Materials and Structures

, 52:112 | Cite as

Assessment of test methods for the durability of thermal mortars exposure to freezing

  • J. MaiaEmail author
  • Nuno M. M. Ramos
  • R. Veiga
Original Article


Thermal mortars are a trend in the construction industry in recent years, owing to the required decrease of the thermal transmission of building envelopes. The high porosity of thermal mortars leads to permeability values that can affect their durability since it creates more favourable conditions for the penetration of aggressive agents. Water is observed as one of the most common and harmful degradation agents. Regarding the climatic variability in Europe, freezing is a usual degradation mechanism both in severe and moderate climates. Since thermal mortars have higher water absorption than a common insulation, the freezing may occur. As no durability assessment methodologies to evaluate the exposure of thermal mortars to freezing degradation mechanisms exist, the present work has the objective to analyse existing accelerated ageing procedures, which envisage freezing degradation mechanism. As such, the durability assessment described in EN 1015-21 and ETAG 004 was adapted and implemented in different thermal mortars. It was observed that the higher number of cycles and the severity of the freeze–thaw ageing cycles, according to ETAG 004, may reproduce the effect of the northern European climates, while the ageing cycles, described in EN 1015-21, combine degradation mechanisms that occur in central and southern European climates. This adaptation allowed collecting reliable data and inputs to the development of durability assessment methodologies directly applicable to thermal rendering and plastering systems.


Thermal mortar Durability Accelerated ageing Experimental tests Degradation mechanisms 



The authors acknowledge to Saint-Gobain Weber, Secil Argamassas and Sival – Gessos Especiais to the materials supply.


This work was financially supported by Project PTDC/ECI-CON/28766/2017 - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-028766 funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020 - Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds (PIDDAC) through FCT/MCTES and the Project Reuse – Rehabilitation and Sustainability, supported by LNEC. This work was financially supported by: UID/ECI/04708/2019- CONSTRUCT - Instituto de I&D em Estruturas e Construções funded by national funds through the FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC). The first author would like to acknowledge the support of FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the funding of the Doctoral Grant PD/BD/52659/2014, through the Doctoral Programme EcoCoRe.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11527_2019_1411_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16,800 kb)


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CONSTRUCT-LFC, Faculty of Engineering (FEUP)University of Porto, Porto, PortugalPortoPortugal
  2. 2.LNEC, National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Lisbon, PortugalLisbonPortugal

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