Use cases ·

Graphite electrodes: what are they used for?

The foundry industry uses graphite for its heat-resistant properties, non-stick properties and other characteristics. Graphite composite electrodes are another of the most useful applications of graphite.

Graphite electrodes: what are they used for?

In industry, the strength of materials is essential to accomplish certain tasks. High temperatures, high levels of electric current and other demanding conditions are the daily routine in this sector. Special devices have been developed to meet these tasks, such as graphite electrodes.

The foundry industry uses graphite for its heat-resistant properties, non-stick properties and other characteristics. Graphite composite electrodes are another of the most useful applications of graphite.

What are graphite electrodes?

Graphite electrodes are conductive ends of electrical current. Thanks to the properties of graphite, this type of electrode has a high resistance to high temperatures and high electrical conductivity.

This type of electrode is mainly composed of two parts: a cylindrical body and a connecting device, commonly called a "nipple", which is used to connect the electrode. Each component has its own technical specifications depending on the manufacturer or the intended use.

It is very common to find electrodes composed of graphite in the foundry industry, thanks to its resistance to high temperatures. Normally, electrodes made of graphite are installed in electric arc furnaces. The ends of the electrode - or cathode - conduct a very high electrical charge and generate an electric arc with the metal scrap - or anode - thus producing the heat necessary to melt the metal.

What are the properties of graphite electrodes?

Like any component, graphite composite electrodes have certain characteristics and limitations that must be considered when choosing the right one:

  • Bulk density: It is the weight of the unit, the higher the weight, the better the mechanical properties.
  • Electrical resistance: It is the resistance to the passage of electric current. A low or well-balanced resistance guarantees a good performance of the electrode without damaging it quickly.
  • Tensile and flexural strength: Refers to the force needed to break the electrode nipple.
  • Coefficient of expansion: Refers to the expansion in the length of the graphite electrode according to the heat applied to it.
  • Young's modulus: This is a measure of resistance to change in electrode length under tensile force.
  • Grade: Refers to the quality of the graphite that makes up the electrode.

Where graphite electrodes can be found

  • Aluminum, steel, lithium, magnesium and potassium production.
  • Hydrogen production.
  • Sodium hydrogen production.
  • Chemical dissociation.
  • Steel smelting.
  • Lightning rod structures.