Mortar Analysis & Petrography

Our team is trained in a range of analytic techniques including the sampling and analysis of historic mortars. The purpose of this type of testing is to assist clients with historical research into the original materials used, as well as selecting comparable modern mortars mixes.

Understanding and characterizing the components of historic mortars involves several processes to dissect the component parts and determine the original formulas. Acid digestion and petrographic thin sections with polarized light microscopy are used in tandem to determine binder composition, sand and aggregate proportion, color and other information. Research and testing results can then direct the specification of replica mortars to match the necessary properties of the original.

Polarized light microscopy (PLM) of stone, mortars, and ceramics, known as thin-section petrography, is a useful tool for the study of historic objects and building materials. The technique is used to identify materials, compare building campaigns, identify, and source unique inclusions, and understand deterioration mechanisms. PLM is an important component of EverGreene’s mortar analysis offerings. Our methods are regularly researched and calibrated to industry standards to ensure consistent and accurate results.