Sandberg Remains Open During This Challenging Time

Whilst many of our staff are working from home during these unprecedented times, all our activities remain open for business in line with government guidelines.  We have adjusted our operations so that staff remain safe.  Currently, although we are working at a reduced capacity, we are meeting client demands and are welcoming new enquiries.

Mortar testing

Mortar testing is a primary service that we offer at Sandberg. We have many years of experience and have encountered a wide range of different mortar compositions, both modern and historic.

Mortar testing, in the case of modern mortars, may be required to establish compliance with a specification or as part of a failure investigation and can also highlight any deleterious materials such as sulfates, which can attack cement binders, causing cracking and eventual mortar failure.

When dealing with historical mortars, Sandberg can analyse mortars so that suitable replacement materials can be used to repair damaged or failing material. This can not only serve to maintain the authenticity of the materials but will also help historical structures; as like for like materials will age and behave in a similar manner to the original mortar, preventing further mortar failure.

We can undertake mortar testing on both modern and historic mortar to establish both a mortars composition (mix proportions) and undertake an aggregate particle size distribution or grading. Sandberg has UKAS accreditation to undertake mortar testing using a range of British Standards, including BS 4551, or our own in-house methods.

Information about Mortar

Mortar is a fundamental building material found in most modern and historical buildings. It has been used in some form or another dating back to early civilisations such as the Roman, Greek and Egyptians. The constituent materials used have changed somewhat over time, but their function has remained the same; to be used as a binder for brick and stone blocks in construction and as a bedding material in pavement construction.

Today the most commonly used materials in mortar are ordinary Portland cement (OPC) with or without lime, which are mixed along with sand and water in various proportions to form a hardened adhesive material.

One of the earliest and strongest binders used in construction was called Roman cement which is a hydraulic lime which develops strength properties similarly to a modern Portland type cement. Lime was found to be an excellent building material and was used extensively in the past and is still used today due to its excellent binding properties and workability.  Depending on other minerals found within the original quarried limestone, it can have various hydraulic properties. Today we see the use of NHL 2, NHL 3.5 and NHL 5 as modern day equivalents of the different hydraulic limes used in the past.  Occasionally gypsum is incorporated into lime mortars mixes.  Historic mortars have also been found to contain materials such as eggs, animal hair and even dung.

In the 19th century Portland cement was introduced as a binder and is now the most commonly used binder found in modern buildings. Along with its very desirable binding ability, It provides excellent compressive strength and is highly durable.

Gavin Mayers

For further information contact: Gavin Mayers, Partner
Direct Tel: 020 7565 7070
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Corporate Profile
Quality of Service
Neil Sandberg
Simon Clarke
David Ellis
Tony Willmott
Richard Rogerson
Mike Eden
Julian French
Chris Morgan
Gavin Mayers
Gregory Moor
Jayne Fagan
Bob Easthope
Ian Hudson
Julie Dell
Simon Morris
Marion Ingle
Mariachiara Faliva
Roger Lucas
Tony Pitman
Daniel Kinnersley
Doug Hunt
Panos Sotiropoulos
Jim Carmichael
Yohann Guellil
Ewan Maclean
Alexander Hollyman
William Newby
Steve Pringle
Rom Gostomski
Kevin Green
Simeon Tulip
John Gallagher
Latest News
Memberships and Associations
Contact us
Building Inspector
NDT/Welding Inspector
Building Inspector / Rope Access
Pension scheme documents
Building Stone
Building Stone
CE Marking Stone
Stone Testing
UKAS Stone Testing
Cement Testing
Chemical Testing
Chloride Testing
Hardened Concrete Analysis
Infrared Spectroscopy
Lead in Paint
Mortar Testing
Rock Salt Testing
Screed Analysis
Water Testing
Construction Materials
Agglomerated stone
Aggregate Testing
Bricks, Blocks, Flags & Pavers
Concrete Testing
Fresh Concrete Testing
Hardened Concrete Testing
Screed Testing
Concrete Petrography
Mundic Concrete
SEM and X-ray
Sulphate Attack
Laboratory Services
Bolt Testing
Metallographic Analysis
Metals and Welding
On-site Material Identification
Scaffold Testing
Tensile Testing
UKAS Testing
Investigation & Inspection
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
GPR Surveys
GPR Principles
Building Investigation
Chimney Flue Location
Concrete Imaging
Concrete Slab Surveys
Ferroscan or GPR
Abseil Inspection
Bedding Mortar
Bridge Inspection
Building Inspection
Cladding Inspection
Concrete Floors
Ferroscan Surveys
Fire Damaged Concrete
GFRC Inspection
HAC Concrete
NDT Weld Inspection
Paint Inspection
Precast Concrete Inspection
Leak Detection
Leak and Defect Location
Waterproof Membranes
Load Testing
Balcony and Barrier Testing
Car Park Barriers
Crowd Barriers
Cladding Systems
Glass Panels
Specialist Testing
Slip Resistance
Steelwork Services
Site Sampling
Safe Working Loads
Steelwork Fire Damage
Building Envelope
Building Fire Safety Audits
Building Regulations
Facades & Roofing
Our Track Record
Thermal Performance
Thermal Training
U-Values and Bridging
Alkali Aggregate Reactivity
Concrete Consultancy
Concrete Durability
Concrete Strength Assessment
Ancient and Modern
Historic Mortars
Expert Services
Expert Witness
Independent Advice
Geomaterials Services
Coastal Engineering
Polymer Consultancy
Odour Analysis
Polymers in Construction
Polymer Failure
Polymer Identification
Polymer Microscopy
Quality Assurance
Contract Administration
Materials and Workmanship
Specialist Services
Damage Assessment
Demolition and Refurbishment
Glass and Glazing
CE Marking
ISO 3834 Services
Metallurgical Failure
Steelwork Consultancy
Stone Consultancy
Building Stone (new projects)
Building Stone (existing structures)
Building Stone (suitability)
Sandberg Consultants