Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Martino Colonna

  • Learning modules Martino Colonna (Modulo 1)
    Stefania Manzi (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD CHIM/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Techniques and Management for Construction and Land (cod. 5817)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 23, 2021 to Oct 29, 2021

    Course Timetable from Nov 04, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


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

Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students the necessary tools for a rational assessment of the use of building materials in the building process. Such goal was reached thanks to the achievement of a basic knowledge of general chemistry necessary to treat some chemical processes as well as a knowledge of the physical, mechanical and microstructural characteristics of the materials of greatest interest for the building construction sector (steel, concrete, traditional ceramics).

Course contents

Chemistry Unit

Atomic structure of matter.

Electronic structure of atoms and periodicity of atomic properties

Chemical bonds: ionic, covalent and metallic bonds. Weak interactions.

Stoichiometry, chemical reactions and redox.

Nomenclature of inorganic compounds

States of matter: gases, ideal gas law, mixture of gases and real gases. Liquid state: solutions and measures of concentration. Solids: kinds of crystals. Structures and properties of ionic, molecular, covalent and metallic solids.

Thermochemistry: Hess's Law of heat.

Ionic equilibria in acqueous solutions. Acids and bases. pH determination.

Materials Unit

Types and performances of structural and non-structural materials. Physical-mechanical performances of materials: microstructure (porosity and water absorption) stress-strain diagram, Rck, Young modulus, elastic and plastic strain, fracture, creep and relaxation test methods according to Italian laws (Norme Tecniche per le Costruzioni) and European standards.

Metals: cast irons and steels. Phase diagram Fe-C, steel thermal treatments and mechanical performances, weldability, corrosion resistance. Steel, HSLA (High-strength low-alloy) steel, stainless steels and main non-iron alloys.

Ceramic materials: technologies, materials performance and standards. Bricks. Tiles. Ordinary and security glasses.

Binders. Hydrated and hydraulic lime. Gypsum. Portland cement and cements according to UNI EN 197-1. Ordinary and high-performance concrete: mix design, production technologies, fresh and hardened-state properties, casting. Tests on fresh concrete in building site. Environmental exposure classes according to UNI EN 206-1. Standards on cement, aggregates and concrete. Brief references to self-compacting concrete.

Polymeric materials (thermoplastic and thermosetting): characteristics, mechanical performances and field of application in constructions.


Chemistry Unit

The pdf file of the slides will be available on the site course

Suggested books

  • P. Atkins, L. Jones. Principi di Chimica. Zanichelli
  • R. Chang. Fondamenti di Chimica Generale. McGraw Hill

Materials Unit

The educational material shown during the lessons will be at students disposal.

Suggested readings for deepening of the lesson topics:

  • V. Alunno Rossetti, Il Calcestruzzo. Materiali e tecnologie, McGraw-Hill, Milano, Terza edizione, 2007.
  • L. Bertolini, M. Carsana. Materiali da Costruzione, Volume primo, Struttura, proprietà e tecnologie di produzione. Citta' Studi Edizioni, De Agostini Scuola SpA, Novara, Terza edizione, 2014.
  • N. Jackson (Ed.) Civil Engineering Materials. Macmillan Press London 1983
  • M. Illston (Ed.) Construction Materials. E & F Spoon London 1994

Teaching methods

Chemistry Unit

Frontal lessons and exercises. During the lessons will be carried out exercises of the same type and difficulty than those that will be submitted to the students during the exam.

Materials Unit


Notes on the subjects of the course will be provided through websites.

During the course some exercises will be performed.

Assessment methods

The examination is divided into two separate verification tests: one of chemistry and one of materials technology.

The chemistry test consists of a written test (duration 2h) with multiple choice questions, open questions and numerical exercises, according to the course contents described above.
During the written test the use of books, notes and any type of electronic support (smartphone, tablet or similar) is not allowed.

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

- the knowledge of the physical-microstructure characteristics of the most used building materials

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

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 + Materials unit).

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

Teaching tools

Chemistry Unit

Overhead projector. The material used during the lessons is available online to the students.

For a better use of the lessons, this material should be printed and taken to class.

The material provided to the students, even if supplemented by the notes taken in class, is not a substitute for the reference texts but is an aid for a better use of the lessons.

Materials Unit

During the course some practice exercises will be conducted.

Office hours

See the website of Martino Colonna

See the website of Stefania Manzi