What is Lime Mortar???

Introduction (What is Lime Mortar):

Lime mortar is ancient Indians first used mortar for temples, forts and historic structures.

Lime mortar is typically used as plastering, masonary (either stone or bricks) and as a binding material.

There are two types of lime is there,

  • Hydraulic lime Mortar
  • Fat lime Mortar

Hydraulic Lime Mortar:

  • In this mortar hydraulic lime and sand in 1:2 ratio is used in very damp conditions
  • Mostly it is suitable for waterlogged areas.

Fat Lime Mortar:

  • In this mortar, fat lime is used and the quantity of fat is lime is almost 2 to 3 times greater than sand requirements.
  • Mainly this type of mortar is used in dry work, where the high plasticity is required.
What is Lime Mortar

Definition (Lime Mortar):

  • Lime mortar is mortar in which lime (hydraulic lime or fat lime) is used as binding material in combination with sand and water.
  • Basically, fat lime and hydraulic lime is used in lime mortars.
  • Fat lime mortar is used commonly and for damp situations hydraulic lime mortar is used
  • Lime mortar is ancient type of mortar and widely used in historic structures along with stones.

Properties of Lime Mortar:

  • It is more plastic and workable when it is wet in condition.
  • It has good workability and working properties when it made from excessive calcium lime.
  • It also develops slow lateral strength for very long time.
  • It does not set by action of water loss due to absorption and evaporation.
  • Provides strength and strong surface if used in plastering.
  • It provides strong bond between the joints when used in masonary joints.


  • Lime mortar can be re worked for up to 24 hours as it has great setting time.
  • It reduces the wastage when used in silos structures.
  • It also reduces the movement in joints.
  • It possesses the constant prime quality and colour of mortar.
  • As it possesses constant colour, it enhances the masonary joints in various masonary.
  • It also acts as water shedding barrier when used in masonary.
  • This provides the breathable types of construction.
  • By the end of the finish of life, this mortar also permits masonary to be recycled.
  • It absorbs the CO2 while curing processes.
  • Makes use of much less energy to produce than cement.


  • Quick setting time of lime mortar has limitations on casting.
  • Lime mortar can not be repaired with cement mortar as it does not form bond between lime and cement mortar when it gets harden.
  • An excessive amount of initial chemical set ignores the importance of extended carbonation of the non-hydraulic component.
  • The danger that segregation occurs, whereby the cement separates from the lime as the mortar dries and hardens.
  • The use of cement leads the consumer to deal with gold lime mortars as it has been purely hydraulic lime or cement.
  • Ph of mortar drops about 8.6 when lime mortar get dried and harden.

Uses Of Lime Mortars:

The Lime mortar can be used as plastering, joinery and in masonary.

  • For Foundation Works: fat lime mortar can be used in all types of foundation work in dry sub grade – water table is 2.4 m below the foundations level.
  • For All Masonry Works: loading – 20 to 60 tonnes/m2 (light and medium loading)
    • Fat lime and hydraulic lime, both are suitable.
    • Lime mortar can be replaced by cement mortar.
    • To bind stones, bricks or concrete blocks together

Lime mortar cannot be applied when:

  • Sub grade soil is moist water table is within 2.4 m.
  • Heavy loading is expected.
  • Construction is massive and very thick.


  • Mortars with hydraulic lime should be used within 4 hours after mixing.
  • Lime mortars with surkhi should be used within 24 hours after mixing.
  • Composite (lime and cement) mortars should be used within 2 hours after mixing.
  • All lime mortar shall be kept wet after grinding. The workers who are to handle lime mortar should protect their skin by using oil, rubber gloves etc

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