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**Mortar** is the binding material used in [[masonry]] construction to seal the connection between the modular components (i.e. [[brick]], [[CMU]]). There are three main components in any type of mortar:
1) **Sand**- The most common fine aggregate used in mortars is sand
1) **Cement**- The component used to bind the aggregate
1) **Water**- Potable water is used to hydrate the mixture
and additionally
- **Lime**- may be added to increase workability, promote self-healing, and increase plasticity.

The most common type of mortar is the basic **Portland Cement Mortar**, a mixture of sand, [[PortlandCement portland cement]], and water. It features a high compressive strength, it hardens at a consistent rate, it is effective in resisting damage during freeze/thaw cycles, and has a low water retention.

**Lime mortar** is a mixture of sand, slaked lime, and water, and is a breathable mortar (that is, it allows moisture to pass through it). It is used commonly in old buildings, and should be used when [[repoint repointing]] them, as using a Portland Cement Mortar may trap moisture inside the wall system when it was originally designed to breathe.

**Pozzolana mortar** is a mixture of pozzolanic ash, lime, and water. It is a dense mortar and according it can be set underwater and can be stronger than Portland Cement Mortars.

There are five basic mortar types:
- **Type M**- high strength, used in [[ReinforcedMasonry reinforced masonry]], usually below [[grade]]
- **Type S**- high strength, where lateral reinforcement is required
- **Type N**- medium strength, a general purpose type used above grade
- **Type O**- interior applications or [[NonLoadBearing non-loadbearing]] walls
- **Type K**- lowest strength, interior applications only

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