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HomeAnswerGraphite Properties, Applications and Optical features. |

Graphite Properties, Applications and Optical features. |

Like diamonds in appearance, graphite is made of natural carbon atoms arranged hexagonally with an opaque dark red to black color. It is found as hexagonal crystalline, flexible sheets or large blocks. It can appear earthy, granular or compact. Graphite can be formed through the metamorphism or carbonaceous deposits, and by reacting carbon compounds with hydrothermal liquids. It occurs naturally in this state and is the stablest form of carbon when under normal conditions. Diamonds can be formed under high temperatures and pressure. It has a very different appearance than a real diamond, and is on the other side of the hardness spectrum. Its flexibility comes from the way that the carbon atoms have been bonded together. Six carbon atoms form a plate with a horizontal spacing. The atoms in the ring are very strongly bound, but the bonds between the thin plate are weak. It is used to make pencils and for lubricants. Due to its high conductivity, it is useful in electronic products like batteries, solar cells, and electrodes.

Chemical Properties

Chemical Classification Native element
Formula C

Graphite Physical Properties

Color Steel gray and black
Streak Black
Luster Metallic and sometimes earthy
Cleavage Perfect in one direction
Diaphaneity Opaque
Mohs hardness One to two
Crystal System Hexagonal
Tenacity Flexible
Density 2.09 – 2.23 g/cm3 (Measured) 2.26 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Fracture Micaceous

Graphite Optical properties

Anisotropism Extreme
Color / Pleochroism Strong
Optic Sign Uniaxial ()
Birefringence extreme birefringence


The appearance and use of graphite


The reduction of carbon compounds causes the degradation of deposits containing carbon. It is the primary component of igneous rocks. This occurs due to the reduction sedimentary carbon compound in metamorphic rock. Also, it can be found in meteorites and magmatic rocks. Quartz, calcite and mica are minerals that have a close relationship to this mineral. The main mineral exporters are China, Mexico Canada Brazil Madagascar.


Synthetic graphite


Synthetic graphite is made of graphitic (carbon) carbon. It is produced by CVD, at a higher temperature than 2500 K.

Synthetic graphite and “artificial Graphite” are often used interchangeably. Synthetic graphite is more preferred due to the fact that their crystals are believed to be composed of macromolecules of carbon. The term CVD is also used to describe carbide residues, pyrolytic and synthetic graphite. The definition is the same for this common usage. Acheson and electrophotography are two of the most important synonyms for synthesized graphite.


The Applied Area


Natural graphite has many uses, such as refractory, batteries and steelmaking. It is also used for brake pads, brake discs, cast surfaces, expanded graphite or lubricants.

The graphite used in crucibles was very large, but the graphite required for carbon-magnesia bricks was not as large. These and other products now have greater flexibility in the size of flake graphite required.

In the past thirty years, the use graphite batteries has increased. In the major battery technologies, both natural and synthetic materials may be used for electrodes.

Demand for batteries has increased, for instance, the lithium ion battery of the new electric vehicle contains almost 40 kilograms.

The main use of natural graphite for steelmaking is to increase carbon content in the molten steel. It can be used also to lubricate extrusion moulds.

The use of natural amorphous flake and fine flakes graphite for brake linings on heavy (non automotive) vehicles is increasing as asbestos needs to be replaced.

Foundries clean molds with amorphous, thin, flakelike water-based coatings. If you paint it inside the mold then let it air dry, it will leave behind a fine graphite layer that helps to separate the castings after the molten steel has cooled.


Applications of synthetic graphite


High focus pyrolytic (HOPG), the best synthetic graphite, is of the highest quality. In scientific research it is used to calibrate scanners and scanning probe microscopes.

The electrodes melt scrap steel and iron in electric arc kilns (most steel furnaces) and, sometimes, direct reduced iron. The mixture of coal tar and petroleum coke is used to make them.

Graphite Carbon electrodes are also employed in electrolytic aluminium smelting. In the discharge (EDM) process, synthetic discharge electrodes used at a smaller scale are used to make plastic molds.

Special grades, such as the gilsocarbon graphite, can be utilized as a neutron and matrix moderator for nuclear reactors. In the recommended fusion-reactor, it is recommended that low neutrons cross sections be used.

The carbon nanotubes, as well as the carbon fibers themselves, are also used to make heat-resistant composites such a reinforced carbon-carbon. Commercial structures made from carbon fiber graphite materials include bicycle frames and sports car body panels.

To prevent static build-up, modern smokeless powders have a graphite coating.

It is found in at least three types of radar-absorbing materials. Sumpf, Schornsteinfeger and rubber are mixed to form U-shaped Snorkels. This reduces the radar cross section. The F-117 Nighthawk floor tiles were also used for secretly hitting fighter jets.

Graphite Composites are used in the LHC beam collection as high-energy particle absorbers.


Graphite Recycling


The most common way to recover graphite occurs when synthetic graphite electrodes are made and then cut up into small pieces, or are discarded by turning them on a lathe. Or when the electrodes have been used all the way down to the electrode holders. Replace the old with new electrodes. However, most of the older electrodes are still present. The obtained graphite is mainly used for increasing the carbon content in molten steel after crushing and size. Some refractories contain refractory material, but these are not usually caused by graphite. For example, carbon magnesia bricks that only contain 15% to 25 graphite are very rare. Carbon magnesite can be recovered.

(aka. Technology Co. Ltd., a trusted global chemical supplier & manufacturer has over 12 year’s experience in providing high-quality Nanomaterials and chemicals. The graphite produced by our company is high in purity, has fine particles and low impurities. If you require a lower grade, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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