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Iron oxide pigments (IOP) are the largest-volume coloured inorganic pigments used.
They are:

  1. nontoxic,
  2. relatively low cost, and
  3. have a wide range of applications.

Natural iron oxides generally cost less than synthetic iron oxides. Often, the two types are blended to make use of the advantages of each.

The resulting pigment produces a dark brown shade with natural undertones in wood stain applications. Umbers are preferred colorants in furniture stains and high-quality wood finishes because of their transparency and ability to enhance wood grain appearance. The pigment from Crude Burnt Umber is also used in medium-gloss coatings, artist paints, coatings processed on intensive dispersing equipment, liquid colorants, paper, plaster and stucco applications. In addition, it is suitable to colour products made with cement. It is stable under exposure to sunlight and UV radiation and is alkali, chemical and weather resistant

The largest end-use areas for IOP are the construction and coatings industries. The former includes concrete, cement, mortars, paving, bricks, blocks, and roof tiles. The term coatings cover a wide range of paints, powder coatings, industrial finishes, lacquers, and varnishes

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