Barytes and its uses within coatings

barytes in industrial coatings

Coatings formulators are always looking to improve and enhance the durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of the coatings that they produce. One crucial ingredient that can have a significant impact on the performance of coatings is barytes, also known as barium sulphate. 

RBH supply a range of high-purity white barytes under the trade names Supreme barytes, MicroSupreme, SintaBar® and AmBar®. These ranges of ground, micronised and precipitated barytes grades are ideal for use in coatings applications across a variety of industries. 

Its applications are widespread, but for the purpose of this blog we will take a look at barytes in coatings, exploring its properties, benefits, applications and the value it adds to various formulations.

Understanding barytes

Barytes is a naturally occurring mineral composed of barium sulphate (BaSO₄) and it belongs to the family of sulphate minerals. Its name is derived from the Greek word ‘barys’ which means ‘heavy’. 

It is formed through the interaction of barium-containing solutions with sulphate-rich minerals in sedimentary rocks such as limestone and dolomite.

Barytes can be found in deposits across the world in countries such as China, India, Turkey, the United States and Morocco. It’s commonly found in the form of colourless, white, or light-coloured crystals, but the quality of the deposits can vary which impacts the suitability of the extracted barytes for certain applications.

barytes mineral

Key properties of barytes

Barytes boasts several distinctive properties that provide unique advantages in terms of durability, opacity and protective qualities, making it a valuable ingredient in coatings across various industries.

  • Chemical inertness: Barytes doesn’t react with other components in coating formulations. This contributes to the stability and longevity of coatings, making them resistant to chemical degradation and ensuring it remains intact and protective even when exposed to various chemicals.
  • Low oil absorbance: Barytes can be efficiently dispersed in coating formulations without significantly impacting the rheology or viscosity of the coating. This allows for optimal pigment dispersion and contributes to the ease of handling during coating application.
  • Insoluble in water: Coatings containing barytes typically have increased stability and integrity, even in wet or humid environments because it doesn’t dissolve when exposed to water so they can maintain their structure and protective qualities.
  • High density: Barytes is renowned for its high specific gravity which is an indicator of purity levels, making it significantly denser than many other minerals which can help to increase the weight and density of coatings where increased mass is needed.
  • Acoustic dampening: Barytes is very useful in coatings and polymers where acoustic dampening is a prerequisite.

These unique properties make barytes an ideal additive for coatings, but also many other applications including plastics and radiation shielding.

barium sulphate

Benefits of barytes in coatings

Barytes’ unique characteristics make it an ideal additive for coatings and can contribute to increased performance in various ways, both visually and physically.

  1. Opacity and whiteness: Barytes’ high refractive index contributes to the opacity and brightness of coatings, making them more visually appealing. Where visual properties are paramount, SintaBar® is a leading grade offering a finer and whiter alternative to natural barytes.
  2. Improved barrier properties: Barytes aids in enhancing the barrier properties of coatings, providing protection against corrosion, chemical attack, and weathering.
  3. Reinforcement: Due to its particle shape and surface energy, barytes acts as a semi-reinforcing filler, enhancing the strength and durability of coatings.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: Barytes is a cost-effective option compared to other additives, making it an attractive choice for coatings manufacturers aiming for efficiency without compromising quality.

These performance-enhancing abilities will largely depend upon the grade of barytes chosen, and they should be selected on their suitability for the application. For example, when requiring a natural white pigment extender for textured coatings, we would recommend our Barytes MicroSupreme 20 grade. On the other hand, our precipitated SintaBar® precipitated products would be the most suitable solution for powder coatings.

Not sure which barytes is suitable for your application? Speak to one of our market specialists.

Applications of barytes in coatings

Due to its versatility, barytes finds widespread applications in coatings across various industries including:

  1. Protective coatings: Barytes is commonly used in protective coatings for industrial equipment, pipelines, and marine structures to enhance durability and corrosion resistance.
  2. Architectural coatings: In architectural paints and coatings, barytes contributes to opacity, brightness, and weathering resistance.
  3. Automotive coatings: Barytes is used in automotive coatings to improve scratch resistance and provide a smooth finish.
  4. Powder coatings: Barytes is an essential component in powder coatings, aiding in flow control and improving the overall performance of the coating.
barytes used in automotive protective coating


In conclusion, barytes plays a vital role in enhancing the performance and quality of coatings across various industries. Its unique properties contribute to surface finish and appearance, durability, and cost-effectiveness, making it a preferred choice for coatings formulators worldwide. 

By understanding the benefits and applications of barytes in coatings, manufacturers can optimise their formulations to meet the ever-growing demands of the industry, ensuring superior performance and longevity of coating products. 

The RBH Group helps manufacturers fine-tune their formulations, supplying key minerals that increase performance in their chosen applications. We have a long-established portfolio of natural and precipitated barium sulphates designed to improve powder and protective coatings. 

To find out how our Supreme, Microsupreme, SintaBar® and AmBar® products can help enhance your coatings formulations, call us or contact us online.