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Characterisation and Consolidation of Historical Lime Mortars in Cultural Heritage Buildings and Associated Structures in East Africa
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Concrete Structures. (Betongbyggnad)
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For the period of several centuries, the influence of several distinct cultures produced rich and diverse cultural heritage that we see today in East Africa countries. The most tangible remains of these heritages are stone built buildings and structures including, palaces, mosques, residential houses and tombs. At present, these heritages are in different physical state, some are in relatively good condition while many are in an appalling condition. The presence of these historical monuments has benefited these countries economically and culturally therefore, it is essential to ensure that these monuments continue to exist.

Material characterisation of the historical buildings and associated structures was used to develop a suitable method of intervention that is sympathetic to the original materials. Mortar is the most damaged material therefore, historical mortar from Stone Town historical buildings and associated structures has been characterised by visual examination, optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction and hydrostatic weighing and the results have been compared. The historical mortar is mainly comprised of calcite, quartz and feldspar. The mortar condition has been divided into hard mortar, soft mortar and, soft and friable mortar. The deteriorated mortar that required consolidation is soft mortar and, soft and friable mortar with a porosity of approximately 27%.

Calcium hydroxide solution (limewater) has been selected as consolidant and the consolidation procedure involves two steps. Firstly a limewater impregnation procedure has been developed and secondly, the effect of limewater treatment has been determined. For the application procedure it has been observed that, when limewater comes into contact with calcium carbonate a precipitation reaction occurs and that is the cause of poor penetration ability of calcium hydroxide solution. Major influencing factors on the penetration ability of calcium hydroxide solution have been established as, application method and absorption capacity of the treated material during the impregnation process. Optimization of the penetration ability of calcium hydroxide solution has been achieved by impregnating from the middle of the impregnated specimen.

Sugar has been used to study the influence of additive on enhancing calcium hydroxide solubility. It has been verified that solubility of calcium hydroxide in a solution of sugar is proportional to the amount of sugar in the solution.

Porosity and strength tests have been used to study the effectiveness of calcium hydroxide treatment. Under the conditions studied no appreciable change of porosity has been detected. It is postulated that the calcium hydroxide was deposited at the binder/aggregate interface and at the secondary pores. In terms of strength, evidence has been found to suggest the strength increment varies quantitively with the amount of calcite crystals deposited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , xi, 117 p.
Trita-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 101
Keyword [en]
East Africa, Stone Town, historical building, mortar, deterioration, consolidation, calcium hydroxide solution
National Category
Building Technologies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11371OAI: diva2:274879
Public defence
2009-11-12, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100803Available from: 2009-11-02 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved

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Ngoma, Athuman M. K.
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