Identification of stone, cement and lime based materials using scientific analysis available at the University of Lincoln for buildings conservation projects where the specification and replication of historic materials is required.
When restoration work is being carried out it is frequently found that traditional lime based renders and plasters have been replaced in part, or entirely by modern cement based materials. These are often found to be incompatible with the building resulting in further damage. Prior to any restoration work being carried out, it is important to have a greater understanding of the original materials and all the later additions.
Today many projects require the incompatible cement based renders or plasters to be replaced, while retaining the original finish. Increasingly there is a requirement that the replacement material not only has to be compatible, but also an identical match to the original.
At this stage analysis is carried out to investigate what materials are present and in what ratio the various constituents are found. The analysis can take the form of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) through to basic Disaggregation and hair and fibre analysis, depending on what is most appropriate. Following this, recommendations can be given to enable replacement mortars to be replicated.