The main objective of this project is the development of a lime mortar infused with conductive nano-particle inclusions. Lime mortar infused with conductive nano-particles maintains its compatibility with historic masonry materials, has superior strength, thermal properties and durability compared to ordinary lime-mortars and is characterized by readily measurable piezo-resistivity.
When used as a repointing agent in historic masonry structures, this smart nano-mortar serves as a non-intrusive structural monitoring sensor over the repair patch. The use of the material as a self-sensing system for the measurement of deformation and damage allows structural monitoring without the use of permanently attached acquisition equipment.
The smart nano-mortar is envisaged as providing a means of monitoring structural deformation and damage caused by differential foundation movement, ambient vibration and low-magnitude induced seismicity. Historic masonry structures are vulnerable to these actions and this novel material can assist in both protecting and monitoring heritage structures with minimal aesthetic intrusion and low cost.