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Material Characterisation & Preservation

Characterisation & Preservation





The Center for Cultural Heritage Technology is working on the in-depth materials studies and characterisation of several classes of artistic and archaeological objects with the aim of offering a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the current degradation state coupled with a clear picture of the on-going deterioration physico-chemical processes happening at the surface and inside the bulk.

The research focuses on the study of complex and heterogeneous ancient materials ranging from a macroscopic approach down to the nanometric structures in order to deepen the understanding of the relationships between interconnected parameters, such as structure, micro-environment and physical appearance. This approach also shed light on the materials long-term behaviour thanks to the critical analysis of the data collected via existing and emerging techniques. Physico-chemical analyses and materials characterization are further supplemented by hyper-imaging technologies to correlate distributional maps with chemical information of the investigated surface.

The Centre is also developing new approaches based on hyperspectral and THz technologies to provide innovative diagnostic tools, easy to use and high-throughput. These articulated data offer a multi-scale description of the compounds' distribution to achieve a comprehensive and detailed picture of historical trade routes of raw materials, manufacturing techniques and alteration mechanisms. 

Our comprehensive and multilateral approach pushes the current methods to their limits because the complexity of materials properties combined with a centenarian history is not entirely reproducible in laboratory conditions and requires out-of-the-box approaches in order to define effective and universal diagnostic protocols and intervention strategies. 




The Centre for Cultural Heritage Technology  is conceiving innovative solutions for protecting several classes of artefacts. Protective coatings are specifically designed strictly following the requirements established during the extensive characterization process to decrease to the minimum level possible or halt the target deterioration processes. Each solution is engineered taking into consideration the composition, deterioration state and ongoing degradation processes of cultural items, in order to find the optimal compromise between material protection and aesthetic preservation. The Centre is focused on developing the next generation of green, nanostructured and sustainable materials for the protection of our cultural heritage. Nanotechnology and green chemistry breakthroughs are the tools at the core of our effort to deliver innovation.