Materials science and techonology group, mstg
Materials and Technologies for
Constructions and Cultural Heritage
Polymers Ceramics and ceramic matrix composites Biomaterials Polymer matrix composites

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Properties, aging and weathering of thermosetting adhesives and composite matrices for restoration and rehabilitation applications.

Involved People: Mariaenrica Frigione
Francesca Lionetto
Several studies are focused on the properties of thermosetting resins that are gaining increasing success worldwide, either as adhesives either as matrices for composites (FRP) in restoration of cultural heritage and rehabilitation of civil engineering structures, due to their excellent properties, generally superior than those of traditional building materials. In this field, in particular, great is the concern regarding the long term behavior of the rehabilitated structures, especially when outdoor exposed: the environmental factors can, in fact, lead to critical changes in the performance of such repairing materials. Even thought already employed in many structural applications, the "durability" of the polymeric resins is still not completely understood. On the other hand, the lack of durability data along with the need for high safety standards forced to the use of higher factors of safety in design. This, however, not only increases cost and weight of the adhesives and their composites but also changes performance attributes to the point where the inherent tailorability of the composite is often sacrificed. Finally, the lack of specific standards for durability investigation of materials employed in such applications makes difficult the assessment of reliable theoretical models. More recently, novel epoxy-silica hybrid systems, based on silane functionalized epoxy resins containing interpenetrating silica domains, have been proposed as adhesives for the described applications. Unique features were found, in fact, for the hybrid systems when cured at ambient temperatures, especially in terms of good retention of their mechanical and adhesive properties in harsh environments. All the mentioned aspects have been investigated and analyzed in several studies carried out in the last years on adhesives as well on composites for civil engineering applications and restoration of cultural heritage. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of this subject, most of the work has been performed in collaboration with researchers belonging to different complementary fields, i.e. with structural engineers, geologists, chemists, restoration scientists.


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University of Salento   FacoltÓ di Ingengeria    Department of Engineering for Innovation