Some machinable graphite parts.
Graphite is a natural mineral derivative of carbon. It is a native element, often the result of sedimentary carbon compounds, but also occurring in certain rocks containing organic carbon, in magma, or as the result of the reduction of sedimentary carbon through the reduction of carbonates.
Graphite has a non-compact layered structure made up of hexagonally-shaped structures. These layers are known as graphene have an inter-layer distance of approximately 0.336 nm.
In each layer, the carbon atoms are strongly bonded together by molecular links whereas the layers are not strongly bonded together, which explains the material’s relative lack of hardness.
Graphite is the stable form of carbon at ordinary temperatures and pressures. This material has a black, shiny, submetallic appearance. Its hardness is low, between 1 and 2 on the Mohs scale. Due to its layered structures, all of its physical properties are anisotropic. Indeed, its electrical conductivity varies greatly if measured between the layers or perpendicularly.
Graphite Material has many industrial applications in various natural or synthetic forms :
Mechanical Engineering: friction parts, seals, lubricants
Electrical manufacturing: brush motors
Reducers, particularly in the steel industry (blast coke furnaces)
Electrodes for the steel industry (electrical steel)
Moderators in nuclear reactors
Adsorbents in activated charcoal filter
Coatings and surface treatments
In order to modify the specific characteristics of graphite, different coatings and treatments can be applied. We propose 5 types of coating and graphite impregnations for fine-grain isostatic graphite.
List of Uses of Graphite
Graphite Products ;have been used since ancient times. It has a wide range of applications in the modern world too. Let’s look at some common uses of graphite below.
The word graphite is from the Greek language which translates as ‘to write’. So the most common use of graphite is in making the lead in pencils. This lead is a mixture of clay and graphite which is in an amorphous form.
Lubricants / Repellents
Graphite is one of the main ingredients in lubricants like grease, etc. This mineral reacts with atmospheric water vapor and creates a thin film or layer over the surface applied and thus reducing friction. Graphite is also used in car brakes and clutches.
The powdered form of lump graphite is also used in paints. Why? Well, graphite by nature is water-repellent. So it offers a protective coating on wood and other surfaces.
Due to its high tolerance to heat and unchangeability, Graphite is a widely used refractory material. It finds its use in the manufacturing industry and it helps in the production of glass and steel as well as the processing of iron.
Graphite can absorb fast-moving neutrons. As a result, it is used in reactors to stabilize nuclear reactions.
Crystalline flake graphite is used in the manufacturing of carbon electrodes, brushes, and plates needed in dry cell batteries and the electrical industry. Interestingly, natural graphite is also processed into synthetic graphite. This type of graphite is useful in lithium-ion batteries.
Graphite can be used to make graphene sheets. These sheets are said to be 100 times stronger and 10 times lighter than steel. This derivative of graphite is further used in making lightweight and strong sports equipment. Many are considering future applications in the field of the medical and aerospace industries.