Mortars are often analysed to provide a better picture of what materials were used and why they may have failed. This helps determine what can or should be used to reproduce the original textures and colours when blending new or replacement areas with existing.Mortar analysis includes the analysis of such groups as mortars, substrates, bedding materials and plaster layers.
Tools available to support these services include:
- Chemical analysis of plaster and mortar based on BS4551:2005
- Interpretation of results using specially developed in-house software, SeleX© which aids in locating the nearest quarry able to provide a close match in respect of colour, grain size distribution and shape. Another facility is the identification of up to 4 ingredients and their proportions corresponding to the results of the chemical analysis. This examines 12 ingredients combined in 330 different ways.
- X-ray diffraction to identify the species of salt present in a sample
- X-ray fluorescence to identify the elemental composition of a sample
- Infra-red analysis to aid in chemical radical identification
- Indicator strip to indicate pH and sulphate, nitrate and chloride levels
- Microscopy using optical and scanning electron microscopes
- Compression testing of mortars, plaster and stone
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