Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 1699–1710 | Cite as

The water transfer properties and drying shrinkage of aerial lime-based mortars: an assessment of their quality as repair rendering materials

  • Arizzi AnnaEmail author
  • Cultrone Giuseppe
Original Article


Water (in the solid, liquid and vapour state) is one of the main factors that drive construction materials to deterioration. To assess the quality and durability of a repair rendering mortar, thus ensuring its protective function in the masonry structure, it is fundamental to study the behaviour of this mortar towards water. Mortars were elaborated with a calcitic dry hydrated lime, a calcareous aggregate, a pozzolan, a lightweight aggregate, a water-retaining agent and a plasticiser. The effect of different binder-to-aggregate proportions on the mortars’ hygric behaviour was assessed by performing free water absorption and drying, capillary uptake, hydraulic conductivity and water vapour permeability tests. Another aspect that was considered in the assessment of mortar quality was the drying shrinkage that was measured by means of a non-standardised device. It has been found that a larger amount of water is absorbed by mortars with higher lime content, whilst faster drying and higher permeability to water and water vapour are obtained in mortars with higher aggregate content. The hygric behaviour as well as the drying shrinkage of mortars has been interpreted taking into account the differences in microstructure and pore system between mortars.


Lime mortars Water uptake Drying Permeability Drying shrinkage Interfacial transition zone 



This study was financially supported by Research Group RNM179 of the Junta de Andalucía and by Research Project P09-RNM-4905. We are grateful to Dr. Mona Edwards (University of Oxford, UK) for her assistance in the use of the falling head permeameter and to ARGOS Derivados del Cemento S.L (Granada, Spain) for supplying the raw materials and for the use of SWG-H-400 shrinkage-measuring device.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Mineralogía y PetrologíaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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