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Old 03-22-2010, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Mortar question

OK, I finally found a copy of the standards for Britain (and Europe). It is basically identical to the US standard, although the way it charts it shows where the discrepancy creeps in.

Here, the formula is given as, "parts of sand by volume of all cementious materials". That includes lime. In your code it is not stated but assumed that the lime is a cementious material.

For example to make a US Type S or UK Type ii, we would both use 1 part portland cement, 1/2 part lime and 4-4.5 parts sand (2-1/4-3 by volume of all cementious materials).

Here are the two charts, US first, then British:
Attached Thumbnails
Mortar question-c270chart1.jpg   Mortar question-mortarchart.jpg  

Last edited by Tscarborough; 03-22-2010 at 10:50 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Mortar question

So, just to be curious (tolerate me)...

...what are the masonal implications of too little sand? What is the property of 4:1:1? I mean, how does it act differently from 5-6:1:1 as a material?

I ask because those tables are clear that 4:1:1 is below the prescribed minimum of 2.25 sand to sum of portland/lime.

Juuuuust curious.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

No, they are almost identical just stated differently. Example:

United States Type S:

94# portland (1 cuft)
25# Lime (1/2 cuft)
3.38-4.5 cu.ft. Sand

British Type ii:

94# portland (1 cuft)
25# Lime (1/2 cuft)
4-4.5 cu.ft. Sand
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

To answer the question of why too much sand is not desirable, if there is not enough cement paste to thoroughly coat each particle of aggregate and fill the spaces between them, then the mortar will be weak in every respect that matters: Bond, flexural, and compressive, in that order. A prefect example of this is perlcrete. There is generally enough paste to coat the aggregate, but not enough to fill the spaces, giving an 1-8 mix adequate compressive strength, minimal flexural, and modest bond strength.

The latitude as to volume of sand in the standards is to allow the on site mason to adjust the amount based on the characteristics of the sand, the weather, the type of units laid and even the preference of the masons.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

But my question was about having too little sand. 4:1:1 (or 2:1 sand/portland-lime) is below the 2.25 sand/portland-lime minimum specified in those tables. What happens if there is too little sand?

It's too late and it doesn't really matter since I just wanted to parge the rough surface and tie the loose aggregate together in prep for the SBC; it wasn't even suggested that I had to do this at all, so I don't think it matters...I'm just curious what too little sand does.

Thanks though for the advice on too much sand. Now I know. That makes a lot of sense.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

If there is too little sand (or improperly graded sand), then the aggregate is unable to contain the shrinkage cracks of the paste.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

Australian Standards for brickwork AS3700 actually allow for detergent in mortar in small quantities as it does for plastisizer, which after all is just an aerator like detergent.

An old friend of mine once told me that he did a degree in concrete engineering, and detergent was brought up.
Detergent is apparently a non corrosive and protects the metal and stops it from rusting, judging from the shine inside my mixer which never goes rusty, I'd say he way right.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Mortar question

There are two methods for specifying mortar, here or anywhere:
Proportional method (As shown above).
Properties method. This relies on laboratory testing of field ingredients to achieve a required strength, and the mix design is determined from that. Anything can be used for this, soap, dung, whatever, it will be tested to confirm adherence to required properties.

All of this is neither here nor there in respect to an individual working on their own home, they can do whatever they want.

Let me tell you where I come from and why I present the information in the way I do. I belong to around 6 DIY construction boards, and offer advice on masonry. I could offer the easiest way, or ways that "will work", but chose to always present the information as it has been developed by the professional organizations whose job it is to determine standards and best practices.

Sometimes this is overkill or different from local custom, but the important fact is that if followed it will ALWAYS work, and it has the advantage of being robust enough to allow for DIY error.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Mortar question

Terry.

I don't think I've ever mixed cement without using a splash of fairy (soap) in it.

It's a Welsh thing....

Enough said.

Jon
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