- plaster of Paris
calcined gypsum in white, powdery form, used as a base for gypsum plasters, as an additive of lime plasters, and as a material for making fine and ornamental casts: characterized by its ability to set rapidly when mixed with water.Also, plaster of paris.[1375-1425; late ME; so called because prepared from the gypsum of Paris, France]
* * *Quick-setting gypsum plaster consisting of a fine white powder, calcium sulfate hemihydrate, which hardens when moistened and allowed to dry.It is made by heating gypsum to 250–360°F (120–180°C). Used since ancient times, plaster of paris is so called because of its preparation from the abundant gypsum found in Paris. It is used to make molds and casts for ceramics and sculptures, to precast and hold ornamental plasterwork on ceilings and cornices, and for orthopedic bandages (casts). In medieval and Renaissance times, gesso (plaster of paris mixed with glue) was applied to wood panels, plaster, stone, or canvas to provide the ground for tempera and oil painting.
* * *▪ building materialquick-setting gypsum plaster consisting of a fine, white powder, calcium sulfate hemihydrate (see calcium), which hardens when moistened and allowed to dry. Plaster of paris is prepared by heating calcium sulfate dihydrate, or gypsum, to 120°–180° C (248°–356° F). With an additive to retard the set, it is called wall, or hard-wall, plaster.Used since ancient times, plaster of paris is so called because gypsum was early used near Paris to make plaster and cement. Plaster of paris is also used to precast and hold parts of ornamental plasterwork placed on ceilings and cornices and is used in medicine to make plaster casts to immobilize broken bones while they heal. Some modern sculptors work directly in plaster of paris. The speed at which the plaster sets gives the work a sense of immediacy and enables the sculptor to achieve the original idea quickly.
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