“Barite” is a mineral and it’s name originates from the Greek word “Barus” meaning heavy. It is a mineral that can be found along with limestones and sandstones. The physical properties of this mineral indicates that it has specific weight (γ) of 4.1 to 4.6 and is heavier than most non-metal minerals.
Alternative (Trade) Name: Barytes, Heavy Spar, Barium Sulfate
HS code: 25111020
Physical and Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula: BaSO4
Appearance: White, Light gray, light brown, light yellow, powder
Specific Gravity (γ): 4.1 – 4.6
Hardness: From 2.5 to 3
More Information: TDS
Amongst the users of this mineral, the Oil & Gas industry is considered the highest user and Barite is specifically applied as a weighting agent in Drilling Fluids.
- Barite is widely used as a weighting agent in drilling mud. It is mostly applied to sustain well stability by maintaining mud weight to prevent blowouts.
- Barite has the ability to prevent emission of X-rays and gamma rays. Therefore it is used to make high-density concrete to prevent X-rays from being emitted in hospitals, power plants, and laboratories. The anti-radiation feature is also used in internal photography of the human body.
- Used as filler in plastic, pulp, and rubber industries.
- Absorbs radioactive radiation due to its high specific weight.
- Production of cement blocks.
- Barium Sulfate is mostly used in the rubber companies, pulp and paper, textile, and leather industries.
- Barium Carbonate is utilized for polishing ceramics.
- Barium Oxide is mostly applicable in the glass manufacturing and metallurgy.
- Due to the exclusive physical properties of Barite, it is mainly used as filler and diluent to increase viscosity. Barite is not the only mineral used in the medical industry and other minerals such as Bentonite, Calcite, Magnesite, etc., have medical applications too.
The natural process for the production of Barite consists of different techniques such as gatch plastering, wet grinding, and sizing. On the other hand, Barite can be made synthetically (synthetic Barite) in the laboratory. The quality of synthetic Barite will depend on the ingredients used in the production process and the methods used for chemical treatment. The high quality type of this product is known as “Blanc Fixe” which is produced with the reaction between Barium Carbonate and Sulfuric Acid. The purity of the above-mentioned product will be determined based on the quality of raw materials since H2O and CO2 are also the products of this reaction.
Where is Barite found?
Barite can be found mostly in Cumbria, northwest of UK, Romania and Eastern Germany.
In these areas, most of the Barites are found in irregular masses in the Limestones or Dolomites. This mineral is also rich in the U.S. in the states such as Missouri and Georgia.
The following safety protocols should be applied when irritation is caused by Barite:
In case of eye contact, eyes must be washed with water using clean hands. For skin contact, the place of contact must be washed using soap and water.
If Barite powder enters the lungs through respiration, performing artificial respiration or exposure to fresh air is recommended. In severe cases, breathing with respiratory equipment and masks must be utilized.
Please refer to our MSDS for more information.