65601 - Chemistry and Technology of Materials (A-K)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Nadia Lotti (Modulo 1) Elisa Franzoni (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Civil Engineering (cod. 8888)

Learning outcomes

Attending this course, students learn a basic knowledge of chemistry and become familiar with chemistry processes related to Civil Engineering.

Moreover, students learn the main physical and mechanical properties of main building materials, how to select them as function of their durability and working life in different environments.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of the Chemistry Unit is required to attend with profit the Materials Technology Unit.

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.

Course Contents

Chemistry Unit (40 h)

Atomic structure of matter. Electronic structure of atoms; periodic table of the elements and periodic properties. Chemical bonds: ionic, covalent and metallic bonds. Weak interactions. Molecular structure and polarity of molecules. Nomenclature of inorganic compounds. Chemical reactions, redox. and stoichiometry. States of matter: gases, liquid and solid state. Solutions and measures of concentration. Chemical thermodynamics and chemical equilibrium. Fundamentals of chemical kinetics. Phase equilibria: Gibbs' rule and one and two component state diagrams. Ionic equilibria in aqueous solutions. Acids and bases and pH determination. Fundamentals of electrochemistry and organic chemistry.

Materials Technology Unit (50 h)

Types and main performances of structural and non-structural materials for civil engineering. Mechanical properties of materials: stress-strain diagram, characteristic strength, Young’s modulus, elastic and plastic deformation, fracture, creep and relaxation. Materials’ microstructure: open and close porosity, water absorption and related properties. Metal alloys. Fe-C phase diagram. Structural steels: characteristics, standards and laws. Welding. Thermal treatments. HSLA (High-strength low-alloy) steel. Stainless steel. Cast iron. Non-iron alloys for civil engineering. Metal alloys and resistance to corrosion.Binders. Air and hydraulic lime. Gypsum. Portland cement. Cements according to UNI EN 197-1. Durability of cements: pozzolanic cement and blast furnace slag cement. Ordinary and high-performance concrete: mix design, manufacturing technologies, properties at the fresh and hardened state. Tests on fresh concrete in the building site. Environmental exposure classes according to UNI EN 206-1. Standards on cement, aggregates and concrete; Italian "Norme Tecniche per le costruzioni". Short overview to self-compacting concrete. Ceramic materials: technologies, performance and standards. Bricks. Tiles. Ordinary and safety glasses. Thermoplastic and thermosetting polymeric materials: characteristics, performances and fields of application in constructions.


Chemistry Unit

 R.A. Michelin, A. Munari - " Fondamenti di Chimica ", Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 2019.

 R.A. Michelin, P. Sgarbossa, M. Mozzon, A. Munari - "CHIMICA, Test ed Esercizi", Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 2018.

Materials Technology Unit

Alunno Rossetti V., Il Calcestruzzo. Materiali e tecnologie, McGraw-Hill Libri Italia, s.r.l. Milano, 2007.

Bertolini L., Carsana M., Materiali da Costruzione, Volume I, CittàStudi Edizioni, Torino, 2014.

(Illston M., Construction Materials. E & F Spoon London 1994)

Teaching methods

The lessons will be given in blended way (and however according to the rules related to the pandemic emergency).

Chemistry UnitThe course is composed by theory and exercises; in the latter, students will be helped in solving exercises regarding stoichiometric calculations, balancing of redox reactions, calculation of reaction heat to cite some examples.

Materials Technology Unit: Frontal lessons. Exercises. Laboratory on binders and concrete.

Assessment methods

The exam is a written test. It is composed by quiz (typically 32), theory questions and exercises on topics covered by the program. The final test aims to evaluate:

- the knowledge of the atomic structure and relevant properties in three states of matter, with special focus on solid state

- the knowledge of resolution methods for fundamental chemistry problems

The grade of the written test is based on the evaluation of theoretical answers and exercises resolution.

The final test of Materials Technology unit is based on an oral examination, which aims to evaluate:

- the knowledge of the physical-microstructure characteristics of the most used building materials in Europe and their durability

- the knowledge of the mechanical properties of the most used building materials in Europe

The grade of the oral test is based on the evaluation of all the answers.

The final grade is calculated by CFU-weighted average of the grades obtained in the two different units (Chemistry unit + Technology of Materials unit).

The test dates for the whole year and the registration lists are available on-line on the official AlmaEsami website (the lists are closed 48 hours before each exam date).

Important note: during the pandemic emergency, it is possible that the exam methods are modified due to current restrictions.

Teaching tools

Frontal lessons with the use of blackboard and computer (images and videos are used to support lessons). 1-2 laboratory classes will be organized in the Materials Technology Unit.

In the Materials Technology unit, tests and exercises will be given during lessons for students' self-evaluation purpose.

Slides and other documents are available at: https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Office hours

See the website of Elisa Franzoni

See the website of Nadia Lotti


Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.