RILEM TC 167, “Characterization of Old Mortars with Respect to Their Repair,” was convened in October 1996 and finished its work six years later. The objectives of the technical committee were twofold: determine a consistent methodology that would characterize old mortars in order to reproduce similar products for restoration and repair of existing masonry, and identify the fundamental parameters and standardized testing methods for the old mortars.

The members of the RILEM technical committee were experts in several fields, including material science, structural engineering, and architectural conservation. They broke their task into eight components: glossary of terms, damage mechanisms, sampling, petrographic analysis, chemical analysis, mechanical testing, porosity, and external requirements.