3,041 research outputs found

    Cool, translucent natural envelope. Thermal-optics characteristics experimental assessment and thermal-energy and day lighting analysis

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    Innovative construction elements are increasingly studied to improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings, to satisfy global regulations and societal needs. In this view, optimizing buildings energy efficiency and sustainability are crucial aspects, given their high energy saving potential with respect to the other sectors characterizing human activities. Natural materials are often preferred to artificial materials, thanks to their more sustainable production and to the reduced content of harmful substances. In particular, light, thin marbles have been recently analyzed as building envelope elements. Their cooling potential demonstrated how such envelopes have the threefold advantages of reducing solar heat gains into the building, accumulating and releasing less heat, reducing the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and consequently mitigating global warming. However, an important feature that has not yet been analyzed in literature and that is considered in this research is light passage throughout the translucent envelope, permitting an additional energy saving due to the contribution to artificial lighting. In this work, this feature of the translucent envelope is considered, by experimentally measuring thin, white marble panels’ optic characteristics and implementing them in a thermal-energy dynamic simulation, to demonstrate the additional advantage of natural daylight to the overall building energy balance

    Smart cool mortar for passive cooling of historical and existing buildings: experimental analysis and dynamic simulation

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    In order to mitigate Urban Heat Island Effect and global warming, both governments and scientific community are working to reduce energy consumptions. In particular, the construction sector has a high potential in reducing energy demand, by means of both active and passive solutions. The European building stock is mainly composed by existing buildings as well as historical ones, which happens to be the less energy efficient ones. Moreover, retrofit operations are more complex on historical buildings, due to strict regulations for the preservation of such historical and cultural heritage. Considering this challenge, in this work we described and in lab analyzed possible passive solutions specifically designed for historical and existing buildings. In particular, we developed innovative cool colored mortars and tested them in lab, as well as investigated cool colored mortars, cool clay tiles and cool natural gravels performance when applied as envelope and roof elements, by means of dynamic simulation

    Cool marble building envelopes. The effect of aging on energy performance and aesthetics

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    Marble envelopes represent a relatively common architectural solution used in variety of historic, modern and contemporary building facades. White marble envelopes have been shown to reduce solar heat gains, while improving indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency in summer time. While marble is useful in this context, the urban atmosphere accelerates the degradation of marble elements. This leads to changes in optical characteristics, hence the aesthetics, and affects the energy efficiency benefits offered by white marble facades. These issues are investigated in order to predict the impact of degradation on energy performance and to the aesthetic value, such as change of color and luminosity. In this study, surface degradation of white marble is analyzed by means of accelerated weathering in the laboratory while examining changes to the optical characteristics of the materials. A dynamic simulation is carried out to assess the energy performance of a building as a case study

    UV Treatments on Cotton Fibers

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    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations can act in different ways on the functionalization of textiles, through pre- or posttreatments, in order to modify their behavior in dyeing and finishing processes. In cotton fiber, unlike the wool, the UV absorption is not due to any of the structural groups of the normal cellulosic chains and can only be attributed to “impurities” or “faults” bearing carbonyl and/or carboxyl groups. In fact, UV irradiation coupled with mild oxidation can improve some properties of the cotton fibers such as pilling resistance, water swelling, and dyeability. Therefore, the process of differential dyeing with direct and reactive dyes assisted by UV irradiation was studied and interesting differential chromatic effects were obtained by a UV posttreatment capable to fade dyeing. On the other hand, the surface modification of cotton fabrics by UV curing and UV grafting with suitable chemicals was pursued to obtain finishing treatments able to confer oil and/or water repellency. Finally, antimicrobial finishing by chitosan UV grafting was proposed as valid environmental friendly method to confer a satisfactory washing-resistant antimicrobial activity to cotton fabrics even with low polymer add-on

    Dual curing systems based on UV curing and alkoxy-silane groups condensation

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    The use of dual curing systems was proposed in order to overcome some problems and unsatisfactory properties presented by UV curable coatings, mainly with respect to adhesion and mechanical properties. In these systems two types of functional groups are present, one sensitive to the radical curing reaction induced by UV radiation (generally acrylic d. b.) , the other suitable to react according to a different mechanism which is normally chosen among thermal curing processes, at high or room temperature, as well in the presence of epoxy or Isocyanate groups. The use of alkoxy-silane derivatives as coupling agents, mainly for glass fibers, is well known; the condensation reaction between the silanolic groups of the organic network and the ones on the glass surface yields very strong siloxane bonds. Moreover the use of these compour)d as adhesion promoters for metal substrates was reported in the literature. Therefore the study' of a dual curing system based on UV curing and alkoxy-silane groups condensation seems to be interesting In order to achieve particular film properties (e.g. adhesion on glass substrates) or to modify the network structure

    Sol-Gel Process for Surface Modification of Leather

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    Applications in the textile field of sol-gel processes were widely investigated since coatings of fabrics by materials of nanometric size obtained by sol-gel methods represent a functional surface modification attracting even more attention. However, few experiences of the use of nanostructured coatings are reported for leather finishing. In the experiments reported in the present chapter, a nabuk leather was finished by a sol-gel process to confer hydro and oil-repellency. The silica component could act as a protective coating, improving the rubbing performance of the substrate and conferring a certain grade of hydrorepellency, while the oil repellency was due to a fluorocarbon component. The coatings were applied at low add-on of finishing agent with the aim to keep possibly unvaried the esthetic and hand characteristics of the original leather. Contact angle and sorption time measurements of water and oil drops were carried out on the treated samples and compared with the untreated one. A similar comparison was made by testing color fastness to rubbing and change of esthetic appearance. Finally, chemical surface characterization was carried out by Fourier Transform Infrared in Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) analysis

    A Web-Based Distributed Virtual Educational Laboratory

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    Evolution and cost of measurement equipment, continuous training, and distance learning make it difficult to provide a complete set of updated workbenches to every student. For a preliminary familiarization and experimentation with instrumentation and measurement procedures, the use of virtual equipment is often considered more than sufficient from the didactic point of view, while the hands-on approach with real instrumentation and measurement systems still remains necessary to complete and refine the student's practical expertise. Creation and distribution of workbenches in networked computer laboratories therefore becomes attractive and convenient. This paper describes specification and design of a geographically distributed system based on commercially standard components

    Outdoor thermal and visual perception of natural cool materials for roof and urban paving

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    Given the acknowledged thermal performance of natural light color gravels applied as cool roof and cool urban paving, this work is aimed at investigating if such behavior is perceivable by pedestrians, who are questioned in this paper about their visual and thermal comfort perception. In fact, there are still related aspects to analyze, in order to optimize their application and provide a comfortable space for users, both on the thermal and the visual point of view. Therefore, the question that this work wants to answer is: given their intrinsic characteristics, do these materials create a sensitive thermally and visually more comfortable environment for pedestrians? In order to address this uninvestigated issue, users’ judgment about visual and thermal comfort of these surfaces is considered, also by comparing them with grassland and asphalt. Also, the statistical correspondence between physical properties of such materials and possible correspondence with respect to human perception with varying weather conditions is analyzed. Given the relatively high reflectance of these materials, it appears particularly important to evaluate these aspects, to consciously apply them as urban paving or roof covering by optimizing their natural passive cooling potential. In this preliminary study, users’ response to these surfaces is evaluated by mean of field surveys, both on the thermal and the visual evaluation, and contemporary in-field measurements of surface parameters. Also, human perception with respect to these high-reflectance surfaces’ is compared with the one related to grassland and asphalt, with varying weather conditions. Then, a statistical analysis is performed to investigate the differences among different gravels, grassland and asphalt, based on surveys’ results. The results show how pedestrians, questioned during summer days, prefer grassland, while asphalt is the less favorite surface both visually and thermally; there is a small difference between gravels’ types evaluation, while weather variability affect the preferences
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