Natural graphite is one of the crystalline forms of the element carbon. Its atoms are arranged in a hexagonal structure and form a layered structure. Natural graphite occurs in metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, and meteorites. Under high pressures and temperatures, it converts to diamond. Synthetic graphite is produced through a complex process of baking petroleum coke at very high temperatures. Synthetic graphite can have a purity of over 99% carbon, and it is used in manufactured products where extremely pure material is required. Graphite is extremely soft, cleaves with very light pressure, and has low specific gravity. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, making it a useful mineral for metallurgy applications and for producing batteries, amongst many others. Imerys has a strong tradition and history in graphite manufacturing, with its first manufacturing operation founded in 1908 in the Swiss canton of Ticino. Today, we mine and process natural graphite from our Lac-des-Iles deposit, and we manufacture high aspect ratio graphite at our Terrebonne facility near Montreal, Canada. In addition, we produce a wide range of synthetic graphites at our Bodio facility in Switzerland. The 2017 acquisition of the Japanese company Nippon Power Graphite specializes in graphite coating technologies, widened our graphite portfolio to include carbon-coated graphite using a proprietary chemical vapor deposition process (CVD coating).
Further upstream, our Technology Center in Bironico, Switzerland, is devoted to studying the use of graphite across various applications, including batteries, fuel cells, polymers, brakes and clutches, carbon brushes, hard metals, powder metallurgy, and refractories. Our laboratory in Kawasaki, Japan, focuses on the application development of electrochemical systems utilizing graphite and carbon. If you are looking for high quality, high purity, and cost-effective graphite or require the latest price, please email contact mis-asia.