American Petrographic Services, Inc. (APS) specializes in the microscopic analysis of mortar and masonry materials. Utilizing light microscopy, APS can determine the mix design of existing mortar.

APS will perform petrographic analysis (ASTM: C1324) on mortar or masonry materials.

In mortar mixes, APS can determine:

  • Mix design of existing mortar
  • Color, composition and gradation of sand in the mortar
  • Permeability and compressive strength of mortar
  • Cause of failure of existing mortar resulting in cracking or disintegration of mortar joints.
  • Optimal mortar mix design to control shrinkage or match existing color
  • Desired compressive strength of mortar to prevent structural damage to masonry materials

In masonry units, APS can diagnose:

  • Compressive strength of the masonry units
  • Permeability and strength requirements of mortar for improved durability
  • Cause of efflorescence or subflorescence
  • Causes of spalling or delamination

Accurate identification of existing mortar and masonry components can result in improved restoration and repointing of historical structures. In new construction, testing can determine the optimal mix designs to improve long term durability of masonry structures.

Contact Scott Wolter, PG at 651-659-1345 for further information.