Plaster of Paris is a white powdery mixture of gypsum. It has been named such because the first deposit of gypsum was found in Paris. This powder when mixed with water solidifies, but without losing its volume. During the manufacturing process, the gypsum is heated and as such, it doesn’t require any heat treatment like ceramics or clays. Because of its property to harden with just water, it is used in a number of areas, but most notably for molding decorative objects. Perhaps one of the best uses of plaster of Paris is to make castings. Castings using plaster of Paris is used by both environmental agencies and law enforcement agencies. While environmental agencies use this plaster to make castings of pug marks, law enforcement agencies use the same to collect proofs of prints and tyre marks. Similarly, there are countless other uses of plaster of Paris. However, before using it in any of the application, you must know the techniques of using this plaster. Unless you know the proper ratio in which to mix the powder and water, you cannot use it properly. Read the article below to learn how to use plaster of Paris and also its various uses.
Using Plaster Of Paris
For best results is very necessary that you find out the accurate ratio. If you want a small amount, say, one and a half cup of plaster of Paris then the ratio between water and the plaster of Paris should be 1:2.
Depending upon the project for which you want the plaster of Paris, you should estimate the ratio. The best way in which you can do this is to pour water into the mold to the depth that you want the plaster of Paris should be and then using a cup measure the water in the mold.
You should always mix the water and the plaster of Paris in a big bowl. First, put the plaster of Paris in a bowl. Then make a well in the center and pour the water. Mix until the mixture is smooth.
Now, pour the concoction in the mold. While pouring, ensure that you don’t trap in any air bubbles.
When the plaster hardens in the mold you should remove it. You should unfix it from the edges of the mold.
The main disadvantage of plaster of Paris is that it cannot be stored, as it hardens after sometime. As such, you have got to use all the plaster of Paris.
Uses Of Plaster Of Paris
Artists use plaster of Paris to make metal castings and sculptures. They create the desired shapes, using the plaster moldings. The artist first prepares the molds and then the plaster of Paris is poured into it. After drying, the artist gets the desired shapes.
When plaster of Paris is exposed to fire, it produces water vapor which slows down the spreading of fire. It is also an excellent insulator to heat. So, plaster of Paris is used to protect various objects from fire. This fireproof method has been in use for several decades.
Plaster of Paris is widely used to create soft bandages to treat bone fractures. The fractured bone is wrapped with a bandage along with plaster of Paris. The casting holds the damage until it fully recovers.
In the field of architecture, the plaster of Paris is used specifically for decorative purposes. Apart from that, plaster of Paris has found an important place in the restoration projects done on historical monuments and buildings. It repairs the damage done and refurbishes the building, giving it its lost charm and appeal.