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1. Brit, Austral, and NZ an adhesive strip of material, usually medicated, for dressing a cut, wound, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A mixture of lime or gypsum, sand, Portland cement and water to produce a paste-like material which can be applied to the surfaces of walls and ceilings and which later sets to form a hard surface.


A rough coating of plaster given to a wall by throwing plaster against it.


The fine finish coat of plaster made with white marble dust to receive a fresco painting.


A decorative feature in which flat wet plaster is ornamented by patterns either scratched or molded into it; sometimes decorated with figures either in low relief or indented.


A coat of plaster applied directly to an interior wall or stucco on an exterior wall; a perspective or elevation drawing of a project or portion thereof with artistic delineation of materials, shades, and shadows.


Plaster work that imitates stone, in which mixtures of marble dust, sizing, and various pigments are laid in decorative figures routed into the surface.


A plaster, mortar, stucco, or whitewash, made from a mixture of lime and clay and having the consistency of glue, used in traditional Japanese construction.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a medicinal form in which substances are supplied for external application. Plasters melt or soften at body temperature and consist of such pliable substances as wax, paraffin, rosin, and rubber; sometimes medicines are added. Some plasters are used to protect the skin from external irritants or to hold bandages in place. Others have a specific therapeutic purpose; for example, keratolytic plasters are used to treat corns, lead plasters are used to treat furuncles and carbuncles, bactericidal plasters are used for purulent wounds, and pepper plasters are used in the treatment of such conditions as radiculitis and neuralgia. Plasters also include various adhesives that evaporate to form an elastic film on the skin, for example, collodion, Kleol, and the glue BF-6.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A plastic mixture of various materials, such as lime or gypsum, and water which sets to a hard, coherent solid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A plastic mixture of solids and water which sets to a hard, coherent solid and which is used to line the interiors of buildings. A similar material of different composition, used to line the exteriors of buildings, is known as stucco. The term plaster is also used in the industry to designate plaster of paris.

Plaster is usually applied in one or more base (rough or scratch) coats up to ¾ in. (1.9 cm) thick, and also in a smooth, white, finish coat about &frac116; in. (0.16 cm) thick. The solids in the base coats are hydrated (or slaked) lime, sand, fiber or hair (for bonding), and portland cement (the last may be omitted in some plasters). The finish coat consists of hydrated lime and gypsum plaster (in addition to the water). See Mortar

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Usually a mixture of gypsum or lime with sand and water, producing a paste-like material that is applied in the plastic state, usually over lath fastened to a surface such as a wall or ceiling, or sometimes directly onto brick; it forms a hard surface when the water it contains evaporates. In some remote early settlements, when lime or gypsum was not available, a so-called plaster of fine white clay mixed with chopped straw was sometimes troweled onto a surface to produce a smooth finish on a wall or ceiling. Cow hair, cow dung, and/or chopped straw often was added to the plaster mixture to increase its mechanical strength when it dried. Gypsum later supplanted lime as the plaster of choice because of its superior properties. Also See mud plaster, ornamental plaster, plaster of paris, and stucco.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Also showing at the Jacobs will be Portland artist David Reager, who also makes wall-mounted assmeblages from Hydrocal and other materials.
Emess owns a hydrocal lamp factory, warehouses and offices in Ellwood City.
Leaning Figure, 2010, is a Hydrocal blob slumping heavily against the wall and cradling two oddly shaped ceramics in the hollow of its "collarbone." The broken wooden chair of Sweater Arms, 2010, which bears a lumpy pot and a sweater with arms dangling limply to the ground, barely stands.
On its top, closely spaced around the edge, a gathering of women in white, each maybe three inches high, sit on stools wrapped in braided rope, the ensemble being cast in Hydrocal. They pursue a shared endeavor of unknown purpose: Each woman holds her hands in front of her, making her wrists the winding posts for a real string that weaves lengthily between and among them like an infinitely complex game of cat's cradle.
Full coordinated collections -- incorporating wrought iron and wood, iron and hydrocal, and other materials -- continue to gain retail placement and perform under both lines, executives said.
Most are smooth white rectangular slabs of Hydrocal or wallboard that, from a distance, exude a minimalist purity.
Suppliers have substituted resin components for zinc castings, hydrocal, wood and other materials in their lamp bases, chandelier arms and back plates, for example, to keep costs down.
Alsy will unveil lamps under the Barbie and Coke licenses, a strong hydrocal program with many new finishes, relief work, and a competitive promotional hydrocal package for under $20, retail.
Isolated from broader land- or seascape contexts, and supported by wall mounts and stands, her boulder-spotted pools and torrents, cast in polyurethane and, in one instance, Hydrocal (a high-density plaster) over steel armatures, seem to hover in space as if time had stopped and the rest of the world had fallen away.
Alsy has expanded its domestic hydrocal lamp presentation with several models featuring intricate relief details and finishes, and an aggressive promotional program of color-infused "tuff-cal" table lamps, to retail for $19.99.
Emess Lighting, too, has evolved from a domestic manufacturer of hydrocal lamps just five years ago to a major importer of lamps in a variety of materials -- as well as a supplier of furniture and now mirrors.
The artist has said that the material he uses (Hydrocal, mostly) is part of this: transforming itself into blobs, it's always getting away from his intentions, insistently polymorphous.