Monuments and historic buildings and sites are regarded as a national treasure of any country. This is particularly true for Egypt that possesses a wealth of historic and heritage buildings covering the entire life span of human civilization. It must be preserved and safeguarded not only as historic evidences but also as works of art. Most of these structures used lime based mortars as binding material. These structures are deteriorating at a rate faster than our ability to renovate them. The repair and rehabilitation of old historic walls and mortars involve a complex interaction of existing and new elements. Engineers are confronted with the continuous challenge of developing new methods and materials of repair, replace or rehabilitate the existing structure. Several difficulties are encountered by researchers and design engineers in this effort. Engineering judgment, intuition, and experience have been used in many cases due to the lack of technical guidelines in a world wide context. Consequently, a research studying different restoration mortars became a necessity. To fulfill this need, this master thesis attempts to evaluate the performance of some of the currently used mortars and develop new ones. Several tests were conducted on lime based mortars using white cement, gypsum, lignin sulfonate, and silica fume that are used to enhance the mortars performance. These mortars were tested for compressive, tensile, and shear strengths at 7, 28, and 56 days from mixing. As a durability test, weight loss of mortar cubes subjected to wetting and drying cycles was measured. In addition, models of wall prisms were built using these mortars and tested under in-plan compressive loads to study the composite structural behavior and bonding of stones and mortars.

Based on the results of these tests it was found that lime based mortars prepared using silica fume yielded highest compressive, tensile, and shear strength. On the other hand, lime based mortars prepared using lignin sulfonate have attained best results concerning wetting and drying cycles and highest load capacity for the model wall which resembled structural behavior and bonding.


School of Sciences and Engineering


Interdisciplinary Engineering Program

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Construction Engineering

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Safwan Khedr

Second Advisor

Mohamed Abdel Mooty

Document Type



120 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Historic buildings

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2



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Call Number

Thesis 2004/80