Manipulated for centuries by skilled artisans to yield architectural products of intricate detail and design elegance, plaster has proven to be the ideal material in the creation of ornamental decorum, wall brackets and general molding.
Why Work with Plaster Molding:
- Plaster moldings offer infinite flexibility. When specially formulated additives or late paint coats are applied to the handcrafted molds, the color combinations available to a designer are endless.
- Looking for an inexhaustible source of inspiration, then Gypsum, the new generation of plaster moldings, is ideal. A Gypsum design element will introduce a plethora of new decorative ideas to any interior designer.
- Plaster is an extremely durable material that is reinforced with fiberglass and capable of resisting fire and moisture.
- Plaster moldings give any setting a touch of class and create an aesthetic effect by masking defects. Such defects could include cracks damage or unwanted spacing.
- If designed with plaster, any molding is easily installed. As skill and experience is not a mandate, this reality allows any designer or contractor to take on the material as an interior or exterior decorative project.
The Industrial Process:
While complex, the process involved with the production of plaster moldings is centuries old and initially proposed by the ancients who were comparatively disadvantaged in technology and mass production. Today, the procedure is not so different. First, a plaster formula is mixed and a patterned mold – which will reflect the final design – is sprayed with a thin film of parting compound to prevent the plaster from sticking to the pattern. The plaster is then poured over the pattern or mold and the unit is shaken to ensure that the plaster fills any small features. Within approximately 15 minutes, the plaster will set, enabling manufacturers to remove the final product or mold. The mold is then baked, between 120 °C (248 °F) and 260 °C (500 °F), to remove any excess water, and later prepared for assembly and preheating treatments. At this point a metal, unique to each formula, is poured and spread onto the product. Finally, after the metal has solidified, the plaster is broken from the cast part. The process for the production of plaster molds ensures increased dimensional accuracy and an excellent surface finish.
Specialized Experts are Essential in the Production of Plaster Molding:
The production of plaster molds remains challenging. As such, to ensure success, skilled craftsmen are key. Indeed, to create quality handcrafted products, craftsmen must control for disadvantageous variables:
- Unlike other solutions and materials, the plaster used in a single cycle of production cannot be reused, as it has undergone a series of irreversible reactions.
- Just as well, the process is limited by material and temperature, the regulation of which is integral. To prevent the risk of melting a mold, only lower melting temperature non-ferrous materials, such as magnesium and zinc or more commonly aluminium and copper, can be applied.
- Just as well, plaster is not as stable as sand, so it is dependent on several factors, including the consistency of the plaster composition, pouring procedures, and curing techniques. If these factors are not closely monitored the final mold can be distorted, shrink upon drying, have a poor surface finish, or fail completely.
- The long cooling times associated with the production of plaster molds are similarly disadvantageous as they restrict production volume.
Products by Petra Design:
With years of experience, Petra Design is a company founded on the work of skilled craftsmen and devoted businessmen dedicated to ensuring your complete satisfaction with a new project. Petra Design offers a wide variety of interior crown moldings to meet varied artistic styles and decorative purposes. Our interior listing includes plain molding, design molding, light cove molding, panel molding and molded corners. While we offer a vast variety of products to choose from, with expert advice, we can help to create a custom design that is perfectly suited to your needs. Be sure to speak with one of our advisers about your specifications: quantity, size and stylistic fine points. Visit our website at www.petradesign.ca for more information.