There are two main types of factory-produced mortar - lime:sand and ready-to-use mortar.
Lime:sand mortars are a blend of sand and lime to which cement and water is added on site to produce a masonry mortar.
These mortars are well known for their plasticity and workability. The fact that they can completely fill vertical as well as horizontal joints helps in achieving good workmanship. The mortar also spreads easily under the trowel, so increasing productivity and minimising wastage.
For further information on lime:sand mortar see MIA data sheet 1.
Ready-to-use mortars are made in factories under tightly controlled conditions and delivered to site, ready to use. They have guaranteed mix proportions and overcome any potential problems relating to site mixing.
Wet ready-to-use mortars are stored in tubs on site and require no further mixing. They incorporate a retarding agent which makes them fully usuable for a specific period - usually some 36 hours.
For further information on wet ready-to-use mortar see MIA data sheet 2.
Dry ready-to-use mortars are stored in silos or bags. Silos are delivered to site complete with integral mixers and requiring only power and water supplies to be connected.
For further information on dry silo mortar see MIA data sheet 3.