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Roman cement product offers solutions for rendering and plastering applications

Historic building consultants Orsi & Associates were looking into the possibility of using Roman cements in plaster and render mortars for both conservation and new build applications. The company approached Dr Vincenzo Starinieri at Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Infrastructure Management due to his established experience with Roman cements.

Roman cements are natural hydraulic binders characterised by a very rapid setting that makes the use of retardation essential in most practical mortars. We advised the company on the use of a novel retardation technique for prolonging the workable life of Roman cement mortars, without the need to use potentially adverse chemicals.

In addition, we identified a cement manufacturer in Spain which could supply Orsi & Associates with a Roman cement product meeting its financial and technical requirements. We also assisted with the physical and mechanical characterisation of the developed product.

The firm invested in the Roman cement manufactured in Spain and became an importer of the specialist binder. Thanks to the availability of this new binder, they can now advise their clients on a wider range of solutions for rendering and plastering applications. The product could potentially be rolled out to manufacturers and suppliers of mortars, restoration firms, architectural firms and other historic building consultants.

The company's relationship with us has continued since completion of the project, and has included specialist testing of various building materials and products.

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