Plaster is a building material that is mainly used for rendering. But its use tends to become more important, thanks to its ease of preparation and increased adhesion to cement and wood.
Many varieties such as plasterboard and plasterboard are multiplying to make installation even easier. The result is a smooth surface, which can be left as is or painted. Lightness, malleability, these are the main advantages of plaster.
What is plaster?
Plaster is obtained from gypsum, a calcareous rock which, when reduced to powder 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. At the time of the Egyptians, plaster was already used as mortar, but especially to mold decorative pieces. Gypsum is easy to extract. Sometimes it is even present on the surface.
But for environmental imperatives, natural gypsum is gradually being replaced by synthetic gypsum, phosphogypsum or sulfogypsum, which are obtained by desulfurization of 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 exposes you to risks of radiation. A return to natural gypsum is recommended, especially for indoor use.
Advantages and disadvantages of plaster
The first advantage is that the plaster is easy to manufacture, whether natural or synthetic. Its use does not require a lot of work. Indeed, it is enough to rehydrate it before applying it to the wall or the ceiling to obtain a solid structure. It only remains to sand, once dry, so that your wall is smooth. A plastered wall will make the paint stand out much better for a longer duration. Plaster is also economical. It does not require any other additive than water, it is the mess. It is cheaper than other materials.
In addition, it is 100% recyclable. The plaster already used, recovered, will regain all its characteristics once re-mixed with water. This material also acts on the quality of the air. It captures dirt and pollutants like sulfur dioxide. Plaster also provides good fire protection. In the presence of fire, it reacts only weakly and it does not release harmful gases which could asphyxiate. Finally, plaster is a multipurpose material. Its solidity makes it possible to erect dividing walls. It is light, therefore 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 moisture. It deforms quickly and the stain created by a flow of water requires some repair work. This small defect requires more attention. On the other hand, plaster can be improved to have water-repellent characteristics to withstand water without problems, 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 a filler. Some use it as a mortar. In any case, its adhesion allows a fast and solid application on cement or wooden walls. This smoothing makes it possible to standardize walls and ceilings.
It can also be used to make ornamental pieces. Craftsmen use it to make relief cornices. The latter also exist in prefabricated form, in plasterboard and tiles. Once made into plasterboard, the plaster is strong enough to be mounted as a partition wall.
Plasterboard and plasterboard, what is the difference?
A plasterboard is plaster molded to a form ready to be installed. It gets ready in 10 minutes. Once manufactured, the plate can be transported to be placed. Placoplâtre is, on the other hand, improved plaster, generally associated with other materials such as lime or any other material which improves its solidity and its resistance to humidity. Placoplâtre has a higher density than ordinary plasterboard. It is designed to be used as a ceiling or wall covering.
Plaster is not so environmentally friendly, even though it is made from a natural material that is indefinitely recyclable if reworked. Unfortunately, demolition waste mixes plaster with bricks and other materials which makes recycling difficult. In addition, it releases hydrogen sulphide, a toxic gas, during its degradation, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it rejects soluble sulphates.