Plaster of Paris is a white color powder, made up of gypsum. It is popularly used for shaping, casting, and dressing bandages. It is made up of heated gypsum at high temperatures. It has many uses and applications starting from schools, buildings, and medical departments. It was found 9000 years ago and was used by prehistoric Greek, Egyptian and Roman people. It is a fine powder i.e. calcium sulfate hemihydrates which gets hard when come in contact with liquid. It is called POP plaster of Paris because gypsum was found in abundance near Paris.
It is prepared by heating gypsum at 120-180 degrees Celsius. It is commonly used in homes for designing roofs and cornices. It helps with framing and casting decorative elements. It is also used for joining broken bones in medical terms. There are three types of pop named, gypsum, lime, and cement.
- Gypsum- It consists of the white powder of calcium sulphate hemihydrates.
- Lime plaster- It contains a mixture of calcium hydroxide and sand. CO2 in the air sets the plaster in hard form. To make it, limestone is heated at 850 degrees Celsius. Then water is added to make a thick paste.
- Cement plaster- It is a mixture of plaster, sand, and cement. When mixed in water, the paste is applied on the walls for a smooth surface.
It comes in a form of dry powder and becomes stiff when mixed with water due to crystallization. It is not that strong to hold but can be supported with some metal framework if applied thick.
Uses of POP:
- Used for medical grounds- It is used for setting cracked or broken bones. It helps to keep the bone in its right position until it gets fixed. When mixed with water, the white substance turns thick and is applied over the damaged part. It is also used for making the dental cast.
- Used for decorating ceilings- POP is used for decorating the walls and ceilings of the houses. It helps in carving out the designs on the walls which make it look very attractive.
- Used for making toys- It is used for making toys for children. When decorated, the toys turn out to be very attractive.
- Fire-resistant- POP helps in preventing the spread of fire as the plaster releases water. As it releases water vapors in case of fire, it helps in controlling fire.
- Helps in molding and casting- POP helps in molding and casting various masterpieces and models.
- Clean finishing- It helps in giving an aesthetic finish to the walls and roof area.
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POP can be fun to use but should be used under some safety measures as it can be dangerous sometimes. Its chemical reaction can cause damage and should be used under supervision. Also, never wash POP underdrain or sink as it can clog your pipes. Cover with a mask to prevent it from getting into your nose or mouth and wear gloves while working with it. POP comes in many brands and there are many POP manufacturers producing it. You can take expert guidance to choose the best brand product.