What is Barite?
Barite, barites, or heavy spar, a white, yellow, blue, red, or colorless mineral. It is a sulfate of barium, BaSO4, found in nature as tabular crystals or in granular or massive form and has a high specific gravity. The mineral is widely distributed throughout the world. It often occurs in veins with lead and zinc minerals. It is insoluble in water, and this property is made use of in testing for the sulfate radical. It is practically insoluble under ordinary conditions in all the usual chemical reagents. Barite is used as a commercial source of barium and many of its compounds. Ground barite is used as filler in the manufacture of linoleum, oilcloth, paper and textile manufacturing, rubber, and plastics. Finely ground barite is used to make a thixotropic mud for sealing oil wells during drilling. Prime white, a bleached barite, is used as a pigment in white paint but is not as satisfactory as blanc fixe, a chemically precipitated barium sulfate, or lithopone, a mixture of barium sulfate, zinc sulfide, and zinc oxide. Barites is a material with environmental protecting function, it has a lot of advantages, such as a strong inertia, good stability, acid and alkali proof, moderate rigidity, high specific gravity, high whiteness, absorb in harmful radial. So, it is widely used in the fields of all kinds of dope, middle and high-grade paint, engineering plastic, medicine compounding chemical industry, rubber, paper-making, pottery, cosmetic etc. Barite is a common mineral and makes very attractive specimens. It often is an accessory mineral to other minerals and can make a nice backdrop to brightly colored crystals. At times bladed or tabular crystals of Barite form a concentric pattern of increasingly larger crystals outward. This has the appearance of a flower and when colored red by iron stains, these formations are called “Desert Roses”. Because Barite is so common, it can be confused for other minerals. Celestite (SrSO4) has the same structure as barite and forms very similar crystals. The two are indistinguishable by ordinary methods, but a flame test can distinguish them. By scrapping the dust of the crystals into a gas flame the color of the flame will confirm the identity of the crystal. If the flame is a pale green it is barite, but if the flame is red it is celestite. The flame test works because the elements barium (Ba) and strontium (Sr) react in the flame and produce those colors.
Barite General Information
Barite, a name that was derived from the Greek word “barus” (heavy), is the mineralogical name for barium sulfate. In commerce, the mineral is sometimes referred to as “barytes.” The term “primary barite” refers to the first marketable product, which includes crude barite (run of mine) and the products of simple beneficiation methods, such as washing, jigging, heavy media separation, tabling, flotation, and magnetic separation. Most crude barite requires some upgrading to minimum purity or density. Barite that is used as an aggregate in a “heavy” cement is crushed and screened to a uniform size. Most barite is ground to a small, uniform size before it is used as a filler or extender, an addition to industrial products, or a weighting agent in petroleum well drilling mud specification barite. Although barite contains a “heavy” metal (barium), it is not a toxic chemical under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, because it is .
Barite generally occurs in the white massive variety (often appearing earthy when weathered), although some clear to bluish, bladed barite crystals (Plate 18) have been observed in several vein deposits, and various nodular zones have been observed. Rosettes are common in many Iranian mineral veins. Feathery barite is also known from Iran.
Barite is extremely insoluble in acid and water and is therefore chemically inert. It is the principal source of the element barium. Barite is the most abundant of the semi-commercial vein-forming minerals in Iran. Until World War I, barite was mined along with fluorite and sphalerite. Limited barite mining was attempt during the 1960’s in other counties Commercial barite was recovered as a by-product of the fluorspar industry Iran during World War II and during the 1960’s.
Weighting material with a specific gravity of 4.37 used to increase the apparent density of a liquid drilling fluid system. Barite [BaSO4] is the most common weighting agent used today. It is a mined material ground to an API specification such that particle sizes are predominantly in the 3 to 74 micron range.
A dense mineral comprising barium sulfate [BaSO4] that commonly occurs with a range of accessory minerals, such as quartz, chert, dolomite, calcite, siderite and metal sulfides. Used as a weighting agent for all types of drilling fluids, barites are mined in many areas worldwide and shipped as ore to grinding plants in strategic locations. Pure barium sulfate has a specific gravity of 4.50 g/cm3, but drilling-grade barite is expected to have a specific gravity of at least 4.20 g/cm3 to meet API specifications. Contaminants in barite, such as cement, siderite, pyrrhotite, gypsum and anhydrite, can cause problems in certain mud systems and should be evaluated in any quality assurance program for drilling-mud additives.
In dope and painting, it can be used as filling and can take the place of some expensive material such as basofor, crypton, titanium dioxide, activity, monox etc. Control the viscosity of the paint compatibly to make the products with bright color, good stability.
In plastic industry, it is used as the filling of plastic ABS to make the products with bright color. It also can improve the intensity, stiffness and abrasive resistance.
In medicine, it can be used as barium meal material for the intestines and stomach reflection, and also the filling for plaster and dope to extend the time limit.
In rubber industry, the products less than 500 mesh can be used as the filling of rubber products to save cost. It can improve the intensity, and acid, alkali, and water proof, and also has benefit for the Natural Rubber and Synthetic Rubber.
In cosmetics, it can be a substitute of titanium dioxide, for its white and gentle, and harmless to the skin.
In the papermaking industry, high-refined barites powder can be used as the filling of white paperboard and coat paper, improve the whiteness and percentage of coverage.