Drywall Manufacturing

How Drywall is Made - Making, Machine, Raw Materials

The modern drywall manufacturing assumes producing the most popular and natural-finished building material that is used in construction. It is produced in form of fire-resistant gypsum boards. The thing about drywalls is that boards are encased tightly in heavy paper on the face and back side, except the ends.

Finished gypsum products have the following composition of materials: 93% is gypsum, 6% is heavy paper sheets that sandwiches a board. The rest 1% consists of different moisture content and stabilizing agents involved in manufacturing process. The material is fire-resistant and cannot be referred to inflammable ones in spite of the heavy paper in its structure. This can be explained by boards’ saturation that is taken up in the absence of air.


Drywalls serve as a basic material for different building and finishing works. Drywall installation is ultimate for some interior partitions, sheathing and drop ceiling installing. The material is widely used as a unique coating for home decor, which differs by good sound isolation and fire-resistant features. This material is applied in constructing buildings with low and relative humidity level. Walls can be finished with gypsum board if you need to even it too. Gypsum board structure allows to create curved applications where the shape in the main factor.

A dampen gypsum board can be bent easier to finish uneven surfaces. The sheet keeps the curve form you need and regains its original hardness upon drying. You may need special purpose products for hanging drywall such as metal frames and brackets.

Types of Drywall

The modern drywall manufacturing may offer several basic types of this construction material in USA and Canada:

  • Regular drywall panel is usually hanged in areas with humidity level less than 70%. Its thickness may vary from ¼ up to ¾ inches.
  • The fire-resistant, or type X drywall’s manufacturing process involves placing fiberglass strands, vermiculite, boric acid and perlite into gypsumcore. It prevents all board’s layers from possible damage and holds a gypsum core longer to a high temperature exposure.
  • The moisture-resistant drywall has a special structure, build quality, and contains silicone oil molecules in gypsum layer. This material is produced for areas prone to moisture with humidity index 82-85%. Note, that drywall must not be exposed to water for more than 10 hours per day in average.
  • Blueboard are moisture and mold resistant drywall that combine all specifications and qualities of abovementioned construction materials. Its heavy paper on the face is colored in blue and creates a strong bond with gypsum core or a skim coat.
  • Vinyl-covered drywalls are regular boards covered with decorative paper on its face.
  • Flexible panels may curve a better angle than all other types do.
  • Perforated drywall has holes in gypsum lath to provide base-coat plaster mechanical keying.
  • Greenboard are referred to moisture-resistant drywall due to an oil-based agent added into paper structure colored in green.
  • Cement board has a higher level of protection against moisture than a greenboard does. It is usually applied in sauna rooms or showers. It also serves as a ceramic tile base.
  • Soundproof drywall includes damping polymers in its structure that swallows the sound produced outside.
  • Soundboard has a lowers class of sound transmission rate than soundproof does due to wood fibers added into its heavy paper layer.
  • Enviroboard is produced from recycled agricultural waste.
  • Lead-lined board provides optimal radiation shielding and are used in areas where radiological equipment is mounted.
  • Foil-backed gypsum board protects against vapour.
  • Ceiling boards, or controlled density (CD), are available in 1/2″ thickness only and possess more stiffer structure than regular panels do.
  • EcoRock drywalls are called environmentally friendly and are composed of 20 recycled materials such as slag, fly ash, fillers and kiln dust, except for starch cellulose.
  • Gypsum “Firecode C” are close Type X panels in composition. The only difference is that “Firecode C” contains more glass fibers and a special type of vermiculite that reduces shrinkage. The gypsum core used to shrink under high heat, but this agent expands at the same rate approximately. That is why the gypsum core turns to be more resistant to fire.


Drywall panels are industrially manufactured in standard size. The overall sizes of the panels affect its price and production costs. The finished boards’ square may vary according to its origin country.

Gypsum board specifications:

  1. USA and Canada. Drywalls width in these countries may be as follows: 2, 3, 4, 4,25, 4,5, 8 ft. The length comprises these sizes: 96 in, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 ft. As for thickness, there are ¼, 3/8, ½ and 5/8 inches wallboards.
  2. Europe. Gypsum boards width may vary among 120, 90, 60 cm. The length of a drywall may be of 240, 250, 260, 270, 280 and 300 cm. The thickness range starts from 9.5 mm and ends with 25 mm.
  3. Australia and New Zealand. The standard width for these countries are 1200 mm, and the length includes 2400, 4800 and 6000 mm. The thickness is also estimated in metric system and is equal to 10, 13, 16, and 25 mm.

Drywall Manufacturing Machine

To start gypsum board manufacturing you will need the machine, especially conveyor. As for materials, you will need heavy paper sheets for encasing gypsum products and gypsum powder to make it rigid. The main features of the finished products depend on the quality rate that was set on the manufacturer’s machine. All the settings must meet the standards and quality criteria of the country.

Small-scale gypsum lines are of special interest. This is a successive platform to start your own business. Such small-scale gypsum plants have high production capacity. They can manufacture up to 240 yd2 of gypsum boards per year. It corresponds to 200 drywall panels per each shift. The assessed value of such equipment is around $150.000. The more precise amount always depends on manufacturer machine, its productivity and lines quality package.

Drywall production line

The standard package includes three sections: heating equipment and supplies, stock and equipment section. The main part of the line consists of the following systems: forming section, conveyor system and rollers. Besides, there are heat impact mills, kiln dryers, and gypsum board cutting machine. The production area must meet the definite requires. The facility area must not be less than 785 yd³. The room temperature must not be lower than 15°С. The facility must be provided with all supply lines, as gas for kiln dryers, energy for employees and equipment’s proper working environment, water and its disposal, an autonomous wastewater system for example.

The main material for drywall production is naturally occurred or synthetic gypsum. You will have to buy heavy paper sheet and dry additives, as modified starch and synthetic foam agent too. Some manufacturers use recycled chemicals to improve the finished gypsum products quality. These are borogypsum and phosphogypsum. These materials require additional screening what affects its manufacturing costs. The slurry additives are also worth mentioning: these are pulpwood, sodium chloride and sodium hydroxide. Besides, you will have to buy casein to make boards rigid.

How to Do Drywall + Video

Gypsum board manufacturing process is not much complicated. The regular board’s face side has a smooth surface and its back comprises the paper bond stitches. A board cutting is provided by industrial machines.

Gypsum boards manufacturing can be divided into several large stages. If to cover the whole process, it starts from gypsum ore mining and its primary processing. The intensive wallboard production doesn’t suppose mining, but buying industrial or building plaster instead. All plants are located as close to gypsum quarries and underground mines as possible to avoid shipping expenses and to save money. Gypsum ore is naturally occurring mineral. It possesses qualities precious for construction. Besides, manufacturers always improve gypsum quality though adding additional agents into dehydrated gypsum, called stucco. All this is done within one production line. In the manufacture of plasters, the mined and processed ore is batch-mixed than with water, soap foam and minerals. Than the mixture is placed into a tube or ball mill together with accelerators, that quicken gypsum retarding. That is the way of getting the primary material called slurry, which further goes into board forming line.

The slurry is then sandwiched between two long paper sheets that serve as a mold. The product looks like two endless, flat stripes. It serves as a base for future building material’s manufacturing. These stripes travel the length of a conveying line, which scores and chamfers the paper to form the board. There is a gypsum board cutting machine included into plant equipment. The cutting machine produces the face and back heavy paper sheets. The slurry layer is than embraced with ready paper that is slowly conveyed from heavy paper control device. The paper edges are tightly covered with bonding agent. This procedure is also automatic, everything is done by machines without applying men labor. Finished gypsum products become rigid what gives the possibility to trim it correctly at board end sawing area.

A roller conveyer machine cuts the jumbo-sized gypsum sheet into regular boards. The board size can be programmed according to the customer requirements. Slow sheets traveling the length of a conveying line for the first time allows board to dry slightly, the second circle speed is a little higher. The sheet is cut into equal parts. After that, the boards are conveyed into a dispenser. The further drying is conducted in the plant’s kiln dryers. It takes less an hour to dry one sheet in a proper way. That is why the conveyor line rotates slowly for it allows material drying on its belt and in kiln dryers. After drying, the gypsum boards are delivered into the roller conveyer machine, which cut the boards edges precisely and forms its shape. This stage is called cutting in gypsum product manufacturing. Later on, the final stage of manufacturing takes place. We talk about finished products bundling and packing. This stage requires men labor.

Finished gypsum boards are carefully examined by experts who measure the quality according to definite criteria. You can compare the standards that are in low in your state and in the country of gypsum boards origin. The criteria may differ so you should take attention to it while evaluating the gypsum products.


It is worth mentioning that drywall is examined according to the stiffness of heavy paper sheet bonding with gypsum core. It must be greater than heavy paper layers bonding. You must fell a resistance while tearing the paper off the gypsum base. The materials must neither part easily nor be torn or delaminated. As for the average radionuclides (Radium-226) concentration for construction use, it must not be greater than 370 Bq/kg.

Product Marketing

Nowadays building material stores are overfull with high-quality products. It would take many efforts a new supplier to reach out to the market. The special attention should be paid to online marketing of products. As it often happens, this way turns to be the most affordable and quickest method of trading.

Managements Expenses

It’s time to sum up and answer the question how to start a business in drywall manufacturing sphere. So, you will need a production line cost $150.000-200.000. Add $15.000 to pay off the equipment shipping, its mounting and adjusting. The additional expenses would include facility area’s rental lease. The amount would depend on the square, location and overall condition of the facility. It will take $5.000 more per 120 yd2 if you would like to redecorate it. Besides, you will have to take care of creating stock of raw material. It should be sufficient for no less than a month. Add $15.000 more for additional transport and unexpected expenses. So, the total expenses are equal to $250.000-300.000 approximately.

If to take into attention all abovementioned information, the gypsum board manufacturing charges would make back for 1,5-2 years of production.

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