THE NANOMATCH PROJECT
Development of innovative and high performing nano-structured consolidants and protective for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage.
17 ottobre 2014
Museo Correr, Venezia
This year end the three-year project NANOMATCH, a project funded by the European Union and part of the FP7 cycle.
The international network is composed by 14 partners (CNR, TECNALIA, TNO, CCP-LRMH, ISC, AIDICO, RED, NANOTEGO, BOFIMEX , HDK, OSC, ESC, TOP, DUCT) belonging to 7 different countries, including both public and private research centers and SMEs. The purpose of this project was the development of innovative high performances nano-structured products for the conservation and preservation of monuments, which we well know to be subject to the action of degradation of many natural agents (water, climate change, wind, soluble salts, micro-organisms) and air pollutants.
All these agents should be to alter, modify and degrade the surfaces and the constituent materials of the monuments, damaging irreversibly and putting at risk the future usability of historical manufacts. The project took into account three materials, ie stone, wood and glass, that form the basis of the architectural heritage, and started from the consideration that, although the mechanisms of alteration and degradation of such materials have been mostly understood, effective solutions are not currently available for a long-term preservation of the stoneand wood artifacts and historic stained glass.
The degradation factors that act on the historical materials are in fact deleterious to the same products currently used in the field of restoration, for example all the many organic polymers, that are particularly sensitive to the action of solar radiation (UV component), water and soluble salts, which reduce the conservative efficacy and cause difficulties in the subsequent removal step, whenever it’s required. To address the failure of most used conservation organic products, NANOMATCH project has worked on the development of a new class of highly competitive and performing products. Nano-suspensions of alkoxides of alkali and alkaline earth metals have been studied, synthesized in the laboratory and tested on a variety of substrates in order to verify the compatibility and performance. For this purpose, it has been employed the most advanced technologies and the most sophisticated tools/instruments (FEG-ESEM, NMR, ESI-MS, ICP, …) actually available in the market. Once the “lead compounds” have been selected, the project foresaw to move from a purely academic field into the “real” market.
Through the development of pilot plants, it has been produced batches of about 5 kg of alkoxides nano-suspension, subsequently tested “in field” in order to assess and verify the effectiveness and durability in “real” conditions. During the three years of the project, a considerable number of aspects were taken into account, moving from the development, the evaluation and the production of these compounds to the formulation (non-toxic solvents, maximum penetration/performances optimization), the evaluation of the performance of the products in the long term (two years of application), the evaluation of risk assessment and environmental impact (through the study of toxicity and the effect of nano particles) to the development of business plans related to entry in the market for those products and the writing of the guidelines for end-users. All results obtained in the frame of the NANOMATCH project will be finally presented on October 17th 2014 in the final conference, that will be held at Museo Correr in Venice, Italy