University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Stipp, Henry E.
Iron oxide pigments,   pp. 683-687 ff. PDF (463.3 KB)


Page 683

  683Iron Oxide Pigments 
By Henry E. Stipp 1 
 Sales of finished iron oxide pigments in 1972 increased to record levels
as the result of a rapidly expanding business cycle. Demand for iron oxide
pigments, especially manufactured yellow, was very strong. Increased utilization
of yellow iron oxide pigment was attributed to its application in paint formulations
to replace lead compounds such as lead chromate, or chrome yellow. Paint
containing lead concentrations greater than 0.06% lead has been banned for
use in household interiors after December 31, 1973, by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration. 
 Although imports of iron oxide pigments increased substantially, they were
not sufficient ' to satisfy the strong domestic demand. Imports of iron oxide
pigments were curtailed by the strong economic expansion that occurred in
West European countries in 1972, and by *the effects of dollar devaluation
and U.S. price controls. Normally, imports supplement domestic production
of iron oxide pigments and supply a significant part of the domestic market.
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Production of finished iron oxide pigments, as indicated by sales in 1972,
increased 35.9% to a record 174,392 short tons. The value of finished iron
oxide pigments in 1972 increased 30% to $40.3 million. Yellow iron oxide
recorded the greatest percentage increase among the manufactured varieties,
and metallic brown oxide showed the largest increase among the natural iron
oxide colors. Twelve companies operated 18 plants in nine States in 1972.
Pfizer, Inc. was the major producer, with plants in California, Illinois,
and Pennsylvania. 
 Production of crude iron oxide pigments decreased substantially for the
fourth con- 
secutive year. Figures for production and sales wete withheld in 1972 to
avoid disclosing company confidential data. Five companies operating mines
or plants in five States reported production of crude iron oxide pigments.
The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. produced the largest quantity from mines in
Michigan. 
 Expansion of facilities by Pfizer, Inc. in Illinois and California was completed
by August, and supplies of finished iron oxide pigments were expected to
increase sub. stantially by yearend. 
1 Physical scientist, Division of Ferrous Metals. 
Table 1.—Salient iron oxide pigments statistics in the United States
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
Mine production short tons - 
Crude pigments sold or used do - - Value                        thousands~
Finished pigments sold short tons.. Value                        thousands...
Exports                     shorttons~ Value                        thousands...
Imports for consumption short tons. Value                      thousands....
57,600 
57,600 
$457 
132,400 
$31,000 
3,000 
$1,000 
30,000 
$4,000 
40,600 
40,800 
$362 
142,900 
$32,000 
4,000 
$1,000 
33,000 
$5,000 
38,600 
39,200 
$442 
124,000 
$28,000 
5,000 
$2,000 
33,000 
$6,000 
W 
W 
 r$415 128,300 
$31,300 
4,000 
$2,000 
36,000 
$6,000 
W 
W 
$418 
174,400 
$40,300 
4,000 
$2,000 
47,000 
$9,000 
Revised. W Withheld to avoid disclosing individual 
company c 
onfidential data. 


Go up to Top of Page