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Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[80/71]  ARCHITECTURAL SCIENCE [71/00 - Ord. 2017]  PERCORSO COMUNE 9 90


The course aims to provide students, the fundamentals issue concerning Materials Science and Mineralogical-Petrographic knowledge for the characterization of natural and artificial stone materials, in particular for building materials.
The first module Engineering Materials is focused on:
Ceramics, metals and natural materials are considered focusing on their microstructural and macrostructural properties. The relationships between structure, processing and properties of materials will be illustrated with examples of both idealized and technological materials. Numerical exercises illustrate the main points of the lesson course
The second one Geomaterial is focused on:
elements for the recognition and classification of rocks intended as geomaterials (stone, lithoid, ornamental and derivatives) which, by their physical, chemical and technical properties, involved and affect human activity in the field of architecture; this knowledge is base for the recognition of geomaterials and their synthetic analogs, their use and their technical- application useful for defining characteristics, criteria, and use of ornamental and building stones.

Knowledge and understanding. At the end of this course, the student will achieve a sufficient knowledge of mineral chemistry and materials science and of aspects which control chemical and physical phenomena of different materials and have also the knowledge to recognize and describe the properties of the main natural stones, mortars and plasters. An essential goal of the course is to provide the knowledge of the physical, chemical and biological processes that lead to the deterioration of building materials and ornamental plants and also their regulatory issues.

Applying knowledge and understanding. The student will develop skills in the use of instruments relating to petrography, chemistry and materials science, which will allow him to understand the relation between structure and properties.
Making judgements. The student will develop self-evaluation capacity regarding petrography chemistry and engineering materials, models and limits of knowledge. Communication skills. Students will acquire basic and essential knowledge useful for his professional education for future practice as architects.


Preparatory courses already indicated in the general degree plan of the courses.
Knowledge acquired from studying Maths and Physics (high school level). A good level of knowledge of chemistry is required


Engineering Materials
Types of materials. Structure-Property-Processing relationship.
-Atomic structure.
The structure of the atom. Binding energy and interatomic spacing.
Crystalline solids. Crystals Systems. Imperfections in solids. Diffusion.
Steady state diffusion (Fick’s first law), non steady state diffusion (Fick’s second law). Factors that influence diffusion.
-Dislocations and Strengthening Mechanism.
Dislocations and elastic deformation. Plastic deformation of polycrystalline materials. Mechanism of strengthening in metals. Mechanical Properties of metals.
Stress-strain Behaviour. Tensile properties. Compressive, shear and torsion deformation. Hardness and hardness tests. Phase Diagrams.
Equilibrium Phase diagrams. The Gibbs phase rules. Binary isomorphous systems. The lever rule. Nonequilibrium solidification. Binary eutectic systems. Three phases reactions in binary phase diagram: eutectic, peritectic, monotectic, eutectoid, peritectoid.
(10 hours)
-Natural materials.
Rock. Formation process and final properties. Wooden materials. Earth based baterials.
(5 hours)
Lime. Hydraulic lime. Cement and concrete. Raw materials. Fabrication methods. Hydration of binders. Final structure and relative pèroperties. Concrete aggregate, properties. Mix-design. Final properties.
-Traditional ceramcis.
Clays (T-O and T-O-T systems). Ceramic structures. Crystalline ceramics. Imperfections in ceramics. Mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. Processing of ceramics. Applications of ceramics. Glasses.
(10 hours)
Polymers applications and processing. Polymerization. Polymer crystallinity. Mechanical and thermomechanical properties. Stress-strain behaviour. Deformation of semicrystalline polymers. Thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. Fracture.
(3 hours)
Particle reinforced composites. Polymer matrix composites. Metal matrix composites. Ceramic matrix composites. Composites manufacturing.
(2 hours)
-Durability of materials.
(10 hours)


Introduction (2 hours)
Description and constitution of Geomaterials (2 hours)
Classification, properties and uses (2 hours).
Knowledge of common minerals in the different types of rocks (3 hours).
General aspects about the classification criteria of the rocks. Igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks (6 hours) .
Petrographic and commercial classification of rocks (2 hours).
Regional districts natural stone. Outline of regional geology and the corresponding lithologies (3 hours).
Main rock types used in regional historical and modern stone monument and architecture (2 hours) .
Petro-physical-mechanical properties (2 hours).
Archaeometric aspects related to the study of the origin of stone materials of monuments in cultural and artistic context(3 hours).
Stones decay. General aspects of degradation, causes and mechanisms of transformation of the rock and stone. The most important deterioration processes and their effects on the mineral-petrographic characteristics of different types of stones and rocks. Deterioration by physical, chemical and biological processes (5 hours).
Laboratory techniques.
Determination of the chemical and mineralogical composition of raw materials and manufactured goods: the methods of taking of samples, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, electronic microscopy and microanalysis(2 hours)
UNI NOR.Ma.L recommendation (1 hour)
Practice in the laboratory: recognition and classification of rocks and ornamental stones; practice in the field; macroscopic identification ornamental stone historical and contemporary regional architecture.
Students will study the methods of investigation of geomaterials and the recognition and classification of rocks in lab sessions and during field trips (15 hours)

Teaching Methods

Metodi didattici
The course consists of 90 hours, subdivided in:
Engineering Materials
40 hours of lectures.
35 hours of lecture
15 hours Practice in the laboratory

Verification of learning

The exam will consist
Engineering Materials
The evaluation consist of a written part at the end of the course (or two intermediate tests during the course) and oral part.
Written part will highlight the acquired knowledge by students on:
- materials structure;
- materials properties;
- formation process of materials;
- applications;
- perspective and future of materials science.
Oral part will allow to confirm and verify the knowledge level.

The exam will consist of an oral presentation, recognition of various types of stones and rocks used in construction and architecture and preparation of a final presentation by each student concerning a specifically assigned case study.
In order to pass the exam (hence, to get a grade higher than 18/30), the student needs to show a sufficient understanding of the arguments in each module.To get 30/30 cum laude (top-marks), the student must show a complete knowledge of al topics discussed during the course. The total grade will be calculated as the weighted average of the grade for the individual modules.


Engineering Materials
W.F. Smith, J. Hashemi. Scienza e tecnologia dei materiali. Mc Graw Hill
L. Bertolini, MATERIALI DA COSTRUZIONE, Vol. II - Degrado, prevenzione diagnosi, Ed. CittàSTUDI
L. Bertolini, MATERIALI DA COSTRUZIONE, Vol. I - Struttura, Proprietà e Tecnologie di Produzione, Ed. CittàSTUDI

Siegfried Siegesmund Rolf Snethlage Editors, 2011. Stone in Architecture. Properties, Durability 4th Edition. Springer. Chapters 1,2, 2006)

More Information

The textbooks might be integrated by slides of the lectures, links to websites, material from other case studies.
The attendance to lectures is recommended, especially for laboratory activity

Questionnaire and social

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