RILEM TC 277-LHS report: properties of lime-based renders and plasters—discussion of current test methods and proposals for improvement

Rosário Veiga, Paulina Faria, Rob van Hees, Maria Stefanidou, Pagona Noni Maravelaki, Ioanna Papayianni, Ioannis Ioannou, Magdalini Theodoridou, Violeta Bokan Bosilijkov, Beril Bicer-Simsir, Cristina Tedeschi, Arnaldo Carneiro

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Renders and plasters have significant functions in buildings. Their functionality is closely related to their properties, which depend on the mortar itself, the application technology, the interaction with the environment and the substrate. There are many basic characteristics that influence the performance of renders and plasters; however, many of them are interrelated, thus the set of characteristics to be determined in each case is different, depending on the specific at each time use. These characteristics, their interrelations and the grouping of them are discussed and schematically described in the first and introductory section. Three groups are considered for renders and plasters: properties of fresh mortars; properties related to the hygric behaviour; and the mechanical behaviour. The properties of lime-based mortars measured in laboratory are highly affected by factors, such as: need of long time for development of representative values for prediction of their life-time behaviour, proper climatic conditions adequate for carbonation or/and hydration, sensitivity to the suction of water by the substrate. The last two factors—environment and substrate—have an important role for rendering and plastering with lime-based mortars, since both their exposed surfaces and the substrate areas they cover are large. Due to those specificities, the current test methods that have been mainly developed for cement-based mortars are not always fitted to characterize lime-based mortars, and in particular to assess lime-based renders and plasters. In section two the main characteristics and current standardized test methods are discussed based on experience in using them. Furthermore, needs of improvement are identified and changes are proposed, or, in some cases, new methods are outlined. Some of the most significant changes proposed are the possibility, as an option, to apply the mortar on a porous substrate, instead of moulding specimens in metallic moulds, together with modifications on curing conditions and times of mixing and testing. Additionally, test methods developed at laboratory to evaluate the cracking tendency due to restrained shrinkage and to determine the modulus of elasticity of under checking mortars are proposed, as well as alternative test methods for adhesion. In the case of testing other properties, smaller changes are proposed, in order for the standardized test methods to be adapted to the particularities of lime-based renders and plasters. As conclusions, in the third section, a synthesis of the proposed changes and complementary tests has been made in formulated tables, that could be considered as a first approach of adapted requirements for better performance of lime-based mortars for renders and plasters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Number of pages33
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Fresh state behavior
  • Hygric behavior
  • Lime
  • Mechanical behaviour
  • Plaster
  • Render
  • Test


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