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Materials and Technologies for
Constructions and Cultural Heritage
Polymers Ceramics and ceramic matrix composites Biomaterials Polymer matrix composites

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Home > Materials and Technologies for Constructions and Cultural Heritage > Research

RESEARCH LINE

Preservative photopolymerized and organic-inorganic hybrid products for the protection of stone, wood and other materials surface.

Involved People:
Mariaenrica Frigione
Francesca Lionetto
The activities are focused to the development and the characterization of novel “photopolymerizable protectives”, i.e. formulations able to polymerize through solar and/or UV radiations. Photopolymerizable resins, well known in coating industry, were never proposed for the protection of stone surfaces. On the other hand, several are the advantages of the free radical photopolimerization over traditional techniques used to apply protectives for stone substrates. First, it offers the possibility to reach the final performances of the polymer in a very short time with a weak variability of cure conditions. Moreover, if the radicals are generated by UV/visible radiation, the reaction needs a very low energetic consumption. In addition, the photopolymerization drastically reduces the environmental concerns connected with the use of polymers in solution, not requiring any volatile solvent during the application. The protective films obtained, finally, are characterized by higher final performances in terms of glass transitions temperature and durability against environmental agents, if compared to those obtained with traditional techniques. Organic-inorganic (O-I) hybrid materials, produced starting from the sol-gel technology, were considered for use as coatings since they offer several advantages, in particular the possibility of “curing” at low temperatures, the excellent mechanical properties and resistance to abrasion. The main feature of such novel products is their character which is “hybrid” between the two components, organic and inorganic, conferring to these materials unique properties and performance. Both the photopolymerizable and O-I experimented products are mainly, but not only, designed for the protection of stone of monumental, archaeological and historical-architectonic buildings, of which Apulian region is very rich. Experiments are currently running to test the protection capability of these new products on different substrates (wood, ceramics, plastics, etc.). The studies are carried on in close collaboration with scientists from various research centres involving multidisciplinary teams consisting of architects, historians, geologists, chemists, as well as technical specialists and managers in museums, cathedrals and monumental sites.
UV lamp used to obtain a “photopolymerizable protective”.
Application on a “Leccese” stone substrate of an experimental protective
Comparison of different experimental protectives applied on “Leccese” stone substrate: substantial chromatic changes are visible for the two middle products.

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University of Salento   Facoltà di Ingengeria    Department of Engineering for Innovation