A Mortar Maker’s guide to evolving mortar specifications in 18th and 19th C France and England and their implications today

Author(s): Lucie Fusade
Paper category: Proceedings
Book title: Proceedings of the 5th Historic Mortars Conference
Editor(s): José Ignacio Álvarez, José María Fernández, Íñigo Navarro, Adrián Durán, Rafael Sirera
ISBN: 978-2-35158-221-3
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-222-0
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 642-652
Total Pages: 11
Language : English

Abstract: In France and England, the late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the publications of
essential treaties on construction and building materials, such as “Coursd’Architecture” by Jacques-François Blondel (1777), “Traité sur l’Art de Bâtir” by Jean-
Baptiste Rondelet (1803), George R. Burnell’s “Rudimentary Treatise on Limes,
Cements, Mortars, etc.” (1850) and Valentin Biston’s “Manuel théorique et pratique du
chaffournier” published (1836). In all of them, the way to burn lime is detailed along
with methods to mix lime with sand, and recipes of a range of mortars are compared
and given. It was a time of reflections and research on what constitutes a “good
mortar” and how to improve it. Conservation practice is currently undergoing similar
considerations and discussions. This work aims to explore the reflections and
recommendations exposed in these treatises and guidance and how they could inform
the choice of materials and the methods of mixing for the design of the conservation
mortars used today, such as how to mix sand with fat lime and whether and when to
add quicklime. By combining a detailed literature review of these treaties with
knowledge of current mortars in conservation this work links history of construction
and conservation science to help inform conservation decisions. These treatises reflect
the evolution of thoughts and considerations on the composition of a good lime
mortar at that time and show that many aspects, such as the quality and type of the
burnt limestones, the sand, and especially how the mortar is mixed, are most
important to obtain a good mortar. Conservation practice today could reflect those
evolutions by adapting to the period of construction of the fabric being repaired and
by being authentic about the methods and the overall type of mortar that was used at
the time of the building.

Online publication : 2019
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros) : 0.00

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