International Projects

Project title: International Cooperation for Professional Training in Heritage Conservation

Grant provider: EU/Erasmus+ programme

Duration: 12/2019 – 08/2022

Applicant/beneficiary – coordinator (principal investigator): Academia Istropolitana Nova, Slovakia/ responsible person: Mgr. Lucia Gembešová

Applicant/beneficiary (co-investigator): Forderung der Baudenkmalpflege Verein, Austria/ responsible person: Prof. Dr. Johannes Weber

Applicant/beneficiary (co-investigator): University of Pardubice / responsible person: Ing. Karol Bayer

The goal of the project was to contribute to the development and upgrade professional training in tangible heritage conservation on the basis of SK-AT-CZ international cooperation.  One of the project tasks was to compile a comparative analysis of professional training possibilities in the field of heritage conservation and development in the countries involved in the project (SK, CZ, AT). Another activity within the project was outlining high quality training programs for the target groups which include craftsmen, staff of monuments boards/institutes, staff of local and regional governments, owners of cultural heritage sites, architects and civil engineers and restorers.

 

Project title: NANOLITH - The use of nanomaterials for sustainable conservation of historical sculptural and architectural works made from Leitha limestone

Grant provider: EU

Programme: the European Territorial Cooperation Austria – Czech Republic 2007-2013

Duration: 08/2013 – 12/2014

The project was focused on evaluation and optimization of new nanotechnologies, application of lime nanosuspensions for preservation of porous Leitha limestone that has been used historically for sculptures, artworks and architectural elements especially in eastern Austria and to a lesser extent in southern Moravia and southern Bohemia. Lime nanosuspensions represent a new opportunity and alternative for long-term care and preservation of monuments made of calcareous materials. The main objective of the project was the assessment of conservation measures using lime nanosuspensions. A wide range of evaluation methods was used to evaluate the effectiveness of consolidation, to optimize the application methods and calculate the limits or risks associated with this new technology.

 

Project title: NANO-materials FOR the conservation and preservation of movable and immovable ARTworks (NANOFORART)

Grant provider: EU

Applicant/beneficiary – coordinator (principal investigator): CSGI - Consorzio per lo Sviluppo dei sistemi a Grande Interfase

Participants: 15 institutions from Spain, Mexico, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Slovenia

Programme: FP7-NMP - Specific Programme "Cooperation": Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies

Duration: 01/2012 – 12/2014

The main objective of the NANOFORART was the development of new nano-materials and responsive systems for the conservation and preservation of movable and immovable artworks and experimentation with them. The main challenge of NANOFORART was the combination of sophisticated functional materials, arising from the recent developments in nano-science/technology, with innovative techniques in the restoration and preventive conservation of works of art, with unprecedented efficiency. The research activity was focused on the development of manageable methodologies, based on nanosized structures with a low environmental impact. The main tasks included the production of dispersions of nanoparticles, micellar solutions, microemulsions and gels in order to offer new reliable pathways to restore and preserve works of art by combining the main features and properties of soft and hard-matter systems for cultural heritage conservation and preservation. In the second part of the project, great importance was given to technology transfer to SMEs that plays a significant role in the standardization of applicative protocols, in the up-scale and commercialization of technology and in the evaluation of the eco-toxicity of nano-materials. A fundamental part of the project was also related to the role of end-users.

Project title: ROCARE (Roman Cements for Architectural Restoration to New High Standards)

Grant provider: EU

Programme:

Duration: 09/2009 – 08/2012

The project aimed to reintroduce the use of this historical building material with modern manufacturing techniques. The main target was buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries and certain areas of modern construction, such as high diffusion plasterwork and floorings. Researchers conducted laboratory tests to gain a better understanding of the mechanism behind cement hydration and the optimum conditions for mortar processing and handling. The project also sought to increase the market potential for Roman cement technology and establish it as a building material. Production methods used for manufacturing Roman cements ranged from small-scale artisan wood-fired shaft kilns to large-scale industrial rotary kilns. The cements were analysed and used to perform mortar tests and on-site tests. Results showed that Roman cements of various properties, which matched their historical performance and met the ROCARE standard, could be produced for various sectors of the market. Project partners also developed a technique that allowed de-activated mortar to be stored for extended periods of time prior to final mortar production. A company was then approached to develop the technology to produce factory-blended, de-activated mortars. In addition, a database of properties was created for a wide range of Roman cement mortars to provide a comparison with other mortars used by building conservationists. European standards were developed and revised by the ROCARE project based on newly developed standardised production methods suitable for the full range of Roman cements. The project generated sufficient data to support the new ROCARE Standard for Roman cement, which was prepared and released into the public domain. ROCARE produced a manual on best practices for the application of Roman cements and placed it on the project website. The manual, which explained how to use Roman cement technology in various fields of application, is an essential tool for developing a market for the product. The success of the ROCARE consortium will not only help to conserve Europe's architectural heritage. However, it will also help create jobs for the maintenance, restoration and reconstruction of buildings' historical facades.

Project title: Stone Conservation for Refurbishment of Buildings (STONECORE)

Grant provider: EU

Programme: FP7-NMP

Duration: 09/2008 – 08/2011

The project applies a new approach for renovating stone, mortar and plaster used in the construction of historical monuments and buildings. It developed and tested nano-materials that are compatible with the stone and mortar used in these structures, as well as novel safe methods for the assessment of stone. The project studied different types of nano-materials that would fit its needs, determining their suitability in preserving natural and artificial stones, mortars and plasters. It documented, sampled and categorised all the materials to be tested and studied, before investigating different fungal and algal growth on different stones, mortars and plasters. Stonecore developed sols (liquid-like suspensions) with calcium hydroxide particles at the nano-scale that could increase the strength of treated mortar and stone. The sols are white to white-opal and have a stability of several months. The dispersion medium and concentration of the calcium hydroxide nano-sols were also carefully selected. At the same time, different species of mould and algae were isolated and indentified in trials on buildings, to be neutralised with new nano-lime dispersions. Novel non-destructive ways were also developed to assess and diagnose stone. These include non-invasive ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology and innovative ultrasonic measurement systems. The system can detect even very thin fractures and cracks as well as monitor the renovation with nano-sols. Initial field results showed that modern, high-frequency pulse radars are also capable of detecting thin fractures and fracture networks in stone structures. In addition, an ultrasonic measurement tool was developed to determine the stiffness of the stone material and identify loose surfaces.

Project title: Roman cement to restore built heritage effectively (ROCEM)

Grant provider: EU

Programme: FP5-EESD

Duration: 02/2003 - 06/2006

Roman cements – highly hydraulic natural binders – were key materials to decorate facades of buildings in the 19th/early 20th centuries. Unfortunately, they are no longer available on the market. Consequently, the fundamental principle of modern conservation – that the historical buildings should be repaired by using materials that are compatible with the original historic substance –cannot be met when restoring this important built heritage. The objective of the project was to re-establish manufacture and use of Roman cements. This was achieved by studying historic mortars to establish compatibility criteria, selecting appropriate raw materials, optimising cement stone calcinations conditions in the laboratory and, in a commercial kiln, carrying out workshop and conservation trials. Results were disseminated to material producers and end-users of the technology – restoration workers and authorities.

 

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