Uses: Plaster is not only good for fixing broken bones but is a great material for many creative purposes as well. It can be used in model making or handicrafts either as a natural product (made from burned selenite) or as a recycled material (so-called REA plaster which comes from a flue-gas desulphurizing facility).
Treatment: Plaster will cure after only a really short working life of a few minutes. In doing so, temperatures of over 50 °C will occur. In liquid form, plaster can be poured into moulds like, for example, ones made of SILICONE RUBBER. Liquid plaster can be coloured by means of PIGMENTS or, subsequent to curing, painted with most commercial paints (including water-based paint).
Once plaster has solidified, you cannot make it pliable again by adding water because it will never become solid again. By adding cellulose paste (WALLPAPER PASTE) the setting time can be increased somewhat.
If you want to do additional work on a cured plaster piece you must soak the area with water. The plaster will then be amenable to reworking with the appropriate tool without the piece itself breaking. Once dried, plaster models can be sawn, drilled, filed, cut, sanded, etc. Before subsequently levelling out the surface with more material, the plaster should be made moist because otherwise the second coat will not hold.
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