Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Insegnamento 096601 - BUILDING MATERIALS
Docente Bolzoni Fabio Maria
Cfu 9.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The course aims at providing knowledge and understanding on the properties and performance of construction materials, with a focus on the relationship between the structure, the properties and the application of the materials.

Special focus is devoted to the durability of different type of materials class, mainly metallic and reinforced concrete ones: the aim is to understand the relationship between the materials performance, the aggressiveness of the environment and the durability. 

These objectives are integrated in the general learning objectives of the Master of Science, in particular the course gives a contribution to a conscious use of materials in the design process.



Risultati di apprendimento attesi

The student is expected to understand and learn:

  • the characteristics of the main classes of materials: structure, mechanical and physical properties, durability
  • the relationship between the structure, the properties and the application of different classes of materials
  • the relationship between materials performance, environment aggressiveness and durability  


Argomenti trattati

After an essential description of the characteristics of the various classes of materials, the main factors affecting their behaviour in service are considered: mechanical and physical properties, degradation and durability. 

Classroom exercises are intended to train the student to apply knowledge and understanding of the most relevant topics covered in the programme, i.e. mechanical properties, durability, concrete mix design.

Seminars related to special topics and held by expert of different materials classes complete the programme.

Introduction to materials. Microstructure and macrostructure. Mechanical behaviour: elastic behaviour, yielding, ductile and brittle fracture. Mechanical tests.

Metallic materials. Crystalline structure. Microstructure. Mechanical properties and strengthening mechanisms. Metals in constructions: reinforcing and prestressing bars; stainless steels; cast iron. Non-ferrous metals: copper, aluminium, titanium and alloys.

Corrosion and protection of metallic materials: mechanism; general and localised corrosion. Atmospheric corrosion of construction steels; protection by painting and galvanising. Atmospheric corrosion  of other metallic materials (outline).

Binders and concrete. Aerial and hydraulic binders: gypsum, lime, hydraulic lime. Portland, pozzolanic and blast furnace cements. Hydrated cement paste: porosity, permeability, strength. Aggregates. Admixtures. Fresh concrete: workability, segregation, bleeding. Curing of concrete. Hardened concrete: mechanical properties (compressive strength); permeability; shrinkage. Concrete mix design. Special concrete (outline): high performance (HPC), self compacting (SCC).

Durability of reinforced concrete structures. Concrete degradation: sulphate attack, freeze-thaw, alkali-silica reaction. Corrosion of steel in concrete: carbonation and chlorides induced. Hydrogen embrittlement of prestressing steels. Service life and residual life of structures damaged by rebar corrosion. Durability according to standard (EN 206, Eurocodes).

Traditional ceramic materials: production and properties. Ceramic bricks and tiles. Glasses and their applications in constructions. Structures and properties (mechanical, thermal, optical). Safety glasses. Advanced glasses (outline).

Wood. Microstructure and composition, moisture and dimensional changes. Degradation of wood and its prevention. Wood products and their uses: plywood, particle and fiberboards, laminated wood.

Polymeric and composite materials. Classification. Structure and properties of materials used in constructions. Examples of applications: PVC, trasparent materials (PC and PMMA), textiles, polymeric foams (insulating). Composite materials (outline).

Materials in masonry. Blocks (bricks and natural stones), mortars. Moisture and deterioration of masonry: transport of humidity, chemical and physical actions (outline).

Materials life cycle (outline).



Basic knowledge about mechanics (force, stress, strain, energy).

Basic knowledge about classes of materials (metallic, concrete, ceramics and polymeric). 

Modalità di valutazione

Written examination (mandatory), oral examination is optional. 

The written test is made by: 

  • solving numerical problems, in particular related to mechanical properties, durability of metallic materials and reinforced concrete, concrete mix design
  • theoretical open-ended questions on topics covered in the programme
  • multiple choice questions on topics covered in the programme

The oral exam is made by:

  • discussion of the written test
  • theoretical questions on topics covered in the programme
  • questions intended to reveal the student’s ability to apply knowledge and understanding of the various topics covered in the program

Knowledge and understanding: materials properties and their correlation with the structure, materials performance in aggressive environments.

Ability to apply the knowledge and understanding: selection of concrete mix design, evaluation of the durability of different materials or protection methods as a function of the environment.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaJ.M. Illston, P.L.J. Domone, Construction materials: their nature and behaviour, Editore: Spon Press, Anno edizione: 2001, ISBN: 978-0-429-25860-5

available as e-book in the Politecnico di Milano library website http://www.biblio.polimi.it/en/home/

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaL. Bertolini, B. Elsener, P. Pedeferri, E. Redaelli, R. Polder, Corrosion of steel in concrete. Prevention, diagnosis, repair, Editore: Wiley, Anno edizione: 2013, ISBN: 9783527331468

available as e-book in the Politecnico di Milano library website http://www.biblio.polimi.it/en/home/

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaL. Bertolini, Materiali da costruzione. Volume I, Editore: Citta' Studi, Anno edizione: 2014

For students able to read italian

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaL. Bertolini, Materiali da costruzione. Volume II, Editore: Citta' studi, Anno edizione: 2012

For students able to read italian

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaG.D. Taylor, Materials in construction: an introduction, Editore: Pearson Higher education, Anno edizione: 2000, ISBN: 0582368898
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaPietro Pedeferri, Corrosion science and Engineering, Editore: Springer, Anno edizione: 2018, ISBN: 978-3-319-97624-2

For students interested to corrosion of metallic materials

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 90:00 135:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT