Renaissance for artisanal mortar

ScienceDaily | 3/8/2019 | Staff
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"We need to reclaim this knowledge to care for and preserve historic buildings constructed with other materials than those used today," says Jonny Eriksson at the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg, the author of the new thesis.

The production of plaster and mortar for buildings goes back thousands of years in Sweden. For a long time, builders made plaster and mortar using traditional techniques, but with industrialisation the process changed.

Change - Materials - Methods - Mortar - Time

"The change involved using new materials and methods to make mortar. At the same time the knowledge of craftspeople on how to make binding agents and mortar for bricklaying and plastering in different situations was lost."

The lack of knowledge first became apparent late in the 1960s because the new mortars were damaging historic buildings.

Maintenance - Buildings - Knowledge - Jonny - Eriksson

"For long-term and sustainable maintenance of historic buildings, we need to reclaim knowledge that has been lost," Jonny Eriksson says. "And this requires collaboration among crafts and professions such as architects, engineers and antiquarians. More craftspeople also need to be trained in research on building conservation."

For his thesis Eriksson investigated the formation of shrinkage cracks in plaster. He has studied the feasibility of using mortar mixed with the traditional proportions in use until the 19th century. He conducted his investigations will restoring plaster on a medieval church in Tanum municipality in northern Bohuslän.

Today - Old-style - Mortar - Mortars - Content

"It became apparent that it is practical today to make and use the old-style of mortar. These mortars with a high content of binding agents need to be mixed with newly slaked lime, which is lime that has just been slaked with water," says Eriksson.

During the 20th century, builders discouraged this particular production...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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