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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(9), 271; doi:10.3390/nano7090271

Water Diffusion through a Titanium Dioxide/Poly(Carbonate Urethane) Nanocomposite for Protecting Cultural Heritage: Interactions and Viscoelastic Behavior

Istituto per i Polimeri, Compositi e Biomateriali, Via Campi Flegrei, 34, Fabbricato 70, 80078 Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy
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Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

Water diffusion through a TiO2/poly (carbonate urethane) nanocomposite designed for the eco-sustainable protection of outdoor cultural heritage stonework was investigated. Water is recognized as a threat to heritage, hence the aim was to gather information on the amount of water uptake, as well as of species of water molecules absorbed within the polymer matrix. Gravimetric and vibrational spectroscopy measurements demonstrated that diffusion behavior of the nanocomposite/water system is Fickian, i.e., diffusivity is independent of concentration. The addition of only 1% of TiO2 nanoparticles strongly betters PU barrier properties and water-repellency requirement is imparted. Defensive action against penetration of water free from, and bonded through, H-bonding association arises from balance among TiO2 hydrophilicity, tortuosity effects and quality of nanoparticle dispersion and interfacial interactions. Further beneficial to antisoiling/antigraffiti action is that water-free fraction was found to be desorbed at a constant rate. In environmental conditions, under which weathering processes are most likely to occur, nanocomposite Tg values remain suitable for heritage treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Polymer/TiO2 nanocomposites; thermoplastic polyurethanes; diffusion barrier; sorption; cultural heritage Polymer/TiO2 nanocomposites; thermoplastic polyurethanes; diffusion barrier; sorption; cultural heritage
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Abbate, M.; D’Orazio, L. Water Diffusion through a Titanium Dioxide/Poly(Carbonate Urethane) Nanocomposite for Protecting Cultural Heritage: Interactions and Viscoelastic Behavior. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 271.

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