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An Investigation Into the Effect of Rice Husk ASh on Mortar When Added in Varying Proportions - Andrew Wood

An Investigation Into the Effect of Rice Husk ASh on Mortar When Added in Varying Proportions - Andrew Wood

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The University of Dublin Trinity College

The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering


Name: Andrew Wood

Supervised By: Dr. Sara Pavia


By: Andrew Wood Supervisor: Dr. Sara Pavia

A final year project report submitted in partial requirement for the BAI Engineering degree



By: Andrew Wood Supervisor: Dr. Sara Pavia

A final year project report submitted in partial requirement for the BAI Engineering degree



I declare that this dissertation, in whole or in part, has not been submitted to any University as exercise for a degree. I further declare that, except where reference is given in the text, it is entirely my own work. I further declare that the Library may lend out this dissertation for academic purposes. I give permission for the Library to copy this thesis upon request.

Andrew Wood

Firstly I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Sara Pavia, for all her advice and guidance throughout the year. I would also like to thank Eoin Dunne, Martin Carney for their help and guidance with the testing, without which I don‟t know what I would have done, and all of the technicians in the labs for their eagerness to help and for entertaining me over the year. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also wish to thank Ryan Hanley, who was always available for queries and was most helpful whenever I called on him.

Finally, I had better thank my family and friends for putting up with me and keeping me sane, particularly towards the end of the project. Particular thanks must go to my mother, Pat-Ann, for all the late nights she fed me on my return from the library. Much appreciated!


Declaration Acknowledgements List of Tables List of Figures Abstract

ii iii vi vii viii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Main Objective 1.3 Aims 2 1.4 Outline 2 1 2


Chapter 2 Literature Review


2.1 Introduction 4 2.2 Introduction to Rice Husk Ash 5 2.3 Use of Rice Husk Ash in Concrete 5 2.4 Research on Lime Mortars 7

Chapter 3 Background Material: Lime 3.1 Limestone 8 3.2 Lime Cycle 8 3.3 Hydrated Lime 10 3.4 Lime Putty 10 3.5 Setting 11


Chapter 4 Mortar


4.1 Introduction 13 4.2 Properties of Lime Mortars 14 4.3 Materials used in Mortar 15

4.4 Mixing 17 4.5 Testing 17 4.6 Health and Safety


Chapter 5 Mix Design and Proportions 5.1 Materials Used 19 5.2 Proportions 19 5.3 Sand 22 5.4 Mixing Procedure 23 5.5 Moulds 24 5.6 Placement 25 5.7 Curing 26 5.8 Discussion 26


Chapter 6 Testing


6.1 Introduction 27 6.2 The Tests 27 6.3 Testing Standards 28 6.4 Testing Procedures 31 6.5 Key Equations for Calculating Results


Chapter 7 Results


7.1 Water Absorption Test 42 7.2 Capillary Suction Test 43 7.3 Bulk and real Density Tests 47 7.4 Porosity Test 49 7.5 Shrinkage Test 51 7.6 Compressive Strength Test 52 7.7 Flexural Strength Test 54

Chapter 8 Conclusions


8.1 Introduction 57 8.2 Conclusions 57 8.3 Recommendation for Further Study




Figure 3.1, The Lime Cycle Figure 5.1, Mortar Mixer 9 23 24 24

Figure 5.2, Cube Moulds for Mortar Figure5.3, Prism Moulds for Mortar Figure 6.1, Oven at + 5°C Figure 6.2, Capillary Suction tray Figure 6.3, Shrinkage Gauge 36 32


Figure 6.4, Flexural Testing Machine Figure 6.5, Flexural Strength Test Figure 7.1, Water Absorption Results

38 38 42 45 47 48 49 51 53 55

Figure 7.2, Capillary Suction for all four mixes Figure 7.3, Bulk Density for all four mixes Figure 7.4, Real Density for all four mixes Figure 7.5, Porosity Results for all four mixes Figure 7.6, Shrinkage Results for all four mixes

Figure 7.7, Compressive Strengths for all four mixes Figure 7.8, Flexural Strengths for all four mixes


Table 5.1, Material Proportions for Pure Lime Putty Table 5.2, Material Proportions for 25% RHA mix Table 5.3, Material Proportions for 50% RHA mix Table 5.4, Material Proportions for 75% RHA mix

20 21 21 22 23 44

Table 5.5, Sieve analysis of the sand used in all four mixes Table 7.1, Example of Results from Capillary Suction Test


This project investigates if the addition of Rice Husk Ash has a positive effect on lime mortar, in particular lime putty. There has been a considerable amount of study into the behaviour of concrete with the addition of RHA, with positive effects experienced. To see if lime putty experiences similar positive effects, a number of simple laboratory tests were carried out to test the physical performance of the mortar with the partial replacement of lime putty with RHA. Using the results from the tests completed, a conclusion can be drawn on whether the addition of RHA is beneficial to the mortar and whether the use of RHA as a construction material is viable.


1.1 Introduction
Rice Husk Ash (RHA) is a by product of the agricultural industry. RHA consists of roughly 75% organic matter which can be burned off. The 25% inorganic material remains as ash [2]. RHA has a very high silica content, of approximately 85 – 90%. This high silica content makes RHA very difficult to dispose of; therefore posing a possible environmental risk. RHA also has pozzolanic properties, but not when pure RHA.

Research has been done into the addition of RHA to concrete. The results of which are very positive, showing an increase in compressive strength, decrease in permeability, chloride penetration and decreased heat of cement hydration [1]. These results were found after the addition of only a small proportion of cement replacement, approximately 10%. The RHA was also found to speed up the rate of hydration of cement as well as reduce the temperature of the heat of hydration. RHA also improves the workability [1]. All of these factors indicate that less water is required in the concrete, leading to stronger concrete and lower permeability.

Very little research has been done into the addition of RHA to mortars of any kind. Pozzolans are often added to non-hydraulic limes to get a faster initial set instead of allowing only for carbonation. Therefore, lime putty was the type of mortar chosen for use in this project. The type of sand is not as important, as long as it fills the requirements stated in chapter four when referring to sand used in mortars. Once the mortar, sand and mixing techniques remain consistent throughout the testing, comparisons can be made between the mixes.

1.2 Main Objective

To investigate the effect RHA has on lime putty when added in varying amounts, and see is it practical for use in everyday construction.

1.3 Aims
To fully research the background to Rice Husk Ash Research the effect of RHA on concrete Learn and understand about the different types of lime Learn how to mix and make lime mortar Carry out a full set of tests on the mortar cubes made to get an indication of the effects of RHA on lime putties Use equations from chapter six to calculate the results of the tests Analyse the results from the testing Compare results with different results from similar mortars with the pure lime putty mix made in this project Write up results and complete a report on the study undertaken Report conclusions and findings from the study

1.4 Outline
Chapter Two consists of a review of literature on the background of RHA and its possible uses in construction.

Chapter Three consists of a review and description of the background materials used in the project, mainly the background and theory of lime.

Chapter Four consists of a description of what mortar is and compares the different types of mortar available.

Chapter Five consists of a description of the mix designs used for making the mortars for the testing, the placement of the mortars.

Chapter Six consists of a description of the tests to be conducted, procedures for each test, and useful equations for calculating the results.

Chapter Seven consists of the presentation and analysis of the results.

Chapter Eight contains the conclusions drawn from the testing and the recommendations for further study in the field.


2.1 Introduction

This project focuses mainly on the effect RHA has on mortars rather than the type of mortars used in the project. Firstly, some research must be done on RHA and its uses and benefits in construction. Unfortunately there is very little information on the use of RHA in construction. This is mainly because the idea of using RHA as a construction material is relatively new. In the early 1990‟s, approximately, the first notion of using construction as a means to recycle RHA was conceived. So because RHA is relatively young as a construction material, not much research has been done into its uses and possible advantages/disadvantages. Also, RHA is relatively unknown, so very little information is available in books on the subject. Most of the information on RHA used in this project was found on the internet, from published papers and articles from journals. The information in chapter three on lime was found on the internet, in books, and from various other sources as referenced in the chapter.

As there is very little research done on RHA, there was a large field of possible subjects and topics to investigate and research. The area with the most amount of research carried out was the addition of RHA to concrete. Therefore it would be interesting to see if the same positive effects were experienced when RHA was added to mortar. Non-hydraulic lime was preferred as pozzolans are often used to get an initial set in lime putties and then allow further hardening, by carbonation, to take place over time.

2.2 Introduction to Rice Husk Ash

Rice Husk Ash is a by-product of the rice industry. When rice is harvested and milled, roughly 78% of the paddy is rice and bran. The remaining 22% is the husk which surrounds the rice paddy is called the husk. In countries of large rice industries, such as India or Brazil, the rice harvested is par-boiled in rice mills. These rice mills are fuelled by burning the husks of the rice. When the husk only contains 75% organic matter, this leaves 25% inorganic matter, which makes up the ash after the firing process. This ash is called Rice Husk Ash (RHA). It is a highly siliceous material with an amorphous silica content of roughly 85 – 90%. The ash remains amorphous when burned in a controlled environment, below 600° - 700° Celsius. Each tonne of rice harvested produces roughly 220kgs of husk, leaving roughly 55kgs of ash after burning. As the Rice Husk Ash is very siliceous, it poses a serious threat to the environment, stated by [2, 21]. Various methods of recycling and disposing of this waste are currently being explored. If the use of this Rice Husk Ash can have a positive effect when added to concrete or mortar this would be a useful way to recycle potentially harmful material such as Rice Husk Ash.

2.3 Use of Rice Husk Ash in Concrete
There has not been a lot of research carried out using Rice Husk Ash in mortar but, in concrete, Rice Husk Ash has been used as a partial cement replacement in concrete in relatively small amounts (5-10%). As the silica content in the Rice Husk Ash is so high (85 – 90%), it is considered a „Super-pozzolan‟ [1]. Super-pozzolans (e.g. silica fume) are used in high performance concrete. Super-pozzolans dramatically enhance the workability, compressive strength and impermeability. This decrease in permeability, results in concretes which are highly durable to chemical attack and corrosion of the reinforcement steel, due to the inability for the chlorides to penetrate the concrete.

Rice Husk Ash is a very fine substance with a particle size of 25 microns and is also less reactive than cement. During the hydration of cement, calcium hydroxide is formed. This calcium hydroxide reacts with the silica in the Rice Husk Ash to form calcium hydride silicate [1, 19]. This calcium hydride silicate fills the pores and strengthens the microstructure of the concrete, particularly around the coarse aggregate. This pore refinement transforms the concrete from an open pore system to a closed pore system which affects the permeability more so than the compressive strength of the concrete. This will obviously aid the durability if the concrete as a direct result of the decreased permeability. Also stated by [19], when pastes with 10% RHA, without admixtures and with 10% silica fume are left for 28 days and tested for anhydrous materials, the RHA showed the lowest percentage of anhydrous material in its paste. Therefore, verifying that RHA probably accelerates the hydration of cement. Rice Husk Ash also can reduce the heat of hydration by up to 25 % [1]. Both of these indicate that less water is inclined to evaporate during hydration, therefore, less water required in the first place. The less water required in the mix, the lower the probability of shrinkage. A lot of research was completed in this area, of adding RHA to concrete, by [19, 20]. Positive effects were experienced by these authors when adding RHA to concrete. However, when RHA was tested in its natural state (on its own) it displayed no pozzolanic properties [19].

As stated previously, there is no previous research done on the addition of RHA to mortars. Therefore, the results from concrete are the only results, regarding RHA, to compare with. The other comparisons that can be made are with similar lime mortars with no RHA used in the construction. The effects of RHA on lime mortars can be compared with normal lime mortars to see if the results are positive and worthwhile or not.

2.4 Research on Lime Mortars
For the mortar research, there were many useful books, papers and websites for information on lime and lime mortars. Much of this research will be covered in chapter three (background materials) under the Lime headings. The research on mortars will be covered in chapter four (mortar) and suitable references given.


3.1 Limestone
Lime does not occur naturally and is produced by burning a source of calcium carbonate, usually either chalk or limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed due to the deposition of calcium carbonate from its solution in water.

3.2 Lime cycle

3.2.1 Summary

Lime is a term used to describe calcium carbonate which comes from chalk or limestone. The limestone is burned first in a process called calcining [3], where the calcium carbonate is heated. The product of this calcining is Calcium Oxide, also called Quicklime. This Quicklime is then added to water to produce a calcium hydroxide, known as slaked lime. This calcium hydroxide then takes in carbon dioxide in order to harden, through a process called carbonation, and creates calcium hydroxide, therefore, completing the cycle. The resulting calcium hydroxide can vary in its strength as the carbonation process can take years, in some cases, to complete its reaction. Carbonation is the main method of hardening in limes, although some limes can harden by way of hydration.

Fig 3.1, The Lime Cycle

3.2.2 Lime Burning

The burning, or calcining, of lime is the first step in the lime cycle. The calcium carbonate is burned in a kiln and gives off carbon dioxide, leaving an oxide, quicklime,

(Calcium carbonate –burningcalcium oxide + carbon dioxide)

CaCO3 –burningCaO (quick lime) + CO2

For calcium carbonate to burn and change to calcium oxide, the temperature must be at least 880°C. It is estimated that, to ensure that this temperature is reached in the core of the stone, a surface temperature of approx. 1000°C must be obtained [6]. The product of this burning is calcium oxide (quicklime), which is used in the next stage. The best

quicklimes are the ones which are most reactive. These are obtained when the burning temperature is kept as low as possible and burned slowly, while still ensuring that the calcium carbonate is burnt. This is referred to as „soft burnt quicklime‟ [7].

3.2.3 Slaking

Slaking is the process where water is added to the quicklime, resulting in a reaction between them. The water reacts with the oxide to produce a hydroxide. This is an exothermic reaction which can generate very high temperatures, so it is generally thought to be better to slake the quicklime as soon as possible after burning.

Calcium oxide (quicklime) + water calcium hydroxide

CaO + H2O Ca (OH)2

3.3 Hydrated Lime
If a minimal amount of water is used, just enough to facilitate slaking, the quicklime produces a powder known as hydrated lime. The exothermic reaction in slaking causes any slight excess of water to be evaporated. The powder produced is supplied normally in bags [4].

3.4 Lime Putty

When excess amounts of water are used in the slaking process, a milky liquid is formed. This milky substance is left to sit, allowing the solids in the liquid to settle to the bottom

and form lime putty. Lime putty can mature for months, even years [8]. As the slaking period of the putty is increased, the water retention and the plasticity are also increased. Lime putty is the purest form of lime as it is a purely non-hydraulic lime.

3.5 Setting

3.5.1 Non-Hydraulic Setting

Non-hydraulic lime does not need water to facilitate hardening. It hardens due to exposure to the air, where it dries out and then absorbs carbon dioxide. The lime reacts with the absorbed carbon dioxide in a process known as carbonation. No reaction with water is needed for hardening to take place. Non-hydraulic lime is generally considered to be the purest form of lime it is totally non-hydraulic. This indicates that there were no impurities present in the original limestone or chalk, just pure calcium carbonate. Non-hydraulic limes are generally more flexible and more porous than hydraulic limes. This increased porosity helps the air penetrate the mortar, which in turn helps the carbonation of the lime, due to increased exposure to the carbon dioxide. Non-hydraulic limes therefore harden over a longer period of time than hydraulic limes do, due to the carbon dioxide having to permeate through the mortar over time. Initial set can be helped to harden more quickly by adding a pozzolan, as in this project.

3.5.2 Hydraulic Setting

Hydraulic limes have similar properties to non-hydraulic lime as it still sets partially by carbonation, but there is also hydraulic setting taking place also. Hydraulic setting is due to reaction with water, similar to the hydraulic set experienced with OPC. These limes still originate in limestone and chalk but the limestone is not as pure as the limestone used for Non-Hydraulic limes. If there are clay particles present in the limestone before

burning, these particles cause the resulting calcium oxide to have hydraulic properties [5]. The amount of impurities in the limestone affects the resulting properties of the lime. Limestone containing less than 12% clays results in feebly hydraulic limes, which have the closest relationship to lime putties out of all the hydraulic limes.

Hydraulic limes are not as flexible as non-hydraulic limes, but they are stronger and less porous than non-hydraulic limes. Hydraulic lime mortars are more widely used due to the ease in which they can be mixed and used. They generally are supplied in powder form in bags.


4.1 Introduction
Mortar is defined as “A material used in masonry to fill gaps between stones or bricks in construction and bind them together [9]”. The term mortar can also be used to describe plaster or render, used to give a smooth, durable finish to a wall. They both consist of the same materials, but the renders cover a more vast area in relation to their volume, whereas mortars work over a much smaller area.

A good mortar should act as a conduit for the moisture in the wall, preserving the masonry from decay due to percolating water, moisture and salt solutions. The mortar is therefore the sacrificial material in such structures, with a life span much lower than that of the surrounding masonry. Mortars should absorb any moisture or water and encourage it to be evaporated through the mortar joints rather than through the masonry.

There are many types of mortars, each with defining properties. A suitable mortar must be chosen for differing conditions and circumstances. In older buildings, a more flexible softer mortar must be used in order to withstand any movement within the structure that most, older buildings experience. Non-hydraulic limes are generally used for re-pointing of soft masonry due to the softer nature of the mortar. A lime putty or feebly-hydraulic lime would be used for such a task. In areas subject to damp conditions or more harsh weather conditions, a hydraulic lime would be more suitable. For this reason, most buildings would contain more than one type of lime mortar, depending on the conditions the mortars are being used in.

4.2 Properties of Lime Mortars
Lime mortars are more porous than stone and so allow the water to pass through the mortar rather than through the stone. Therefore damage due to crystallisation occurs in the mortar joint, instead of in the masonry, as mortar can be replaced more easily. As stated previously, lime mortars allow for more movement in structures. With this freedom to move, the need for expansion joints is very low. Lime mortars will allow for minor structural and seasonal movements by forming numerous minute hairline cracks, rather than one large crack. If there is water present, it will dissolve any free lime in the mortar and flow through the cracks. The water will evaporate depositing the lime and seal the cracks in a process called autogenous healing [16].

Lime mortars allow buildings to breathe and moisture to escape. Failure to do so can result in dampness problems in the structure due to the inability for trapped moisture to permeate out through the mortar or the masonry. This is particularly important in timber framed houses; an impermeable render can lead to timber decay. For limes, the permeability is also important for the hardening process of the lime itself as it allows carbon dioxide to penetrate the mortar aiding the carbonation process. Softer mortars such as lime putty allow greater movement of fluids and so they are used extensively in older buildings so the water can flow freely to the surface and not decay the masonry itself in doing so. Lime mortars are more porous than OPC mortars and considered more workable also. OPC mortars do not allow the same flow of water that lime mortars do.

As lime mortars allow the movement of fluids quite easily, this provides a more comfortable environment inside buildings. The relative humidity is more stable as a result; reducing condensation formation and mould growth.

Most of the time lime mortars are weaker than OPC mortars. Generally, the softer and more porous the lime mortar, the lower the strength is. When strengths for OPC mortars are compared with lime mortars, the tests are usually carried out after 28 days, which is an accurate representation for OPC, but not for lime. As lime hardens largely due to

carbonation over time, the lime mortar strength at, say 12 months, would be a lot closer to the OPC mortar strength. This has certain benefits when a building is new the lime is still relatively soft and can accommodate such movement, as could be experienced in a new building. If a weak, rapidly setting material is used in such a case, the mortar can be replaced easily. However if a strong mortar is used that is stronger than the masonry, the masonry could fail if subjected to slight movement.

4.3 Materials used in Mortar

4.3.1 Lime

The type of lime required depends on the functions the mortar is required to perform. The two fundamental options are hydraulic or non-hydraulic limes. Hydraulic limes generally come in bags of dry hydrate powder. Non-hydraulic usually comes in the form of a lime putty. Non-hydraulic limes are more pure than the hydraulic, as the impurities (or clay) are what causes the lime to be hydraulic, as stated in chapter three.

4.3.2 Aggregate

The aggregate used in mortars is sand. The sand should be clean, hard and durable. Sand originating from the sea should be avoided due to the salt content, which can affect the hardening, durability, strength or the appearance of the mortar. The grading of the sand is also important, so that there is an even distribution of particle sizes throughout the sand. However, the amount of particles smaller than 75µm must be kept to a minimum as particles of this size classify as clay. Clay can have pozzolanic effects on the lime. A sieve analysis should be conducted on the sand to determine the percentage clay in the sand.

It is preferable that the sands be angular; sharp sands interlock well with each other better than rounded ones do and there are fewer voids as a result. Also the size of the particles affect the amount of binder required. The larger the particle size, the more binder that is needed. This indicates that the binder to sand ratio should be decided after analysis of the sand. An excess of binder can result in lower strength mortar.

4.3.3 Water

Water used in mortar must be clean and should not contain any material in suspension or solution, in a quantity sufficient to cause harmful effects on the mortar or the materials used within the mortar. The proportion of the water to binder should be the least possible required to give adequate workability to the mortar. It should also conform to BS 3148:1990.

4.3.4 Additives

Other materials can be added to mortar to enhance its performance. Traditional additives in the past for plasters or mortars were tallow oil, sugar, hair. Cement can be added but it must be added with care as it can affect the long term durability of the mortar, preventing carbonation from happening [17].

4.3.5 Pozzolans

Pozzolans are materials that obtain cementitious properties when added to water. The particles of these materials are very fine and sometimes have been subjected to great heat. Some examples are pulverized fuel ash (PFA) and fired china clay. They are sometimes added to non-hydraulic limes to accelerate the initial set and improve the strength of the mortar also.

4.4 Mixing

The mix used for mortars depends on the required strength but generally the proportions are three parts sand to one part binder (lime), 3:1mix, once the mortar maintains good plasticity. If the poorer lime is used, the proportions may be reduced to a mix of, say, 2:1. However, when mortar is made with a high content of sand, more water must be added and so the probability of cracking is higher, due to higher water content.

Due to the variations in the different types of lime, a trial mix is advised before employing a certain mix on site. This will help determine the correct sand to binder ratio and the most appropriate lime to be used.

4.5 Testing

The following tests are suitable for testing the various properties of mortars. Sh Capillary suction/Water rin absorption ka Bulk/Real ge densities P Compressive o Strength r Flexural o Strength s it These tests will be described in greater detail in chapter six. y

4.6 Health and Safety

Lime can be caustic and cause irritation to the skin if exposed to it for long periods of time. When handling lime putty, gloves should be worn, particularly when skin is broken. The RHA is a very fine dust and when lime is in dry powder form, dust masks should be worn to prevent inhalation. If inhaled, the dust can cause upper respiratory track problems.

First Aid Measures If lime comes in contact with the eyes wash out with fresh water. Protective cream should be applied to any skin exposed to lime for any amount of time.


5.1 Materials Used
Non-Hydraulic lime comes in the form of a putty which is stored under water, as it does not react with water to set, but with carbon dioxide, so the water prevents this from happening. This putty is an off white colour and has the consistency of a sort of hard cheese and needs to be cut with a pallet knife. As the putty is slaked for over a year, it contains a lot of water. This indicates that very little water is needed to make the mortar, unlike the hydraulic limes which come as a dry powder.

The Rice Hush Ash came as a very fine powder. RHA has pozzolanic properties and therefore also has hydraulic properties also. A pozzolan is a siliceous material which reacts with Calcium hydroxide and water to obtain hydraulic set at room temperature. This reaction is very similar to that of cement.

The aggregate used was natural, river bed sand. The same sand was used throughout all of the tests, for consistency, so that comparisons can be drawn between each of the mixes.

5.2 Proportions
For each of the following mixes, the humidity was between 50 – 60%, and the temperature was kept between 15 -17°C. This indicates that the evaporation of water during the mixing process is negligible as conditions for each mix was relatively constant.

5.2.1 Pure Lime Putty (0% mix)

Each of the mixes had an aggregate to binder ratio of 3:1, by weight. As lime putty is well slaked lime, with a large amount of water in it, generally very little water added to the mix as there is no water needed to hydrate the lime. The aggregate used was very dry and so a small amount of water was needed to replace any pore water that has been evaporated from the aggregate.

Table 5.1 Material Proportions for Pure Lime Putty

Lime Putty Sand Water

800 g 2400 g ~20 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA 5.2.2 25% RHA Mix Sand Water 600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)

This mix was the first mix made, and so the behaviour of the lime with the addition of RHA Amount Material was unknown. As RHA has pozzolanic properties, and is a very fine material, it needs a Lime Putty 400 certain amount of water. Otherwise the water contained in the lime putty will be sucked out, g RHA 400 by the RHA, and so making the mortar a lot less workable. Also the RHA will need a certain g amount of water also for hydration. This all indicates that water needs to be added to the 2400 g Sand mix in order to facilitate the RHA and also to help make the mortar more workable and easier Water 230 g to compact into the moulds. Initially, there was 80 g of water added and the prisms were made. Before making the cubes, a further 30 g was added to make it more workable. Amount

Lime Putty RHA Sand Water 200 g 600 g 2400 g 310 g

Sieve size (µm)
5000 2360 1180 600 425

% ret
0.5 19.4 23.4 27.2 13.2

Table 5.2 Material proportions for 25% RHA mix

Lime Putty Sand Water

800 g 2400 g ~20 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA Sand 5.2.3 50% RHA mix Water 600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)

The required consistency wasPuttyknown and so adequate water was added in order to Lime now achieve suitable workability and adequate hydration of the RHA. RHA Sand Water
Table Material 5.3 Material proportions for 50% RHA mix

400 g 400 g 2400 g 230 g

Lime Putty RHA Material Sand Lime Putty Water Sand Water 200 g 600 g Amount 2400 800 gg 310 g 2400 g ~20 g

Sieve size (µm)
5000 Lime Putty 2360 RHA 1180 Sand 600 5.2.4 75% RHA mix Water 425 300 Material As we can see now, there is 75% RHA replacement of the lime putty, therefore more Lime Putty 150 water is needed. RHA 75 Sand pass
Water 50% RHA Mix Material Cube 2 Lime Putty Time (sec) RHA Sand 0 Water 60
180 300

% ret
0.5 19.4 23.4 27.2 13.2 7.4 5.8 1.3 1.8

600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)


400 g 400 g 2400 g 230 g


(m ) 0.0025 0.0025

Weight of Water (g) 600 g

200 g Square root Time

(sec ) 0 7.745967 13.41641 17.32051

0 2400 g 3 310 g 5

Sieve size (µm) 0.0025


% ret

Table 5.4 Material proportions for 75% RHA mix

Lime Putty Sand Water

800 g 2400 g ~20 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA Sand Water 600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)

5.3 Sand



Lime Putty 400 g RHA 400 g As this study is not about the aggregate used but the RHA, typical mortar sand was used. Sand This sand was used in all the mixes in order to keep the mortars consistent and allow for 2400 g comparison at the end. Water As demonstrated in Table 5.5, the particle size varies from 5mm to g 230 0.075mm and is quite well graded also. 1.8 % of the sample passed through the 75 µm sieve, particles smaller than 75 µm are considered clay. These clay particles are regarded as Amount Material impurities, and cause problems on the mortar as they can cause hydraulic set in the lime; Lime Putty 200 g affecting the results of the mortar as it is lime putty being used in this project. RHA 600 g Sand 2400 g Water 310 g

Sieve size (µm) This sample of sand contains fairly large, round particles. This means that the packing
will not be as good as if it were angular.

% ret
0.5 19.4 23.4 27.2 13.2 7.4 5.8 1.3 1.8

5000 2360 1180 600 425 300 150 75 pass

50% RHA Mix Cube 2
Time (sec) 0 60 180 300 Area

(m ) 0.0025 0.0025 0.0025 0.0025

Weight of Water (g)

Square root Time

(sec ) 0 7.745967 13.41641 17.32051

0 3 5

Table 5.5 Sieve analysis of the sand used in all four mixes

Lime Putty Sand Water

800 g 2400 g ~20 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA Sand Water 600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)

Lime Putty RHA 5.4 Mixing Procedure Sand Water 5.4.1 Equipment

400 g 400 g 2400 g 230 g


Lime Putty 200 g 1. Scales with an accuracy of + 600 g 1g RHA 2. Mortar mixer with three speed Sand 2400 g settings 3. Pallet Water 310 g Knife/Spatula 4. Dust Mask and Gloves (the RHA is so fine, it creates a fine dust which can be inhaled and could be quite dangerous if done so, also the putty can Sieve size (µm) be unpleasant if in contact with broken skin so gloves must be worn)

% re

5000 2360 1180 600 Fig5.1 Mortar Mixer 425 300 150 75 pass

0.5 19.4 23.4 27.2 13.2 7.4 5.8 1.3 1.8

50% RHA Mix Cube 2
Time (sec) 0 60 180 300 Area

(m ) 0.0025 0.0025 0.0025 0.0025

Weight of Water (g)

Square root Ti

(sec ) 0 7.745967 13.41641 17.32051

0 3 5

5.4.2 Mixing

As there are no standards for mixing lime putty, the guidelines from St. Astier recommendations were used. As the amount of RHA varies, the amount of water added is determined by the consistency and the workability of the mortar during the mixing

1. Each ingredient was weighed carefully on the scales 2. Half of the sand was placed in the mixing bowl 3. The Lime Putty(along with RHA) is then added 4. These are mixed for approximately five minutes 5. Gradually the remainder of the sand is added to the mix 6. Water is added accordingly throughout the mixing process 7. the mortar is left to mix for a further ten to fifteen minutes

5.5 Moulds

The testing in this project required 50 mm cubes. Steel moulds (50 mm x 50 mm x 50 mm) were used for these cubes. Prisms of the dimensions, 40 mm x 40 mm x 160 mm, were required. Steel moulds were also used for these prisms.

Fig 5.2 Cube Moulds for Mortar

Fig 5.3 Prism Moulds for Mortar

For each of the mixes, six cubes and three prisms were made. The prisms are used for the shrinkage tests and for measuring the flexural strength of the mortar. The cubes were used for the remaining tests, water absorption, capillary suction, densities, porosity and compressive strength.

The moulds were checked to ensure they were clean. Once this was verified, they were thoroughly brushed with de-moulding oil. This helps remove the samples from the moulds once they hardened. After the moulds were brushed with oil; they were left upturned so no excessive oil remains, as this would have affected the mortar. The mortar could now be placed in the moulds.

5.6 Placement
1. The method used for placing each of the cubes and the prisms were the same. 2. The mortar was placed in the moulds using the spatula or pallet knife in two layers. 3. The first layer was then compacted using a metal tamping rod to compact the mortar and therefore reduce the air voids as much as possible. 4. With concrete or hydraulic limes, the samples are tamped a number of times, but as putty is stiffer, the sample must be tamped until the mortar is unable to compact any more. 5. The second layer of mortar must be above the edge of the mould and tamped down as above. 6. The surface is then levelled off using the pallet knife. 7. The cubes/prisms are covered with plastic or damp Hessian to prevent initial shrinkage.

5.7 Curing
The mortar remained in the moulds until they were sufficiently hard, so they could be removed from the moulds. Each of the mixes remained in the cubes for at least two days. The mixes with higher proportion of RHA took a shorter time to harden as they hardened by hydraulic means as well as carbonation.

Once removed from the moulds, the cubes/prisms were placed in the curing chamber. For lime putty the major method of hardening is carbonation. This indicates that the cubes can not be cured under water like cement based mortar cubes are, as the lime would not be able to absorb CO . Therefore, these cubes are kept in the curing room. In this room the constant temperature is between 15° - 20°C and the humidity is kept quite high ~50 – 60% humidity is maintained as much as is possible. The cubes were kept in this room for the full 35 days of curing and hardening, the prisms were kept in the room for 50 days as they were used for the shrinkage tests which were set up in this room also.

5.8 Discussion
When the 25% RHA mix was made there was not enough water added and the workability was compromised. This was mainly due to inexperience, and lack of knowledge on the behaviour of lime putties and RHA. The resulting cubes and prisms were brittle and were quite dusty to touch. Other problems experienced during this mix were the quantities prepared as there was barely enough mortar for all of the cubes. With the 75% RHA mix, there was a lot of water required to hydrate the RHA and improve workability. This extra water made the mortar more fluid, and behave more like a hydraulic lime. This meant it was unlike the other mixes when being placed. Again inexperience and lack of knowledge meant it was hard to judge when enough compaction was achieved.


6.1 Introduction
To understand the behaviour of the lime putty with the addition of RHA, a number of tests were carried out on the cubes and prisms made. The tests used were decided upon after considering the possible positive effects that could be experienced with the addition of RHA. The possible effects of RHA on mortar can be estimated after looking at the effects experienced in concrete, with the addition of RHA. The results from these tests are then used to ascertain beneficial conclusions on the behaviour of RHA with lime putty.

6.2 The Tests 6.2.1 Water Absorption and Capillary Suction
The water absorption is a good indication of how permeable the mortar is and how easily water can pass through the mortar. This movement of water also applies to gases such as carbon dioxide. For lime mortars, in particular, this is important as the mortar is allowed to absorb the CO and therefore facilitate carbonation within the mortar and aide the setting of

the lime within the mortar. Therefore more porous the lime mortar is, the quicker it will reach full maturity.

Penetrability is the term used for the overall movements of fluids through a material. This flow includes diffusion, sorption and permeability [10]. The flow through a material under a differential pressure is called permeability. Diffusion is the movement of a fluid under a concentration differential. Sorption is the capillary movement through the

capillary pores in the material. These three methods of fluid movement are all grouped together as penetrability, but permeability is the accepted term for the movement of fluids through a material. The permeability of the mortar is particularly important, as the moisture needs to be able to pass through the mortar more easily than through the surrounding masonry. This prevents the masonry decaying unduly due to moisture being forced to flow through the masonry. Therefore the more porous the mortar is the better for the surrounding masonry as the mortar is sacrificial to the masonry.

Two tests were carried out to examine the movement of fluids through the mortar. The first test conducted was the water absorption test. This test measures the volume of pore space in the mortar by fully immersing the cube in water at atmospheric pressure and at room temperature. Deionised water is used in accordance with the RILEM standards. The second test is to measure the rate of water absorption due to capillary suction in the mortar. The capillary test was carried out in accordance with BS EN 1925; 1999 [11]. Both of these tests were carried out on unsaturated cubes, which were placed in contact with water. The water is under atmospheric pressure only.

6.2.2 Bulk Density and Real Density
The density of a material is a measure of the degree of consolidation of a solid. Density investigates the grain packing of the material and therefore can inform of the chemical resistance also due to the closeness of the particles [12]. Bulk and real densities are important in assessing the extent of some forms of decay in the mortar and in determining the extent to which the pore space can be filled by an impregnation treatment RILEM

Bulk Density (also called Apparent Density) is the ratio of the dry mass to the bulk volume of the sample, or the volume of all solids in the cube. Bulk Density is expressed in kilograms per cubic metre.

Real Density is the volume mass of the impermeable material, measured as a ratio of the dry mass of the sample to the bulk volume of the sample. Real Density is also expressed in kilograms per cubic metre. Both of these tests were carried out according to the RILEM standards.

6.2.3 Porosity
Porosity is the ratio of the volume of pores accessible to water to the bulk volume of the sample. It is generally expressed as a percent. It gives the total number of voids in the mortar. Porosity of the mortar is very important as it affects the durability of the mortar. This test can therefore be useful in assessing the water absorption in mortars and therefore assess the durability also.

It is assumed for this project that the pores are interconnected in the mortar. Consequently, the total porosities and open porosities are equal. As the RHA has very small particles, the pores could be filled by the RHA and therefore the porosity may vary with the varying proportions of RHA in the mixes. In this project the porosity was obtained from the bulk and real density results using a simple formula [13].

6.2.4 Shrinkage
The shrinkage of mortar is an important test in the analysis of mortars as it can be detrimental if the shrinkage is too great. The bond between the mortar and the masonry can be broken and so does not perform the desired function. The rate of shrinkage is dependent on humidity, temperature and other atmospheric variables. The amount of shrinkage is dependent on the amount of water in the mortar during mixing. Lime putty generally has high shrinkage due to the amount of water already in the putty, and also the non-hydraulic nature of the putty.

6.2.5 Compressive Strength
Compressive strength is the load per unit area under which a sample fails. In mortars the compressive strength is related to the amount of hydraulic set in the mortar. This hydraulic set also relates to the durability of the mortar [12]. Therefore, the lime putty, which sets mainly due to carbonation, has relatively low compressive strengths in comparison with other lime mortars. As RHA has certain pozzolanic properties and sets by hydraulic set, the aim is to see what effect the RHA has on the mortar. In this test the cubes were tested in compression to determine the maximum load they could carry before failure occurred.

6.2.6 Flexural Strength
The Flexural strength is a test of the flexibility of the mortar. Flexural strength is important for mortars as it allows movement without the necessity for expansion joints. Generally, the more hydraulic the mortar, the less flexible it is. The flexibility for lime putty is generally greater than that of non-hydraulic lime mortars and so this project will observe the effect RHA has on the lime putty mortar. The centre-point loading method [14] was used to determine the strength. As the standard used is for cement, the modifications for lime, from BS EN 459-2; 5.1.2, are used.

6.3 Testing Standards

The standards used in the testing for this project were the RILEM standards and the BS/BS EN standards. The BS standards for mortars are generally modified cement standards and so there are very few specific standards for mortars. For this reason, some of the RILEM standards were used instead of the BS or BS EN. For compression and

flexural strengths the BS EN 196-1: 1994 was used with the modifications for mortars. For the capillary suction, BS EN 1925: 1999, for use on stone, was used. The RILEM standards were used for the densities tests, porosity and water absorption tests. This was due to the lack of suitable standards in BS/BS EN. For the capillary test the duration between readings was adjusted so to accommodate a faster rate of absorption of water in mortar, in comparison to stone. The standard used for mixing lime putty was BS 6463-99 (part 103)

6.4 Testing Procedures

6.4.1 Water Absorption Test
As stated above, there are no suitable standards in the BS/BS EN codes. Therefore the RILEM standards were used.

Apparatus • Oven maintained at 105 + 5°C • Water Basin • Steel Ribs • Weighing Scales accurate to 0.01g

Fig 6.1, Oven at 105°C + 5°C


1. After 35 days of hardening, the cube was placed in the oven at 105°C and left for 24 hours. 2. Once the cubes were completely dry the cube was removed from the oven and left to cool to room temperature. 3. The cubes were weighed (W ) and then submersed in deionised

water fully. The cubes were rested on raised steel ribs so each surface of the cube was exposed to the water. 4. The cubes were left in the water for 24 hours and weighed. This weight recorded and the cubes immersed again in the water. 5. The cubes were weighed again after a few hours to check if the cubes were saturated (i.e. had they absorbed any more water). 6. Once the cubes were saturated, they were weighed again to get the saturated weight of the cubes (W ).

Notes The cubes had droplets of water on the surface after being removed from the tank. These were removed by blotting the surfaces of the cube with a wet cloth, so not to absorb some of the pore water in the pores on the surface.

The first set of cubes were removed from the oven after 24 hours, weighed and then placed back in the oven for a further 24 hours and weighed again, to ensure they were fully dried. The cubes were found to be completely dry after 24 hours and so this time was decided on for sufficient drying of the cubes.

6.4.2 Capillary Suction
As stated above there are no standards for capillary suction for mortars, therefore the standards for stone are used (BS EN 1925: 1999).

Apparatus • Oven maintained at 105 + 5°C • Water Basin • Steel Ribs • Weighing Scales accurate to 0.01g • Stopwatch with accuracy of 1 second • Ru ler Method

1. The cubes were dried in an oven for 24 hours, at a constant temperature of 105°C, after 35 days of hardening. 2. Once completely dry the cubes were removed from the oven and allowed to cool to room temperature. 3. The cubes were then placed in the water basin on the steel ribs, the non-trowelled side is then submersed in the water to a depth of approximately 3mm + 1mm. 4. The cube is left in the water for a minute and then removed.

5. The wet face of the cube is blotted with a damp cloth to remove excess water on the surface before being weighed and the wet mass recorded. 6. This procedure is then repeated for varying intervals up to 60 minutes.


The water level was maintained by measuring the depth of water at regular intervals and replacing any absorbed water. Unlike the recommendations of the standards which maintain consistency by having a constant flow of water in and out of the tray. In the laboratory, these conditions are impractical to implement and therefore this more convenient, alternative method was employed.

Also suggested in the standards was to continue the tests for as long as 1440 minutes. This suggested time is for stone and therefore, for mortar, the more practical time was 60 minutes.

Fig.6.2 Capillary Suction tray

6.4.3 Bulk and Real Density/Porosity
These tests were conducted in accordance with RILEM [13].

Apparatus • Oven maintained at 105 + 5°C • Weighing scales with accuracy of 0.01g • Hydrostatic weighing scales accurate to 0.01g • Evacuation vessel


1. The cubes were dried in an oven for 24 hours until a constant mass was achieved (m )

2. The cubes were then placed in the evacuation vessel under water and a vacuum placed on the vessel 3. The cubes were left in the vessel under vacuum for 24 hours 4. After this period the vessel was returned to atmospheric pressure and the cubes left submerged for a further 24 hours 5. The cubes were removed and the hydrostatic weight measured (m )

(under water) 6. The cubes are dried with a damp cloth and weighed again at atmospheric pressure (m ), whilst still saturated

The values for bulk and real density were calculated from these results. The porosity results were also calculated from these results. For the calculations it is assumed that all of the pores are linked and so the open porosity is equal to the total porosity.

6.4.4 Shrinkage
The shrinkage test monitors how much a prism of mortar shrinks over time. Shrinkage is generally related to the amount of water in the mortar, as shrinkage occurs due to the unused water leaving the mix. This test simply requires the prisms to be set up under a shrinkage gauge, accurate to 0.02mm, and monitored over time. The gauges are placed in the curing room to avoid fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The curing room maintains a humidity of 50% 60% and temperature of 15°C 20°C. A graph is then drawn up using simple equations so the mixes can be compared easily.

Fig 6.3, Shrinkage Gauge

6.4.5 Compressive Strength
Some standards suggest the cubes being saturated, but as these cubes are lime putty submersing them in water would hinder the hardening as it would restrict the carbonation of the lime putty. This test was performed according to the BS 196-1 [13]. The cubes are placed in the centre of the plate in the testing machine and a uniformly distributed load is applied. This load is continuously increased until failure occurs.

Method 1. Cross sectional area of the cube measured and cube placed in the centre of the plate. 2. The cube was then continuously loaded at a very low rate until failure stress, F, was noted. The stress rate on the machine was manually controlled so to get a more accurate value as the mortar cubes are so weak.

Although it is stated earlier that the testing began after 35 days of hardening, it was in fact closer to 50 days after placement in the moulds. This is due to the limited number of cubes and prisms made. There were a number of non-destructive tests performed on the cubes before crushing. The results from these tests are directly compared with other results that were taken on 28, 35 or 56 day strength. This must be kept in mind when comparing the different mortars.

6.4.6 Flexural Strength

As there are no standards for mortars in particular, the standards for cement were employed, as in above (BS 196-1) [14]. The centre-point loading technique was also used [14]. The apparatus required is simply a flexural testing rig with two bars on the bottom 100 mm apart and a bar above in the middle between these bars. The load is then applied to the prism, through the top bar, steadily until failure occurs.

Fig 6.4, Flexural Testing machine

Method 1. Place the prism across the two lower bars at a right angle to them. 2. The top bar is then wound down on top of the prism. 3. The load is steadily applied to the prism until failure stress is reached and the maximum load noted.

Fig 6.5, Flexural Strength Test

6.5 Key Equations for Calculation of Results

6.5.1 Water Absorption Test

Expression for calculating the water absorbed:

(%) (6.1)

6.5.2 Capillary Suction Test

The water absorption coefficient [12] (by capillary suction) is expressed as:

2 0.5

(g/m .s ) (6.2)

6.5.3 Densities and Porosity Tests

Bulk Density (δ) is given by the equation where the dry mass is divided by the bulk volume [12]


Real Density (δ ), given by dividing the dry mass by the impermeable volume [12]


( g/cm ) (6.4)

Porosity (P), assuming that total porosity and open porosity are equal, this equation will give a value for porosity [11]

P= (%) (6.5)

6.5.4 Shrinkage Test

The shrinkage results were simply the amount (mm) the samples shrunk over time (days) and a graph drawn up of this.

6.5.5 Compressive Strength Test

The test was carried out on three cubes from each of the mixes to get a more accurate result, when the averages of the three were taken. The compressive strength was then calculated using the formula:

(Mpa) 2 (6.6) Where F is the failure load in Newtons, and A, being the area expressed in mm . R is

calculated to three significant figures.

6.5.6 Flexural Strength Test

Three prisms were used for each mix, as above in compression; the following equation is used to calculate the flexural strength. R =


Where R is flexural strength (N/mm or MPa), b is the side of the square section (mm), F is
f f

the load applied to the middle of the prism at failure (N) and l is the distance between the supports (mm)


7.1 Water Absorption Test
This test was completed after 35 days of maturing in the curing chamber; it was the first of the non-destructive tests to be completed. The test was carried out in according to the method outlined in chapter six. The cubes were submerged in the water until a constant weight was obtained and then the final, saturated weight was measured. The amount of water absorbed was then measured and given as a percentage of the saturated weight. A bar chart was drawn using excel showing the percentage water absorption for each mix.

7.1.1 Results

Fig 7.1, Water Absorption Results

7.1.2 Discussion

As seen in the bar chart above, the water absorption increases with the increasing proportions of RHA added. Lime putty is generally more porous and permeable than other hydraulic limes due to the excess water in the lime putty after slaking. When RHA is added to the lime putty, it absorbs a lot of the water in the mix and so water must be added to the mortar to make it more workable and easier to compact into the moulds. Some of this extra water is used in the hydration of the RHA. However, any of the idle water is then expelled from the mortar during its maturing and therefore resulting in shrinkage. As the amount of RHA in each mix rises, the amount of water that is added also rises. This extra water leaves voids in the mortar when it is expelled from the mortar during the maturing and also the drying processes.

This water absorption also applies to other fluids and gases. The absorption of gases such as carbon dioxide can help to speed up the carbonation process, resulting in the mortar hardening more quickly.

7.1.3 Conclusion

The increased water absorption can be beneficial to the mortar but not if the absorption is too great, as in the 75 % RHA mix. There is too much free water available in the 75 % mix and this could affect other properties of the mortar.

7.2 Capillary Suction Test
This test was carried out on three cubes from each mix as specified in chapter six. The cubes were placed in the tray for varying time intervals, starting at one minute up to one hour. The cubes were weighed at these intervals to measure the amount of water absorbed by the cubes in the previous time interval. These results were used to calculate values which can be graphed. Below is an example of one set of results and calculations:

Table 7.1, Example of Results from Capillary Suction Test

Lime Putty Sand Water

800 g 2400 g ~20 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA Sand Water 600 g 200 g 2400 g 80 g (+30 g)

Lime Putty RHA Sand Water

400 g 400 g 2400 g 230 g

Amount Material
Lime Putty RHA Sand Water 200 g 600 g 2400 g 310 g

Sieve size (µm)
5000 2360 1180 600 425 300 150 75 pass
50% RHA Mix Cube 2
Time (sec) Area

% ret
0.5 19.4 23.4 27.2 13.2 7.4 5.8 1.3 1.8

(m )

Weight of Water (g)

Square root Time

(sec )

Water Absorption (g/A)

7.2.1 Results

Fig 7.2, Capillary Suction for all four mixes

7.2.2 Discussion

As seen in the graph, the pure lime putty (0% RHA Mix) was not as linear as the other mixes; this could be due to the larger sized pores in this mortar. In the mixes with RHA, the RHA will fill a number of the gaps and so will result in smaller pores in the end. A large difference can be seen between the pure lime putty and the 25% RHA mix. A similar difference can be seen between 25% mix and the 50% mix. Even though the 50% mix had higher water absorption than the 0% and the 25% mixes, the capillary results for the 50% mix are far lower. This could be due to a few reasons; the high water absorption will show a relatively large number of pores, but they may not be connected throughout the mortar. The proportion of RHA will have an effect on the pores as it will fill a lot of the gaps in between the aggregate and the binder. Another factor affecting the capillary suction would be the added water to the mortar at the mixing stage. Due to the high

proportion of RHA there would not be a huge amount of free water after hydration of the RHA was fulfilled.

The 0% mix might not have the same volume of pores that the other mixes do but the pores are probably interconnected and this is the reason for the rapid saturation of the cube due to capillary suction. These cubes were saturated after approximately 30 minutes; whereas the other cubes were not saturated even after 60 minutes, apart from the 75% mix.

The 75% mix was quite disappointing as these cubes were saturated after approximately 45 minutes. As the main ingredient of the mortar was the RHA, which has such small particles, a lot of water was required to, firstly hydrate the RHA, and secondly make the mix more workable and compactable. As there is so much water added to the mix, there is the possibility of more free water. This free water, when not used in the mortar, evaporates, leaving very small capillary pores. These capillary pores, if interconnected, can cause a high capillary suction. This high water content could be a contributory factor in the high rate of water absorption in this mix also.

7.2.3 Conclusion

The best results in this test were the 50% mix as it absorbed nearly half of what any other mix did. The test did show that the addition of RHA does have a positive effect on the mortar. It did display a more positive effect when in smaller proportions when the setting method of carbonation is more dominant, rather than hydraulic setting. This could be one of the reasons why the 75% mix did not display the same positive effects that the rest of the RHA mixes displayed.

7.3 Bulk and Real Density Test
This test was carried out on 3 cubes from each mix. After the test was completed and results obtained, the values for the bar charts were calculated from the equations (6.3) and (6.4).

7.3.1 Results

Fig 7.3, Bulk Density for all four mixes

Fig 7.4, Real Density for all four mixes

7.3.2 Discussion

It can be seen from the above charts that the 75% mix shows the greatest difference between the bulk and real densities indicating that this mortar has the greatest amount of pores. The bulk density results indicate that the pure lime putty has the densest microstructure followed by the 25% mix and 50% mix. The 75% mix has very low bulk density in comparison to the other mixes. When these results are compared with the results from the study by Pavia and Treacy [15], the bulk density results for the pure lime putty are a bit higher in this project than in [15]. The real density results however are only very slightly higher. This could be due to a number of reasons. The sand used in this study might not be the same and also the testing procedure could also have differed from the procedures used in this study. However, the mixes with RHA included show very positive results when compared with the fat lime, feebly-hydraulic and OPC mortars tested in [15]. Both the bulk and the real densities for 25% and 50% mixes are far greater than both the feebly-hydraulic and OPC mortars. Again this could be due to the differing sand used or the testing methods.

7.3.3 Conclusion

The results from [15] are useful for comparison, but they will be different due to the reasons listed above. Therefore it is better to compare between the four mixes made for this project as there has been a trial mix of pure lime putty made with the same sand and mixing techniques used throughout all of the tests.

7.4 Porosity Test
These results were calculated using the bulk and real densities using the equation (6.5)

7.4.1 Results

Fig 7.5, Porosity Results for all four mixes

7.4.2 Discussion

As can be seen from the chart, the porosity can be related to the amount of water added during mixing; and therefore the amount of free water available in each mortar. The highest porosity is the 75% mix which had the most water added during the mixing stage. The lowest is the pure lime putty which had very little water added to the mix due to the high water content of the putty to begin with. The small amount of water added to this mix was to counteract the dryness of the sand used. A lack of pore water in the sand could cause the sand to absorb some of the water from the mix. The 25% and 50% mixes showed very similar porosity results. Even though the 50% contained a lot more water, the 25% mix was the first mix made, therefore the compaction and packing of the 25% mix might not be as good as the 50% mix was.

7.4.3 Conclusion

Even though the porosity in the pure lime putty is lesser than any of the other mixes, because the RHA has such fine particles and fills voids between aggregate, it can be concluded that the pores are larger, but not as numerous as the other mixes. And also the capillary results show that the 25% mix and the 50% mix show the best performance under capillary suction. This shows that even though they have the largest number of pores, they are smaller and not as interconnected. The 75% mix has poor capillary results and high porosity, which indicates a high number of interconnected pores. This is bad for mortars as it could affect the strength and other properties of the mortar.

7.5 Shrinkage Tests
These tests were performed on three prisms from each mix. The results then drawn up on excel.

7.5.1 Results

Fig 7.6, Shrinkage Results for all four mixes

7.5.2 Discussion

As stated in chapter six, shrinkage is related to the amount of water in the mortar, and the expulsion of the water during the drying causes shrinkage in the mortar. The 50% mix has the highest shrinkage result which indicates a large amount of free water in the mix.

As displayed above, in porosity results, the 50% mix was compacted to a greater extent and so even though the shrinkage is greatest it still had densities comparable with the other mixes. The 75% mix also has very high shrinkage values due to the amount of unused water in the mix. The 25% mix has very low shrinkage results due to it being the first mix, and an uncertainty existed over the amount of water to be added to the mix. Therefore the mix had a minimal amount of water added and so very little free water existed; resulting in low shrinkage values.

7.5.3 Conclusions

The addition of RHA to the mortar means the addition of water and therefore an increase in shrinkage, if the water added is not used in the hydration of the RHA. This is the reason why the 75% mix shrinkage is a bit lower than the 50% mix as is has a lot more RHA in the mix and so will require a lot of water to hydrate it and also make it more workable. If the 25% mix was being made again more water would have been added and so there could have been more shrinkage than what was displayed in this case.

7.6 Compressive Strength Tests
This test was performed on three cubes from each mix after approximately 48 – 50 days. The results for compressive strength were calculated from equation (6.6).

7.6.1 Results

Fig 7.7, Compressive Strengths for all four mixes

7.6.2 Discussion

As the lime putty sets entirely by carbonation, the initial 35 day curing period would not be sufficient to allow adequate setting for the pure lime putty. Even though these were tested at 50 days, a lot of the time, after the 35 days, the cubes were submerged in water or in the oven. This would impede the carbonation process substantially. These conditions would however be more favorable to the mixes containing RHA as it sets partially through hydration.

7.6.3 Conclusion

As seen in fig 7.7, the pure lime putty does not withstand compressive loads as well as the other mixes. The 50% mix is over eight times stronger in compression than the pure lime putty. This could be due to a better bond between the aggregates caused by the fine particles in the RHA acting as an additional binder in the mortar. The 25% mix showed good compressive results also being higher than the 75% mix but still lower than the 50% mix. The addition of RHA obviously has a positive effect on the lime putty mortar but the best results can be achieved when the proportion of RHA is kept less than the proportion of lime.

7.7 Flexural Strength Tests
This test was performed on three prisms from each mix. It was carried out after approximately 50 days. The results for flexural strength were obtained from the equation (6.7) after the readings were taken.

7.7.1 Results

Fig 7.8, Flexural Strengths for all four mixes

7.7.2 Discussion

Due to lime putty hardening by carbonation, it generally has a greater flexural strength than other hydraulic binders. Therefore, when hydraulic setting is combined with carbonation, the flexural strength should decrease as it does with feebly-hydraulic mortars. The 25% mix is considerably lower than any of the other mixes. This is most likely due to this mix being the first mix and so very little water was added. The resulting mortar was brittle and the bonds of the mortar were not very strong.

7.7.3 Conclusion

As demonstrated in fig 7.8, the 50% mix has three times the flexural strength the pure lime putty has. As stated above the 25% mix results were quite disappointing due to the reasons given. The 75% mix performed as well as the pure lime putty did. This was probably due to the majority of the binder used being RHA. The setting being mainly hydraulic rather than by carbonation would affect the flexural behaviour of the mortar. The 75% mix acted similarly to an OPC mortar. It can be seen clearly in the 50% mix, that the RHA has a very positive effect on the mortar in this proportion. However if the 25% mix contained more water the results for this mix could have been more encouraging.


8.1 Introduction

The objective of this project was to investigate the effect RHA has on lime mortar when added in varying proportions, and is it a practical material to use in the construction industry. Experimental studies were carried out to demonstrate some of the properties of lime mortar with the addition of RHA and the results compared with feebly hydraulic lime mortar and also a reference mix with no RHA content. The theory of lime and lime mortars was described, followed by a description of the mortar mixes. The testing methods and tests were fully described, and the results were recorded from the testing were analysed using the equations given in chapter six.

8.2 Conclusions
The results obtained in this project show that the addition of RHA to lime putty has a lot of positive effects when added in the right proportions. The reference mix of pure lime putty is the main source of comparison in the project, as the sand used and procedures were consistent throughout all of the mixing and testing, the most accurate comparisons could be made. When comparing the results from this project with other results there are a number of variables which can affect the results. A different type of sand can affect the results, and also the mixing procedure can be different if mixed or tested according to different standards. This is the reason a trial mix of pure lime putty was made using the same aggregate and mixing techniques as the other mixes.

The addition of RHA improved the behaviour of the mortar in almost all of the tests except for the shrinkage test. This is due to the extra water added to the RHA mixes in order to make them more workable. The RHA had a tendency to draw the water from the putty, therefore affecting the workability of the mix. Due to inexperience and lack of knowledge on RHA, the water content could probably be reduced and therefore decrease the shrinkage. The water absorption results were also quite similar to the shrinkage. The amount of water absorption rises with the amount of RHA added to the mortar. This is not necessarily a bad result as the water absorption also applies to absorption of gases such as carbon dioxide. The ability for carbon dioxide to penetrate the mortar means an increase in carbonation of the lime and therefore more rapid hardening of the mortar. as stated in chapter seven, the 25% RHA mix was the first mix made and so not enough water was added to the mix. Due to this some of the results for this mix were a little inaccurate, particularly the flexural strength and shrinkage. it would be expected that if the test for this mix were don again the results would be a bit more consistent and satisfactory.

The results for the 75% mix were disappointing. The flexural strength and compressive strength were lower than both the 50% mix and 25% mix. The shrinkage was the second highest behind the 50% mix. The density of the 75% mix was a lot lower than the two other mixes, and it also had the highest porosity. In shrinkage, the mix was saturated after approximately 30 minutes. One of the possible reasons for these disappointing results is the amount of water in the mix. Due to the high level of RHA a lot of water must be added in order to achieve adequate workability. Another reason for the poor results could be the fact that RHA does not have pozzolanic properties when on its own. The high proportion of RHA in this mix could demonstrate this fact. This would explain the poor results in flexural and compressive strengths. While the high water content would explain the porosity and capillary suction results.

The 50% mix displayed the best results in most of the tests. The compressive strengths are comparable with strong OPC mortars whilst also maintaining very high flexural strengths also. The low capillary suction indicates that the pores are not entirely

interconnected. The only disappointing result from this mix was the shrinkage which was very high in comparison to the pure lime putty mix. This mix showed good density results with very similar porosity results to the 25% mix.

As demonstrated by the results, the addition of RHA to lime putty has very positive effects on the mortar, once the proportions of RHA added are kept relatively small. Particularly the 50% mix which has only one really poor result (shrinkage), and the 25% mix, if carried out again, it is estimated, it could display similarly positive results. As these results show the same good results shown by non-hydraulic limes but with the bad aspects of these lime rectified.

8.3 Recommendation for Further Study

Due to time restrictions and resources, the tests completed gave limited results. However the results obtained were very positive and encouraging, and would warrant further study into this topic.

To get more definitive results, a wider range of mortars must be made with wider variations in mix proportions. The water added should be regulated a bit more with restrictions placed in order to avoid too much water affecting the results. This can only be done after much experimentation.

As there is limited knowledge of RHA and how to use it, a considerable amount of testing and research needs to be carried out in order to understand its behaviour under different circumstances and to get a definitive method for mixing RHA.


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[14] BS 196-1:1995, Methods of Testing cement. Determination of Strength

[15] Pavia S., and Treacy E., (May 2005), A Comparative study of the durability and behaviour of fat lime and feebly-hydraulic lime mortars, Materials and Structures, Unpublished, RILEM

[16] www.buildinglimesforum.org.uk/whyuselime

[17] Brown P., The Need for Lime, source unknown

[18] Silva C.A.R., Barbosa, M.P., Akasaki J.L., Pinto R.C. de A.,(2004) Application of Maturity concept in concrete with RHA addition, International RILEM Conference on the use of Recycled Materials in Buildings and Structures, RILEM, Barcelona.

[19] Hasparyk N.P., Farias L.A., Andrade M.A.S., Bittencourt R.M., (2004) Study of the Influence of Amorphous RHA on Concrete Properties, International RILEM Conference on the use of Recycled Materials in Buildings and Structures, RILEM, Barcelona.

[20] Tashima M.M., Silva C.A.R., Akasaki J.L., Barbosa, M.P., (2004) The Possibility of Adding RHA to Concrete, International RILEM Conference on the use of Recycled Materials in Buildings and Structures, RILEM, Barcelona. [21] Pathan N., March 2005, Rice husk ash enhances concrete, Gulf Construction worldwide, 2005 Edition, Al Hilal Group.

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