Traditional lime mortar and plaster : Reconstruction with emphasis on durability
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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
Research subject Conservation (HGO)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220119ISBN: 9789172919907OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-220119DiVA: diva2:704140
2007-09-27, Wisby Strand, Visby, 09:00 (Swedish)
Konow von, Thorborg, Ph D
Broström, Tor, LektorSteenari, Britt-Marie, Docent
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