Gypsum served as an important element in many famous construction projects in past, the most famous being Egyptian pyramids. The pyramids are central of attraction to tourists from all over the globe. Still standing high, these pyramids display the durability of the material being used in its construction. It was 20th century when the gypsum industry developed. It was the time when this building material was hugely demanded for buildings construction. Gypsum wallboards were created for commercial construction. These boards were used in the construction of high-rise buildings. This sturdy and versatile building material is used till today in residential, commercial or industrial construction projects.
How Gypsum Gets Its Name?
Gypsum gets its name from a Greek work which means plaster. In quarried of Paris, gypsum was burnt to be used for different purposes. Plaster of Paris is dehydrated gypsum, which becomes regular gypsum upon addition of water. The material sets solid after a few minutes. Thus considered as a useful material for construction and casting.
From Where Do We Get Gypsum?
All sedimentary rock formations comprise evaporite beds of natural gypsum. These are transparent, flattened or twinned crystals in masses known as selenite. This can also occur in other forms, like silky & fibrous, granular & compact, fine-grained white and opaque flower-like. Lake, sea water, hot springs ofter create gypsum deposits. Countries where gypsum is produced are China, Iran, Thailand, United States, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Italy, India, Australia, Oman, Brazil, France, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Germany, Argentina, Pakistan, United Kingdom. The quarries mine, crush and ground gypsum rock into fine powder. Calcined gypsum is produced by the process of calcining, where fine gypsum powder is heated to dispel chemically combined water. Calcined gypsum is used as a base for gypsum products, like plaster and board.
Other Uses of Gypsum
Other than building, it can be used as a fertilizer, soil conditioner, binder, alabaster, wood substitute, food additive, color additive for cosmetics, ingredient in toothpaste, etc.
According to market reports, the gypsum market will continue to grow in the near future. The three prime applications, building construction, agriculture and cement, will continue to use this material. The consumption pattern differs in all countries. This growth forecast is beneficial primarily for businesses, such as:
1) Gypsum processing companies
2) Raw material suppliers
3) Equipment and machinery suppliers
4) Plasterboard and cement suppliers
Recycling, sustainability, regulatory, panelisation for prefanbrication are a few trends that have direct impact on the future potential of this naturally occurring material.
The main driver of gypsum consumption in India is the growth of population. There is a huge demand for quality housing and better living conditions in the country. Today, more of cement is used than plasterboard in the construction industry. The industry is expected to use more of plasterboard than cement, as housing will become more important and infrastructure spend will decline. Gypsum and gypsum board technology is a high technology which the construction industry will slowly adopt in India. The benefits of this technology are many, for instance:
1) Reduced weight
2) Better soundproofing
3) Impact resistance
4) Mould resistance
The best part is that all gypsum products can be recycled for repeated application. So, construction companies must start using gypsum products more than cement in India because it is a future dominating building product.