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Smeaton Project

Smeaton Project

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The Smeaton Project - mortars for historic buildings - research
The Smeaton Project - mortars for historic buildings - research

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Published by: NemesisRepublic@blogspot.com on Apr 14, 2010
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11/07/2012

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The
Smeaton
Project:
Factors
Affecting
the
Properties
of
Lime-Based
Mortars
JEANNEMARIETEUTONICO,IAINMcCAIG,COLINBURNS,JOHNASHURST
The broadobjectiveoftheSmeatonProjects to contributetotheunderstandingof the character-istics andbehavior of lime-basedmortarsfor therepairandconser-vation of historicbuildings.Thisarticlepresentsthe firstphaseresults ofajointresearchprogramofICCROM,nglish Heritage,andBournemouthUniversity.Preface
Thefirstphaseof the SmeatonProjectwas intendedto be arange-findingexercise,which would1)assist theprojectteam inrefiningthemethods used forpreparation,cure,andtestingofsamplesand2)establishsometrends so as to bet-ter define andlimitfuturephasesofthe research.Ingeneral,theseobjec-tives were achieved.However,the authorswish toemphasizethevery preliminarynatureof thefindings reportedinthispaper. Theyarepublished primarilytopromotedialogueand,perhaps,morewidespreadcollaborationinthefuture.In nowayshouldthe resultsbe considereddefinitive or con-clusive.Thepapershould, thus,be read asanexploratoryexercise thatwillbeused to focus and refine futurework,rather than as a conclusive scientificstudy.In the firstphase,insufficientsampleswereproducedto statistical-lyvalidate trends.Theconsistencyofresults wasalso affectedbyboththe methodofpreparationand cureof thesamples.Problemswithdemouldingandcuttingof thelargesamplesusedinPhaseI,forexample,meantthat certainsampleswere notavailable for all testprocedures.Basedonthisexperience,bothprepa-rationandcure methods havebeenalteredin PhaseII,which isnowunderway.Similarly,thereiscontroversyabout some ofthetestproceduresutilized.Inparticular,the saltcrys-tallization test that is stillwidelyused to assessdurabilityintheU.K.is nolongerrecognizedbytheCanadian StandardsAssociationandiscurrentlyunderreviewbyASTM.Thereis much discussionregardingthis testand freeze-thawdurabilitytestsingeneralon aEuropeanandinternational level.Again,itwasdecided to utilizethe saltcrystalliza-tion testlargelytoassessitssuitabil-ityand toestablishsomebasis forcomparisonofsamples.Modifica-tionshavebeenmadeintheexperi-mentaldesignofPhasesIIandIIIbasedon thisexperience.Finally,it wasimpossible,inthisvery preliminarystageofresearch,toconsider all variables thatmighthaveaffectedthebehaviorof the mortarstested or toexplainall mechanismsobserved. Thisis thenature of scien-tificenquiry.It ishopedthat somequestionsmaybe answeredthroughmore detailedlaboratorystudies laterintheprojectas wellasthroughcomparisonwithlong-termresultsobservedon theexposuresite andinfieldtesting.
Introduction
Interest(orperhapsrenewedinterest)inthe use oflime based materials
-
mortars,grouts,plasters,rendersandpaints-foruseintherepairandmaintenance of historicbuildingsandmonumentshas beengrowingsteadilyintheinternational conser-vationcommunityforthepast15 to20years.To alargeextent,currentpracticeshave evolvedthroughtrialand error informedbyonlylimitedscientificandacademicresearch.Althoughthere is asignificant bodyofexperiencein theuseof lime-basedmaterialsincertainpartsof theworld,it isapparentthatpracticeisnotalways matching theoryand thatthere are stillmany partiallyun-solvedproblems.
2
 
THESMEATONPROJECT 33
Thecharacteristics f mortarsmaybe defined n severalways.Inpracti-calterms,he ones that concernusmost are:1.Of thefreshmortar*workability*moisturecontent*rateofhardening?shrinkage2. Of thehardenedmortar*appearance*moistureandaircontent*permeability*mechanicalpropertiesincluding*adhesion*abilitytotoleratemovement?strength*durabilityresistanceo dam-age byfrostandsalts)These,togetherwith thechemicalpropertiesof themortar,mustclearlybecompatiblewithexistinghistoricmaterialsandappropriateo the con-textin whichtheyare to be used.Thefactorsaffectinghe charac-teristicsand behaviorof limemortarsare derivednotsolelyfromthemor-tarconstituentsbutalsofrom thetechniquesusedinprocessingheingredientsndinpreparingndplacinghemortars. Thepropertiesof materials ncontactwiththe mor-tar and ambientenvironmental on-ditions atthe time ofplacingandhardeningof themortarare alsoinfluential.Insummary,hereareprobablythreecategoriesofproblemshatneed to beaddressed.These are :
1. Mortaranalysisandthe com-ponentsof historicmortars2.Performancecriteria andcom-ponentsofspecificationmortars3. Mortarpreparationand utiliza-tion
The SmeatonProjectajointresearchprogramofICCROMtheInternationalCentre ortheStudyof thePreservationnd theRestorationofCulturalProperty),EnglishHeritagetheHistoricBuildingsandMonumentsCommission orEngland),andBournemouthUniversitywassetupinresponseo theneed toaddresssuchissues n asystematicwaythroughbothlaboratoryandfieldresearch.Thebroadobjectiveof theSmeatonProjects tocontribute otheunderstandingf thecharacteris-tics andbehavioroflime-basedmor- tarsbyattemptingoidentifyandwherepossiblequantifythemate-rial andpracticeparametershataffecttheirproperties.Specificemphasishas beenplacedinthe firststageof theresearchnmaterialandpracticeparametersthatwillimprovehedurabilityndfrost-resistanceflime-basedmor-tarsinharshclimates. It ishopedthat theresearchwillultimatelyeadto theproductionofpracticalguide-lines forspecifying,preparing,ndutilizingconservationmortarsnawidevarietyofregionalconditions.The name of theprojectrefers oJohnSmeaton,amathematicalinstrumentmakerandengineer,whoin1756,afterexperimentingwithlimesandadditivesor"waterbuild-ing"(mortarapableofhardeningunderwater),decidedolaythecoursesofstone for theEddystonelighthouse20miles offthe coastofDevon,England)na mixtureofpozzolanaromItalyandLias ime
from thesouthwest ofEngland.Hisreportonthiswork1was the first of manystudiesprecedingthe currentprojectthat,inasense,broughttogether EnglandandItalyin seek-ingtoidentifyandquantify poz-zolanic additives foroptimumper-formance.
BACKGROUNDOCURRENTPROJECT
The SmeatonProjectgrewoutofexperimentalworkbegunby EnglishHeritagein 1986toidentifysuitablemortars for use in the conservationof Hadrian's Wall(Fig.1)inthenorthofEngland.Sections ofthisRoman wall are onhighgroundandexposedtosevere weathercondi-tions.In the recentpast,relativelystrongmortarsgaugedwithportlandcementhad been used forpointingandrepair.This mortar wasitselfsufficientlydurableto withstandtheextremeexposuretowhich theRoman wallissubjectedbut con-tributed to the deterioration of thewallin anumberof waysthat aretypicalwhere cementisused incon-tact with weaker and moreporousmaterials.These deleteriouseffects include:1.Concentratingcyclesofwet-tinganddrying throughthestonefaces becausewater cannotescapethroughtherelativelyimperviouspointingmortar2.Trappingwater,therebycaus-ingleachingoforiginalcoremortarandincreasingtheriskoffrost dam-age3.Increasingthelikelihood ofmechanicaldamagetostone onremoval ofhigh-strengthmortar inthecourse ofmaintenance worksRecognitionoftheseproblemsledto anattempttoexclude all cementinmortars used on theRomanwall.However,earlytrialswith limemor-tars werenotcompletelysuccessfulbecause themortars hadinadequatefrost resistance.While theirbehaviorasa sacrificialmaterial was techni-callysatisfactory,suchmortars hadtobereplacedat afrequencythatwasnoteconomicallysustainable forEnglishHeritage.
 
34 APTBULLETIN
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MortarTrialsatHadrian'sWall
Atesting programwasthusinitiatedtodevelopmoreappropriateconser-vation mortarsfor the site.As a firststep,a number ofjoint-ingand core mortarsweresampledfrom areas ofthe Roman wallknownto containoriginalmaterial.These werefound to containlime,crushedtile,crushedsandstone,sand,andkilndebris. The binder:aggregateratiorangedfrom 1:1 to1:3. Traces of animalfat,probablytallow,were alsoobservedinsome ofthesamples.Thenextphasewas aprogramofcomparativedurabilitytests on arangeof120 mortar mixes com-menced atHadrian's Wallin1986.
This exercisewasdesignedprimarilyto observe hecomparative erfor-manceof thebindingmaterialsnthemortarsand was notintendedat thatstageto simulate itepractice.The trialmortarsweregroupednthreecategoriesaccordingo thetypeof theprincipalbindermaterial:GroupA:non-hydraulicimes(bothputtyanddry hydrate)GroupB:hydraulicimesGroupC:portlandcementsThe mortarsweremixedinvary-ing proportionsof binder:aggregatewithand withoutpozzolanicand air-entrainingadditives.Principalpoz-zolanic additiveswereordinarybrickdust(essentiallyrushedacingbrickobtained rom a localmanufacturer)andHTIPowder(High-TemperatureInsulant-refractoryrickdust2),bothcrushed opassa300micronsieve.The sandtypeandgradingwas con-sistentthroughouthe trial mixesandconformed o relevantBritishstandards orbuildingands.Two 150mmandtwo 50mmcubeswerepreparedof eachsampleinthespringof1986. After an initialcuringperiodoftwoweeks,thelarg-ermortarcubeswereplacedonexposureracks(Fig.2)intwo loca-tions nearthe Romanwall. Thetwosmaller ets ofcubes were storednaventilatedrost-freenvironmentndweresubjectedo the BritishResearchEstablishmentBRE)altcrystallisationest3nspring,1987.

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