barium sulfate

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barium sulfate:

see baritebarite
, barytes
[New Lat., from barium], 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.
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Barium Sulfate


BaSO4, a salt; colorless crystals with a density of 4.5 g/cm3 and a melting point of 1580° C. This compound is virtually insoluble in water (2 mg per liter at 18° C) but is highly soluble in concentrated H2SO4 as a result of the formation of a complex compound. Barium sulfate is found in nature in the form of the mineral barite, which is the principal raw material for production of barium and its compounds. It is a component of the white pigment lithopone and is included in high-quality paper (which gives it its whiteness and smoothness). Petroleum workers use barium sulfate as a weighting material in drilling deep wells. This compound absorbs X rays well and is therefore used in fluoroscopic examinations, particularly of the gastrointestinal tract.

barium sulfate

[′bar·ē·əm ′səl‚fāt]
(inorganic chemistry)
BaSO4 A salt occurring in the form of white, rhombic crystals, insoluble in water; used as a white pigment, as an opaque contrast medium for roentgenographic processes, and as an antidiarrheal.


A mineral used in concrete as an aggregate, esp. for the construction of high-density radiation shielding; also called barium sulfate.
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