R. L. DAY*, A. HUIZER* and J. M. MORALES**
*University of Calgary **University de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala
The high cost of building materials in Guatemala has resulted in housing prices which are beyond the reach of the majority of the population. Guatemala has large deposits of pozzolans which could replace Portland cement in many building applications, leading to cheaper, yet adequate homes. A collaborative, Canada-Guatemala, research project is described which is examining the use of low-cost, locally available, pozzolanic materials to develop lime-pozzolan cements (LPCs) suitable for the manufacture of mortar, block and grout for masonry construction. Laboratory research involves a detailed examination of (a) design and manufacturing methods to produce high-quality building materials; (b) engineering properties (strength, durability, compatibility, bond, etc.) of mortar, block, prisms and walls made from these materials; and (c) basic properties of the pozzolans, and how these properties influence engineering behaviour. Initial test results of PLC mortars made with four types of natural lime-pozzolan cements are presented. Strength, reactivity, density, morphology and mineralogy of the LPCs are compared to equivalent specimens manufactured with standard masonry cement. X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen sorption analysis were used for the physico-chemical exminations. Preliminary results indicate that the four natural pozzolans examined have the potential to make good-quality mortars and blocks.