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Graphite: Conductive or insulating ? Find out here

Unlike diamond, graphite is a great conductor of electricity and the reason for this lies in the bonds of its atoms. The atoms that make up graphite are arranged in hexagonal structures that in turn form networks that are held together.

Graphite: Conductive or insulating ? Find out here

Is graphite conductive or insulating? " is a question that remains a constant because this mineral is known as a dielectric, used as a conductor of electricity and at the same time with refractory capabilities.

Although graphite is used in pencil leads, it is highly valued for its vast potential for industrial applications. To expand on one of its most valued characteristics, we will now resolve the question: conductive or insulating graphite?

Unlike diamond, graphite is a great conductor of electricity and the reason for this lies in the bonds between its atoms. The atoms that make up graphite are arranged in hexagonal structures which in turn form networks that are held together.

In order for the hexagons to hold together, double bonds are formed that facilitate the migration of electrons, which results in good conductivity.

In addition to this, the carbon atoms form overlapping, parallel sheets and bonds in different planes that are weaker, allowing electrons to move between the planes, i.e., transfer of electricity.

In general, the electrical properties of graphite are modified depending on the direction of the planes: when the direction is parallel, it is an excellent conductor of electricity, but if it is perpendicular, we obtain an insulator.

Precisely because of this property, graphite is widely used in mobile power batteries for phones or devices. It is present in alkaline and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in which it functions as a conductive additive at the cathode and an active additive at the anode, respectively.

In addition, graphite is the main component of the vast majority of electric motor brushes, which perform the function of making the electrical connection between the rotor of an electric motor (the rotating part) and the stationary part.

Other properties of graphite

After answering the question: conductive or insulating graphite? We can tell you that it is also an extremely refractory material, it is a good conductor of heat when the direction is parallel to the basal planes. When this is not the case and it is perpendicular, graphite behaves as a thermal insulator.

Also, it is a material resistant to almost all corrosive agents, acids and bases, so it is widely used in packaging with exposure to chemical agents.

Due to its resistance to thermal shock, it is used in the glass industry obtaining pieces, in furnaces and production line handling, that withstand high temperatures and allow the sliding of hot glass on its surface.

At the end, it was possible to know other properties of this mineral besides the answer to the question "conductive or insulating graphite?".

Graphite solutions for industry

In ESGRAF we have a wide variety of applications with graphite, taking advantage of its electrical conductivity, ranging from electrical contacts to electrodes for electroerosion, brushes for electric motors, graphite powders for the production of graphite paint and lubricating suspensions, etc.

All our products maintain the highest quality properties and are priced competitively in relation to the national market.

If you are interested in learning more about how graphite supports industries, you can enter our blog where we will answer questions such as: conductive or insulating graphite, what are the best applications of graphite, where can I buy graphite, among many others. Contact us!