Cortec’s MCI® technology rehabilitates vulnerable and historical structures in Europe

Saint Donatus church is among the most valuable European historic monuments. Architects and engineers recognised Cortec’s world renowned MCI® technology for restoration of these delicate, vulnerable structures

Saint Donatus, symbol of the city of Zadar, Croatia, is classified among the most famous and most valuable monuments in Croatia. Moreover, due to its unusual cylindrical appearance and robust monumentality, it belongs to the most significant European pre-Romanesque churches. The church is a protected cultural heritage listed in the Register of the Republic of Croatia on UNESCO’s list. Today as result of numerous factors, the church was need of urgent rehabilitation.

Scanning concluded that the biggest issue are the walls of the church and the construction itself along with roof. From 1927 to 1930, the stability of the foundations were compromised, and reinforced concrete support construction was implemented under the roof from the south side, connecting the outer and inner rings of the church. The moisture penetrating the medieval monument, in combination with the sea dust, very seriously endangered the reinforced-concrete structure, which holds up the church. 

Last year, a repair project was initiated and Cortec’s MCI® 2020 inhibitor was specified as coating to protect the support structure against corrosion. A surface applied corrosion inhibitor designed to migrate through even the densest concrete structures and seek out the steel reinforcement bars in concrete, and even when not in direct contact with metal, the product will migrate through concrete to provide full protection. This environmentally safe inhibitor stops further corrosion of reinforcing metals, significantly extending the service life of the structure.

The famous Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest and one of the most valuable buildings in Croatia, attracting tourists from the whole world. As the most impressive gothic-style sacral building southeast of the Alps, it’s construction dates back to 1093.

Since low-quality stone was used in the past due to economic reasons, it soon started to deteriorate, affected by weather and city pollution. The Committee for Reconstruction of the Cathedral was founded and selected Cortec® for reconstruction of its famous towers due to the recommendation of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb.

During reconstruction work on the south tower, damaged steel bands were detected surrounding the tower approximately every three metres, covered with rust and in drainage areas. Visual damage to the diameter of the bands was present.

An economical approach with a minimum of intrusion to the structure was required to fix the condition of the bands. The mechanical resistance and structural stability of the tower needed to be maintained or improved. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering examined the bands and performed experiments on the steel bars before recommending the removal of loose corrosion from the bands surfaces, enhancing the bands in the areas of damage and application of Cortec’s anticorrosion protection product – CorrVerter®.

This water-based primer quickly converts rust into a protective layer and is capable of penetrating into the depths of corroded surfaces. It contains a novel chemical chelating agent that modifies surface rust into a hydrophobic passive layer. Two-layers of CorrVerter® coating were brushed onto smaller surfaces and sprayed in larger areas directly onto the metal bands. The bands were then reinforced with steel fishplates that were welded on the bands and also protected with CorrVerter®.


CorrVerter® applied to the right side of the band; the coating has converted the corrosion into a protective layer

With the help of a skilled team and good project management the entire project was completed successfully with minimal cost or intrusion as specified. CorrVerter® coating penetrated to the non- corroded part of the metal and stopped further advancement of the corrosion process.