Mitigating salt damage in lime-based mortars with mixed-in crystallization modifiers

Sanne Granneman, Barbara Lubelli, Rob van Hees

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This paper describes some of the most important results of a four year PhD research on the use of crystallization modifiers mixed in lime mortar to mitigate salt crystallization damage. The research focused on two of the most damaging salts, sodium chloride and sodium sulfate, and suitable crystallization modifiers (sodium ferrocyanide and borax). We report the major findings related to the effectiveness of the modifiers when mixed in the mortar, and the results of characterization of the additivated mortars in comparison with reference mortars. Moreover, the durability of the developed mortars to salt decay is discussed, based on the results of an accelerated salt weathering test carried out in laboratory. No major effects of the modifiers on the fresh and hardened mortar properties were observed which might restrain the application of crystallization modifiers in restoration mortars. Additionally, the mortars with mixed-in modifiers showed a considerable improvement of the salt resistance when compared to reference mortars. Considering these results an outlook for future research pathways is given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th WTA International PhD Symposium
EditorsW.J. Quist, S.J.C. Granneman, R.P.J. van Hees
PublisherWTA Nederland - Vlaanderen
ISBN (Print)978-90-79216-19-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event4th WTA International PhD symposium - TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 13 Sept 201716 Sept 2017
Conference number: 4


Conference4th WTA International PhD symposium
Internet address


  • Crystallization Modifiers
  • Self-Healing
  • Lime Mortar


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