Development of pre-dried and blended lime mortars for the ready-mix market

Essay by johnnie October 2008

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IntroductionMortar is a mixture of sand, a binder such as cement, and water. This mixture is used in masonry construction to fill the gaps between the bricks and blocks used in construction. It is applied as a paste during construction, and then later sets hard, holding the blocks, or bricks together firmly. It can also be used to fix parts of a construction where its original mortar may have been washed away. Currently, mortar can be either mixed on site, or factory-produced ready-to-use mortar can be bought. (Allen, 2003)Ready-to-use mortars are replacing on-site mixed mortars, due to their advantages over on-site mixed mortar. They are made in factories under tightly-controlled conditions and delivered to site, ready to use. They have guaranteed mix proportions and overcome any potential problems relating to site mixing. They contain accurate cement ratio in the mixture. This is because the cement content is controlled in the production factory, where accurate measuring techniques are put into use.

The factory-made mortars also offer the advantage of consistence in quality, since the mixing procedures and contents are constant in the factories. This also results to consistence in strength and color. Since all the mixing is done in the factory, using these mortars reduces mixing and labor costs, and also reduces wastage of materials that is experienced during mixing of mortar on site. Health and safety on site is improved, as worker’s direct contact with the mortar is reduced.

Wet ready-to-use mortars are stored in tubs on site and require no further mixing. They have a retarding agent, which makes them fully usable for a certain period of time, normally around 36 hours.

Dry ready-to-use mortars are stored in silos or bags. Silos are delivered to site complete with integral mixers and requiring only power and water supplies to be...