Dept. Civil & Env. Eng.
Eng. Quad. E-226
Princeton, NJ 08544 USA
Project: Alternative consolidation treatments for clay-bearing sandstones subjected to swelling damage
• Behavior of materials
• Conservation science
My current research activity involves the development of a conservation strategy for heritage buildings based on the analysis of rare events. More specifically, my project is focused on the study of the degradation of a category of Swiss stone called molasse that is subject to damage from swelling clays that are part of its structure. I will evaluate possible treatments for the upcoming restoration campaign at the Cathedral of Lausanne, Switzerland, which is built using molasses. I use the Design of Experiment technique to optimize ethyl-silicate (TEOS)-based consolidation treatments with or without pre-treatment with a swelling inhibitor on this type of stone. During my period at Princeton University I will explore the effectiveness of phosphate consolidants in combination with swelling inhibitors on swelling clay-bearing stones and compare their performance to TEOS treatments.
I am PhD student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETHZ) in the group of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt, since July 2014.
I joined the PCBM group in July 2013 as a research assistant for a one-year project, during which I developed a testing device for the reproduction in the laboratory of weathering of building façades.
I obtained my MSc in Conservation Science at La Sapienza University of Rome in December 2012. My thesis, carried out at the Science Department of the National Museum of Denmark, was focused on the development of a new non invasive technique for the study of the oxidative behavior of synthetic polymers, via oxygen consumption measurements and chemical characterization by ATR-FTIR, Py-GC/MS and SPME-GC/MS.