One of the main objectives of the Materials Laboratory is to provide a tool for day-to-day teaching, research and consultancy activities in the field of materials engineering and, in particular, the processing and characterisation of materials, especially polymer-based materials (unprocessed or multi-component).
To this end, the laboratory is equipped with various instruments, ranging from material conditioning, extrusion or compression moulding processing, rheological and mechanical characterisation and analysis of the behaviour (light stability, weather resistance) of conventional and composite materials subjected to accelerated ageing.
Scientific responsible: prof. Marco Morreale (Associate Professor of Materials Science and Technology, S.S.D. ING-IND/22) e-mail address: email@example.com
Research fellow: Ing. Alessandro Milazzo.
The main lines of research focus on the preparation and characterisation of polymeric systems as such and/or multicomponent (blends, composites) with particular attention to biopolymers (biodegradable and/or compostable and typically obtained from renewable sources), to ‘green’ composites with a lower environmental impact (typically biopolymer-based, loaded with organic-natural lignocellulosic fillers) and to nanocomposites, for multiple applications (especially in the packaging, furnishing and automotive sectors), as well as to paper and/or polymeric systems for packaging, for which activities related to a research project financed with funds from the 2014-2020 Sicily PO-FESR are currently underway.
Available instruments include:
Xenon Tester for accelerated ageing, light stability and weathering tests “Q-Lab Q-Sun Xe1”, equipped with 1800 W Xenon lamp to simulate the spectrum of solar radiation, digital system to set and control temperature and irradiance, water spray system, direct spray on samples, dedicated filter to improve the simulation of exposure to direct sunlight;
Single-screw extruder “ThermoScientific Haake Polylab QC” equipped with flat extrusion head and calendering unit, for the production of polymer-based thick films;
ThermoScientific Haake Mars III” rotational rheometer for measuring rheological properties in shear flow and characterised by high standards of reliability thanks to its drag-cup motor and CTC (Controlled Test Chamber);
Universal electromechanical testing machine “MP Intruments-Wance ETM 503”, 5 kN capacity frame, load cells from 50 N to 5 kN, equipped for carrying out tensile tests and measuring the coefficient of friction;
Manual tabletop compression moulding press “Carver 3850CE”, maximum load 12 tons, with closed-circuit cooling system;
Vacuum oven “SalvisLab VC20”, for conditioning of materials in preparation for subsequent testing or processing;
Giuliani IG/FM” manual table-top die-cutting machine for making polymeric and paper samples, etc;
Analytical balance “Kern ABJ120”, accuracy 0.1 mg
Products of research and publications
Various publications of interest
Scaffaro, R., Citarrella, M.C., Gulino, E.F., Morreale, M. Hedysarum coronarium-Based Green Composites Prepared by Compression Molding and Fused Deposition Modeling.
Materials, 15 (2), art. no.465(2022).
La Mantia, F.P., Ceraulo, M., Testa, P., Morreale, M. Biodegradable polymers for the production of nets for agricultural product packaging.
Materials, 14 (2), art. no.323, pp.1-10 (2021).
Scaffaro, R., Maio, A., Gulino, E., Morreale, M., La Mantia, F. The effects of nanoclay on the mechanical properties, carvacrol release and degradation of a pla/pbat blend.
Materials, 13 (4), art. no.0983, (2020).
Giuffrè, T., Morreale, M., Tesoriere, G., Trubia, S. Rheological behaviour of a bitumen modified with metal oxides obtained by regeneration processes.
Sustainability (Switzerland), 10 (3), art no.604 (2018).
La Mantia, F.P., Ceraulo, M., Mistretta, M.C., Morreale, M. Rheological Behaviour, Mechanical Properties and Processability of Biodegradable Polymer Systems for Film Blowing.
Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 26 (2), pp.749-755 (2018).
Morreale, M., Liga, A., Mistretta, M.C., Ascione, L., La Mantia, F.P. Mechanical, thermomechanical and reprocessing behavior of green composites from biodegradable polymer and wood flour.
Materials, 8 (11), pp.7536-7548 (2015).
The laboratory is able to offer various external services, which can be briefly described and grouped into the processing of polymer-based systems, the determination of the main rheological and mechanical properties of polymeric and/or composite systems, and the assessment of behaviour following prolonged exposure to sunlight and water.