1st Conference – 25 march 2011

The research line MOdihMA (MOisture detection in historical MAsonry) proposes to improve the innovative techniques recently developed to measure different parameters related to water content in masonry, that has an important role in the damage of historical buildings. Non-destructive technologies for the detection of the presence of water in the historic walls was the project MOdihMA (MOisture detection in historic Masonry) that has seen the collaboration of the Polytechnic of Milan with several other Italian institutes and universities.

The first objective of this project is to compare the effectiveness of the different methods in understanding how the quantitative data obtained are directly related to water content. The second objective of the MOdihMa project is to compare the ability of the different techniques to map water as a function of its location and depth within the masonry structure, both on macro and micro-scale.

A selection of these innovative techniques recently had an application on the “Sala delle Asse” in the Sforza Castle in Milan. The hall is famous for the decoration of the vault and the monochrome on the northwest wall, attributed to Leonardo. Recently Milano Municipality defined the plan of diagnostics for detecting the causes of the increasing damage on the painting and the poor conditions of conservation of the vault. Unilateral NMR, SUSI, IR Thermography, gravimetric and chemical tests were applied for mapping the moisture distribution in the bottom of the northwest wall. The comparison with the results of the standardized techniques confirmed the low moisture content distributed in the masonry.

In this conference on innovative methods for measuring the water content of historic building materials, the results of the research that were published in Materials Evaluation, the prestigious journal of the American Society for Non-destructing Testing (ASNT) would be presented.


For other information :


at the following link you can download the book cover and the index of the Materials Evaluation

ME_january 2011