About three quarters of all mortars used in the UK today come from factory-produced sources as opposed to being mixed on site. Their use reflects the ever-increasing demands for quality building products in the development of our built environment. As well as their consistency in content, colour and strength, they are also cost effective, reducing on site labour costs.
Ready-to-use mortars may be “wet ready-to-use” which requires no further mixing and are stored in tubs on site. They incorporate a retarding agent making them fully useable for a specific period, usually some 36 hours. Alternatively, they may be “dry ready-to-use” which are delivered in silos or bags and requiring the additional mixing of water. Data Sheet - Factory Produced Silo Mortar
Pre-batched lime: sand materials are delivered to site, with cement and water added prior to use. These mortars are well known for their plasticity and workability. The mortar also spreads easily under the trowel, so increasing productivity and minimising wastage. See here: Data Sheet-Benefits of lime:sand mortar
All production methods of factory-produced mortars can offer both coloured and natural shades. This opens up a whole new dimension for architects and specifiers – once regarded only as a means of avoiding clashed with specific bricks, coloured mortars have now become recognised as a design tool in their own right. For more information, please see this data sheet on pigment types for mortars: Data Sheet - Pigments for mortars
For prescribed composition information on mortar mixes as well as their physical characteristics please see here: Composition and Manufacture of ready mix mortars
All the technical guidelines to help you choose the right grade of mortar for your desired application and the quality standard requirements to ensure it’s used correctly have been developed by the Mortar Industry Association, see here: MIA - Technical Data Sheets