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Gypsum board is a high quality fire-resistive building material. It is the interior finish material of choice where fire-resistance ratings and low flame spread properties are required. When gypsum board is exposed to the elevated temperatures of a fire, the chemically combined water in its noncombustible gypsum core is released as steam, effectively retarding heat transfer. Even after complete calcination, when all the water has been released, the calcined gypsum continues to act as a barrier to heat and flame. Gypsum board is commonly specified for wall and ceiling finishes in buildings required to be of noncombustible or fire resistive construction. Gypsum board also has low flame spread and low smoke developed indexes making it one of the most fire-safe interior finish materials available today.
Preventing or minimizing the transmission of unwanted sound to and from adjoining rooms or from the outdoors is a prime consideration during the design phase of a building. Sound rated gypsum board wall and ceiling systems use single-layer and multi-layer applications to achieve specific Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings and are key components in the effective control of sound transmission.
Gypsum board is used to construct strong, high-quality walls and ceilings with excellent dimensional stability and durability. Surfaces covered with gypsum board are easily redecorated and refinished as occupants and occupancies change and as decorating trends evolve.
Gypsum board is a minor factor in the overall cost of a building; it is readily available and easy to apply. Both gypsum wallboard and pre-decorated gypsum board are installed at relatively low cost when compared to other materials used in fire-resistive systems or as interior finishes. When pre-decorated gypsum board is used, further decoration is unnecessary.
Gypsum board satisfies a wide range of architectural requirements for design and code compliance. Ease and speed of application, performance, availability, ease of repair, and adaptability to all forms of decoration combine to make gypsum board unmatched by any other interior finish material.
The gypsum industry has developed a responsible and environmentally conscious attitude toward issues of reclamation, preservation of natural resources, recycling and waste management, and otherwise protecting the environment. The industry has used recycled paper to manufacture gypsum board for nearly half a century. Over 90% of gypsum board paper used is from recycled materials. The gypsum industry increasingly uses "synthetic" gypsum to manufacture gypsum board. This raw material is a by-product, or waste material, from other manufacturing processes as well as the desulphurization of flue gases in fossil fuel power plants. By using what would otherwise be waste products, the gypsum industry reduces the stream of solid wastes going to landfills and at the same time extends natural gypsum reserves.
Mold and Moisture Dynamics has grown as an increasingly important design and specification concern with interior materials that have absorptive characteristics and are prone to mould and mildew problems. Materials such as interior fabrics, wood, carpets and paper based products like gypsum board must be properly installed, finished, and provided with adequately designed and operated climate control systems to avoid these problems.