The physical and chemical nature of ancient plasterwork decoded (Download PDF)


Download PDF of This Page (Size: 235.13 K)

IIT Madras’s Researchers have uncovered the microstructure of the binding materials used in plasterwork during the Mughal period in between 13th to 16th century. Ornamentation done on interior or exterior wall structure or along ceilings and walls is known as Plasterwork.

Monuments built during the reign of the Mughals and the Lodhis extensively used the plasterwork for decoration purpose following the Persian style of architecture.

The researchers have revealed the microstructure of the binding material along the five different historic buildings in New Delhi. For example the arches of Bahlol Lodi Tomb has been extensively decorated using the plasterwork.

This image show in Arches of Bahlol Lodi Tomb

This Image Show in Arches of Bahlol Lodi Tomb

This image show in Arches of Bahlol Lodi Tomb

Research Analysis

  • Different transformations were observed based on the study of mineral composition and porosity of the material.

  • Aim was to find out whether any secondary materials had formed over the years. Whether they had altered the internal structure or not.

  • IIT Madras hosts the National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures. recommended the changes to limit liquid fund exposure to a single sector.

  • It was revealed that the plasterwork was mostly made up of lime binder and silica sand. Organic fibres were also found in the plaster.

  • While the plaster is prone to shrinking fibres prevent the formation of cracks.

  • Lime was the main ingredient used in the past as a binding material and they need exposure to carbon dioxide for a certain period in order to get harden.

  • The lime-based mortars are still used for repair and restoration of historic monuments.

  • The cementitious binders are capable of rapid hardening even in wet conditions. They are not that compatible to historic monuments as compared to the lime mortars.

  • The old structures used stones, bricks, and lime-based binders, which weather slowly, unless subjected to an environment rich in salts.

  • The modern construction mainly depends on reinforced concrete.

  • The life of the structure is governed by how long it takes for the steel to corrode. Reinforced concrete is the best binding material available at present.

  • Unlike the materials used in the past, Steel has high tensile strength and ductility, and makes it possible to design optimally and economically.

  • By paying attention to the blend of materials used for concrete the life and durability of the present day monuments too can be extended.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 16, 2019


Doorsteptutor material for CLAT GK-Current-Affairs is prepared by worlds top subject experts- fully solved questions with step-by-step exaplanation- practice your way to success.

Developed by: