THE INFLUENCE OF DOSAGE AND PRODUCTION PROCESS ON THE PHYSICAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF AIR LIME MORTARS
This paper studies the influence of five different factors affecting the dosage and production process of seven types of air lime mortars on their physical and mechanical properties. Such factors comprise the water/lime ratio, the aggregate type and size, the material of the mold and the curing conditions. Moreover, some physical and mechanical properties, not usually measured on air lime mortars, are obtained, such as open porosity, splitting tensile strength, fracture energy and elastic modulus measured through prisms. The results show that under the three different water/lime ratios tested, the material experiences a structural weakening. Ambient curing conditions were more favorable for air lime mortars than high humid ones. Moreover, it is observed that fabrication with wooden molds provided higher mechanical properties as they absorbed the free water, although this effect was probably local. Air lime mortar with an aggregate size of 2 mm had lower consistency in a fresh state as finer sands were more water demanding and the mechanical properties of this mortar were slightly lower than those of mortar with aggregate sizes of 0/4 mm. Furthermore, using limestone aggregates improved the continuity between the lime and the matrix. This fact resulted in higher mechanical properties of the mortars with limestone aggregates in comparison to those with river sand when maintaining the same water/lime ratios. This study can suppose a further step in the improvement of the dosage methodology of air lime mortars.