Enhancing plastics with barytes: Key benefits


barytes used in automotive plastics

Plastics have become an integral part of our modern lives, serving a multitude of purposes in a wide range of industries and applications. To enhance the performance and properties of plastics, additives like barytes are being increasingly utilised. 

Barytes, also known as barite, is a mineral primarily composed of barium sulphate. Its unique properties make it a valuable additive in the plastic industry. 

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

We recently covered barytes and its uses within coatings, but what value can it bring to plastic formulations? Let’s take a look below.

barite mineral

The benefits of adding barytes to plastics

Characterised by its high density, chemical inertness, and compatibility with a wide range of polymers, barytes is an ideal choice for improving various properties within plastic & thermoplastic formulations.

Mechanical reinforcement

When added to plastics, barytes acts as a semi-reinforcing filler, enhancing the stiffness, strength, and impact resistance of the final product. This results in more durable and long-lasting components, suitable for a variety of applications particularly where robustness is critical.

Thermal stability

Plastics can be susceptible to thermal degradation, but the addition of barytes can improve their thermal stability. It acts as a heat-resistant filler to mitigate the effects of high temperatures, which is particularly beneficial in applications where plastics are exposed to heat or need to maintain their shape and integrity in challenging environments.

Sound insulation

Sound deadening and insulation are desired properties in many diverse applications. Whether that is to prevent engine noise from reaching the interior of the vehicle, to “silence” sewage and water pipes, or to provide flexibility and sound insulation in carpet backing and foam.

The dense and inert nature of barytes can help to dampen sound waves, reducing noise transmission and therefore delivering a range of complementary benefits to these types of applications.

barytes for sound insulation

Flame retardancy

An often overlooked advantage of barytes in plastics is its contribution towards flame retardant properties. By incorporating barytes into plastic formulations, the material becomes less flammable and can help inhibit the spread of fire, making it a safer choice for various applications.

Sustainability and cost-effectiveness

Aside from its highly beneficial performance properties, barytes is also a sustainable and cost-effective additive for plastics. Its abundance in nature and low cost make it an attractive option for manufacturers looking to improve the properties of their plastic products without compromising on sustainability or affordability.

Due to a low resin demand and good processing rheology, barytes can be added to polymers at very high loading rates. Grades include naturally ground and finely precipitated, all of which will produce different outcomes depending on the application. If you’re not sure which barytes is suitable for you, contact our market experts.

barium sulphate

Key industry applications of barytes in plastics

The versatility of barytes makes it a valuable additive in a wide range of plastic applications across various industries, including:

  • Automotive parts: Many internal and external parts benefit from barytes sound insulation and thermal stability properties which can reduce exterior noise and withstand varying temperatures. Exterior vehicle components such as mud flaps and trim utilise barytes’ high weight and chemical resistance to produce rigid long-lasting parts. In these applications, barytes also contribute to the nucleation of the polymer increasing impact resistance
  • Construction materials: Barytes is a valuable material within the construction industry, often incorporated into plastic formulations for silent pipes and insulation materials whereby durability, sound reduction and thermal stability are crucial.
  • Packaging: Plastic packaging such as containers and bottles integrate barytes to improve the feel and appearance of the part. The higher density of the barium sulphate gives a higher quality feel to the container and the particle size distribution can be tailored to give the desired surface finish.
  • Electrical components: The combination of mechanical reinforcement, flame retardancy and thermal stability of barytes make it ideal for use within cable insulation, closures and housing to effectively protect sensitive electronic components.

Conclusion

RBH barytes grades offer a compelling solution for formulators and compounders looking to enhance the performance and properties of their plastic parts. By leveraging the unique characteristics of this mineral, formulators can create more durable, heat-resistant, and sound-insulating plastic products while also staying mindful of sustainability and cost-efficiency. 

As the demand for high-performance plastics continues to rise, barytes stands out as a valuable additive that can drive innovation and sustainability in the plastic industry. 

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

Back