73716 - Technology of Materials and Applied Chemistry

Course Unit Page


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

Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of the main classes of materials used in the building and construction sectors, also including restoration and retrofitting interventions. Knowldege of the main characteristics of these materials in terms of chemical, physical and mechancial properties and durability.

Course contents

  • Construction materials for architecture and building engineering: structural and functional materials. Classification, historical and technological development of building materials.
  • Metals: cast irons and steels. Raw materials and technlogy. Low carbon steels, high strength low alloys steels and stainless steels. Thermal treatments (annealing, quenching, Bain diagram, etc.) and weldability of low carbon steel. Aluminium and copper alloys for building applications: main characteristics. Corrosion: morphology, mechanisms and aggressive environmnets for steels.
  • Ceramic materials and glass: raw materials, technology, physical–mechanical properties and performances in architecture and building engineering.
  • Binders for building and restorations: plaster, lime, hydraulic lime and cement. Traditional and special mortars. Cement technology and setting reactions, cements according to European standard EN 197/1. Traditional and special concrete according to EN 206-1. Technology, mix-design, properties and casting of ready mix concrete. Concrete properties at the fresh and hardened state. Concrete durability: environmental exposure classes. Self-compacting-concrete and high strength concrete.
  • Thermoplastic and thermoset polymers: physical–mechanical properties and performances for building engineering applications.
  • Main mechanisms of degradation and corrosion of building materials; protection systems. General criteria for building materials selection. Recycling of construction and demolition waste, sustainability of building materials.



  • N. Jackson (Ed.) Civil Engineering Materials. Macmillan Press London 1983
  • M. Illston (Ed.) Construction Materials. E & F Spoon London 1994

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons and practical classes in the laboratory

Assessment methods

The final exam is an oral test, aimed at evaluating the knowledge on:

  • physical-microstructural properties of the investigated building materials;
  • mechanical characteristics and durability properties of the investigated building materials;
  • main requirements of building materials in view of their applications and relevant standards.

The final grade is awarded based on the student ability to demonstrate organic understanding of the subject, ability for critical application, clear and concise presentation of the contents.

Teaching tools

Practical classes about cement and concrete will be held in the laboratory for a better understanding of their properties and practical use. Slides are available in the course repository on Virtuale platform.

Office hours

See the website of Maria Bignozzi

See the website of Enrico Sassoni

See the website of Enrico Sassoni