Uses of Natural Graphite

Uses of Natural Graphite

Natural graphite is mostly consumed for following industrial use:

Refractories: Manufacturing Silicon Carbide and Clay Graphite Crucibles, Manufacturing Mag-Carbon and Alumina-Carbon Refractory bricks. Manufacturing Continuous Casting Refractories, Manufacturing trough mass and Mudgun mass.

Batteries: Batteries are the fastest growing end use for graphite. Natural and synthetic graphite are used to construct the anode of all major battery technologies.

Steel-making: Natural graphite in this end use mostly goes into carbon raising in molten steel, although it can be used to lubricate the dies used to extrude hot steel. Supplying carbon raisers is very competitive, therefore subject to cut-throat pricing from alternatives such as synthetic graphite powder, petroleum coke, and other forms of carbon. A carbon raiser is added to increase the carbon content of the steel to the specified level.

Brake linings: Natural amorphous and fine flake graphite are used in brake linings.

Expanded Graphite

Foundry facings and lubricants
A foundry facing mold wash is a water-based paint of amorphous or fine flake graphite. Painting the inside of a mold with it and letting it dry leaves a fine graphite coat that will ease separation of the object cast after the hot metal has cooled. Graphite lubricants are specialty items for use at very high or very low temperatures, as forging die lubricant, an antiseize agent, a gear lubricant for mining machinery, and to lubricate locks. Having low-grit graphite, or even better no-grit graphite (ultra high purity), is highly desirable. It can be used as a dry powder, in water or oil, or as colloidal graphite (a permanent suspension in a liquid).

Pencils: Its use in pencils gives graphite its name: graphein (to draw). Approximately 5% of total volume of natural graphite consumed for manufacturing Pencil in the finer form.

Speciality grades: Expanded graphite

Expanded graphite is made by immersing natural flake graphite in a bath of Chromic Acid, then concentrated Sulphuric Acid, which forces the crystal lattice planes apart, thus expanding the graphite.