Development of bond strength in hydraulic lime mortared brickwork

  • Zhaoxia Zhou

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The first recorded use of hydraulic lime in construction can be traced back to at least two thousand years ago. Hydraulic lime, produced through either adding pozzolanic materials or calcining clay containing limestone, unlike air lime, can set and harden under water, developing strength through initial hydration reaction and subsequent carbonation. After WWII Portland cement mortars had almost completely replaced lime based mortars in modern construction. However, through conservation and specialist construction the benefits of hydraulic lime are becoming increasingly recognised. To support wider usage of these mortars there is a need for systematic study on the mortar properties and structural performance of lime mortared masonry.This thesis presents findings from a research programme conducted to develop understanding of the mechanical properties of natural hydraulic lime (NHL) mortared brickwork. The work focussed on the flexural strength of NHL mortared brickwork. A variety of material and environmental factors, including lime grade and supplier, mix proportion, sand type and age, have been investigated. In addition the research has completed an in-depth study on the influence of brick absorption characteristics on bond development. The two methods of flexural wall panel and bond wrench testing to establish flexural strength have been compared. In addition to flexural strength, initial shear strength and compressive strength of brickwork has also been investigated.A greater understanding of NHL mortared brickwork performance has been developed through this work. Performance of the brickwork has been related to properties of constituent materials and environmental factors. Recommendations for design performance of materials have been provided.
Date of Award1 Jan 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPete Walker (Supervisor) & Dina D'Ayala (Supervisor)


  • bond strength
  • brickwork
  • hydraulic lime mortar

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