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- Graphite is one of
the allotropes of carbon. Unlike diamond, graphite is an electrical
conductor, and can be used, for instance, as the material in the
electrodes of an electrical arc lamp.
- Graphite holds the
distinction of being the most stable form of solid carbon ever
discovered. It may be considered to be the highest grade of coal.
- Graphite can conduct
electricity due to the vast electron delocalization within the carbon
layers. These electrons are free to move, so are able to conduct
electricity. However, the electricity is only conducted within the plane
of the layers.
- A structural analog of
graphite, hexagonal boron nitride, is used as a high-temperature lubricant
as well, and due to its similarity to graphite is sometimes called white
- During a fire, the
graphite expands and chars to resist fire penetration and reduce the
likelihood of the spread of fire and fumes. A typical start expansion
temperature is between 150° and 300° Celsius.
- Traditionally used
synthetic graphite is now being successfully replaced by two other
alternatives: purified natural and purified expanded types of graphite
- The use of graphite is
also limited by its tendency to facilitate pitting corrosion in some
stainless steels, and to promote galvanic corrosion between dissimilar
- Graphite powder is used
as a dry lubricant, although it might be thought that this industrially
important property is due entirely to the loose interlamellar coupling
between sheets in the structure.
- Intumescent or
expandable graphites are used in firestops, particularly plastic pipes and
gaskets, fitted around the perimeter of a fire door.
- Graphite powder is used
for the purpose of conductivity enhancement in the MnO2 (EMD or CMD)
- The powders as well
as graphite containing conductive suspensions have played important
roles in the development of new alkaline battery systems, which entered
the market in 1998-2002.
- The U.S. and European refractories
industry had a crisis, with an indifferent market for steel and a
declining refractory consumption per tonne of steel underlying firm
buyouts and many plant closings.
- Nowadays natural
graphite became available at high purity levels. This feature, when
combined with its other unique properties, allows it to successfully
compete with and outperform traditional synthetic graphite offerings.
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