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Historic lime mortars: potential effects of local climate on the evolution of binder morphology and composition

By
Kara R. Dotter
Kara R. Dotter
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN, UK (e-mail: kdotter01@qub.ac.uk)
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

This research explores preliminary observations regarding the potential effects of local climate conditions on the evolution of binder morphology and the composition or mineralogy of historic lime mortars. Samples were collected from historic buildings, one group dating to c. late nineteenth century and an older group from c. Sixteenth–Seventeenth century, with both groups representing distinct climates. The samples were then prepared and subjected to polarized light microscopy (PLM), point count, scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and backscatter election imaging (BSE) analysis to investigate differences in porosity, environmental contaminants and morphological characteristics of the lime binder. By examining the effects of climate on lime mortars, conservators can improve identification and condition assessment of historic lime mortars, better understand causes of damage and decay attributed to previous mortar repairs, and formulate more appropriate conservation mortars to improve protection and conservation of our architectural heritage.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past

B. J. Smith
B. J. Smith
Queen's University, Belfast, UK
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M. Gomez-Heras
M. Gomez-Heras
Queen's University, Belfast, UK Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Instituto de GeologÓa EconÓmica (CSIC-UCM), Spain
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H. A. Viles
H. A. Viles
Oxford University Centre for the Environment, UK
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J. Cassar
J. Cassar
University of Malta, Malta
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Geological Society of London
Volume
331
ISBN electronic:
9781862395794
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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