Mortar Quality Control Omaha NE
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Mortar Quality Control
Source: MASONRY CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE
Publication date: January 1, 1996
- As an architect, I would like to be able to perform quality control checks on the mortar mixing. In the past I have required the contractor to prepare mortar cubes for every 5,000 square feet of masonry and, on most projects, this has worked out well. On a few, however, the seven-day test results came back very low. We waited three more weeks to test the remaining cubes from that batch at 28 days. These results also were low, as were the results of subsequent cube tests from other batches. By this time, much of the masonry had been completed. The contractor felt the problem was in the method of fabricating and curing the cubes, not in the masonry work itself. So we cut prisms from the wall and tested mortar bond by using the bond wrench test (ASTM C 1072) and compressive strength by using ASTM E 447. The results of these tests were within normal ranges.This experience has made me rethink the whole quality control process. What can we do to evaluate the mortar mixing that will give timely results and be less dependent on the method of fabrication and curing?
The best way to monitor the mortar is to watch it being mixed. Obviously, this is not always convenient. An alternate approach would be to determine the mortar aggregate ratio in accordance with A4 of ASTM C 780. This test determines the ratio of cementitious components to sand in the mortar mix.
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