Mortar can be tested in our laboratories to a range of British Standards (BSI), European Standards (EN) or ASTM standards. read more. Manchester Building and testing Laboratories have vast experience testing mortars. we can test for specification compliance or investigate any mortar failure that has occurred, tests can be carried out to BS 4551 or tailored to meet individual requirements.
Our tests can be carried out on new build, old or historical buildings.
Mix Proportions & Cement Content
Mix proportions can be checked to work out the exact ratio of the constituents of mixes by mass and by traditional volume proportions. This can be for modern mixes using ordinary Portland Cement (CEM 1) (OPC), Blended CEM II cements, Lime, sand and any additives such as polymers or on historical lime mixes. The overall strength of the mix can thus be computed.
Chemical Attack on the mortar itself can be tested for, sulphates, for instance, can be contained in bricks, fill or pollution which can attack the cement. This
Sulphate attack manifests itself with expansion of the cement due to chemical change which can cause cracking, heaving and complete failure of the mortar.
Grading Characteristics test
Grading characteristics are critical to a mortar if the sand (fine aggregate) is too fine and/or poorly graded then excess gauging water is needed which can then cause shrinkage, cracking, loss of adhesion. In certain parts of the country this is a very real problem due to the sands available.
Sulphate attack, sulphates can be contained in bricks, gypsum, fill or pollution which can attack the cement. It turns the Tri calcium aluminate(C3A) contained in OPC cement to Tri calcium sulphoaluminate (31H2O) with a near doubling of molecular volume.
This Sulphate attack manifests itself with expansion of the OP cement due to chemical change mentioned above which can cause cracking, heaving and complete failure of the mortar, Brickwork or concrete or floor slab.