Properties of hydraulic and non-hydraulic limes for use in construction
The term "lime" comes from the word limestone. Limestone rocks were converted to lime powder by burning (calcining). The process of converting limestone to lime was an old process and it has been well documented, archaeologically. It has been established that the production of lime is the oldest industrial process can"ied out by humankind, dating back thousands of years. In fact, 3650 years ago Moses instructed the people of Israel, after they crossed the Jordan River, to set up large stones and whitewash them with lime and write the laws of God in lime. Lime was the most commonly used cementatious binder until about a century ago, when its use started to decline. It was replaced by Portland cement, a material essentially developed for structural purposes in the era of the industrial revolution. Portland cement has certain advantages over lime. The material develops strength and hardens faster for work to be carried out at a greater pace with better quality control and agreed standards. It has now become the dominant cementitious binder, part of it due to aggressive marketing of the material by the manufacturers. The use of Portland cement in the restoration and conservation of old buildings and structures in the UK over the past few years has resulted in a series of problems and cost millions of Pounds to eradicate. The decline in the use of lime in many countries has not only caused a diminution of its production, but has also contributed to a gradual disappearance of the traditional skills required both to produce a high quality product and to use it in construction. Therefore it is necessary to reintroduce and revive the old tradition of using lime by providing more information about its production and use. At present there are no comprehensive standards or code of practices, British or European to aid engineers and contractors in the use of hydraulic and non hydraulic limes in construction. BS EN 459 (2001) gives guidance on the chemical and physical properties of limes but it does not provide vital information about lime-based mortars e.g. mix proportions, mixing process, bond with masonry units, curing methods and all other necessary aspects to assess in the use of the material in construction. At present it is very easy for engineers, contractors and consultants to misuse lime mortars in new construction or in restoration and conservation of old buildings. Part of the decline in production of lime and reluctance of use in construction is due to the lack of understanding of the material properties and its performance in structures. Therefore it is necessary to examine and revive the old tradition in using lime mortars in construction and look at the new technologies used presently in the production process in order to provide the necessary background and information to aid the use of the material The present study provides a literature review, test results, discussions, conclusions and background information to set up standards in the production and use of hydraulic and non-hydraulic limes and their mortars in the construction of new buildings and the restoration and conservation of old buildings. Hydraulic and non-hydraulic limes have an excellent track record in buildings through history but their use in the UK was missed for some thirty years or more. Part of the reason for undertaking this research programme was to examine the properties of pre-packaged hydraulic limes available in the market at present. The properties of limes vary considerably dependent on the raw materials, composition and manufacturing process. The results of this study showed that there was a great variation in the properties and performance of limes and their mortars. The results also showed that the properties of lime mortar improved by adding different percentages of POliland cement. The research examined the effect of sand grading on the lime mortars compreSSIve, splitting and brick/mortar bond strength. The thesis also investigated the effects of using different casting moulds and curing methods on mortar strength. The results showed that the porosity of lime mortar was one of the reasons it was a success in the past and why it was so important nowadays to use it in the restoration and conservation of historic buildings.