AMR Labs


Mortar Analysis & Matching Services

We offer many types of mortar testing.

You can send samples of hardened mortar for testing to us at the following address.

AMR Labs
1525 Corona Dr.
Granbury, TX 76048

We are making brick mortar cracks disappear. - AMR


AMR Labs is dedicated to matching mortar.
This is why we offer various forms of matching mortar including mortar analysis, mortar testing, sand analysis, mortar composition testing, and custom mortar color matching.


Click here to order/get prices and procedure for mortar analysis.



Mortar Analysis

Matching Existing Mortar

AMR Mortar Matching Analysis
AMR Labs provides mortar analysis services for matching mortar by testing samples of existing mortar and analyzing the composition and ratio of mortar mix and sand. This is used to find the composition of the original mortar and determine a formula for creating a matching mortar for masonry repair and preservation of masonry walls.

Mortar Analysis & Composition Matching

Analyzing Mortar Composition

Mortar Analysis
Mortar analysis is the process of testing and analyzing samples of hardened cement mortar to identify the physical properties of the mortar, identify the ingredients or components of the mortar's composition, identify the sizes, shapes, colors, and types of sand aggregates used, and determine the ratio of the portions of each ingredient in the old mortar sample to provide a complete mortar formula for the composition of the existing mortar and for creating a matching mortar for replacement. This test can be used to determine the quality of the mortar used and identify if it meets the requirements of its specified use.

Mortar Analysis Lab

Each testing lab is different. There are many that provide various forms of mortar analysis for analyzing new mortar or new materials on the market. Our mortar analysis lab specializes in testing old mortar samples that come from existing masonry structures, and offer forms of mortar analysis that assist in matching old mortar rather than testing for compliance with design specifications. Basically, reverse engineering the mortar to understand how to reproduce a matching mortar. This is done through analyzing samples of mortar through different testing methods.

Analyzing Mortar Samples

During mortar analysis, mortar samples are tested for their compressive strength, visual analysis under magnification, acid digestion, weight loss, and a visual or sieve analysis of the sand gradation and particles. This is all part of the mortar composition testing.
AMR Labs is an independent mortar testing lab and provides a proprietary mortar testing method that includes several astm testing methods including C-109 crushing analysis, acid digestion, and E-11 sand sieve analysis. However, in our proprietary mortar analysis, we collect additional data that is generally over looked in these tests and combine these results with some scientific mortar testing methods to provide better results than other testing methods can provide.

Analysis of Mortar Composition

Analysis of Mortar Composition
Mortar composition analysis is the only way to completely match mortar. Without analyzing and determining the original mortar composition, you are guessing at the formula for your repair mortar. This can result in multiple problems with your masonry repair.
When the mortar composition does not match the original mortar, the repair mortar tends to crack, crumble, or pop loose and can result in damage to the wall when it cracks bricks or pops the brick face loose. This happens because the repair mortar and the existing mortar did not bond together due to differences in the mortar composition that affect the expansion or contraction of the mortar and the elasticity or pliability of the mortar. Different materials, or even different ratios of the right binder materials make this change in bond ability. This is why the only way to ensure the quality of your repair mortar is through an analysis of the composition of the existing mortar to identify the mortar composition formula and ratio through the examination and testing of the mortar samples.

Sand Sieve Analysis
The sand analysis provides detailed information about the original sand used. This includes a gradation analysis of the sand particle sizes, color description of particles, and identifies the shapes of sand particles used. Through this analysis, we are able to provide recommendations of quarried sand or river sand particle distributions.
Add this test to the composition analysis testing to get a more detailed composition formula with more information about the original sand used in the mortar mix and the ratios of graded particle sizes.

Historic Mortar Analysis

Historic Mortar Analysis and Matching
Historic mortar analysis is similar to analyzing newer mortar, but there are a few differences that need to be noticed.
Historic masonry often slacked lime for the project on location, and tend to have larger lime particles in the mix due to the size of or lack of screens. This is known as historic lime. Additionally, historic mortars tend to use less if any Portland cement and this results in lower crushing pressures. To increase the strength of the mortar, animal hair and plant fibers such as grass were often added to the mix.
When analyzing historic mortars for matching, it is important to watch for the lime particle size and these hairs and plant fibers. Also, the pressure gauge for testing the compressive strength of the mortar must be able to read these lower crushing pressures when performing historic mortar analysis.


Brick Mortar Analysis

Analysis of the brick mortar allows us to determine the exact mortar formula. This includes the composition of the mortar recipe, and the ratio of proportions of mortar mix to sand. The composition, ratio, and performance of the mortar are all relevant to identifying the mortar type for matching mortar.

Mortar Sample Analysis

Analysis of samples of mortar is the only way to determine the mortar type and formula for matching. The best place to collect a mortar sample for analysis is from the area needing repairs. As the mortar mix may vary around the building, it is important to match the area of repairs, but often one area is close enough for matching the whole building.

You will need to collect a few small pieces or about a cup of mortar sample for analysis. We can work with smaller amounts, but it is best if we have a bit more than needed in the event we need to repeat any tests.

Mortar sample analysis takes about 1-2 weeks to get your results back. This can be a little faster if you include an e-mail and contact information with your samples for testing.