Characterization of Historica Lime Mortar from the Spanish Colonial Period in the Philippines

Jan-Michael C. Cayme, Aniano N. Jr. Asor


Detailed scientific research applied to the field of cultural heritage is rarely practiced in the Philippines. This study intends to present a systematic approach to the proper chemical characterization of an old lime mortar sample from a Spanish-era church ruin. The analytical techniques employed were: atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), infrared spectroscopy (IR), scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Results showed that the binder is mostly calcitic, non-dolomitic and air-hardening lime. A slight hydraulic character was observed due to possible clay impurities. Besides the typical sand mixture in mortars, crushed shell fragments were used as aggregates. Possible organic compounds were also identified. The data obtained from this study is very important in understanding traditional building techniques that can enhance heritage conservation work in the Philippines.


lime mortar; binder; analytical chemistry techniques; cultural heritage preservation; Philippines


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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1973-9494/7164


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