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The word "lime" refers to products derived from burnt (calcined) limestone, such as
quicklime and hydrated lime.

Limestone is a naturally occurring and abundant sedimentary rock consisting of high levels of
calcium and/or magnesium carbonate, and/or dolomite (calcium and magnesium carbonate),
along with small amounts of other minerals.

It is extracted from quarries and underground mines all over the world.

Lime and limestone products are among the oldest materials used by humans for a very
diverse range of applications.

Today these products serve as an essential building block in every industrial process.

Lime is one of mans oldest and vital chemicals.

The ancient Romans used lime in building and road construction uses which continue to the
present day.

From earliest times, lime has been made by heating limestone (calcium carbonate) to high

This process known as calcining results in Quick lime or calcium oxide.

Hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) is produced by reacting quicklime with sufficient water to
form dry white powder.

While lime is one of the earliest industrial commodities known to man, its production and
uses have grown with the times, and it continues to be one of the earliest building blocks of
modern industry.

Although the cement has replaced lime to a great extent, yet in view of the rising cost it is
quite likely that lime will come into prominence again.
After processing, products derived from
limestone have the unique ability to return
to their original chemical form.

The lime cycle consists of first burning of

limestone to form quicklime. Hydrated
lime can then be produced by adding
water to the quicklime.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or from

industrial combustion processes react with
hydrated lime to convert it back to
This cycle of sustainability is called the lime cycle.

Lime is not generally found in nature in the free state but it is obtained by burning one of the
following materials:

Limestone found in limestone hills,

Limestone builders found in the beds of old rivers
Kankar found below ground
Shells of sea animals
White chalk is pure limestone and kankar is an impure lime stone.

Properties of good quality lime, which makes it suitable for use as an engineering material

Easily Workable
Provides strength to the masonry
Possess good plasticity
Offers good resistance to moisture
Stiffens early
An excellent cement and adheres to the masonry units perfectly
Lime masonry proves durable due to low shrinkage in drying.

Limestone is the most important and abundant sedimentary rock
and is formed by the compaction of the remains of coral animals
and plants on the bottoms of oceans around the world.

Limestone is composed of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate) and/or the mineral
dolomite (calcium and magnesium carbonate) along with small amounts of other minerals.

There are three distinct types of limestone which are defined by their magnesium carbonate
(MgCO3) concentrations:

Dolomitic limestone consists of 35 to 46% magnesium carbonate.

Magnesian limestone consists of 5 to 35% magnesium carbonate.
High calcium limestone contains less than 5% magnesium carbonate.

Limestone is quarried or mined then crushed and screened to serve a wide variety of
applications including:

pH adjustment (Ag-Lime, water treatment)

Formulated product filler (masonry cements, ready mix concrete, asphalt, and joint
Raw material in the production of glass, pulp & paper, portland cement and steel.
Production of stone blocks





It is obtained by calcination (i.e., heating to redness) of comparatively pure lime stone.

It is amorphous in nature, highly caustic and possesses great affinity to moisture.

It is obtained by slacking (i.e., chemical combination of quick lime with water) of quick lime.

It is ordinary pure lime, in white powder form, pavailable in market.

It has got the tendency of absorbing carbonic acid from the atmosphere in presence of
FAT LIME (or High Calcium Lime or Pure Lime or Rich Lime or White
This fat lime is named as high calcium lime, pure lime, rich lime, or white lime.

FAT LIME (or High Calcium Lime or Pure Lime or Rich Lime or White
Lime) contd
It is obtained from the pure limestone, shell and coral.

It absorbs carbon dioxide when it is left in air, and gets transferred into calcium carbonate.
When compared with quick lime, the volume of fat lime gets increased to about 2 - 2
1/2 times.
This lime is used for various purposes as white washing, plastering of walls, as a lime mortar
with sand for pointing in masonry work, as a lime mortar with surkhi for thick masonry walls,
foundations etc.,

HYDRAULIC LIME (or Water Lime)

The composition of the hydraulic lime is different from quick lime;

It contains a definite quantity of clay which gives its hydraulic property.

Hydraulic lime consists of 70-80% of CaO and clay about 15 30%.

Hydraulic lime has the capacity to set and harden even under water, where the quick lime
cant able to do it and hence also known as water lime.

Hydraulic lime is obtained by burning the limestone containing rich in clay, or adding clay
materials to the lime stone while burning.

Depending upon the hydraulicity, it is divided into feebly hydraulic, moderately hydraulic, and
CLASS A (Eminently Hydraulic Lime)
CLASS B (Semi Hydraulic OR Moderately Hydraulic Lime)
CLASS C (Non-Hydraulic Lime)
CLASS A LIME (Eminently Hydraulic Lime)
This lime contains about 25% clay content and sets readily under water within a day or so.

This lime slakes with difficulty.

The mortar and lime concreted prepared from this lime is very useful for construction under
water or in damp places.
CLASS B LIME (Semi Hydraulic or Moderately Hydraulic Lime)
Semi-Hydraulic lime contains about 15% clay content and sets under water at a slower rate
within a week or so.

The mortar and concrete prepared from this lime is strong and used for superior type of
masonry work.

CLASS C LIME (Non-Hydraulic Lime)p

This lime contains about 7.5% clay content and is prepared from pure lime stone.

This slakes vigorously within few minutes but does not set under water.

This is used for white-washing and colour washing.

Item Fat Lime Hydraulic Lime
Composition It is obtained from It is obtained from
comparatively pure limestones containing 5%-
carbonate of lime 30% clay and some amount
containing only 5% of of ferrous oxide.
clayey impurities.
Slaking Action Slakes vigorously, volume is Slakes slowly and its volume
increased to about 2- is only slightly increased.
2.5times the volume of The slaking is not
quick lime. pth
accompanied by heat and
The slaking is accompanied sound.
by sound and heat. Sets under water.
Sets slowly in presence of It combines with water and
air. forms crystals of hydrated
It absorbs carbon dioxide tricalcium aluminate and
from air and forms calcium dicalcium silicate.

Item Fat Lime Hydraulic Lime
Hydraulicity Does not possess hydraulic It possess hydraulic property.
Perfectly white in colour Its colour is not as white as
fat lime.
Strength It is not very strong. It is strong.
Hence, it cannot be used It can be used where
where strength pthis required. strength is required.
Uses For Plastering, For preparing mortar for
whitewashing, etc., thick walls and damp places
For preparing mortar with etc.,
sand or surkhi

Lime Mortar USES of LIME
Lime Mortar has extensively used in construction work from times immemorial.

Lime Mortar is used as a building medium in brick, stone and other masonry work as well as
for plastering and pointing.

The composition of the lime mortar for building work depends on:
The type of masonry
Location of the work
Condition of exposure to weather or Soil condition
In case of hydraulic structures, weather condition under water
Lime plastering serves the following functions.

To smoothen the surface of masonry

To protect the masonry surface from weathering
To cover unevenness of masonry
To prepare surface for decorative treatment

Whitewashing USES of LIME
Whitewashing is applied on internal and external plastered surface as a decorative feature.

Apart from decorative effect, the white washed outer surface reflects away the suns rays
and reduces the heating effect.

Lime Concrete
In situations where quick setting and high strength are not required, lime concrete serves as
an economical substitute.

Lime Concrete can be used for foundation, terraced roofing, flooring, ditches for sullaged
water etc.,

Lime Sand Bricks

It is a pearl gray brick like dry pressed burnt clay brick.

This can be used for low cast constructions.

It is used as a chemical raw material in the purification of water and for sewage treatment.

Following are the various uses of Lime: USES of LIME
It is used as a matrix for concrete.
It is used as a binding material in mortars for stoneware and also in bedding and
jointing brickwork of low strength.
It is used for plastering walls, ceilings etc.,
It is employed for white washing and as a base coat for distempers
It is used for knotting of timber work before painting
It is used for production of artificial stone, lime-sand bricks, foam silicate products
When mixed with Portland cement, the lime-cement mortar attains such valuable
properties that it replaces the costly cement plaster and serves as a plasticizer.
It is used as a flux in the manufacture of steel.
Eminently hydraulic lime can be used for masonry work below ground level.
It is used in the manufacture of paints.
It is used for stabilizing the soils.
It is employed for creating good sanitary conditions in foul, damp and filthy places.

Calcination and Quick Lime
Calcination is the process of heating limestone to redness in contact with air. Due to
calcination, the moisture and carbon dioxide are removed from the limestone and the
remaining product is known as lime: its chemical composition is oxide of calcium (CaO). The
Chemical reaction is as follows:
CaCo3 = CaO +CO2
(Limestone) (Lime)

The lime obtained by calcining pure limestone is called Quick Lime (CaO). It has great affinity
for moisture. It is amorphous, (i.e. not crystalline) and highly caustic having no affinity for the
carbonic acid.
Lump Lime
It is the lime obtained in lumps after burning or calcination in kilns.

Fat Lime
It is that lime which has high calcium oxide content and can set and become hard only in the
presence of carbon dioxide(from atmosphere). This type of lime is perfectly white in colour.

Hydraulic Lime
Lime containing small quantities of silica, alumina and iron oxide, which are in chemical
combination with calcium oxide and can set and become hard even in the absence of CO2
and can set under water.
Slaked Lime/Hydrate of Lime
It is formed by the absorption of water by quick lime and is the hydrated oxide of calcium,
Ca(OH)2. The Chemical reaction is as follows:
CaO + H2O Ca(OH)2 + heat
(Quick lime) (Hydrated Lime)

A dry powder obtained by treating quick lime with water, just sufficient to convert the lime
into calcium hydroxide is called hydrated lime.

A plastic mass of lime which results from the slaked lime in the presence of a sufficient
quantity of water is called Putty.

A thin pourable suspension of slaked lime in water is called milk of lime.

It is the process of chemical combination of quick lime with required quantity of water for
killing the heat and getting into powder form for use.

It is the hardening of lime which has been mixed to a paste with water. It is quite different
from mere drying. In case of drying, the water evaporates only and no setting action takes

It is the property due to which lime (or cement) will set in damp places or underwater or in
thick masonry walls where there is no free access of air.

Hydraulicity is due to the crystallizing energy of the aluminates and silicate of Lime.

Pure limestone (such as white chalk and marble) and also a mechanical mixture of limestone
and sand do not possess hydraulic property

Following operations are involved in the manufacturing of lime:

Collection of raw materials

Burning of Limestone
Slaking of burnt lime.

Collection of Raw Materials:

The limestones of required quality are collected and stacked in sufficient quantity near the site
of manufacture of lime so as to produce lime continously.

Pure limestone is used for manufacturing quick lime and its impure forms may be used for
producing other types of lime. For Fat lime, the % of impurities in limestone should not exceed
5%. Kankar limestone (containing about 30% clay in the form of alumina and silica and greyish in
colour) is used for the preparation of hydraulic lime.

The following kinds of fuels may be used for calcining limestones:

wood, coal, coke, coal gas, charcoal, oil etc.,

Burning of Limestones
Lime stones are burnt in either clamps or kilns.

For small quantity of limestone, burning is done in a clamp.

Whenever the lime is desired intermittently or the supply of stones or fuel is not regular then
the intermittent kiln is used.

Wood or charcoal can be used as a fuel in continous kiln.

1. Clamps:

For small quantity of limestone, burning is done in a clamp. On a clear surface about 5 meters in
diameter, layers of broken limestones and fuel are laid to form a heap about 4 meters high.

First and the last layers should be of the fuel. In case coal is used as fuel, it could be well mixed
up with limestones and lay in a heap.

Sides of the heap, which incline slightly inwards, are plastered over with mud to stop loss of

A little opening at the top is provided for draught. The clamp is then fired at the bottom.

Disappearance of blue flame at the top is an indication of the burning of lime having

The clamp is then allowed to cool down and pieces of quick lime are then handpicked.

Clamp burning of lime is uneconomical as the fuel consumption is more due to loss of heat and
as some lime powder is lost in fuel ash.

Also the quick lime carries any admixture of ash.

2. Kiln for large quantity of lime, permanent structures of kilns are constructed.

A. Intermittent kiln:

Whenever the lime is desired intermittently or the supply of stones or fuel is not regular then
the intermittent kiln is used.

An intermittent kiln in which the fuel is not in contact with the lime.

Big pieces of limestones are used to make a sort of archon with which smaller pieces of
limestone are loaded.

Fire is lighted below the arch formed with big pieces of limestone.

It is only the flame not the fuel that comes in contact with the stones.

Burning should be gradual so that the stones forming the arch do not get split.

It normally takes two days to burn and one day to cool the charge.
B. Continuous kiln:

Wood or charcoal could be used as a fuel.

Limestones or kankars free from earth or impurities are broken into small pieces to about 5cm

Alternate layers of 75 mm stone and 6mm coal dust are fed into the kiln.

Top should be covered with mud, leaving a hole of 0.5 meter diameter in the center.

Burning proceeds continuously and the kiln is not allowed to cool down.

Burnt material is drawn out daily and fresh charge of stone and fuel is added from top.

Over burnt pieces are discarded whereas the under burnt ones are reloaded into the kiln.

Remaining material is slaked or ground in grinding mill for use.

Precautions in burning of limestone:

Before burning the limestones, they should be broken into suitable sizes.
Quantity of fuel to be used should be carefully worked out.
The limestones should be gadually heated (sudden heating may blow the stones to pieces due
to quick release of moisture and carbon dioxide)
The complete burning may be adjusted by the bright red color of the flame.
Over-burning and under-burning of limestone should be avoided (overburnt or underburnt
stone does not slake and is known as dead lime.)

The objects of slaking are:
To ensure soundness (i.e. bring about volumetric stability)
To ensure plasticity.
The process of adding water to quick lime is called slaking of Lime. It is an important process in
rendering lime suitable for use and as such great care should be taken to slake the lime.

Lime should be slaked soon after it is drawn from the kiln, preferably within one week of its

The burnt lime or quick lime can be slaked in the form of dry powder or in the form of a cream
paste called putty.

The common methods employed for slaking are enumerated and described below:

1. Air Slaking
2. Basket Slaking
3. Platform Slaking
4. Tank Slaking

Air Slaking:
Lime is spread over a non-porous platform, it absorbs moisture from the air and slakes
slowly into a powder form.
This method is unsuitable since complete slaking is not obtained.

Basket Slaking:
In this method, the quick lime is broken into pieces (size not more than 50mm) and
filled in a basket.
The basket is then immersed in clean water for a few seconds. It is then taken out and
thrown on a pacca platform in the form of a heap; the quick lime crumbles and falls
into powder form.
This method is employed for slaking semi-hydraulic limes.

This method is also not very suitable as complete slaking is not obtained.

Platform Slaking:
It is usually carried out on clear, dry, masonry platform.
Large lumps of quick lime are broken to less than 50mm size. They are spread in a
150mm thick layer on the platform and water is then sprinkled over it from a
weathering can fitted with a rose.

Platform Slaking: (contd) SLAKING of LIME
The lime slakes and gets reduced to powder form.
During the process of sprinkling water, the heap of lime is turned over no more water
is used than that required for the lime to retain its powder form.
Slaked lime is then screened through a sieve of 3 meshes to a cm to remove unburnt
lumps, unslaked material or other foreign matter.
The screened lime can be used in the preparation of mortar.

Tank Slaking:
Two brick-lined tanks are normally required to be constructed.
one of the tanks is generally constructed at ground level and is 45cm deep, the other
tank is made adjacent to first one but at a lower level below the ground usually 60 to
75 cm deep.
The tank at the ground level is partly filled with water and sufficient quicklime is
added gradually to fill up the tank to about half the level of water.
It may be noted that lime should be always added to water and not water to lime.
The lime is then stirred properly and no part of lime is allowed to get exposed above
As the lime slakes with the evolution of heat, the temperature of water will begin to
increase and water begins to boil.

Tank Slaking: (contd) SLAKING of LIME
Thus, when the required temperature (85 degree Celsius to 98 degree Celsius) for
slaking is reached, additions of lime and water are made in small quantities with
constant stirring so as to maintain the required temperature.
The operation is continued until the required quantity of lime or whole of the lime has
been slaked.
The lime in the state of suspension (or the milk of lime) is then allowed to pass
through a sieve of 3 meshes to a cm flow into the second tank built at lower level.
The particles of lime settle down and water gets partly evaporated and partly
absorbed in ground and the remaining surplus water is removed.
The putty, prior to use, is allowed to mature in the tank for 2 to 3 days; by doing so,
the complete slaking is ensured and the workability of the putty improves.

Determining the Slaking Nature of Lime

For finding the slaking nature of lime. In a bucket, put two or three lumps or an equal amount in
case of granular lime.
Add sufficient water to barely cover the lime and note how long it takes for slaking to begin
(when the lumps start crumbling).
If the slaking begins in less than 5 minutes, the lime is quick slaking; if it takes from 5 30

minutes, it is a medium slaking and if it takes over 30 minutes, it is slow slaking.
The following tests are generally performed on limestones:
Physical Tests
Chemical Tests

Physical Tests

These tests are based on the texture, appearance, colour and odour of limestones.

Limestones except crystalline variety used in the lime and cement trades are
amorphous in texture

deposits of chalk and fat limes have white or whitish brown or grey colour.

Magnesian limestones are very heavy and hard.

A good hydraulic limestone has white (rarely) blueish grey; yellow or brown colour.

It has a compact texture with an irregular dull fracture. The freshly fractured surface of
hydraulic limestones gives a clayey taste and an earthy smell.

Chemical Tests

These chemical tests are classified as:

Heat test
Hydraulic test slaking
Acid test

Heat Test:

This test is usually carried out in open and temperature maintained is 1500degree Celsius
The limestone disintegrates giving CO2.
Due to removal of CO2 from sample it loses its weight and this loss in weight gives an indication
of the presence of CaCO3 in the sample.
For every loss in weight of 44 parts there must be 56 parts of lime by weight.

Hydraulic Test Slaking

When quick lime is brought into contact with water it hydrates and this process is slaking.
During slaking considerable amount of heat is released due to which quick lime crumbles to
If the slaking is vigorous it indicates that the quantity of calcium content is high. In hydraulic lime

the slaking action is very slow.
Chemical Tests (contd)

Acid Test:

The purpose of this test is to assess the classification and calcium carbonate content of Lime.

Place a teaspoon of powdered lime in a test tube and pour dilute hydrochloric acid into it.
Stir the contents well with a glass rod and leave the test tube with the contents for 24 hours;
If effervescence is in abundance, it indicates high percentage of calcium carbonate.

If the content of calcium carbonate is less, there will be less effervescence and more
formation of residue; this indicates that the limestone is impure or hydraulic.

The formation of a thick jel, which will not flow even when the test tube is turned
upside down shows eminently hydraulic lime.

If the jel is not quite thick and tends to flow when the test tube is tilted, it indicates
feebly hydraulic lime.

Absence of jel indicates non-hydraulic or fat lime.

The quicklime soon after delivery, should be slaked or run into putty otherwise it will deteriorate
when stored.

The deterioration is caused due to the action of the atmospheric moisture in the unslaked limes,
which causes it air slaked.

The lime thus attacked loses a great deal of its useful properties and is considered unsuitable for
sound construction.

Lime can be safely stored in the form of lime putty for a maximum of 14 days and must be
consumed within this period.

If unslaked lime is to be stored for a short time, it should be piled up and covered with a blanket
of lime powder to exclude moist air.

In case of storing of lime for a long period cannot be avoided, it should be stored in closed store
houses properly insulated against the penetration of moisture from the atmosphere and from
the ground below.

Hydrated lime can be safely stored for considerable time without deterioration if the bags are
kept in a dry place.
While handling lime, the following precautions should be taken:

As the dust from hydrated lime may be irritating, goggles for eyes and respirators for
nose and throat protection should be used.

Skin protecting cream may be provided to the workers as quick lime particles may
cause burn on skin.

Also oil should be applied daily on the skin otherwise skin cracks may develop.

There should be provision of adequate quantity of water, as washing the face and skin
with fresh water reduces the irritations considerably.

Thank You