Gypsum board: Ceiling and other applications in Construction

What is Gypsum?

The mineral known as gypsum is a soft sulphate that is made up of calcium sulphate in its dihydrate form.
It is mined in many different parts of the world and has a wide variety of applications, including usage as a fertiliser, as a building material, in architectural and sculptural projects, as well as in the production of pharmaceuticals and food additives. Gypsum board, which is also known as Drywall and Sheetrock because to their proprietary designations, is often used in the building industry.

Application of Gypsum in the construction industry

  • Because of its various applications in the building and construction sector, gypsum is sometimes referred to as the “wonder mineral.” Gypsum has a variety of purposes in everyday life.
  • Gypsum is an important component in the production of wallboards, which are used in the covering of walls and ceilings.
  • Plaster, which is used in the building of dwellings, may also be made from it, and it can be combined with other ingredients to form a patching compound that can be used to fix wallboard.
  • Buildings may also be constructed using gypsum blocks, which function very similarly to concrete blocks when employed in construction.
  • Additionally, it is used as a component of Portland cement, where it serves the purpose of preventing the concrete from setting too quickly.

What is the role of gypsum in cement?

When water and cement are combined, the resulting substance eventually dries up and becomes hard. This process is known as the setting of the cement. Gypsum is often included into Portland cement in order to delay the onset of early hardening, sometimes known as “flash setting,” and therefore extend the amount of time that may be spent working with the cement. The setting of cement is slowed down by gypsum, which allows for more time for cement to sufficiently harden.

Gypsum board

Gypsum board
Gypsum board

Gypsum boards are often used in the building industry as a kind of surface material for the construction of walls and ceilings. Gypsum boards are one of the most common building materials used in the creation of drywall, which does away with the need for plaster. Plaster of Paris and wallboards both make use of gypsum, which is a pliable substance composed of calcium sulphate dihydrate.

Gypsum boards are manufactured in such a manner that they may be used on walls and ceilings without the need for plastering, and they also offer a smooth finish to the surface they are applied to. Drywall, wallboard, and plasterboard are various names that may be used to refer to gypsum boards. Gypsum is used as the core ingredient in all types of gypsum items sold on the market, and additional materials, such as fibreglass, are wrapped around the surface of the gypsum.

Gypsum board may be purchased in a variety of standard sizes. Other popular names for this material include “drywall.” The proportions four feet wide by eight feet high are the ones that are most often seen for gypsum board. Plasterboard and drywall are both terminologies that may also be used to refer to gypsum board.

The thicknesses vary from one-quarter of an inch to three-quarters of an inch, with increments of one-eighth of an inch.

Even while gypsum board is a non-toxic material (after all, it is simply calcium sulphate that has been wrapped in paper), the widespread use of this product has a huge and detrimental impact on the natural world.

Gypsum board is advantageous in many ways, including its low cost, ease of installation and finishing, resistance to fire, lack of toxicity, capacity to absorb sound, and availability. One of the drawbacks is that it is difficult to apply it to curved surfaces, and it has low durability in terms of withstanding damage from abrasion or impact. Another drawback is that it is difficult to apply it to circular surfaces.

Properties of Gypsum Board as a Building Material

White Gypsum Board
White Gypsum Board
  1. Good Thermal Properties of Gypsum Boards

The thermal characteristics of gypsum boards are quite high.
As a result of the gypsum’s excellent thermal characteristics, it maintains a comfortable equilibrium between the relative humidity and temperature of an interior space. Plasterboards, when used in the inside of a structure, may serve as a vapour barrier, so preventing the buildup of moisture within the building’s living spaces.

  1. Gypsum Boards, Due to Their Chemical Composition, are Naturally Fire-Resistant

Gypsum boards are resistant to fire and will prevent the fire from spreading further; as a result, they may assist in shielding the building from the effects of any potential fire threats. Because it contains water that is chemically bound, gypsum has a feature that makes it resistant to fire. This property is owing to the presence of water in gypsum. The water that is contained inside the gypsum will evaporate if the gypsum boards are subjected to fire, which will result in the formation of a protective layer.

  1. It Possesses Excellent Acoustic Properties

Gypsum boards, which have strong soundproofing capabilities, are the most fit to use in the building of structures in heavy traffic areas. This is because of the fact that gypsum boards have good soundproofing properties. Plasterboards made of gypsum have had noise absorption and reverberation lowering properties built into their construction from the very beginning.

  1. Gypsum has qualities that make it an effective sound barrier

Gypsum is a construction material that is used to insulate rooms and minimise the amount of energy that is used in your home. Gypsum is an energy-efficient building material. Because of the soundproofing qualities it has, it is ideal for use in the building of homes in locations with a large volume of traffic.

Gypsum boards have a surface that is both homogeneous and smooth, making them an excellent choice for use in the interior design of residential as well as commercial structures.

Synthetic Gypsum Board

  • Manufacturers of gypsum board are increasingly depending on “synthetic” gypsum as an efficient alternative to natural gypsum in order to meet the growing demand of consumers for their products.
  • It is estimated that roughly 45 percent of the gypsum that was utilised by manufacturers in the United States in the year 2010 was of the synthetic kind. This figure comes from a study that was published in 2010.
  • The chemical formula for gypsum, which can be represented as CaSO42H20, is the same for both natural and synthesised forms of the mineral.
  • The great majority of synthetic gypsum that is put to use in commercial applications is a byproduct of the process that is used to remove pollutants from the exhaust that is produced as a result of the burning of fossil fuels in power generation.
  • The material that is used to make products out of gypsum panels would be deposited in landfills if synthetic gypsum were not used in the manufacturing process.
Synthetic Gypsum Board example
Synthetic Gypsum Board

The principal environmental repercussions of gypsum, according to Ecology Action, a nonprofit environmental consultancy, are habitat disturbance caused by mining, the usage of energy and accompanying emissions during processing and transportation, and the development of solid waste from disposal.

Utilizing “synthetic” or recycled gypsum board is one way to greatly lessen the effect of a number of these factors.
A by-product of coal-fired power plants is synthetic gypsum, which is now used in around thirty percent of all drywall.

It is often mistaken with fly ash, which is another result of coal combustion, despite the fact that the two have very few similarities.

New technologies have been instrumental in the production of a number of new gypsum board board products, which have recently entered the market. These new products are superior than conventional gypsum board in a number of respects, including their reduced impact on the environment. One such example is the newly developed eco-friendly drywall known as EcoRock Drywall, which has brought about substantial changes and improvements to the drywall product.

These changes and improvements range from the product’s fundamental material components to the manufacturing processing procedures. EcoRock is an alternative that is not only completely recyclable but also quite appealing. It is made up of postindustrial waste and scrap material from steel and cement plants, and it may be securely disposed of in landfills. The postindustrial recycling that goes into its production accounts for eighty percent of the total.

Since EcoRock is organically cured and dried, the production process requires 80 percent less energy than it would with standard processes because of this. In addition to this, it does not have any gypsum in it, which means that it does not need a particularly high level of energy consumption during manufacture.

Additionally, it helps to improve air quality by reducing the amount of mercury that is released into the atmosphere. Drywall made of EcoRock produces dust that is 60 percent less, is resistant to termites, and is 50 percent more resistant to mildew and mould than conventional drywall.

Read more: Special properties of Artificial Stone

Decorative gypsum board

Gypsum board may be used for decorative purposes since it has several desirable qualities, including low weight, great strength, resistance to fire, sound insulation, and high ductility, amongst others. Slicing, planing, nailing, drilling, and sticking are few of the possible processing methods for it. The application and installation processes are simplified because to it. In order for decorative gypsum board to be considered compliant with the standards outlined in “Decorative Gypsum Board” (JC/T 799–96), its physical and mechanical qualities must be satisfactory.

Technical Requirements for Decorative Gypsum Boards
Technical Requirements for Decorative Gypsum Boards


Gypsum board is a type of construction material that is typically used as wall or ceiling panels in buildings. Gypsum board is made of a layer of gypsum sandwiched between two layers of paper or fiberboard. It is a lightweight, fire-resistant, and sound-absorbent material that is easy to install and maintain. Gypsum board is an ideal material for use in a variety of applications, including office and retail space, schools, hospitals, and hotels.

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