Drywall is the modern alternative to the formerly hand-applied wall plaster, but in the present version, plaster has been replaced by plaster of Paris. It acts as the material for covering the framing on ceilings and interior walls. Main ingredient is gypsum, the natural and non-toxic mineral mined in a lot of countries in the globe.
The Fundamentals of Drywalls
Known by different names such as Plasterboard, Sheetrock, gypsum wallboard, and wallboard, drywall is a construction material that is used for creating not only walls and ceilings but also several design features. Durable and easy to install, drywalls require just simple repairs if damaged.
Drywalls are fire-resistant. Gypsum being a mineral having high moisture content, drywalls have a high fire-resistant quality. The moisture present in gypsum turns into steam when drywalls are exposed to fire. This helps to suppress the flames. The special types of drywalls, type X and type C are more fire resistant; these are known as fire-rated drywalls. These walls support a great for green dry construction, which is the next future of construction utilizing less and efficient water.
Manufacturing Process of Drywalls
Drywall panel is made of a gypsum core wrapped in multiple layers of recycled paper. Manufacturing drywalls involves pouring slurry of dense liquid gypsum onto continuous, large number of paper. A center layer of aerated gypsum follows this and is topped with another similar dense layer of gypsum. More paper gets sandwiched on the top too. The sheets created this way are extruded for uniform thickness to create a taper on the long edges.
Types & Sizes of Drywalls
Commonly available in 4-foot-wide sheets or panels, drywalls come in lengths of 8-16 feet. For house ceilings and walls, the standard panel thickness is normally 1/2 inch. Drywalls are also available in thicknesses of 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 5/8 inch. Standard drywalls are suitable for interior installation related to dry locations.
Common types of drywalls are moisture-resistant drywall, fire-rated drywall, and flexible drywall.
Type X Drywalls
Type X drywalls are known as fire-resistant drywalls. These fire-rated drywalls are harder to work and cut when compared with the regular ones. These find use in rooms, apartment buildings, and garages. It is customary to use several thicknesses in layers for achieving higher fire rating. Type X drywalls are created using special non-combustible fibers.
Typically constructed using plaster board partitions, fire partitioning walls are fire-rated partitions that serve the purpose of internal walls. Fire-rated partition provides fire separation vertically in structures such as dividing walls. Such walls are non-load bearing, and their fire resistance capability is determined by industry standards.
The Crucial Role played by Fire-Rated Partition in Construction Industry
Depending on the purpose, performance levels, appearance required, and the standards of finish, partitions can be constructed in several ways. The specific materials used and way of constructing partitions become significant when fire protection is concerned.
When a fire breaks out and becomes fully developed, it naturally attacks the structure of the compartment where it has originated and tries to spread to the other parts of the building. Here’s where a fire-rated partition helps prevent the spreading of fire.
Fire-rated partition creates a structure in the form of a compartment that does not collapse. It also contains the fire for a specified period of time. Building code necessitates using fireproof drywalls, whose technical name is type X drywall. It is more commonly known as fire-rated drywall.
The Basics of Fire-Rated Type X Drywalls
- Although it is more commonly known by the name fireproof drywall, it is industrially referred to as Type X drywall.
- Drywall’s thickness is normally 5/8 inch – that includes all layers.
- Most of the type X drywalls have a fire rating of an hour.
- In order to help retard fire, glass fibers are sometimes added to the board. This being denser than the common gypsum and paper drywall, it will take longer for fire to degrade it.
- Type X drywalls offer better sound absorption and are slightly stronger than the conventional drywall that is 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch.
The Uniqueness of Fire-rated partition
Type X, although not 100% fireproof, is capable of standing up against flames of fire for longer than the common drywalls. Fire-rated partitions involve roughly 20% more in cost than conventional drywalls. Fire-rated partition is required by building codes for use in the following places:
- Places where furnaces are located
- Near utility rooms
- In places where wood stoves are in use
- Garage ceilings having living areas above
- Garage walls separating the garage from the main building
- Places that are in the vicinity of inflammable objects
The Role of calcium silicate boards in Construction
Similar to gypsum boards, calcium silicate boards are also enriched with useful characteristics. Calcium silicate boards are light in weight, have high density, and prove good for thermal insulation, waterproofing, and fireproofing.
Being environment friendly and having better performance and easy construction processes, calcium silicate boards are found to be a good alternative for gypsum board drywalls. Calcium silicate board is considered to be a crucial product with regard to development of light-weight, high-strength wall partitioning systems in the future.
How Does Calcium Silicate Board Differ from Gypsum Board?
Although calcium silicate boards are being put to similar use as that of gypsum boards, these two are entirely different materials. Whereas gypsum boards make use of plaster as the primary raw material, calcium silicate boards are made of siliceous and calcium materials. The manufacturing process is also different in the case of calcium silicate boards.
Benefits of Drywalls With Fire-Rated Partitions over Brick and Mortar Walls
- Environmental impact is reduced
- Utility costs are reduced
- Drywalls offer robustness, fire safety for interior spaces, and load-fixing strength
- Strong acoustic properties
- Use of water is reduced
- Fire safety is increased
Innovative construction methods and modern construction materials have enabled obtaining not only attractive appearance and finish but also reliable quality. Drywalls and fire-rated partitions created either using gypsum boards or calcium silicate boards facilitate cost reduction, while assuring ease of installation and better performance.