The building and construction sector is experiencing sustained growth, with increasing spending from both the private sector and the government. The building and construction sector is one of the strongest sectors supporting economic growth in the world. This also has an impact on the amount of use of building materials.
One of the compulsory materials is cement. However, we know the other type of cement is called mortar. Mortar added by cellulose could be the stronger foundation. So, what is the role of cellulose in mortar viscosifier?
Differentiate the Types of Mixing in Construction
Some or most people think that every compound in construction looks like the same dough with no difference. But for people who are familiar with the details of the construction, those kinds are not the same.
Concrete, cement utilization, and mortar are very different things. Since different periods and properties are the factors for applying so. What are the differences and their application in construction?
Let’s start with the properties of cement. As far as we know, cement is the material added in making the mixing in building houses or offices. It still needs other elements such as water and sand. Usually, it is recommended for small-scale construction. While in wider areas of the building, we are recommended to use concrete. It is approved to have super durability.
Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and limestone. If it is mixed with water, the mixture will be thicker and denser than concrete. Mortar is often used to attach objects such as bricks or stones to stick together. Now, it is common to add cellulose as the mortar viscosifier. This compound provides more strength so that the building is stronger and more durable.
There are many benefits to using mortar for your construction work. The following are the functions of mortar:
- As a binding material. In building walls, we commonly use mortar as the binder of materials. Together with cellulose ether, the mortar will bind one brick or stone to another to form a wall.
- Covering uneven surfaces. Uneven brick surfaces can be covered and removed using a mortar. This will certainly make the construction work neater.
- As plastering material. When building a wall, of course, the surface will not immediately be flat and nice. For this reason, mortar is needed for plastering the walls so that the surface is smooth. We do add the cellulose ether to be the mortar viscosifier. In addition, mortar can also be used as plaster when installing ceramics, both on the floor and the wall.
- To clean the wall. After the wall is leveled, it is necessary to plaster it to make the wall even smoother. Mortar can be used to plaster the walls after plastering; this will make the walls smooth making it easier when painting.
- As casting material. Casting using mortar will make the processing time shorter. This efficiency brings a lot of advantages since it can be a way for minimizing the time employed, the labor, and the budget.
Cellulosa Ether Derivatives for Mortar Viscosity
Ready-to-use mortar with a high level of viscosity is now widely sold in the market. This mortar is usually sold in the form of ready-to-use dry mortar. The addition of cellulose ether into this product is also very low. Even so the performance of wet mortar can be improved with the cellulose ether. The problems that are often encountered from plastering mortar and masonry include poor water retention performance and a relatively long mortar drying process.
All problems can be solved by the performance of cellulose ether and its derivatives in mortar. The mortar vicosifier properties derived from methyl cellulose ether greatly affect water retention.
In addition to the viscosity of the cellulose ether, several factors can also give impact to the water retention effect, such as the surrounding temperature, the amount of cellulose ether added, and the fineness of the particles after mixing. However, there are single cellulose ethers and mixed cellulose ethers which play a role in the performance of this mortar viscosifier.
Single cellulose ether is methylcellulose, while mixed cellulose ether is HPMC or hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose. Both of them are the most widely sold cellulose ethers on the market because of their practicality and the most frequently used also because of their ease of dissolving in mortar.
Cellulose ethers and their water-soluble derivatives can form mortar viscosifier. This mortar has at least aspects such as being able to interact with cement, having excellent water retention performance, and being able to influence the consistency of the mortar.
The greater the viscosity of the cellulose ether, the better the water retention.
Steps to Apply Cellulose Ether in Mortar
We know that cellulose has many types or derivations. All the creatures hold vital functions in certain ways. We can take an example in a mortar viscosifier. Dry mix mortar generally uses HPMC (Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose).
It has specific properties such as water-soluble, odorless, and non-ionic polymer. If we are concerned about the construction field, we will be commonly used as a thickener and water retention agent in a variety of applications. While powder HPMC is the usual form used.
The powder of HPMC will agglomerate when directly added to water and then dissolve. However, it will spend much time. Based on some literature, there are steps for being efficient in the cellulose dissolving process. Below are the short dissolving processes of HPMC in mortar viscosifier.
At least there are two methods for doing so. The first is when we are using the hot water. No cellulose could dissolve in high-temperature water. However, by right handling, we can apply it better. Add hot water, it should be more than 70 degrees of Celsius. Gently mix the mixture. It may be strange in the beginning but then it will change the texture to the state like porridge.
If it does not work, we still have the other method. Try to add firmly water in 1/3 or 2/3 part. Then, heat to more than 70 degrees Celsius adding HPMC. Shortly and quickly, disperse to porridge form. Add cold water or ice to the residual content, stir, and cool the compound.
Last, we can also try mixing cellulose powder with other identical volumes of materials, spreading, and adding water into the mixture. It could be also worth ways to do when we are in the dissolving process.
Then, to purchase cellulose ether for the mortar as the mortar viscosifier we need to be wise and careful in selection. We need to see the amount of cellulose ether inside the mortar we buy. Next, we also see the temperature around when applied the mortar mixing.