Innovative hybrid materials patented by alumna

Professor Mariaenrica Frigione is the co-author of three international patents on organic-inorganic hybrid materials.

Two of the products are solvent free, water repellent hybrid nanostructured materials, patented in 2013 and 2014. The products have undergone successful experiments as protective coatings for different substrates including stone, concrete, wood, and glass.

They can speedily set and harden in presence of UV-solar radiations. They also display superior properties in terms of hardness, superficial resistance, and durability.

The hybrid products are suitable for the protection of the surface of a tender stone - Lecce - used in ancient constructions. The hybrid coating displays outstanding properties in terms of protection of the stone from water action and weathering.

The possibility for this product to harden when exposed to sun radiations eliminates the necessity to use external sources of energy like lamps or heaters. This makes it more usable where large surfaces that are not always easily accessible must be treated.

The alumna’s third patent was on a hybrid nanostructured product proposed as adhesive for industry, construction, or cultural heritage applications.

This hybrid adhesive can be used on different organic and inorganic substrates, such as concrete, stone, wood, and glass. The nanostructured hybrid adhesive can be cold cured so is able to set and harden at ambient temperatures in reduced times, has superior durability performance in comparison to similar products and is eco-friendly as it contains no solvent.

Mariaenrica Frigione was a finalist with the 4P-Tech group at the Start Cup Puglia 2013 in the Industrial category and was awarded the Industria Felix Prize in May 2015 for inventing a patent aimed at protecting and preserving the Leccese Stone.

The alumna gained her PhD in Polymer Technology and Materials Engineering from Loughborough in 1997.