, recognising industry veterans for their commitment and service to the Australian stainless steel industry.


ASSDA hosts its first webinar on a topic focusing on stainless steel finishes, expanding its reach in its efforts to educate the wider industry on stainless steel. ASSDA has delivered 43 webinars as at June 2019.


Along with other industry groups, ASSDA joins the ‘Queensland Jobs from Queensland Resources’ alliance to campaign for reforms to deliver more skilled local work from Queensland’s major resources projects. ASSDA with its industry partners rallied on parliament house in Brisbane in a result that saw the State Government commit to policy reforms that would see local manufacture being integrated into the supply chain for future project approvals.

ASSDA secures an estimated $200 million trade within the Australian stainless steel industry, following the 2012 draft proposals to the National Construction Code (NCC) indicating barriers erected for surfaces over one-metre above the ground would have to be ‘non-climbable’. This would have effectively banned the use of horizontal balustrades, including stainless steel wire balustrades. In response, ASSDA actively lobbied against the proposed change and formed an industry group called the ‘Balustrades and Barriers Committee’ to address the lack of standard for horizontal wire barrier and balustrade structures including the restriction of children. The decision by the Australian Building Codes Board to not implement the proposed changes is a testament to the dedication, promotion and advocacy efforts by ASSDA and all stakeholders involved.


A report called Whole of Life Cost Comparison and Cost Benefit Analysis for Steel Structures Constructed in the Foreshore Zone is published by a Griffith University civil engineering student in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC). The study investigates multiple structural scenarios from the perspective of what would represent the most cost-effective solution: hot-dipped galvanised steel, paint systems, duplex systems using both HDG and paint, or stainless steel. The result was that stainless steel is the most viable option based on cost alone for structures with a design life greater than 19 years. This in turn saw the GCCC adopt stainless steel as the default materials specification for structures within the foreshore zone requiring a design life greater than 19 years.


Development of a Standard covering the grade and dimensions of stainless steel pipes and tubes suitable for water supply and drainage systems completed, and converted into the full Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS3500.

Australian Stainless Magazine Blog is launched on ASSDA’s website.


Completion and launch of ASSDA’s Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) welding e-learning demonstration model.


The first edition of the ASSDA Food Code of Practice is published, a technical specification covering the requirements for the design, fabrication, inspection, transport and installation of stainless steel plant and equipment in the food and beverage industry.


An opportunity to see stainless steel used in plumbing was identified early in ASSDA ranks, but several attempts to establish the market failed until a Brisbane plumbing inspector recognised a problem in relation to the construction of the Aurora building, then underway. ASSDA took advantage of this problem, along with its Member Blucher Australia, tested stainless steel for the plumbing market and established risers in the Aurora building in stainless steel that were used for the dual purpose of fire service and potable water supply. This resulted in standards being written in the plumbing sector by ASSDA operatives and established the market for stainless steel plumbing across Australia in a range of designs and fitting technologies.


Launch of the ASSDA Accreditation Scheme, an industry-based program designed to establish a benchmark for stainless steel fabricators to become recognised providers (ASSDA Accredited Fabricators) of a standardised level of quality.


In conjunction with and through the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), the online Stainless Steel Specialist Course is launched. The course is a breakthrough educational tool for the industry providing a standard level of knowledge and qualification and designed to improve knowledge of stainless steel, its properties, performance and uses. Today, it consists of 17 challenging and rewarding modules covering a wide range of topics from introductory to more complex material. Further work down the track saw the first five modules of the course made available in Chinese, Indian and Portuguese. 


The rebar market in Australia was established through ASSDA in conjunction with Arminox Australia. It delivered information, education and rigorous technical advice on the durability of concrete structures and resulted in the development of the market for stainless rebar. Amongst the first applications was the floating walkway in Brisbane (now demolished courtesy of the 2011 floods), which saw a modest several hundred tonnes of stainless steel used in the pontoon structures with many more tonnes of stainless steel specified for the topside structure, and then on most other stainless steel items for handrails and barrier structures along the Brisbane river. A pioneer of this work was Rod McGee from the Tasmanian Main Roads Department. A bridge in his honour, with pile caps in stainless steel rebar, succeeds him in Tasmania.

Australian Standard AS1528 first issued and developed by an ASSDA group of stakeholders in the manufacture, supply, fabrication, and use of stainless steel tube and associated fittings in the food manufacturing industries. Its aim is to standardise hygienic tube for use in dairy, food and beverage manufacturing and has been successful in maintaining the required food standards in Australia and New Zealand. It is currently the only dimensionally integrated set of stainless steel tube and fitting standards in the world. The AS1528 suite of standards has recently been revised and was republished in October 2019.


The threat of standards restrictions on the release of particulate and gaseous matter in welding fume lead to a battle from ASSDA at Standards Australia and with WorkSafe Australia, the national regulator. The proposals would have essentially seen a ban on welding stainless steel. ASSDA rigorously fought the proposal, eventually winning the day and providing guidelines adequate for fabricators to meet regulation in a simple way. To do so, ASSDA partnered with Weld Australia and other industry organisations to create the guidance notes.


First 'tea staining' problems recognised and followed with two years of research. An education program focused on preventing coastal corrosion is initiated in 2001, and there is now a greater understanding of the topic and stronger relationships with asset owners and specifiers that are still delivering results for the industry today. Technical information, recommendations, and specifications have been published since this time and ASSDA's influence on this subject has stretched offshore.


First edition of the Australian Stainless Reference Manual is published, an industry guide and comprehensive technical resource to stainless steel. In February 2020, ASSDA published the eighth edition.


First National Conference (PacRim Stainless) is held at the Novotel North Beach Hotel in Wollongong.

First Australian Stainless Magazine is published and today continues to be ASSDA's flagship publication promoting stainless steel and its applications.


ASSDA is inaugurated with 31 Members to address and harness stainless steel's growth trend in Australia.