4. Mortars and Grouts
Mortars are composed of a cement, fine aggregate (sand), and water. They are used for bedding unit masonry, for plasters and stuccoes, and with the addition of coarse aggregate, for concrete. Properties of mortars vary greatly, being dependent on the properties of the cement used, ratio of cement to sand, characteristics and grading of the sand, and ratio of water to solids. Grouts are similar in composition tomortars but mixes are proportioned to produce, before setting, a flowable consistency without segregation of the components.
4.1 Packaging and Proportioning of Mortar
Mortars are usually proportioned by volume. A common specification is that not more than 3 ft3 of sand be used with 1 ft3 of cementitious material. Difficulty is sometimes encountered, however, in determining just how much material constitutes a cubic foot: a bag of cement (94 lb) by agreement is called a cubic foot in proportioning mortars or concretes, but an actual cubic foot of lime putty may be used in proportioning mortars. Since hydrated limes are sold in 50-lb bags (Art. 5.3.4), each of which makes somewhat more than a cubic foot of putty, weights of 40, 42, and 45 lb of hydrated lime have been used as a cubic foot in laboratory studies, but on the job, a bag is frequently used as a cubic foot. Masonry cements are sold in bags containing 70 to 80 lb (Art. 5.3.7), and a bag is considered a cubic foot.
4.2 Properties of Mortars
Table 5.4 lists types of mortars as a guide in selection for unit masonry.
Workability is an important property of mortars, particularly of those used in conjunction with unit masonry of high absorption. Workability is controlled by the character of the cement and amount of sand. For example, a mortar made from 3 parts sand and 1 part slaked-lime putty will be more workable than one made from 2 parts sand and 1 part portland cement. But the 3 : 1 mortar has lower strength. By proper selection or mixing of cementitious materials, a satisfactory compromise may usually be obtained, producing a mortar of adequate strength and workability.
Water retention—the ratio of flow after 1-min standard suction to the flow before suction—is used as an index of the workability of mortars. A high value of water retention is considered desirable for most purposes. There is, however, a wide variation in water retention of mortars made with varying proportions of cement and lime and with varying limes. The “Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry,” ASTM C270, requires mortar mixed to an initial flow of 100 to 115, as determined by the test method of ASTM C109, to have a flow after suction of at least 75%.
Strength of mortar is frequently used as a specification requirement, even though it has little relation to the strength of masonry. (See, for example, ASTM C270, C780, and C476.) The strength of mortar is affected primarily by the amount of cement in the matrix. Other factors of importance are the ratio of sand to cementing material, curing conditions, and age when tested.
Volume change of mortars constitutes another important property. Normal volume change (as distinguished from unsoundness) may be considered as the shrinkage during early hardening, shrinkage on drying, expansion on wetting, and changes due to temperature.
After drying, mortars expand again when wetted. Alternate wetting and drying produces alternate expansion and contraction which apparently continues indefinitely with portland-cement mortars.
Coefficients of thermal expansion of several mortars, reported in “Volume Changes in Brick Masonry Materials,” Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards, vol. 6, p. 1003, ranged from 0.38 x 10-5 to 0.60 x 10-5 for masonry-cement mortars; from 0.41 x 10-5 to 0.53 x 10-5 for lime mortars, and from 0.42 x 10-5 to 0.61 x 10-5 for cement mortars. Composition of the cementitious material apparently has little effect on the coefficient of thermal expansion of a mortar.
4.3 High-Bond Mortars
When polymeric materials, such as styrene-butadiene and polyvinylidene chloride, are added to mortar, greatly increased bonding, compressive, and shear strengths result. To obtain high strength, the other materials, including sand, water, Type I or III portland cement, and a workability additive, such as pulverized ground limestone or marble dust, must be of quality equal to that of the ingredients of standard mortar. The high strength of the mortar enables masonry to withstand appreciable bending and tensile stresses. This makes possible thinner walls and prelaying of singlewythe panels that can be hoisted into place.
5. Types of Concrete
A concrete may be any of several manufactured, stone-like materials composed of particles, called aggregates, that are selected and graded into specified sizes for construction purposes, usually with a substantial portion retained on a No. 4 (4.75 mm) sieve, and that are bonded together by one or more cementitious materials into a solid mass.
(To be continue….)