Characterisation of heritage cementing materials for restoration purposes: a review

05 May 2020

Characterisation of heritage cementing materials has become a topic of great importance in the protection of culture and history for future generations. The original cementing material analysis helps to achieve compatible and long-term restoration of heritage buildings. The analysis is done for different purposes ? research, compatibility assessment prior to restoration and/or documentation. There are several analytical techniques that many researchers use for analysing the composition of original cementing materials. However, until the present time, the choice of the analytical method depended solely on the researchers? discretion and personal preference. The common methods include microscopic, wet chemical and x-ray analyses. The purpose of this paper is to review the technical literature pertaining to the characterisation (physical, chemical, mineralogical and mechanical) of original heritage cementing materials and its application in proposed restoration work. The knowledge of originally used materials and types of binder, aggregates and additives (in some cases) is considered a useful tool in the search of the compatible repair materials by the construction industry, especially in South Africa where the standard procedure for heritage cementing material characterisation has not been well documented.