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Graphite, like diamonds is a natural form of carbon crystals. Its atoms are arranged in a hexagonal pattern that ranges from crimson to black. It is found as hexagonal or octahedral crystals, sheets, blocks, scales, or flexible sheets. 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. Graphite is a stable form of carbon that occurs naturally. 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. The six carbon atoms arranged horizontally on a plate give it flexibility. 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
Signs of Optic Message Uniaxial ()
Birefringence extreme birefringence

The appearance and use of graphite
The reduction of carbon compounds causes the degradation of deposits containing carbon. It is a main 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 mica and tourmaline are minerals that belong to this group. The main mineral exporters are China, Mexico Canada Brazil Madagascar.

Synthetic graphite
Synthetic graphite (also known as supersaturated or non-graphite) is a material made of graphitic, carbon. It is produced by CVD, at a higher temperature than 2500 K., either through the decomposition and crystallization of thermally instabile carbides.

Synthetic graphite and “artificial graphite”, both terms 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, expanded graphite (brake pads), casting surfaces, lubricants, and steelmaking.
The graphite used in crucibles was very large, but the graphite required for carbon-magnesite blocks 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.
The lithium-ion battery used in the new car, for instance, contains almost 40 kilograms of graphite.
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 flake like 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. Synthetic electrodes are used at a small scale in the discharge (EDM) process for making plastic injection moulds.
Special grades, such as the gilsocarbon graphite, can be utilized as a matrix or neutron moderator for nuclear reactors. In the recommended fusion-reactor, it is recommended that low neutrons cross sections be used.
The carbon nanotubes can also be found in heat-resistant composites, such as the reinforced carbon-carbon material (RCC). Commercial structures made from carbon fiber graphite materials include golf shafts, bicycle frame, sports car body panels and the body panel of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
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, discarded or used all the way to the electrode holders. Replace the old with new electrodes. However, most of the older electrodes are still present. After crushing and sizing the graphite, it is used to increase carbon content in molten steel. Some refractories contain refractory, but the graphite is not usually responsible for them. For example, carbon magnesia bricks that only contain 15% to 25% graphite are often recycled. Carbon magnesite can be recovered.

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