Characterization of binders in the historic lime mortars and plasters from 1A Royal Crescent, Bath

Steffan Raw-Rees, Giovanni L A Pesce, Richard J Ball, Enrico Fodde

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Abstract

There is a growing interest in the UK building industry to gain further knowledge of historic mortars. In 2011, permission was given by the Bath Preservation Trust to collect samples of historic lime mortars and plasters from 1A Royal Crescent, Bath. A total of 19 were collected for characterisation from various locations inside the building and grouped into several mix types following preliminary analysis. A representative sample from each group was then chosen for further investigation with optical microscopy at low and high magnification, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive analysis of X-rays (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential thermal analysis / thermal gravimetric analysis (DTA/TGA). After a visual inspection of the established groups, a detailed analysis of the pure binder of the mixes was carried out using pure lime lumps extracted from the specimens. Analysis of the binder was well defined and all the analyses carried out were in agreement. The lime binder contained 64% of calcium carbonate together with some hydraulic compounds and quartz due to the aggregate. Results established that the binder was a natural feebly hydraulic lime and provided useful information required to specify a compatible repair mortar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Building Limes Forum
Volume19
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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