Stone & Wall Paintings Group: Conservation with Sol-gel technology

Mineral sol-gel protectives and consolidants: inorganic and functionalized silica for stone and WP

The Stone & Wall Paintings committee is pleased to introduce a series of talks: A closer look at conservation materials. The first talks is by Michelle Cecchin from Siltea SRL. The series has a dual aim: to create a space for presentation and discussion between companies and conservators; and to provide a platform to present research on conservation materials. The presentations are aimed at practicing conservators, aiming at gaining more insight into materials used in conservation.

The first talk in the series looks at the sol-gel method. This is a chemical process for the synthesis of inorganic or hybrid ceramic materials. Thanks to this technology it is possible to create several oxides with different structures (nanoparticles, micro and nano-coatings, dense layers, fibres, etc).

The talk is being given by Michelle Cecchin of SILTEA. They are an Italian company specialized in sol-gel materials applied to Cultural Heritage. It was founded in 2011 as a spin-off company of the University of Padua, promoting the application of silicon dioxide sol-gel solutions as consolidants and protective coatings in the field of conservation.

Starting from research on glass and glazed ceramic materials, in the last ten years SILTEA developed specific products also for porous materials such as stone, plasters, mortars, frescos and paint layers.

As well as the science behind the material's development and use, case histories in which the products were successfully applied on stone materials will be discussed. For example the spiers of Milan Cathedral, Venice's Ca' d'Oro marble floor and 18th century frescoes and Byzantine wall paintings in Istanbul.

Michele Cecchin graduated in Science and Technology for Archaeological and Artistic Heritage at the University of Padua in 2008. Between 2009 and 2011 he worked as a freelance consultant in the conservation field, collaborating with architects and restorers for the development of diagnostic plans and for the choice of materials. In 2011 he founded SILTEA SRL, a spin-off company of the University of Padua specialized in sol-gel technology and diagnostic analysis for conservation.