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Laura Sisti

Associate Professor

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering

Academic discipline: CHIM/07 Principles of Chemistry for Applied Technologies


Keywords: Polymeric materials Layered double hydroxides Biopolymers Natural fibers Composites and nanocomposites Multifunctional materials Materials with biocidal properties Biodegradation Polymer recycling Packaging Upcycling Polymer characterizations

  • Synthesis and characterization of inorganic fillers for the preparation of high performance materials.
  • Synthesis and characterization of polyester nanocomposites using organo-modified hydrotalcites and montmorillonites.
  • Synthesis and characterization of biopolymers from renwable materials.
  • Synthesis and characterization of polymers and biopolymers with antibacterial properties.
  • Preparation and characterization of lignocellulosic composites.
  • End of life of polymeric material.
  • Inorganic fillers such as hydrotalcites, montmorillonites and graphene are prepared ad hoc for imparting specific properties to the final material in which are dispersed and to improve the mechanical properties and performances in terms of thermal resistance, gas permeability and flammability. The materials thus prepared are characterized by X-ray, FT-IR and thermogravimetry.
  • In the field of composites and nanocomposites the research is focused on the preparation of polymeric materials with organo modified hydrotalcites, montmorillonites or graphene. The dispersion of the inorganic fillers in the polymer matrix is obtained by direct synthesis or by mixing in the molten state with a Brabender mixer or a  co-rotating twin-screw extruder. The materials prepared are characterized by differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, mechanical analysis, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray.

  • Within the framework of composite materials the research is focused on the preparation of materials based on biopolymers and lignocellulosic fibers such as coconut fiber, sugarcane bagasse, sisal, curauá, hemp or fibers deriving from agro-wastes. Features such as the adhesion at the interface, impact resistance and elastic modulus, are optimized without chemically alter the fibers but developing treatments completely "bio", such as enzymatic treatments and plasma treatments. The materials prepared are characterized from the mechanical, thermal and morphological point of view.

  • The synthesis and characterization of new polymers from renewable sources is focused on the research of new monomers eable to give rise to new macromolecules that can offer biodegradability and can exhibit chemical / physical characteristics appropriate to the intended final application like barrier properties, optical properties, mechanical properties, antibacterial properties, etc. These properties are studied and developed by changing the macromolecular chain or inserting specific functional groups or co-monomers by reactions in the molten state or by UV-grafting.

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