The Code Corner - Gypsum Board Construction

The Code Corner - Gypsum Board Construction

by: Ronald L. Geren, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP Gypsum board has been an important part of the construction industry for more than 100 years. Its humble beginnings started in the late 1800s as ÏSackett Board, named for Augustine Sackett, one of the inventors of the early gypsum product. Sackett Board consisted of Plaster of Paris between two layers of felt paper. The board was 1/4 inch thick and 36 inches square with exposed edges. Although not suitable as a finish product as is todays gypsum board, Sackett Board made an excellent base for gypsum plaster. In 1910 the evolution of gypsum board took another step forward when a process for wrapping the exposed edges was implemented in manufacturing. This was followed shortly by the replacement of felt paper with a true paper-based facing. Over the next 40 years other developments in gypsum board were introduced, such as air-entrainment to make the board lighter, exterior wall and roof sheathing, and Type X fire-resistant board. Gypsum board is frequently called Ïdrywall, a term whose origin has been lost over time, but was likely used to differentiate it from the Ïwet gypsum plaster method. Other terms have also worked their way into the gypsum board vernacular, such as ÏSheetrock (a brand name for gypsum board produced by United States Gypsum), and Ïplasterboard (commonly used in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand). ASTM C 11,Standard Terminology Relating to Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems, considers gypsum board to be Ïthe generic name for a family of sheet products consisting of a noncombustible core primarily of gypsum with paper surfacing; thus, gypsum board will be used throughout this article. Read more...

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