Instituto de investigaciones en ciencia

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencia y Tecnologia de Materiales

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata- Facultad de Ingeniería (UNMdP)

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Av. Juan B. Justo 4302

B7608FDQ Mar del Plata, Argentina

Te: 54-223-4816600

Fax: 54-223-4810046


Current Authorities (2001)

Director: Dr. Julio Borrajo Fernández

Vicedirector: Dra. Teresita Cuadrado

march 1982 - Joined CONICET on december 1982.

The work at INTEMA is devoted to:

  1. Carry out fundamental research and development projects in materials science and technology, with emphasis on their structural and functional applications.

  1. Interact with related industries through jointly supported projects and consulting work.

  1. Contribute actively to the formation of highly qualified human resources, by participating in teaching activities at the pregraduate and graduate Engineering programs.

  1. Communicate the results of the research activities through publications in refereed indexed journals, conferences, scientific meetings and collaboration projects with other national and foreing institutions.


INTEMA has about 123 members, including researchers, graduate students and research associates. The research activities are organized under six divisions, which carry out research, teaching and technology transfer activities. There is also an interdisciplinary group and supporting facilities.

 Catalysts and Surfaces

 Ceramics

 Corrosion

 Metallurgy

 Polymers

 Welding and Fracture Mechanics

Main Sources of Funding
National University of Mar del Plata

National Research Council for Science and Technology (CONICET)

Research Council of Buenos Aires (CIC)

Antorchas Foundation

National Agency of Promotion for Science and Technology

British Council

European Community, International Cooperation Program

Organization of American States (OEA)

The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

International Foundation for Sciences (IFS)

Alfa Project



1 Professor

1 Associate Professor

3 Assistant Professors

4 Graduate students

3 Professionals

1 Technician

To carry on basic and applied research in the field of surface science and heterogeneous catalysis with special interest in projects related to surfaces and interfaces morphology and properties, and environmental pollution control.
Research Subjects
1- Development of catalyst.
2- Formation and structure of surfaces and interfaces.
3- Estimation of kinetic parameters in heterogeneous catalysis by means of dynamic techniques.
4- Steady state and periodic operation of three phase reactors for the oxidation of phenol.

Research Projects in Cooperation

1- Instituto de Investigaciones en Catálisis y Petroquímica, UNL-CONICET
*Fluid catalytic cracking
2 – Ceramics Division, INTEMA
*Ceramic gas sensors
3 – Dept. of Physics, UNMdP
*Surface growth and diffusion
4 – Dep. of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois
*Semiconductors etching

* Gas Chromatography: GC/MS Hewlett Packard 5890 II / Perkin Elmer, GC/FID Perkin Elmer, CC/FID/TCD Konik
* TPR/TPD Equipment (-30 to 1000C)
* STM Nanoscope II
* BET area micromeritics flowsorb II 2300
* Reactor autoclave engineers (High Pressure)
* Electrobalance Cahn 2000

For more information about Catalysts and Surfaces Division contact:
Prof. Celso M. Aldao (Head of Catalysts and Surfaces Division)


Phone: 54-223-4816600 Int. 225

Fax: 54-223-4810046



3 Professors

3 Associate Researchers

1 Professional

2 Undergraduate students

4 Graduate students

1 Technician

Research Subjects
1 - Electronic Ceramics

  • Preparation and characterization of tin oxide sensors

Objectives: Study of the influence of processing varia­bles on the sensor characteristics. Determination of conduction mechanisms.

  • BaTiO3 composites: preparation and characterization

Objectives: Optimization of BaTiO3 particles addition in a epoxy matrix. Development of composites with high dielectric constant.

Objectives: Preparation of dense SnO2 varistors. Study of sintering, conduction and degradation mechanisms.

2 - Bioceramics

  • Calcium phosphate bone cement

Objectives: Development of calcium phosphate bone cement including functionalized hybrid microparticules.

  • Apatite crystalline ceramics for implants: synthesis and determination of properties

Objectives: Preparation and optimization of dense hydroxyapatite ceramics. Measurement of bioactivity, and its control through structural modifications. Preparation of porous hy­droxyapatite ceramics for osteoconductive devices and con­trolled drug release devices.

  • Bioglasses modified with baron for biomedical applications

Objectives: synthesis, characterization and in-vivo evaluation of the bone-forming process using bioactive glasses modified with B.

  • Preparation, characterization and structural analysis of bioactive vitreous coatings on surgical metals

Objectives: Development of low cost bioactive materials by coating of surgical metals (316L steel) with sol-gel bioac­tive glasses; characterization and structural analysis of coatings.

3 - Structural Ceramics

  • Refractories

Objectives: Study of monolithic refractories: material design microstructures and thermomechanical behaviour and shaped.

  • Mechanical and thermal behaviour of ceramics at high temperatures

Objectives: Study of the mechanical response of advanced ceramic materials with controlled microstructures.

4 – Design and development of ceramic materials.

  • Synthesis and characterization of ceramic materials from mechanochemically activated systems

Objectives: Study of magnetic spinels, titanates, ZrO2 - based materials.

5 - Sol-gel organic-inorganic protective coatings

  • Bioactive and protective coatings on Co-base alloys for prosthetic devices

  • Protective coatings on mild steels in agressive atmosphere and high temperature

  • Hybrid coatings for mechanical protection of glass containers

Objectives: development and evaluation of hybrid organic-inorganic functional and protective silica based coatings on different commercial substrates (mild steel, Co-based surgical alloys and container glass)

Fields in which the members of the group are specialized:
* Ceramic matrix composites

* Bioceramics

* Electronic ceramics

* Structural ceramics

* Refractories

* Thermal and mechanical behaviour of ceramics

* Solid state reactions. Control of reactivity by mechanochemical activation

* X-ray diffraction analysis

* Numerical Simulation

* Glasses, glass-ceramics, sol-gel coatings, refractory materials

Research Projects in Coope­ra­tion
Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio (CSIC), España

*Mechanical properties of ceramics; bioactive coatings.

Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales Madrid, (CSIC), España

*Structural studies of ceramics.

Centro de Tecnología de Recursos Minerales y Cerámica (CETMIC) / Grupo de Materiales de la FAMAF (UNC)

* Synthesis and characterization of soft magnetic materials

* Design of cordierite and mullite based refractories

* Indentation studies of ZrO2 mullite composites
Red CYTED en Materiales Electrocerámicos. Countries: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, España, Mejico, Panamá, Portugal, Venezuela
Instituto de Química (Araraquara, Brasil), Universidad de Cauca (Colombia)

* Development of SnO2 - based varistors

Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, UNSA – Unidad de Actividades de Radiología (CAC – CNEA)

*Bioactive glasses modified with boron

Welding and Fractomechanics Division (INTEMA), Argentina

*Numerical modelling of thermal shock and mechanical damage in ceramics.

Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA), Argentina

* Residual stresses in ceramics

Catalysts and Surfaces Division (INTEMA), Argentina

*Ceramic gas sensors.

Corrosion Division (INTEMA), Argentina

* Development and electrochemical evaluation of vitreous coatings on surgical metal

Programa CYTED, proyecto VIII-9.

* Development of functional vitreous coatings

* Furnaces up to 1700ºC in air and controlled atmosphere

* X ray diffractometer

*TG/DTA analyzers

*Mechanical testing machine up to 1600ºC

*Microharduess Tester
For more information about Ceramics Division contact:
Prof. José M. Porto López (Head of Ceramics Division)


Phone: 54-223-4816600 Int.239

Fax: 54-223-4810046




1 Professor

3 Associate Professors

4 Associate Researchers

2 Graduate Students

2 Undergraduate Students

Main interests
* Basic and applied research in the field of electrochemistry and materials degradation

* Technical training

* Technical assistance to industries
Research Subjects
1 – Surperficial films on corrodible metals. Media interaction

Composition and properties of passive films related to corrosion processes are investigated. The effect of alloying elements, in copper and copper alloys, on the properties of films will be studied. Aggressive ions, such as chloride, will be investigated in several concentrations.

All the above mentioned factors are related to the film effect on oxygen reduction rate.

The effect to the presence of pseudomona-fluores sens in tap water on the properties of the passive film formed on copper and brass is also under investigation

2 - Microbiologycally influenced corrosion (MIC)

The activity of bacteria at metal-electrolyte interfaces is being studied, aiming to the determination of variables influencing bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation and biocides action agains bacteria on metal surfaces.

Electrochemical interaction belwees metals and bacteria are also under investigation.

* Bacterial Adhesion mechanisms

* Biofilms on metals – growth and structure – influence on corrosion

* Biocides

3 - Construction Materials

Reinforcing steel corrosion is one of the main causes of building deterioration in coastal regions of Argentina. As part of an ongoing investigation based on field and laboratory studies it has been demonstrated that most of the problems are usually associated with constructive defects and improper use of materials and mix designs.

The corrosion behaviour of reinforcing steel bars (rebars) in different concrete and mortars mix designs commonly used at coastal cities in Argentina is being studied. The basic objectives are: 1) to evaluate the influence of certain local practices that affect the rebar corrosion process, 2) to establish a corrosion evaluation criterion based on measurements of concrete resistivity, 3) to evaluate the effect to latex and epoxi in repairing mortars
4 – CO2 Corrosion. The influence of Microstructure

The general objetive of this project is to improve the knowledge concerning the mechanism of corrosion inhibition and its relationship with experimental variables such as steel microstructure, concentration of inhibitor and temperature. It is considered of great interest the characterization of the way in which inhibitors adsorb on the metallic surface and how they interact with corrosion products using and adapting electrochemical, spectroscopic and surface analysis techniques.

5 – Vitreous coatings on surgery metals. Evaluation in vivo e in vitro.

Vitreous coatings on surgery metals are studied with the aim of improving metal adhesion to bone and improve its corrosion resistance. Characterization of surface films formed on the surface alloys are also studied

Research Projects in Cooperation
1- Chemistry Department University of Liverpool (UK)

2- Institute for Biochemical Research (FCEyN – UNMdP)

3- Ceramics División, INTEMA, (Argentina) “Development and electrochemical evaluation of vitreous coating on surgical metals”

4 – Glass and Ceramic Institute (ICV – Madrid, España)


*Various electrochemical research equipments

*Metallography laboratory

*Microbiology laboratory

*Photoelectrochemical Laboratory

For more information about Corrosion Division contact:
Dr. Susana Rosso de Sánchez (Head of Corrosion Division)


Phone: 54 223 481 6600 Int. 244

Fax: 54 223 4810046



3 Professors

4 Associate Professors

3 Associate Researchers

3 Graduate Students

2 Technicians
* To carry out basic and applied research in the field of metallurgy.

* To form Human Resources.

Graduate level (Doctoral and Master´s Degree).

Undergraduate level (Mechanical and Materials Engineering).

Special courses.

* To offer Technical Assistance to industries.

Research Subjects
The principal research subject is the Metallurgy of Cast Iron. The aim is to improve properties and processes of ductile cast iron, promoting the replacement of other materials, and transfering the know-how to the industry.
1- Solidification and microsegregation of Ductile Iron (D.I).
2- Heat Treatment of cast iron.
3- Fracture of cast iron.
4- Computer applications to casting processes
5- Tribology

* Wear of metals under different conditions

*Wear of cast iron.
6- ADI (Austempered Ductile Iron)

* Influence of heat treatment, composition and piece size, on processing and properties.

* Structure stability

* Machinability

* Dimensional changes

* Behaviour of parts in service

7- Thin wall ductile iron castings
Other research interests include:

- Metallurgy and Prpoperties of metallic alloys for orthopedic devices.

Research Projects in Cooperation
University of La Serena (Chile)

* Fracture of cast iron

University of Alabama (USA)

* Thin wall D.I. castings

* Chemical Analysis Lab.

* Metallography Lab.

* Mechanical Testing Lab.

* Workshop.

* Heat treatment Lab.

* Foundry Pilot Plant.

For more information about Metallurgy Division contact:
Prof. Jorge Sikora (Head Metallurgy Division)


Phone: 54-223-4816600 Int.245

Fax: 54-223-4810046



3 Professors

5 Associate Professors

2 Professionals

5 Graduate students

2 Technicians

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