Plastic molds are made of plaster of Paris (gypsum) or calcium sulphate, talc and silica flour is added in the plaster of Paris to improve strength and to control the time required for the plaster to set. These ingredients are mixed with water and the resulting slurry is poured over the pattern.
The plaster sets within 15 minutes usually. After the plaster sets, the pattern is removed and the mould is dried at 120°C -260°C to remove the moisture. The mould halves are assembled to form the mould cavity and are preheated to about 120°C. The molten metal is then poured into the mould.
Patterns for plaster moulding are generally made of Aluminum, thermosetting plastics, brass or zinc alloys. Wood patterns are not appropriate for producing a large number of mould because they are repeatedly in contact with the water based plaster slurry.