Unconventional Coatings: technological exchange between UNICAL (IT) and SYNPO (CZ)

Unconventional Coatings: technological exchange between UNICAL (IT) and SYNPO (CZ)

The exchange of expertise between SYNPO, in the field of adhesives and coatings, and UNICAL, in the diagnostics and preservation of cultural heritage, is leading to the development of an unconventional coating for underwater cultural heritage.


Secondees from UNICAL have been hosted by SYNPO, starting from May 2022. Since then, the research aimed to find a suitable epoxy resin-based coating, stable in an underwater environment, with antifouling properties for the conservation and preservation of underwater stone materials.

Currently, UNICAL secondees Antonio Donato and Alex De Salvo, together with Dr. Michal Novák (representative for SYNPO R&D adhesives department), are working on improving the formulations developed during the previous secondments. Underwater applicability tests have been conducted, focusing on several aspects: possible dispersion of the product during application, ease of application depending on the tool used, and hardening of the product. In particular, their focus has been on improving the immiscibility of the coating during application in water, without altering its current properties.

Immiscibility in water is an important factor to consider when dealing with the underwater environment. A high degree of immiscibility not only facilitates the application of the coating but also ensures it’ll not be dissolved into the environment when applied to cultural heritage. Moreover, the proposed formulation has shown an increase in the hydrophobicity of the treated surface that will discourage, hopefully, the growth of microorganisms on it.

Research is still ongoing but the results obtained so far are promising.

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