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The influence of particle size and structure in hydrated lime on the properties of the lime putty and lime mortar
Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment.
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Environmental Inorganic Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2010 (English)In: International journal of architectural heritage, ISSN 1558-3058, Vol. 4, no 2, 86-101 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

In this work, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of lime slaked in different ways and analysis of thin section of lime putty and mortar specimens by light microscopy was combined with practical tests and field studies to evaluate the impact of the slaking technique on the properties of the lime putty as well as the structure of the fresh and carbonated mortar. The lime slaking methods studied were wet slaking and earth slaking, giving lime putties with very different consistency and workability. The aim of this work was to use microscopy techniques to explain these differences in properties and to investigate if it is possible to use these analytical methods to recognize the lime-slaking technique used in a historical lime mortar. The results obtained by SEM show significant differences in structure between the lime putties. The earth-slaked lime consists of relatively large particles that are packed in a porous system compared with the wet-slaked lime with very small particles closely packed in a dense structure. After storing, the wet-slaked lime gives a putty that has a dense and clearly defined stratified structure, whereas the earth-slaked lime is porous and has no stratification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, 2010. Vol. 4, no 2, 86-101 p.
Keyword [en]
earth-slaked lime, lime putty, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), slaking technique, thin section
National Category
Building Technologies History of Technology Environmental Engineering
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1193DOI: 10.1080/15583050902822681OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hgo-1193DiVA: diva2:461576
Select Papers from HMC 2008 – The First Historical Mortars ConferenceAvailable from: 2011-12-05 Created: 2011-12-05 Last updated: 2014-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Traditional lime mortar and plaster : Reconstruction with emphasis on durability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Traditional lime mortar and plaster : Reconstruction with emphasis on durability
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lime mortar and plaster have been investigated with the aim to improve the knowledge on how to make them as durable as before the cement technology was developed. The background was the durability problems experienced for newly produced lime plaster on the medieval churches on the island of Gotland, Sweden. In some cases the new lime plaster façades showed severe frost damages after only one winter. Although the lime was burnt and produced according to old local traditions, the lime mortar was still mixed and worked onaccording to methods developed for lime-cement mortar. This often led to a very porous lime plaster with a lime shell in the surface and such a plaster has been shown to be sensitive to frost expansion. Field studies were combined with laboratory studies of thin section specimens. Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy have been important analytical methods showing the porosity and the structure of the binder and aggregate materials. The investigations have been carried out on both historic and on newly made reference mortar and plaster. The field studies were carried out mainly on Gotland, using local materials. The influence of the raw materials, i.e. lime, aggregate and blending ratio was investigated. The focus has been on the workability of the fresh mortars as well as the pore structure of the carbonated plaster. The craftsmanship, meaning mixing and application of mortar and working the plaster surface, was studied in order to clarify its final pore structure. The pore structure in a material determines many of its technical properties, such as moisture transportation, compressive strength, permeability and frost resistance. All these properties are closely connected to the durability of the mortar and plaster. The permeability of the plaster has an impact also on the durability of the covered construction materials. Behind low-permeable plasters made with hydraulic binder, examples of extensive damages of rotten wood and leached lime have been shown. The investigations have shown the importance of choosing a mortar adjusted to the building construction. They also showed the importance of choosing a blending ratio adjusted to the specific binder and sand used in order to get a mortar with a suitable pore structure and good durability. It has also shown the importance of knowing when and how to work on the plaster surface in order to obtain a homogenous material that is well receptive for lime wash and has a good frost resistance. The combination of all the investigations has led to a method for reconstructing historic mortar and plaster with good durability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, 2007. 94 p.
lime plaster, lime mortar, masonry, craftsmanship, pore structure, frost resistance, historic mortar
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Conservation (HGO)
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220119 (URN)9789172919907 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-09-27, Wisby Strand, Visby, 09:00 (Swedish)
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2014-04-16 Created: 2014-03-11 Last updated: 2014-04-16Bibliographically approved

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