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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

This is a specific course directed to develop the main issues to the use of geomaterials in the cultural heritages, architecture, and industry. The course providing the basic knowledge on the petrographic characterization of ornamental rocks, rock aggregates, the blends for concrete, the glass, the brick, and man-made materials used on building. Specifically, the goal of course is to supply knowledge of the key techniques for the exploration the raw materials for the construction industry, for the ornamental stone industry and for the ceramic industry with insight into the technologies used in the extraction and processing of building stones and related legislation. The course provides an analysis of regulations for the certification of geo-materials. It describes the petrographic and geochemical plans for the extraction of materials consistent and inert.

The key skills and the obtained knowledge will be:

- The descriptive knowledge of the major ornamental rocks used in the Cultural Heritage and the knowledge of the main "Stone Districts" in Italy, in the Mediterranean areas and in the world.

- The ability in sampling of material used in cultural Heritage

- Basic concepts of the main methods of analysis to identify products and causes of decay in order to program the methods of protection, consolidation and cleaning. main methods for the characterization of ceramic materials and reconstruction of production technology.

- The ability to perform the main types of methods in order to classify and characterize the ornamental rocks, rock aggregates and man-made materials used on building.

- Capability to supply of raw materials for the construction industry, for the ornamental stone industry and for the ceramic industry with insight into the technologies used in the extraction and processing of building stones and related legislation .

- Acquire a better awareness of regulations for the certification of geo-materials in order to use the required analysis.

- Capability to study of painting techniques with a focus on binders and paint pigments and for the classification and certification of cements.

- Methods for the characterization of the glasses
- Classification of Colour in Painting


Basic concept learned in Physics (Ist and IInd courses), in Mineralogy, in Mineralogy Laboratory and in petrography.

Course programme

The course is structured in two parts: frontal lectures of 48 hours and guided tutorial on exercises of 10 hours:

a) Classification and certification of ornamental stone materials with mineralogical-petrographic and petro physical methods , brief history of the ornamental stone extraction activities, analysis of the problems of the mining areas and processing techniques (frontal lectures: 10 hours + practical lessons: 2 hours).

b) Analysis of Regulations adopted for analyses of geomaterials (Normal and UNI) and petrophysical characteristics (porosity, mechanical strength, workability). Relationships of physical - mechanical - petrophysical proprieties and the suitability in the use for various geomaterials in cultural heritage (frontal lectures: 4 hours).

c) Analysis of chemical composition for the mixing of cements and their influence on the physical-mechanical and technological characteristics of mortars and cements. Analysis of painting techniques and sampling methods of mortar, plaster and stucco (frontal lectures: 6 hours).

d) Italian stone sector, analysis of stone districts in different historical periods (frontal lectures: 4 hours).

e) The degradation of cultural heritage: analysis of natural causes and definition of antrophic and natural impacts. Description of physical and chemical reactions related to the various types of pollutants. Black crusts and efflorescence. Binders: chalk, kicking air, hydraulic limes, cements, concrete conglomerates (frontal lectures: 6 hours + practical lessons: 2 hours).

f) The protective, protection of stone surfaces and lithoid in the past, drying oils, natural waxes, natural resins, the current protection (frontal lectures: 4 hours)

g) Ceramic materials and brief history, classification of ceramic products, the manufacturing process, formulation of the dough, shaping, drying, cooking (frontal lectures: 6 hours)

h) Brief Historical and classification of glass, stained glass, the raw materials for the production of glass. The color of ornamental materials and paint pigments and dyes (frontal lectures: 4 hours).

i) Analytical methods (chromatographic methods, optical microscopy, physical methods, atomic spectroscopy, spectrophotometry in reflection, fluorescence spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (sem) and microprobe analysis punctual energy dispersive (sem-eds), mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS), mercury porosimetry (frontal lectures: 4 hours + practical lessons: 2 hours).

Didactic methods

The course is structured in 27 lessons (frontal lectures: 48 hours and guided tutorial in the labs: 6 hours)

Learning assessment procedures

Oral examination with the objective to verify the level of knowledge concerning theoretical and practical aspects covered during the course .

Reference texts

Teacher’s handouts

Specific topics can be further developed in the following texts:

Il restauro della pietra. Autori Laurenzi Tabasso Marisa, Lazzarini Lorenzo — UTET SCIENZE TECNICHE — Anno 2010 Cedam (Padova, 1986).

Scienza dei materiali e restauro. Autori Amoroso G.G., Camaiti M. 1997 Alinea Editrice (Firenze, 1997).

Pianeta Pietra Autore Primavori P. 1999Giorgio Zusi Editore (Verona, 1999)