Chemistry of materials

A.Y. 2021/2022
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
CHIM/05 ING-IND/23
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The learning objective of this course is to provide the Student with an adequate knowledge of the basic concepts of the materials chemistry applied to the conservation of Cultural Heritage, with particular emphasis to the chemistry of both natural and synthetic polymers used in the arts as bulk materials (e.g. cellulose, wood and plastics) as well as adhesives, consolidants and protective coatings, for monuments, as an example.
In order to understand the most suitable conservation strategy for each type of material, the basic concepts on the degradation of polymeric materials will be discussed, framing them within the artistic context.
The chemical knowledge related to the micellar and emulsion systems and to the polymeric gels used for the cleaning and conservation of the artistic artefacts will be provided, as well.
In doing so, the Student will acquire the scientific and methodological skills necessary to carry out interventions. In addition, the Student will be able to evaluate the level of degradation of the work of art under investigation, analysing its chemical-physical and morphological-structural properties, therefore he/she will be able to identify and operate by exploiting the most suitable conservation strategy.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the Student will be able:
- to describe the chemical-physical properties of both natural and synthetic polymers used in the artistic field both as bulk materials for works of art, and consolidants, adhesives and protective coatings;
- to recognize and illustrate the degradation phenomena affecting the conservation of an artistic artefact made up of polymers, such as cellulose, wood and plastics;
- to recognize and illustrate the degradation phenomena affecting the performances of polymers used as consolidants, adhesives and protective agents;
- to identify and select the most suitable conservation strategy for the specific case, thanks to the scientific and methodological skills acquired;
- to treat an artistic artefact, by employing the most suitable conservation strategy for the specific case, on the basis of a careful critical analysis of the state of decay of an artistic artefact;

- to dialogue with other professional figures in the field of Cultural Heritage, becoming the ideal interface between who synthesize and produce polymers and who restore artistic artefacts.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over coming months, based on the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The program of course focuses on five macro-topics:
· Macro-topic 1: ARTEFACT DEGRADATION and CONSERVATION.
Contents: The degradation of works of art: The role of surface and interface. The case study of paintings. The weathering.

· Macro-topic 2: AN INTRODUCTION TO POLYMERS.
Contents: Polymers in Cultural Heritage. Introduction on polymers, copolymers and polymer blends. Molecular weight of polymers. Synthesis of polymers. Thermal and mechanical properties of polymers. Polymeric gels. Polymeric coatings. Degradation of polymers.

· Macro-topic 3: ARTEFACT CLEANING.
Contents: Conservation treatments: cleaning, consolidation and protection. Cleaning of artefacts using: micellar solutions; emulsions and microemulsions; gels and polymeric dispersion.

· Macro-topic 4: ARTEFACT CONSOLIDATION & PROTECTION.
Contents: Consolidation and protection. Polymers for Cultural Heritage conservation. The case study of stone Artworks. Adhesives & Bio-adhesives. The case study of polymeric coatings.

· Macro-topic 5: POLYMERS as BULK MATERIALS for ARTEFACTS.
Contents: Artefact conservation of: i) books, manuscripts, canvas and textiles; ii) furniture, musical instruments, frames, and altarpieces; and iii) plastics in art and for art.
Prerequisites for admission
A fundamental prerequisite to follow the Materials Chemistry course is to have knowledge of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. It is therefore advisable to attend the Materials Chemistry course in the third year, after having followed the "Organic Chemistry" course.
A fundamental prerequisite to follow the course of Materials Chemistry is to have knowledge of Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. Therefore, it is recommended to take the Materials Chemistry course in the third year, after having followed the "Organic Chemistry" course.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons with the aid of slides (power point presentations) and audio-visual systems (videos).
Teaching Resources
· Course slides accompanied by videos dedicated to the course topics.
· Scientific articles and reviews relevant to the individual topics covered during the course.
· "Polymer Coatings. A Guide to Chemistry, Characterization, and Selected Applications", by Gijsbertus deWith, Wiley-VCH, 2018.
· "Nanotechnologies in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, A compendium of materials and techniques", by Piero Baglioni and David Chelazzi, Rodorigo Giorgi, Springer, 2015.
· "Handbook of Polymers in Stone Conservation", by Elisabetta Princi, Smithers Rapra, 2014.
· "Nanoscience for the Conservation of Works of Art", by Piero Baglioni and David Chelazzi, RSC Publishing, 2013.
· "Corrosion and conservation of cultural heritage metallic artefacts" by Philippe Dillmann, David Watkinson, Emma Angelini and Annemie Adriaens, Woodhead Publishing, 2013.
· "Materials for Conservation. Organic consolidants, adhesives and coatings", 2nd Edition, by Velson Horie, Elsevier, 2010.
· "Conservation of Plastics: Materials Science, Degradation and Preservation", 1st Edition, by Yvonne Shashoua, Elsevier, 2008.
· "Principles of Polymerization", 4th Edition, by George Odian, Wiley & Interscience, 2004.
· "Macromolecules - 1. Structure and Properties", 2nd Edition, by Hans-Georg Elias, Plenum Press, 1984.
· "Macromolecules - 2. Synthesis, Materials and Technology", 2nd Edition, by Hans-Georg Elias, Plenum Press, 1984.
· "Macromolecules - 1. Structure and Properties", 2nd Edition, by Hans-Georg Elias, Plenum Press, 1984.
· "Macromolecules - 2. Synthesis, Materials and Technology", 2nd Edition, by Hans-Georg Elias, Plenum Press, 1984.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will consist of an oral interview lasting 30-35 minutes. The calendar with the dates of the various sessions will be published on the University system.
The score will vary between 18 and 30 out of 30 and will be proportional to the number of correct answers.
The oral interview will aim to ascertain the achievement of the expected learning outcomes in terms of knowledge and understanding. The evaluation criteria will focus on the student's ability to answer open short answer questions (DRAB) on all the topics covered in the course. In particular, the student must be able to describe the chemical-physical characteristics of both natural and synthetic polymers used both as a material constituting an artistic artefact and as a consolidating, adhesive and protective material; recognize and illustrate the degradation phenomena that influence the conservation of an artistic artefact or of consolidating, adhesive and protective agents; identify and select the most suitable conservation strategy for the case in question.
CHIM/05 - SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF POLYMERIC MATERIALS - University credits: 0
ING-IND/23 - APPLIED PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Alongi Jenny
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Office hours by appointment
Building 5, Body B, 3rd floor, room 3051