Six classifications and applications of graphite


Aug 28, 2023

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Graphite is classified into six categories and has many applications.
Graphite is abundant in my country, and it’s widely distributed. However, many of the small and medium sized minerals are found there. Private small graphite miners have operated in my country, and graphite products are of low added value. After many years of hardwork, my country has invested in a large amount of money and scientific and technological personnel. The graphite reserves of my country have been used more efficiently after reorganizing mineral enterprises and improving graphite utilization. My country has now developed high-purity products such as expanded graphite (also known as Isostatic Graphite), colloidal graphite (also known as fluorinated Graphite), graphene and many other high-performance graphite materials.
1. High purity graphite
High-purity Graphite (carbon contents >99.99%), is used for a stabiliser in military industrial pyrotechnic material, advanced refractory products in the metallurgical sector, Chemical fertilizer industry additives and catalysts.
2. Isostatic Graphite
The graphite used to make isostatic graphite comes from a very pure graphite. It has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, good heat resistance and chemical resistance. In the past fifty years, isostatic graphite has become a world-first product. It has not only achieved great success in civil applications, but also holds a prominent position in cutting-edge national defense. This is a brand new material, which is also eye-catching. It is mainly used for the following aspects.
(1) Heater to heat polysilicon ingots
As a result of the global warming, the awareness among humans to protect the Earth has increased. More and more people now prefer natural energy that does not emit carbon dioxide. In this trend, solar cell technology has become the “darling of the new age”. The ingot heater that is used during the manufacturing process must be made out of graphite.
Nuclear fission (high temperature gas-cooled) reactor
In order to meet the requirements of graphite as a moderator for high-temperature nuclear reactors that use gas cooling, it must be able to resist radiation creep. This led to a modular design of a high-temperature cooled gas reactor. Modern ultra-high temperature reactors are characterized by high power density at high temperatures. This puts higher demands on the new generation graphite material: high quality, low price, high radiation damage tolerance, homogenization of products, etc.
Nuclear fusion reactor.
Graphite’s special properties also play an important role in nuclear fusion. It can greatly reduce the metal particles in the material’s plasma, and therefore plays an important role in improving energy confinement. As nuclear fusion devices expand, graphite with high mechanical and thermal strength is the material of choice for the wall facing the plasma. It also has a good discharge pulsation effect. Because graphite is low in atomic numbers and has low radiation losses, it can be mixed with plasma to keep it stable.
(4) Electric discharge machining electrode.
In the electrodes for electric discharge machining, graphite electrodes offer many advantages. Although graphite is a good material, it has some disadvantages. For example, dust and wear can occur during cutting.
3. Expandable graphite
Also known as acidified or flake graphite. It is made from high-quality graphite and an interlayer compound that has been treated by acidic oxidizers. Expanded Graphite offers many advantages, such as high-temperature resistance, high-pressure resistance, good seal performance, and corrosion resistance for various media. It is a type of advanced seal material. It is mainly applied in the following areas.

(1) Environmental protection as a field.
The hydrophobicity and lipophilicity of expanded graphite allows it to selectively remove nonaqueous solutions in water. This property is commonly used to remove oil from the sea surface. A large amount of oil can be absorbed by this product due to its molecular composition. After oil, the graphite can be aggregated in blocks and float on water. It can also be recycled or reused. Expanded graphite, in addition to its selective adsorption, has a positive effect on air pollutants, including the adsorption and removal of carbon dioxide.
Sealing Material
The flexible graphite made of expanded graphite is used to seal materials.
4. Graphite fluoride
Graphite fluoride, a new material with high-tech, high performance, and high efficiency, is a research hotspot in the world. It is widely used for functional materials due to its unique properties and excellent performance.

(1) It is used as a releaser.
Graphite-fluoride is characterized by its low surface energy. It is primarily used as a release for metal molds like powder molding, sand casting, or plywood molding.
Solid lubricants.
Fluorinated Graphite, with its low interlayer energy and low surface energy as well as good chemical and thermal properties, has excellent lubricating characteristics and is ideal for harsh conditions like high temperatures, pressures and corrosive media.
(3) Raw materials for batteries
It is very difficult to use fluorine in the active material of batteries that contain fluorine-lithium, because fluorine gas can be poisonous. Fluorinated Graphite is used for its excellent electrochemical properties when mixed with organic electrolytes. This makes it a popular material in the integrated circuit memory of cameras, computers and watches.
5. Colloidal graphite
One of the main features of colloidal graphite is its lubricity. The colloidal film of graphite has an excellent thermal insulation in the vertical direction. It is used widely in turbine propellers and hot steam cylinders. It is used to reduce static electricity in the electronics industry.
6. Graphene
Graphene is a hexagonal honeycomb-like lattice made of carbon atoms, and sp2 hybrid orbitals. This is a two dimensional material, with a carbon atom thickness. It is a nanomaterial that has the highest level of hardness and toughness.
The special arrangement of its atomic structure has made it widely used.
(1) According to ultra-thin Graphene (single layer graphene almost transparent; its molecules are tightly packed, so that even the smallest of helium atoms can’t pass through), the strength is super strong, and it can be used in ultra-light armors, ultra thin and ultra light aircrafts, etc. .
(2) Its conductive atoms have a much higher speed than electrons that move in metal conductors. It can be made into graphene conductor agent.
Its thermal conductivity is superior to all known substances. Due to the rapid movement and movement of its conductive atoms, it can be applied in place of silicon as a component of future curved mobiles, photon sensors, and supercomputers.
(4) Other applications. Researchers have found that bacteria cells cannot grow on the graphene but human cells do not suffer any damage. Use graphene in bandages, food packaging and more.

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