Barite is a mineral composed of barium sulfate (BaSO4). It receives its name from the Greek word "barys" which means "heavy." This name is in response to barite's high specific gravity of 4.5, which is exceptional for a nonmetallic mineral. The high specific gravity of barite makes it suitable for a wide range of industrial, medical, and manufacturing uses. Barite also serves as the principal ore of barium.
Oil Drilling Muds
The oil and gas industry is the primary user of barite worldwide. There it is used as a weighting agent in drilling mud. This is a growth industry, as global demand for oil and natural gas has been on a long-term increase.
Most barite produced is used as a weighting agent in drilling muds. These high-density mud is pumped down the drill stem, exit through the cutting bit and return to the surface between the drill stem and the wall of the well. This flow of fluid does two things: 1) it cools the drill bit; 2) the high-density barite mud suspends the rock cuttings produced by the drill and carries them up to the surface.
Drilling-grade barite is produced from commercial barium sulfate-containing ores. The manufacturer shall retain certificates of analysis or similar documentation on these commercial barium sulfate ores. It may be produced from a single ore or a blend of ores and may be a straight-mined product or processed by beneficiation methods, i.e. washing, tabling, jigging or flotation. It may contain accessory minerals in addition to the barium sulfate (BaSO4) mineral. Because of mineral impurities, commercial barite can vary in colour from off-white to grey to red or brown.
Drilling-grade barite shall be deemed to meet the requirements of the International Standard API-13A., the residue greater than 45 micron(5% Min-15% Max).
In Paint Industry, Barite powder can be used as filling to 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 rubber industry, Barytes 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 the papermaking industry, high-refined barytes powder can be used as the filling of white paperboard and coat paper, improve the whiteness and percentage of coverage.