What Is Plaster Of Paris

Plaster is a building material that is mainly used for plastering. But its use tends to become more important, thanks to its ease of preparation and increased adhesion to cement as to the wood.

Many varieties such as plasterboard and plasterboard are multiplying to facilitate installation even more. The result is a smooth surface, which can be left as is or painted. Lightness, malleability, are the main advantages of plaster.

What is plaster?

Plaster is made from gypsum, a limestone rock which, when powdered and mixed with water, produces a muddy paste that is easy to work with. A heating process will dehydrate the ionic structure of the gypsum. Grinding will give a sandy but fine result. In the time of the Egyptians, plaster was already used as a mortar, but above all to mold decorative pieces. Gypsum is easy to extract. Sometimes it is even present on the surface.

But for environmental reasons, natural gypsum is gradually being replaced by synthetic gypsum, phosphogypsum, or sulphogypsum, which is obtained by desulphurizing the coal combustion fumes from electricity companies. It is a way to sustainably exploit natural resources. On the other hand, studies have shown that synthetic plaster exposed to radiation risks. Returning to natural gypsum is recommended, especially for indoor use.

Advantages and disadvantages of plaster
The first advantage is that plaster is easy to make, whether natural or synthetic. Its use does not require a lot of work. Indeed, it suffices to rehydrate it before applying it to the wall or the ceiling to obtain a solid structure. All you have to do is sand, once dry so that your wall is smooth. A plastered wall will bring out the paint much better for a longer duration. Plaster is also economical. It does not require any other additive than water, it is the mixing. It is cheaper than other materials.

In addition, it is 100% recyclable. The plaster already used, recovered, will regain all its characteristics when re-mixed with water. This material also acts on air quality. It captures dirt and pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. Plaster also offers good protection against fire. In the presence of fire, it reacts only weakly and it does not release any harmful gas which could suffocate. Finally, plaster is a multi-use material. Its solidity makes it possible to erect dividing walls. It is light, so ideal for partitions that do not require a load-bearing wall.

If water is its main ally, it is also its worst enemy. Plaster does not tolerate humidity. It deforms quickly and the stain created by a flow of water requires some repair work. This little flaw requires more attention. On the other hand, plaster can be improved to have water repellent characteristics in order to withstand water without problem, at least to a certain degree. This is a feature that should be checked before purchasing a panel.

How can plaster be used?
It is a material that is mainly used indoors. Plaster, in powder form, can be used as plaster. Some use it as a mortar. In any case, its adhesion allows a fast and solid application on cement or wooden walls.

It can also be used to make ornamental pieces. Craftsmen use it to make relief cornices. The latter also exists in prefabricated, plasterboard and tiles.

Plasterboard and Placoplatre, what’s the difference?
Plasterboard is plaster cast into a shape ready to be installed. It gets ready in 10 minutes. Once manufactured, the plate can be transported for installation. Plasterboard is improved plaster, generally associated with other materials such as lime or any other material that improves its strength and resistance to humidity. Plasterboard has a higher density than regular plasterboard. It is designed for use as a ceiling or wall covering.

Plaster is not so environmentally friendly, even if it comes from a natural material that is indefinitely recyclable if it is reworked. Unfortunately, demolition waste mixes plaster with bricks and other materials, making recycling difficult. In addition, it releases hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas, during its degradation, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it releases soluble sulfates.

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