Application note 202003: characterisation of building materials

Often, builders and conservators are asked to repair buildings so that they are structurally sound but also in keeping with the immediate surroundings and using materials that are as close as possible to those used previously.

Understanding how a building was originally constructed is a necessity in order to perform such restoration projects, so that a suitable, compatible material can be used to perform the restoration.

JBL Science have a demonstrable track record of the analysis of renders, mortars and brickwork alike. We have worked with clients nationwide and on samples from churches, cathedrals, town halls and major monuments of national significance. We have previously worked on a project to renovate Cromford Mill, a project that won a prestigious award

Typically, we split samples into aggregate and binder fractions and determine the proportions and chemistry of the two fractions. The fractionation is done through a series of graded sieves, but working out some of teh chemistry requires sophisticated analytical instrumentation.

Our analyses use powder X-ray diffraction to determine the mineral content of both aggregate and binder fractions and interpretation by experts in historical and contemporary building techniques allows matching materials to be developed. The accompanying application note, which can be downloaded below, shows a typical analysis in more detail, and demonstrates the kind of information that can be derived.

If you have questions in other areas of building renovation or design, we also have a range of additional services, including portable XRF for the determination of atomic composition of materials in situ or ion chromatography to analyses salt leaching through or between brickwork.

We work closely with colleagues at Lincoln Conservation which allows us to offer a coordinated approach to building renovation and materials analysis. Please do get in touch with either partner to discuss your needs.

To read the full application note, download the PDF file by clicking here

For further information, please get in touch through the contact form or contact the lead scientist Dr. Andy Gill

The lead image is used under a Creative Commons licence. Image 'Town Hall Shimla Restoration' author Snjsharma,

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