Gypsum board

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A type of wallboard with a plaster core sandwiched between two layers of paper. Gypsum board was patented in 1894 by Augustine Sackett. By World War I, production methods for gypsum board were standardized and it was widely used for the construction of military barracks. Over time, various fillers were added to decrease weight (pumice, bubbles, etc.), to increase fire resistance (asbestos) and to increase crack resistance (wood and mineral fibers). Dextrin, or starch, is typically used as a binder. Gypsum board, also called drywall, is fire resistant, dimensionally stable and inexpensive. During World War II, gypsum board completely replaced the use of metal lath/plaster walls in new construction because the prefabricated boards were faster to assemble and because the use of steel was restricted. Currently, it has widespread use in the construction of interior walls and ceilings.

Synonyms and Related Terms

panneau de plàatre (Fr.); carton-plâtre (Fr.); plasterboard; plaster board; wallboard; drywall; dry-wall; gyp board; rock lath; gypsum lath;

Brand names: Sheetrock® [U.S.Gypsum]; Gypsite; Sackett Board; Samson Plaster Board; Adamant; Bestwall Firestop; Gold Bond; Rocklath;

Resources and Citations

  • Kimberly Konrad, Michael Romlan, "Gypsum Board", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 385
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Kurt Wehlte, The Materials and Techniques of Painting, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1975
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Irving Skeist, Handbook of Adhesives, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1977
  • National Park Service Briefs at
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997

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