Materiales de Construcción, Vol 59, No 295 (2009)

Physical and mechanical characterisation of historic mortars. Application to the evaluation of the state of conservation

A. Magalhães
Laboratorio Nacional de Ingeniería Civil, Lisboa, Portugal

R. Veiga , Portugal


An understanding of the physical and mechanical characteristics of historic mortars is of vital importance in the selection of repair mortars for historic buildings. As a result, a need has arisen for test methods that can be used to assess those characteristics in irregular, friable samples.

The present paper discusses the results of the experimental characterization of historic Portuguese mortars. The test methods used to evaluate water resistance and compressive strength are described. The compressive strength values found for new mortars using the method proposed and the method specified in European standards are compared and the results used to draw conclusions on the potential of the new technique.

The correlation between the initial degree of deterioration determined by visual inspection and the experimental data is discussed.


historic mortar; test; compressive strength; capillarity; state of conservation

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