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Gypsum vs. Plaster of Paris: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 4, 2023
Gypsum is a mineral (calcium sulfate dihydrate) used in construction; Plaster of Paris is a quick-setting gypsum product used in mold making and casting.

Key Differences

Gypsum, naturally occurring as a mineral, is widely used in the construction industry for drywall and plaster products. Plaster of Paris, derived from gypsum, is a fine white powder used primarily for casting and molding.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023
Gypsum serves as a key ingredient in various building materials, providing fire resistance and sound insulation. Plaster of Paris, when mixed with water, sets quickly and is used for decorative elements, molds, and casts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023
In its raw form, gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral known for its versatility in construction and agriculture. Plaster of Paris, on the other hand, is known for its ability to be molded into intricate shapes and its use in art and medical casts.
Huma Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Gypsum acts as a soil conditioner in agriculture, improving soil structure and water infiltration. Plaster of Paris is renowned in the art world for creating detailed sculptures and in medicine for orthopedic casts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023
Gypsum panels are widely used in building for creating walls and ceilings due to their durability. Plaster of Paris, with its fine texture and quick setting time, is ideal for making detailed architectural elements and repairs in buildings.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Composition

Calcium sulfate dihydrate
Partially dehydrated gypsum
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Primary Use

Construction material for drywall
Mold making and casts
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Setting Time

Longer setting time
Quick setting upon mixing with water
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Texture

Can be rough or smooth
Fine, smooth texture
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Applications

Building materials, agriculture
Art, medical casts, repairs
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023
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Gypsum and Plaster of Paris Definitions

Gypsum

A soft sulfate mineral used in construction and agriculture.
Gypsum boards are commonly used for interior walls.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Plaster of Paris

Commonly used in medicine for making orthopedic casts.
The broken arm was set in a Plaster of Paris cast.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Gypsum

A natural mineral essential for the production of plaster and drywall.
The new building utilized gypsum for its fire-resistant properties.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 22, 2023

Plaster of Paris

A fine white powder that hardens when mixed with water.
Plaster of Paris was used to create a detailed ceiling design.
Huma Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Gypsum

Calcium sulfate dihydrate, a key ingredient in cement.
The cement mixture included gypsum to control the setting time.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Plaster of Paris

Used for making decorative elements and intricate casts.
The restoration project involved Plaster of Paris for ornamental details.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Gypsum

A versatile material in construction for making drywall and plaster.
The construction team chose gypsum panels for the project.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Plaster of Paris

A material favored in art for its moldability and fine texture.
Plaster of Paris was the medium of choice for the art class.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Gypsum

A mineral used as a soil conditioner in agriculture.
Gypsum improved the drainage and texture of the clay soil.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Plaster of Paris

A quick-setting gypsum product used in mold making and casting.
The artist used Plaster of Paris for her sculpture.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Gypsum

A widespread colorless, white, or yellowish mineral, CaSO4·2H2O, used in the manufacture of plaster of Paris, various plaster products, and fertilizers.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Gypsum

A mineral consisting of hydrated calcium sulphate. When calcinated, it forms plaster of Paris.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Gypsum

A mineral consisting of the hydrous sulphate of lime (calcium). When calcined, it forms plaster of Paris. Selenite is a transparent, crystalline variety; alabaster, a fine, white, massive variety.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Gypsum

A common white or colorless mineral (hydrated calcium sulphate) used to make cements and plasters (especially plaster of Paris)
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

FAQs

Can gypsum be used in agriculture?

Yes, as a soil conditioner to improve soil quality.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

How is Plaster of Paris made?

It's made by heating gypsum to a high temperature and then grinding it into a powder.
Huma Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

What are the main uses of Plaster of Paris?

For making molds, casts, and decorative elements.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

What are the properties of gypsum?

It's fire-resistant, sound insulating, and can improve soil.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Is gypsum used in making cement?

Yes, it's a key ingredient in cement production.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Can Plaster of Paris be reused?

Once it sets, it cannot be remolded or reused.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Can Plaster of Paris be used for repairs?

Yes, it's often used for repairing walls and ceilings.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

What is gypsum?

Gypsum is a soft mineral used in construction and agriculture.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Is gypsum fire-resistant?

Yes, it's commonly used for fire-resistant drywall.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Why is gypsum important in drywall?

It provides durability and fire resistance to drywall.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Can gypsum boards be used in ceilings?

Yes, they are often used for both walls and ceilings.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

How is Plaster of Paris used in art?

For creating sculptures and decorative art pieces.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

How quickly does Plaster of Paris set?

It sets quickly, typically in about 30 minutes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Is Plaster of Paris suitable for outdoor use?

It's not typically recommended for outdoor use as it's not weather-resistant.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

How long does a Plaster of Paris cast last?

It depends on the application but typically lasts until the bone heals.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Are gypsum panels easy to install?

Yes, they are widely used due to their ease of installation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023

Does gypsum improve soil drainage?

Yes, it helps improve soil structure and drainage.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Is Plaster of Paris toxic?

No, it's generally considered non-toxic but should not be ingested.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

How is gypsum mined?

It's typically mined from sedimentary rock formations.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Can Plaster of Paris be painted?

Yes, once dry, it can be easily painted or colored.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 04, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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