When it comes to a material with a wide range of use in industrial applications, graphite may not be the first considered. Actually, a mineral, graphite is categories as a type of carbon, a form of coal, a semimetal as well as an element mineral.
It is naturally very stable, and this characteristic makes it particularly important in many types of applications. Historically, it has been used as a pigment in paint, to line metal molds as well as a natural lubricant. It is still used in many of these applications.
The Use as a Material
Originally, graphite was used as a lining for a small crucible to melt small amounts of metals. Today, this same technology is used with graphite blocks used to line the large vessels used in industrial smelting operations.
The different types of grains in graphite blocks are also essential today, where it was not considered a factor in small-scale types of operations of the past. Most companies are interested in using fine grain block of graphite, which are used across a variety of different industries. The fine grain, high purity blocks are the most desirable as they offer high-temperature resistance combined with top electrical conductivity, which are essential factors in most operations.
In addition, quality graphite blocks are also resistant to thermal shock. This means they are suitable for use in applications where a significant temperature change may occur. Graphite in block or round form is also used in chemical production, metallurgy, nuclear facilities, aerospace and the energy sector.
These blocks can be made using an extrusion process or through molding. Different processing options will produce different grain sizes, so both the process and the grade need to be considered when choosing a suitable block option for an application.