Foto del docente

Maurizio Fiorini

Associate Professor

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering

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


The research activity of the last three years has been very focused on the applications of Raman and FTIR spectroscopy to some aspects of polymer materials science. In a first strand, the experimental activity was addressed to the development of methods for isolation, identification and quantification of microplastics in packaged foods (in collaboration with IMA). The identification was made with FTIR and Raman microscopy, two of the techniques that are establishing themselves as a reference in the field of microplastic analysis. Another topic of interest is the combination of Raman spectroscopy and rotational rheometry for the study of polymer crystallization phenomena. In this context, for the first time in the world, the rheo-Raman technique has been applied to the study of the formation and crystallization of the stereo-complex of polylactide. Raman spectroscopy was then applied to the analysis of packaging containing varying percentages of recycled PET, in combination with virgin PET. In this case, the value of the research activity consists in being able to provide analytical support to the legislator and to standardization bodies, in order to apply economic incentive schemes on the use of recycled plastics, being able to control the actual recycled content. From the case of PET the research will then be developed to other families of materials, such as PS, PP and polyethylenes.

The activities related to the additive manufacturing of thermoplastic polymeric materials concern the rapid prototyping of parts for automatic machines, the realization of scaffolds for biomedical applications and more generally the study of the optimization of additive printing with Arburg's FreeFormer technology. In this context, research is underway in collaboration with colleagues from DIBINEM and DIN for the realization of patient-specific implants. The goal is to develop a validated procedure that allows to realize a cranial plate made through additive manufacturing with polymers approved for permanent body implants.

Also in the additive manufacturing field, the study of the optimization of the printing processes of semi-crystalline polyamides was started. In this case the critical aspect is to counteract with suitable deposition profiles the phenomenon of warpage due to the crystallization and recrystallization of the material. Promising results have been obtained in collaboration with Radici regarding polyamide-6.

The most traditional research activity on compounding has been directed in recent years on biobased polymers and additives. With the same experimental approach previously applied to more traditional polymers, the research was first conducted in Brabender discontinuous mixer and subsequently scaled into the twin-screw extruder for the preparation of more grade quantities and in process conditions more representative of real compounding at the industrial level. The characterization of the mechanical properties of traction, bending and impact of biobased and biodegradable compounds was done on specimens that comply with ISO standards injection molded with the Negri Bossi press. The characterization was then completed with other laboratory techniques: DSC, TGA, DMTA and melt rheology.