Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Lectures

28Mar2018 15:00 - 17:00


We would like to invite you to a special lecture meeting in honour of the visit of Professor Admir Masic, on Wednesday 28 March 2018 from 15.00 to 17.00 hrs. The lectures will take place in conference room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam), and will be followed by drinks.


The following presentations are scheduled:

Admir Masic

Antiquity-inspired materials: using ancient technologies to inspire sustainable design

We designate as antiqua-inspired systems, systems that naturally bear, or can be synthesized with, extraordinary, long-term (mechanical, structural, or chemical) resilience. Understanding their intrinsic properties may therefore point toward ways of synthesizing innovative, new materials, or more sustainable ways of manufacturing existing ones. Ancient Roman mortars, for example, are of interest because of proven durability across both long timescales and various climate and seismic zones while requiring less energy to produce compared to modern ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Heterogeneous at almost all length scales and exhibiting multiple crystalline and amorphous phases, ancient Roman mortars are difficult to characterize. In this work, we employ multiple high-resolution characterization techniques including large area Raman mapping of irregular surfaces and quantified energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to understand the chemistry of both ancient and antiqua-inspired cementitious materials. The new high throughput, multiscale characterization approaches create the foundation for a general framework to study antiquity-inspired materials so that well-informed additive selections lead to a more durable and sustainable materials design.

Admir Masic is Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the MIT. His research focuses on the development of high performance in situ and multiscale characterization techniques to investigate complex hierarchically organized materials. His group explores ancient technologies as a source of inspiration for the development of a new generation of durable and sustainable building materials.

Akke Suiker

Numerical modelling of deterioration mechanisms in historical museum objects

In this presentation an overview is provided of the research lines related to historical museum objects, as performed within the chair of Applied Mechanics of the Eindhoven University of Technology,. A first research line concerns analysis of cracks and dimensional changes on decorated oak panels in historical Dutch cabinets and panel paintings, as observed in recent museum studies. A thorough examination of these damage mechanisms is needed to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the causes of damage, and to advise museums on future sustainable preservation strategies and rational guidelines for indoor climate specifications. Accordingly, a combined experimental-numerical characterisation of the fracture behaviour of oak wood of various ages is performed, of which some results will be discussed in this presentation. A second research line aims at the modelling of metal soap formation in historical paintings. This is considered to be a substantial problem in the field of painting conservation; apart from affecting the appearance of the oil painting by the formation of protrusions, the aggregation and growth of metal soap may lead to deterioration of the paint layers by stimulating fracture and delamination. The results of numerical analyses of metal soap formation in paint layers will be presented and compared to experimental observations.

Akke Suiker obtained his MSc degree in Civil Engineering (Cum laude, 1995) and his PhD degree in Applied Mechanics (Cum Laude, 2002) at the Delft University of Technology. He had 1-year post-doc visits at the University of Massachusetts, U.S.A. and Cambridge University U.K. Since 2012 he is Full Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of the Built Environment, leading the group of Applied Mechanics and Design. From 2001-2008 he held the position of Assistant Professor and from 2008-2011 of Associate Professor and acting chair of Computational Mechanics at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology. His current interests relate to micromechanical modeling of failure and deformation of materials and multi-scale and multi-physics modeling of solids. He has published over 50 international journal articles in the field of Theoretical and Applied Solid Mechanics and was elected as “Best Teacher of the Delft University of Technology, 2009-2010”.

Thomas Arends

Bending of panel paintings due to relative humidity fluctuations

Fluctuations in relative humidity cause deformation of wooden museum objects, which, if restrained, can result in damage. We have experimentally studied the dynamic, moisture-induced bending behavior of coated oak boards, mimicking panel paintings. The influence of board thickness is described by a scaling law, allowing simple upscaling of experimental results. Combined with nuclear magnetic resonance experiments, conducted to study moisture penetration into wood, we present guidelines for safe and potentially harmful relative humidity fluctuations based on board thickness, fluctuation frequency, and the amplitude of the relative humidity changes.

Thomas Arends is a PhD candidate in the group Transport in Permeable Media at Eindhoven University of Technology. The research conducted in his PhD project is a continuation and extension of previous work he did in 2016 as a graduating MSc student in the framework of the Science4Arts project Climate4Wood.


Wednesday, 28 March 2018


15:00 – 17:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS