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October 2012


Atlas of Materials Pathology


20 years ago, some of the current members of Cetec started a project, which its main goal was to create a terminological dictionary in Catalan about the alterations on stone. The project was successfully finished but due to the limited number of recipients, there wasn’t a need to publish it. It wasn't a concern for us then and it isn't one now, we ourself thought that a book format was not the most appropriate for a work that has strong graphic content such as pictures and specific illustrations, and that without it the product would be “cripple”. This made the project, stay in a state of slumber, waiting.

Nevertheless, with the new technological advances, it was awaken 3 years ago. Although in the last 20 years there has been numerous publications on the same subject of our “terminological dictionary”. Most are found on paper format, and some can also be found in a digital format on the internet, and are dedicated to specific materials ( stone, ceramic, glass, etc) and pathologies that affect them. Both formats also include pictures on how these materials are affected by its unique and not so unique pathologies.

This numerous publications to which we refer to are evidence of the growing preoccupation of a young field such as it is the conservation of the heritage, and its struggle to find a communal language, with new tools and terms as our knowledge grows on the subject.

The Atlas we present tyres to solve some of this issues. Thanks to the internet we now have access to a powerful tool that allows us to express and share without limits on size and volume. The Atlas does not belong to any group and, on the same level, does not intent on giving prestige to any particular institution. It is a tool with the sole purpose of extending, sharing the knowledge of a concrete subject that with every passing day becomes more and more important and alive within many parts of our modern society. This, our Atlas is within reach of all whom would want to access it, either to learn from it or to contribute with more new knowledge. Let's the show begin!

Montserrat Pugès. Head of editorial comitee.



Dr. Salvador Borrós
Materials Science Professor. IQS. URL.

A lot of literature has been written about the importance of the combination of knowledge in modern science and how the new big steps covered by our scientists are based in the collaboration of different disciplines. However, building teams with such multidisciplinarity, and more important make this teams work together in an efficient manner, it is not an easy task. The conservation of Cultural Heritage is a clear example of the need of this collaboration. The huge amount of materials used, the different methods of fabrication, most of them out of the modern technology, and the big impact that any intervention can have on the our Heritage, make the problem even more complicated, if it is possible.

Regarding the problem from year 2012, when the information is available just one click away, and the presence of the social networks have changed the way we are interacting with each other, another perspective is open.  The question that arises is if we will be able to use these new technologies to be more efficient developing working teams on Cultural Heritage conservation. Moreover, is it possible to give to the community a new tool that allows to give useful information world wide available?.

With this idea, the Centre de Tecnologia per a la Conservació del Patrimoni (CETEC-Patrimoni) an interdisciplinary research group, have developed a Materials Pathology Atlas available via web for the use of the researchers and restaurators working on Cultural Heritage. The Atlas, that today is presented, will be constructed with a collaborative effort approach and will be “open source” to make it available to a very broad audience. The success of the project will be strongly related with the participation of the different experts that like to share their knowledge and experience. I would like to encourage all of you that love Cultural Heritage to actively participate in this new project.


Featured files




Jose Luis Prada Pérez


Black crust


Manuel Iglesias Campos


Carbonates and Silicates deposits on Iron


María José Alcayde Palanca

patrocinadores Copyright © 2011. Atlas of Materials Pathology
Via Augusta, 390, 08017 Barcelona (Spain) Tel.: +34 932 672 000.
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