One of the challenges in construction is the improvement of energy efficiency of buildings. Development of construction materials of low thermal conductivity is a straightforward way to improve heat isolating capability of an enclosure. Lime mortar has a number of advantageous and peculiar properties and was widely used until the "irruption" of Portland cement. Currently, lime mortar is still used in restoration of traditional buildings or, according to the urban regulations, in catalogued constructions. The goal of the present study is the improvement of the heat isolating capability of lime mortars. The strategy of this work is the addition of iron (III) oxide powder, which is one of the possible components forming the cements, to a base lime mortar. The reason to choose Fe2O3 was two-fold. The first reason is low thermal conductivity of Fe2O3 compared to lime mortar. The second reason is that the low solubility and small size of iron (III) oxide particles have an effect on the thermal conductivity across the lime particles. The effect of iron (III) oxide powder on the thermal conductivity has been experimentally determined by the hot-box method. It has been found that the insulating capacity and thermal inertia of lime mortar is improved significantly by the addition of Fe2O3 powder, increasing the energy saving of the enclosure.
Keywords: energy saving with materials; energy storage; iron (III) oxide; lime mortar; thermal conductivity; thermal diffusivity.