27 June 2013
SCI's Construction Materials Group in partnership with the Institute of Concrete Technology
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New cement plants have been set up in Europe to manufacture natural (or so called 'Roman') cement. This cement produces an ochre coloured breathable material which can be used for repair and re-forming of architectural details which is much more sympathetic for the repair of heritage structures. To overcome the limitations of its quick setting properties by using additives and by different mixing techniques we are effectively rediscovering skills that artisans and masons must have had in past times.
Natural or Roman cements, were key materials for the economic and easy manufacture of renders and cast architectural details for the exteriors of buildings during the ninteteenth and early twentieth century. Roman cements were produced by burning naturally occuring deposits fo calcium carbonate rich in clay minerals below their sintering temperatures and grinding burned stones to a required fineness. The materials offered a high speed of set, beautiful texture and warm ochre colour imitating those of natural stones, and could withstand exterior conditions very effectively. The production and use of Roman cement production peaked in the 1840s and 50s, and declined with the dominance of the newer Portland cement on the market and modern functional architecture with its absence of ornament.
For a long time, conservation of the architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century did not receive the same considerations as other periods, one of the principal reasons being lack of original historic binders which would closely match those of the orginal structure.
Recently a large European research programme, called 'Rocare' (www.rocare.eu) has extensively investigated historic renders based on Roman cements and will be addressed by the speakers. The meeting will be of interest to architects, consultants, materials suppliers, engineers and anyone with an interest in the preservation of historic structures.
This event is recognised by ICT for continuing professional development (CPD)
SCISCI HQ, 14-15 Belgrave Square, London, UK
GB£120+vat . . . . . . . . . SCI/ICT/Concrete Society/The Buidling Limes Forum Member
GB£150+vat. . . . . . . . . .Non Members
GB£60+vat. . . . . . . . . .Student/Retired
GB£500+vat, available on a first come first served basis.
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