Plaster of Paris
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Plaster of Paris is a calcium
sulfate hemi-hydrate : (CaSO4, ½ H2O) derived from gypsum, a calcium
sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4
, 2 H2O), by firing this
mineral at relatively low temperature and then reducing it to powder.
The raw material gypsum is sorted and washed with water
for removal of sand and other impurities. The lumps thus obtained are then
dried and powdered in pulverizer. The dried gypsum powder is calcined in a
rotary drumcalciner using light diesel oil as fuel. The low pressure
burner is used for calcination at a temperature of 160ºC to 180ºC.
The process of calcination is done over a period of about 2 hours, so that
one and half molecules of water is removed to convert the gypsum into
plaster of paris. After cooling the product (plaster of paris) is further
pulverised to a fineness of 150 mesh and packed in air tight polythene
lined gunny bags to avoid the plaster of paris from absorption of
Calcium sulfate hemihydrate has been used for many years
and is still used extensively in both industrial and consumer areas.
Plaster of paris is extensively used in ceramic industry
for the preparation of models, moulds and plaster of toys.
It is also used as a main raw material in the manufacture
of toys and statues, chalk crayons, gypsum plaster boards, decorative
picture frames, besides a wide range of applications in the interior
decoration of buildings
Plaster of Paris is ideal for hobby molding , casting,
making forms, patterns & sculptured figures
Rubber gloves and eye protection are recommended.
Prolonged contact with skin should be avoided. During cure, product may
develop enough heat to cause burns if a large mass is permitted to harden
in contact with skin
Plaster of Paris is of course used for setting fractured
bones but in such cases it is never put in direct contact with the skin.
In addition, it is used in relatively thin layers so the heat can
Ensure that Plaster of Paris is not mixed by hand .Pupils
should be warned to avoid skin contact when using Plaster of Paris. Risk
assessments must be followed and safety data sheets held for all Plaster
There is a growing industrial activity in the field of
white ware, such as pottery, sanitary ware, chemical and electrical
porcelains, requiring large quantities of plaster of Paris for making
moulds and preparation of moulds. The demand for the product is ever
increasing. There is also considerable demand for the plaster of Paris
arising from a large number of shops and establishments engaged in making
statues and interior decoration as well as decorative plaster boards for
false ceiling etc., which is in turn creating a good scope for setting up
Plaster of Paris, first introduced hydrous calcium
sulphate or gypsum to the U.S. market. By the early 1900s, the
gypsum business in North America was fragmented into many regional
markets. In 1902, 30 independent gypsum rock and plaster manufacturing
companies combined to form the United States Gypsum Company, which would
later be known as USG Corp. Fast forward to 2006 and USG produced $5.8
billion in sales and approximately $950 million in adjusted operating
income – new company records.
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