Mortar has played a major role in construction since ancient times, with the oldest example found in Israel and thought to date back 10,000 years. Much of the ancient mortar still in existence remains durable today, a testament to the long-lasting nature of the material.

In practice, a mortar joint acts as a sealant, a bearing pad, the glue that sticks the units together yet keeps them apart. In this sense, it performs as a gap-filling adhesive.

Mortar Screed Testing

Today, mortar in the UK is produced to the specification BS EN 998-2: Specification for mortar for masonry – Part 2: Masonry mortar.

BS EN 13318 defines a screed as: A layer or layers of screed material laid in situ, directly onto a base, bonded or unbonded, or onto an intermediate layer or insulating layer, to obtain one or more of the following purposes:

  • To obtain a defined level
  • To carry the final flooring
  • To provide a wearing surface
Laying a resin floor

Mortar and Screed Testing

ACS Testing carry out a wide range of mortar and screed in-situ testing in hospitals, schools, shops, and warehouses. In addition, we take fresh samples for laboratory analysis.

We also carry out in-situ crushing resistance (ISCR) testing on screeds laid in the above-mentioned buildings. The screed is subjected to repeat impact blows. A weight is dropped vertically down a guide onto a hardened steel anvil in contact with the screed surface. This test determines the resistance of levelling screeds to the crushing effect of imposed loads and traffic in service.

Our Hygrometer survey of screed is to determine the humidity of the screeds. This is required before flooring products are laid and bonded to the screed surface.

Collecting a few samples of mortar for testing

Our In-Situ and Laboratory testing includes:

Test Method What is shows
In-Situ Crushing Resistance of Screeds BS 8204-1 Resistance to the crushing effect of imposed loads and traffic
Hygrometer Survey BS 5325 Measurement of relative humidity values above porous surfaces such as screeds and concretes
Flexural and Compressive Strength of Screed BS EN 13892-2 Determines the flexural and compressive strength of prisms
Mix Proportions of Screed BS 4551 Determines traditional volume proportions and screed designation
Adhesive strength of hardened rendering and plastering mortar BS EN 1015-12 Determines the maximum tensile stress applied by a direct load at right angles to the surface of the rendering
Flexural and Compressive Strength of Mortar BS EN 1015-11 Determines the flexural and compressive strength of prisms
Mix Proportions of



BS 4551 Determines traditional volume proportions and mortar designation
ACS Services

Please see below for a list of the services provided by ACS:

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Geo-Environmental Consultancy

The ACS Geo-Environmental Consultancy Department has been operating as part of ACS for over 10 years.

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On-Site Testing Services

ACS offers a comprehensive range of professional on-site testing, all carried out by our fully trained site technicians.

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Aggregates and Soils Testing

From our main laboratory in Poole, Dorset, ACS provide quality testing and material consultancy for the construction and civil engineering industry.

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Bituminous Testing

ACS carries out testing on new bituminous binder material and testing on hardened material for physical and chemical properties. Circa pre 1980’s Tar (Carcinogenic effects) was also used as a binder, ACS staff can sample and test materials to assess if Tar was used.

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Concrete Testing

Concrete was the first service to be offered by ACS back in 1987. Since then, we have increased our scope to cover a wide range of UKAS Accredited testing methods on fresh and hardened concrete.

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Mortar and Screed Testing

ACS can sample and test new and hardened mortar. Hardened mortar for mix proportions and constituents, new mortar for compressive and flexural strength.

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Contamination and WAC Testing

At ACS we offer an efficient and reliable chemical analysis service for waste soils and construction materials using various test solids and leaching procedures specified by the Environment Agency.

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Chemical Testing

The ACS chemical laboratory was established in 2007. It complements the physical materials testing service provided by ACS by offering a range of chemical analytical services.

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Leachate and Water Analysis

Our purpose-built analytical laboratory enables ACS to provide a comprehensive sampling, monitoring and analysis service on a wide range of leachate and water samples.

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Natural Stone Testing

Our newly refurbished stone testing laboratory has given us the opportunity to expand our testing scope. In addition, we have increased production and improved on our turnaround of samples.

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Site Laboratory Services

Over the last 35 years, ACS have supplied custom fitted site laboratories with technicians to many construction sites and projects worldwide.

Persistent Organic Pollutants

Our experienced lab technicians can provide detailed and accurate analysis of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in almost any sample matrix in line with the Stockholm Convention.

Energy From Waste

Experts in Energy from Waste residues, ACS offers a full range of services, including gasification, pyrolysis, syngas and tar sampling, and analysis and interpretation of analytical results for IBA and APCr.

RoHS Compliance Testing

At ACS, we undertake rigorous RoHS compliance testing to identify and quantify any contaminants in your shredded waste, ensuring your product meets strict RoHS requirements.

Energy Supply, Generation & Regulation

Our highly skilled team provide industry-leading waste fuel testing services for RDF, SRF, MSW, and Solid Biomass, helping you save costs and meet compliance standards for total peace of mind.


If you require a collection that is outside of our usual range, please feel free to call us on 01202 622858.
Or contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.