Barite is a mineral that is primarily composed of Barium Sulfate, which is the most common source of Barium element. Its chemical formula is BaSO4. The name “barite” is derived from the Greek word “barys” meaning “heavy.” Barite is the heaviest non-metallic mineral and is sometimes referred to as Bologna Stone due to its radiating form. Barite crystals sometimes form interesting shapes in sand, and these structures are known as “barite roses.” It is used as a filler and weighting agent in the rubber and paper industries (wallpaper, linoleum).
Barite is generally divided into three categories: drilling (90%), chemical (7%), and filler (3%). The use of barite expanded after 1926. Some of the uses of barite are:
Barite is the primary barium ore used to make a variety of barium compounds, some of which are used for X-ray protection. Barite has the ability to block X-ray and gamma-ray emissions. Because of its specific gravity and white color, it is used in the paint, paper, and glass industries. It is extensively used in oil and natural gas exploration. It is the most commonly used weighting agent in drilling muds worldwide. Barite is used as an additive in the production of paper, canvas, linoleum, and ebonite. In the glass industry, it is used to increase brightness. It is used in the production of lenses and TV tubes. It is used to add matte finish to plastic. It is used as an insert material in the production of agricultural chemicals. In the paint industry, barite is used as a white pigment and extender for oil-based paints.