Institute of Science and Engineering of Materials for Innovative Technologies

The research groups working at the Institute of Science and Engineering of Materials for Innovative Technologies are involved in experimental and theoretical researches dealing with the design, production and characterization of advanced ceramics, metals, polymers and their macro, micro and nanocomposites; nanostructured materials are investigated as well.  The research activities are performed in the frame of research projects funded by public and private institutions like European Community, Italian Government and industrial Companies. The materials development is currently aimed at applications in several industrial fields, like ground transportation, aerospace, energy, environment, sport, jewelry, buildings, sensors and actuators etc. 

 Massive, multilayer, or composite ceramics are produced through innovative processes of synthesis, forming (particularly through 3D printing technologies), and sintering. Multifunctional nanostructured ceramics with high specific surface area for applications in the field of health, energy and environment are also developed. The research encompasses both advanced ceramics for engineering and traditional ones used in the construction sector. The former, thanks to exceptional physic-thermal-mechanical properties, contribute to cutting-edge technologies and applications, especially in aerospace, biomedical, and energy/environmental sectors. In the case of building materials, there is a heightened focus both on performance and on sustainability. The works proceed by substituting aggregates in mortar and concrete, to improve sustainability of materials and processes, by preparing macro, micro and nanocomposites, also with the help of chemical and physical functionalization processe, by developing eco-friendly processes, recyclable materials, low-energy production methods, and exploring materials and technologies for CO2 capture. This dual approach ensures the continuous advancement of ceramic applications in high-tech fields, aligning with the imperative need to promote sustainable practices within the broader scope of materials science.

In the field of metals, ferrous and non ferrous metals, intermetallic alloys, superalloys, innovative and high performance alloys based on aluminum, titanium and magnesium and iron systems   are studied and developed.  Research activities on metal-based materials concern gas atomizing and casting technologies, additive manufacturing, hot isostatic pressing, powder metallurgy and other different production/manufacturing techniques; the effect of suitable heat treatments and surface engineering  is also investigated. Furthermore, the materials mechanical behavior and the damage mechanisms under operating conditions are researched, aiming to establish the relationship between microstructure and constitutive laws. Metal matrix composite materials are obtained by using micro- and nano-reinforcement. Polymer and polymer composites/nanocomposites either as bulk materials or in form of films for applications as coatings, smart coatings, inks, adhesives, membranes for solar cells (DSSC) and batteries, and as a tool to fabricate microfluidic devices are prepared and characterized.  In addition, hygienic coatings and bio-based polymers are also investigated to improve surface antimicrobial properties. Polymeric materials are also developed as drug release systems and in the form of printed or electrospun structures for biomedical, energy and environmental applications Research activities are focused on different polymerization methods such as thermal and UV-curing techniques, sol-gel, dual cure processes and layer-by-layer deposition, developed as novel approaches for enhancing the flame retardancy and barrier properties of polymers mainly used for packaging applications and for the textiles engineering.