Alabaster vs. plaster | Which is better

Alabaster and gypsum – these terms are often confused, which can lead to improper applications of gypsum materials because they have different properties and are used for different purposes. Our construction experts have understood the terminology and features of these materials to clarify and help you choose the right one for your specific purpose.

What is gypsum


Originally a natural mineral rock of sedimentary origin (aqueous calcium sulfate). After extraction of natural gypsum stone it is processed in a certain way: separated from clay, limestone, sand and other impurities, ground into a fine powder and thus obtained as a loose material that is used in many areas:

  1. in construction and repair

  2. In medicine, as a material for fixing limbs after fractures;

  3. In dentistry, for making impressions;

  4. In cosmetology, as a component of rejuvenating masks;

  5. In agriculture – as a fertilizer to normalize the acidity of the soil;

  6. In the chemical industry – for the production of sulfuric acid, production of paints;

  7. in industry, for shaping complex products;

  8. Sculpture paint – used for sculptures.

Construction gypsum

In the field of construction and repair is used gypsum, which is obtained by firing natural gypsum stone in special furnaces or by autoclaving with hot steam under pressure. At the same time, the technology of manufacturing this material by firing differs the order of grinding and firing, that is, a natural stone can first be ground and then burned, vice versa – first to burn and then to grind, or to combine these two operations. As a result, several types of material are obtained:

  1. construction material itself;

  2. high strength;

  3. gypsum anhydrite binder.

Building material is produced by grinding and firing at a temperature not exceeding 200 ° C. Using different technologies, materials are produced that differ in strength and are marked with 24 grades according to this indicator: from G-2 to G-25. This material is also divided into three types according to the setting time of the mortar:

  1. quick-hardening – with the speed of setting of mortar from 2 to 15 minutes.;

  2. Normally hardening – with the speed of setting within 6-30 minutes.;

  3. slow-hardening – with a setting time of not less than 20 minutes.

Depending on the brand on the strength and speed of setting, the material is used for different purposes: for finishing, plastering works, grouting, production of architectural details of the interior, a variety of piece building products. It should be mentioned that alabaster is just a type of building plaster.

Bringing final clarity to the terminology

Gypsumis a natural mineral, which after purification from impurities and grinding is used in many applications, including as a raw material for the production of gypsum for construction.

Construction gypsum– Material made from natural gypsum stone by special processing, after which a variety of types are obtained, used in construction and repair.

Alabaster is a type of building plaster, Characterized by a short setting time and used mainly for finishing work and the creation of architectural interior details.

High-strength gypsum

It is received by processing of natural raw materials by hot steam at temperature up to 120 °s under pressure, thus getting a material, products of which may have a compressive strength mark from M100 to M500 (kg/cm2). This type of gypsum material has the following uses:

  1. for the manufacture of structural products: wall blocks, partition panels, decorative panels, heat and sound absorbing boards;

  2. Plaster for making moulds for casting various products in industry – porcelain-faience, machine-building, foundry, automotive and others;

  3. In medicine – dentistry and orthopedics.

Gypsum anhydrite binder

Gypsum anhydrite binder or anhydrite cement is obtained by roasting natural stone at high temperature – up to 700 ° C and grinding. Anhydrite cement can have a strength grade from M50 to M200. Used for the following purposes:

  1. For the preparation of finishing and masonry mortars;

  2. production of heat insulating panels;

  3. The production of artificial marble;

  4. for making mosaic floors.

articles made of gypsum for construction

Produces a variety of products used in building construction and renovation:

  1. gypsum concrete partition panels and boards;

  2. panels for flooring;

  3. gypsum plasterboard sheets;

  4. decorative facing boards;

  5. gypsum fiber products, made by extrusion;

  6. acoustic gypsum fiber boards.

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