Protection of Material Culture

Active Projects 

The Center for Cultural Heritage Technology is investing in developing new solutions for protecting several classes of artistic and archaeological objects.

  • Soda-lime Glass

    The results of the characterisation analysis will help to design the appropriate strategy for the protection of glassy materials. The creation of transparent, superhydrophobic coatings to be applied on the artefacts' surface will be considered to reduce the leaching mechanisms involved in glass corrosion.

  • Frescoes and wall-paintings 

This project deals with the development of a protective coating for Roman frescoes exposed outdoors and starts from the evidence of a lack in this field. The phenomena of degradation found are of a chemical, physical and biological nature such as fading, saline efflorescence, detachment of the pictorial layer and microbiological colonies among the most common forms. The aim is to create a sustainable and biodegradable multi-functional protective system that acts against the detected forms of degradation.
  • Bronze objects

Archaeological objects have rested for hundreds of years in an aggressive environment, suffering significant alterations of the original alloy and the formation of highly complex patinae. This thick layer of corrosion products, therefore, mediates the interaction between the residual bulk alloy and the external environment. Some of the corrosion products may be unstable and can auto-catalytically perpetrate a degradation process (this is the case of the so-called bronze disease). Others may have reached an equilibrium while buried but are de-stabilized by the abrupt change in the conservation environment after excavation. This project aims to develop a novel treatment for archaeological bronzes, which could suppress latent corrosion phenomena and prevent the onset of new ones, in order to preserve the historical data logged inside the material for a longer time.