The British Gypsum mining process

Date: 14 December 2015

Have you ever wondered how Thistle Plaster is made?

Ever been working on a job and wondered where it is the plaster you’re using comes from? Well here’s the answer… 

We’re going underground

How Thistle Plaster is made

The process starts by extracting gypsum rock deposits from the ground using a ‘JOY mine cutter’ that scores away at the face of the gypsum rock. This is then broken up and transported to the surface. 

It’s homogenising time

 How Thistle Plaster is made

The rock is then crushed into smaller pieces and sent to the homogeniser, which allows for any variances in the gypsum size to be reduced, ensuring consistency in each bag of plaster. 

Calcination makes for perfect plaster 

How Thistle Plaster is made

The rock from the homogeniser is ground down even further before it goes through what’s called the calcination process. Here, any water from the rock is removed in a low temperature kettle to create the first resemblance of plaster powder. This then travels through the mill, where the particle size of the powder is modified to suit the type of plaster being made. 

Adding the additives

How Thistle Plaster is made

At this stage, the plaster is almost ready! With the inclusion of a few additives that give each mix of plaster its own special properties, the plaster is pumped into bags and then palletised. Quality control checks are carried out across every batch to ensure that customers receive the same product, every time. 

Distribution and use

 How Thistle Plaster is made

From here, the plaster leaves the British Gypsum plant and is sent to merchants and distributors across the UK, ready for plasterers to buy. Once the plasterer mixes the product with water, it will return back into its original state, creating a plaster finish for their project. 

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How Thistle Plaster is made