Plaster was known and manufactured as early as 9,000 years ago, used by the ancient Egyptians on the Pyramids. The term 'Plaster of Paris' dates back to the early 1700s, when the King of France ruled that all buildings be covered with plaster as a precaution against fire. There are two kinds of plaster; gypsum and lime plaster.
Gypsum itself is a sedimentary rock laid down in the bottom of lagoons. The name 'gypsum' comes from the Greek word for 'chalk'. It is also known as selenite and comes as a rock and mineral, the latter forming large crystals. Gypsum is transformed to plaster by calcination. Gypsum is, in fact, a calcium sulfate dihydrate that is changed into a semihydrate, by various processes which control the details of the plaster crystals formed. However, the majority of modern sheet plaster used to cover walls and ceilings is lime plaster. Gypsum plaster tends to be used for decorative elements, but gypsum sheets and panels are also used to finish walls and ceilings.
In addition to plaster, gypsum is used to make gypsum board, which is used in the construction of drywall. Gypsum slabs are used in radiant heat systems, such as for heated floors. Gypsum sheets can be made waterproof, and are used on building exteriors. It is also used to make tiles. Most modern classroom chalk is made out of gypsum. Finally, there is no current substitute for gypsum in creating Portland cement.
Gypsum stone and rock is removed from quarries. Some gypsum is also created as byproducts of other processes. It is then transported by road or rail to the factories where gypsum products are manufactured to be turned into plaster board or dry wall. The building industry requires significant supplies of gypsum and gypsum based materials.
Gypsum, commonly used to make plaster of Paris and various fertilizers, is a white, yellow, or colorless mineral. What's a mineral? Minerals, natural substances, are elements that can range in composition from pure elements to complex silicates. The study of such substances is called mineralogy. Silver, gold, and iron, for example, are minerals. A type of crystal, gypsum is also used to make cement, chalk, drywall, manufacturer boards, wall boards, panels, and covers. Gypsum, basically calcium sulfate, is very soft and can be scratched easily. It also produces a white streak, has a pearly luster or shine, and is said to have good cleavage, which can distinguish one piece of gypsum from another. Gypsum and gypsum products manufacturers produce and sell products that contain this mineral to wholesalers, retailers, the general public, companies, and contractors. You can find gypsum and gypsum products manufacturers by looking in your local phone book or by searching online directory listings. Target your search to manufacturers that make the exact material you need, whether dry wall, manufacturer board, plaster of Paris figures, or fertilizer. Consider your needs and your budget, and go from there. Ask others in your business where they purchase their gypsum and gypsum products from. Go online to do your research on gypsum and where it comes from, where it's found, and what products contain this mineral. You can also look up listings of manufacturers near you, product reviews, process overview, geology study, company backgrounds, references, locations, hours, specialties, and photos. Whatever you need, whether fertilizer, plaster, panels, covers, or dry wall, manufacturers of gypsum products can help.