Influence of polymers on microstructure and adhesive strength of cementitious tile adhesive mortars

Jenni, Andreas; Holzer, L.; Zurbriggen, R.; Herwegh, Marco (2005). Influence of polymers on microstructure and adhesive strength of cementitious tile adhesive mortars. Cement and concrete research, 35(1), pp. 35-50. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cemconres.2004.06.039

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The impact of polymer modification on the physical properties of cementitious mortars is investigated using a multimethod approach. Special emphasis is put on the identification and quantification of different polymer components within the cementitious matrix. With respect to thin-bed applications, particularly tile adhesives, the spatial distributions of latex, cellulose ether (CE), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and cement hydration products can be quantified. It is shown that capillary forces and evaporation induce water fluxes in the interconnected part of the pore system, which transport CE, PVA, and cement ions to the mortar interfaces. In contrast, the distribution of latex remains homogeneous. In combination with results from qualitative experiments, the quantitative findings allow reconstruction of the evolution from fresh to hardened mortar, including polymer film formation, cement hydration, and water migration. The resulting microstructure and the failure modes can be correlated with the final adhesive strength of the tile adhesive. The results demonstrate that skinning prior to tile inlaying can strongly reduce wetting properties of the fresh mortar and lower final adhesive strength.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Science
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Tectonics

UniBE Contributor:

Jenni, Andreas and Herwegh, Marco


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
600 Technology > 690 Building & construction








Andreas Jenni

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2015 14:08

Last Modified:

25 Jul 2016 14:50

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Mortar, Microstructure, Polymers, Pull-out strength, SEM




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