Analytical methods for the environmental degradation of cultural heritage

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides an introduction to instrumental techniques of chemical analysis and structural characterization of cultural heritage materials, focusing on the environmental effects on such materials and paying particular attention to experimental aspects and data interpretation. The aim of the course is therefore to make the student understand what compositional and structural information can be obtained from this type of investigations on the original materials and their degradation products.
Expected learning outcomes
Ability to interpret and use analytical information from the findings and possibility of intervention for conservative purposes.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Course content:
prof. S. Bruni
Atmospheric pollutants and general information about their effect on cultural heritage materials. Summary of the most used instrumental techniques for the chemical analysis of environmental degradation phenomena. The deterioration of stones, mortars and plastics. Effects of indoor pollutants on materials stored in museums and exhibitions.

prof. F. Demartin
Diffraction as an analytical tool for the characterization of cultural heritage. Methods and examples. Diffraction on polycrystalline materials and on single crystal. Non-destructive analytical characterization of cultural heritage. SEM microscopy and EDS electronic microprobe. Examples of application of the SEM / EDS microanalysis: studies on the "Holy Shroud", characterization of pigments and findings.

prof. S. Trasatti
Metallic materials in the cultural heritage. Phase diagrams of binary alloys: complete miscibility, partial miscibility, complete immiscibility, congruent and incongruent intermetallic compound. Fe-C diagram and other examples. Heat treatments: TTT and CCT diagrams. Optical microscopy and metallographic analysis. Corrosion and protection techniques. Pourbaix diagrams.

Suggested prerequisites: Base knowledge of general and analytical chemistry

Reference material: The material used during the lessons will be provided to the students

Assessment method: The exam consists of a written test covering all the subjects discussed in the course to verify both the gained knowledge and the ability of critical analysis of the covered topics

Language of instruction: Italian

Attendance Policy: strongly recommended

Mode of teaching: traditional
CHIM/01 - ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours