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Custom Portland Cement-Lime Mortars


Henry Frerk Sons offers tailored services to meet the needs of each project, from blending materials to meet existing architectural specifications to developing mix designs, conducting material testing, and manufacturing the material using our precise quality control measures.  We produce these mortars for projects where specific performance characteristics, admixtures, or custom aggregates rule out Preblended Bagged Mortars.


Custom Mortars for Historic Buildings

Custom Portland cement-lime mortars are produced inhouse and follow the same process as our historic lime mortars. However, our historic lime mortars are generally used for buildings from approximately 1930 and earlier, whereas our custom Portland cement-lime mortars are usually used to restore buildings that are midcentury modern (approximately 1940+) or for new construction.


Our Services Include:

  • Using results of material tests to produce custom mortar to match the original in both performance and appearance
  • Comparing ASTM C1324 test results to the test data we have compiled for our replacement mortars to identify the most compatible replacement materials
  • Formulating and testing mix designs
  • Material manufacturing

Materials Testing & Analysis Support

Architects and engineers may specify testing services to understand the properties of existing mortars and masonry units for buildings of any age. This information guides the development of replacement materials that are compatible with the original. Testing may also be specified to confirm that the mortar meets the architect’s or engineer’s specifications.


We have partnered with an accredited testing lab to provide a comprehensive range of advanced material and masonry mortar testing, which we supplement with our analysis and replacement recommendations.


Once the lab has completed the tests and provided a report, we review and analyze the data to identify the original material and make scientifically-based restoration recommendations.


Please allow a minimum of 3-4 weeks for most testing procedures. The lead time may be longer during times of peak demand.


Standard Testing Services


In addition to the standard tests listed here we can work with the lab to develop custom testing protocols if necessary.

  • ASTM C-1324
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Acid Digestion
  • Brief Microscopical Work
  • Thin Section Analysis
  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Initial Rate of Absorption (set of 5)
  • Compressive Testing (Set of 5)
  • Inquiry Form

Visit our Materials Testing & Analysis page for more information.


Special Order Mortar Process

Special order custom mortars vary widely in terms of complexity, so lead times and pricing vary. To request a custom mortar blend, please call Elisabeth Logman at 773-588-0800 ext. 113 or email at elogman@hfsmaterials.com.


Production Time: Production schedules depend on the material, but typically customers should anticipate a minimum two-week lead time for custom orders that are blended to existing specifications. If we need to develop the mix design and conduct testing we will work with the project team to develop the production timeline.


Minimum Order: Special-order custom mortars do not have a minimum order requirement.


Contact us with any questions you may have in regards to our custom Portland cement-lime mortars, or call 773-588-0800 today!