What is Drywall? Drywall Features

Drywall is a wallboard panel consists of a layer of gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) plaster with two heavy layers of paper or fibreglass mats covered on both sides. The plaster is mixed with fibre, plasticizer, foaming agent, and various additives based on the usage. Drywall is easy to be installed even for amateur home carpenters. The work are split into two parts: installing the wallboard and finishing the joints and cover the fastener heads. Drywall is cheaper and also a more time and labour saving alternative compared to traditional lath and plaster. Drywall also makes pipelines examination and repairing easier.

Drywall Features

Fire resistance

Drywall is mostly considered a passive fire protection item due to its chemical properties. Type X drywall is the most common product. By adding glass fibres to the gypsum to reinforce the core of the panels, it increases the resistance to fires, especially when the hydrates in the gypsum are calcined. These fibres reduces the size of the cracks when the water is driver off so that the panels survives longer in the fire.

Water damage

Drywall may not be the best for moist and humid areas such as kitchen or bathrooms, since the materials such as gypsum, paper, and other organic additives and binders are vulnerable to moisture. When exposed to moisture, gypsum get softened and so does paper. Most of the time people prefer using greenboard and cement board for rooms expect with high humidity. However, new drywall products provide increased resistance to mold and mildew or perform well under high humidity conditions compared to traditional paper-faced gypsum products. Using a backer board which is water durable and mold resistant is another good idea.

Sound Control

Sound control may not be a strength for drywall, yet there are some methods to improve it. The way you install and the type of drywall you choose affects how sound transmits through walls and ceilings. Thicker drywall may reduce sound transmission, but according to engineering manuals, multiple layers of drywall glued together work better under this condition. The construction details of the framing with steel studs composed an important role in sound control. Other than the combination of two layers of drywall or drywall with other factors, specially designed sound-resistant drywall is also available in the market.

Waste

About up to 12% of drywall is wasted during manufacturing and installation processes, and the material is mostly not re-used, disposal could be a problem. To solve the waste problem, some manufacturers take back waste wallboard and recycle it into new ones. Research about recycling the wallboard at the construction site is gaining popularity recently. Crushed drywall has the potential of being re-used as other material at building cites.

References:

Drywall, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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