Use cases ·

Is graphite a metal or non-metal? Know its characteristics

Graphite is considered a non-metal with semi-metallic properties, so, to be used in the manufacture of conductors in electric motors, for example, a compound of graphite intercalated with calcium, sodium or potassium is created to obtain superconducting materials.

Is graphite a metal or non-metal? Know its characteristics

Graphite is one of the forms in which carbon occurs in nature, like diamond and coal. It is a material that is widely used for pencil leads, but it also has electrical, heat conducting, etc. properties that allow it to function in various industries. In this text we will answer the question whether graphite is metal or non-metall.

Graphite is considered a non-metal with semi-metallic properties, so, to be used in the manufacture of conductors in electric motors, for example, a compound of graphite intercalated with calcium, sodium or potassium is created to obtain a superconducting material This means that the electrons donated by the foreign atom in its lateral structure are transformed into a material with certain properties characteristic of metals. The semimetals, compared to metals, increase their electrical conductivity when their temperature is increased and are frequently used to form alloys.

The structure of graphite is composed of carbon atoms tightly bound in hexagons, which in turn form layers or basal planes, which are joined by weaker forces and stacked in parallel, so its hardness is not very high.

Despite this, it has multiple properties that make it indispensable in industries.

Applications of graphite

Having explained whether graphite is metal or non-metal, we list some applications of graphite:

  • Because it is a refractory material, graphite is used in bricks, crucibles, etc.
  • It has self-lubricating properties so it functions as a solid lubricant and is widely used, for example, for the glass industry or bearings.
  • Being an electrically conductive material, it is widely used in the manufacture of electrodes and in brushes for electric motors.
  • It appears in pencil leads.
  • It is a component for the manufacture of paints and pigments as well as lubricants and suspensions. Graphite paint is used for the design of functional electrical circuits on a flexible surface as well as for the lubrication of railways and metal-to-metal contact in furnaces or high-temperature applications.
  • Graphite is also used in moderators and reflectors in nuclear reactors.
  • Its melting point is very high and it resists thermal shock perfectly, making it an excellent material for casting molds.

In ESGRAF we are allied to optimize the efforts in the industries offering all types of graphite presentations. Request information in this link or check our website to know the best applications of graphite in the industry.