University of Malta

Practical Work (May 2006)
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Trying out Mortar Mixes

In May 2006, the students following the course leading to a Degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.) / Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation Technology for Masonry Buildings followed a practical session which allowed them to try their hands at preparing various conservation mortar mixes. This exercise was carried out under the expert supervision of Architect Ivana Farrugia, one of the lecturers on the course.

A number of mixes were first prepared in the laboratory of the Institute for Masonry and Construction Research. This allowed the students to get the feel of actually making mixes and to note the problems associated with the making of such mixes. Mixes were made using hydraulic lime and slaked lime as binders, whereas the filler was varied to include graded stone dust, pozzolana and powdered terracotta. Mix proportions varied between 1:2.5 and 1:3. The beneficial effect of curing during setting was also examined.

The students then tried their hands at pointing a badly deteriorated limestone wall on campus. Areas of alveolar weathering and open joints were pointed using the various mixes. Besides evaluating the immediate and short term effects associated with use of these various mixes, the students will also be regularly monitoring the wall to evaluate long-term results. 


Next Courses

The following courses are due to open in October 2018:

M.Sc. in Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces 

(Preparatory Programme).

Last Updated: 8 April 2011

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