Petrography of historic mortar materials: polarising light microscopy as a method for characterising lime-based mortars

Kristin Balksten, Bo Nitz, John J. Hughes, Jan-Erik Lindqvist

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

63 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In studying historic, repair and restoration mortars comprised of lime-based material there is an analytical method that answers more questions than any other; transmitted (and reflected) polarised light microscopy (PLM). The present study is based on thin-section analysis of historic and restoration mortars made by the authors in Sweden and Scotland since the 1980’s, previous research [1, 2, 3, 4] and petrographic atlases [5, 6, 7, 8]. This paper is written to be a pedagogically useful complement to previous work.

We present a selection of microphotographs to show the variety of questions that the method can give answers to, such as, in the study of:
-lime binder; source materials, hydraulicity, slaking methods, lime lumps, cracking characteristics
-aggregates; grading, mineralogy/lithology and texture
-additives; inorganic puzzolanic materials and organic materials
-paint layers; different binders, pigments, thicknesses
-pore structure; durability, vapour transport and capillarity
-craftsmanship; various application and working techniques

The aim of this paper is to contribute with more illustrations of reference materials and to illustrate the usefulness of Polarising Light Microscopy as a method for characterising lime-based mortars and to review the most significant analyses parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference
Subtitle of host publicationRILEM Proceedings PRO 130
EditorsJose Ignacio Alvarez, Jose Maria Fernandez, Inigo Navarro , Adrian Duran, Rafael Sirera
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherRILEM Publications S.A.R.L.
Pages453-467
Number of pages15
VolumePRO 130
ISBN (Electronic)9782351582220
ISBN (Print)9782351582213
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019
Event5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019 - Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 5
https://www.unav.edu/en/web/historic-mortars-conference

Publication series

NameRILEM Proceedings
PublisherRILEM Publications S.A.R.L.
Volume130

Conference

Conference5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleHMC 2019
CountrySpain
CityPamplona
Period19/06/1921/06/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Historic Mortar
  • petrography

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  • Activities

    Getty Conservation Institute, Conservation Guest Scholar

    John Hughes (Recipient)

    1 Sep 20211 Dec 2021

    Activity: OtherTypes of Award - Fellowship awarded competitively

    5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019

    John Hughes (Member of programme committee)

    19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    5th Historic Mortars Conference 2019 (Event)

    John Hughes (Peer reviewer)

    1 Feb 201930 May 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

    Research Output

    • 2 Conference contribution
    • 1 Abstract

    Animal, vegetable or mineral? Characterising shell-lime, maerl-lime and limestone-lime mortar evidence from the Late Norse and Medieval site of Tuquoy, Orkney

    Thacker, M., Hughes, J. & Odling, N., 19 Jun 2019, p. 107-107. 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    Open Access
  • Animal, vegetable or mineral? Characterising shell-lime, maerl-lime and limestone-lime mortar evidence from the Late Norse and Medieval site of Tuquoy, Orkney

    Thacker, M., Hughes, J. & Odling, N., 16 Jul 2019, Proceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference: RILEM Proceedings PRO 130. Alvarez, J. I., Fernandez, J. M., Navarro, I., Duran, A. & Sirera, R. (eds.). Paris: RILEM Publications S.A.R.L., Vol. PRO 130. p. 758-777 20 p. (RILEM Proceedings; vol. 130).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
    File
  • Petrography of historic mortar materials: polarising light microscopy as a method for characterising lime-based mortars

    Balksten, K., Lindqvist, J-E., Nitz, B. & Hughes, J., 19 Jun 2019, 5th Historic Mortars Conference. HMC 2019. Book of Abstracts: University of Navarra, Pamplona. 19th - 21st June, 2019. Galindo, J. I. A., Alvarez, J. M. F., Blasco, I. N., Benito, A. D. & Bejarano, R. S. (eds.). Pamplona: University of Navarra, p. 75-75 1 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Cite this

    Balksten, K., Nitz, B., Hughes, J. J., & Lindqvist, J-E. (2019). Petrography of historic mortar materials: polarising light microscopy as a method for characterising lime-based mortars. In J. I. Alvarez, J. M. Fernandez, I. N., A. Duran, & R. Sirera (Eds.), Proceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference: RILEM Proceedings PRO 130 (Vol. PRO 130, pp. 453-467). (RILEM Proceedings; Vol. 130). RILEM Publications S.A.R.L.. https://www.rilem.net/images/publis/984f2b665782c41d10698dc0f3632665.pdf