Masonry Mortars; are current standards, specifications and performance criteria ‘fit for purpose’ in a changing climatic environment?
Principally based on evidence from the UK over the past 10 years or so, a number of masonry specialists have questioned the ability of current European Standard compliant mortars, to withstand the rigours of a subtly changing climate. An increasing number of issues such as surface erosion, softening and loss of bond with the masonry units, have been reported, affecting both exposed and relatively protected masonry.
As the vast majority of commercially supplied mortars are “designed” rather than “prescribed”, suppliers have the ability to formulate mortars that meet performance criteria, typically compressive strength, rather than adhere to a set recipe. As such the ability to use CEM II directly or blends of CEM I with other Secondary Cementitious Materials (SCM’s) during batching, means that experiential data from over 15 years ago, based predominantly on Ordinary Portland Cement (CEM I) mortar mixes, delivers very different durability performance to mortars of similar nominal strength classes today.
The question therefore to be debated is; can we identify if “mortar components and composition or climatic change and level of exposure” are driving the change in mortar performance? Or is there a mixture of both? Either way, we should re-evaluate whether existing standards, specifications and guidance are still ‘fit for purpose’ in delivering structurally resilient and durable mortar bound masonry.
In order to stimulate the debate we have masonry mortar experts from a range of backgrounds to present their view or work recently undertaken that helps inform the debate.
- Dr Andrew Smith (Head of Materials Development – Forterra, & Chair of CEN/TC 125 Masonry) ~ Host for the meeting on behalf of IMS
- Dr Neil Beningfield (Beningfield Associates, & BSI Convenor Masonry Mortars/Renders)
- Dr Geoff Edgell (Director – Lucideon, & BSI Chair of B519, UK mirror to CEN/TC 125)
- Dr Meera Ramesh (Restoration Engineer – Ryan Bigg/Clark Davis Engineering & Surveying D.P.C. (NY, USA))
This half-day online seminar starts at 2.00 p.m. All participants will be emailed a link to enable them to join the seminar.
It will be of interest to the specifiers, producers and users of masonry mortars as well as researchers and students. We hope you will support this IMS event for which there is a small charge for both IMS members and non-members.