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natural flake graphite powder is a versatile engineering material with more than 30 industrial applications. It has excellent thermal stability, a low coefficient of friction and is self-lubricating. Its high electrical conductivity makes it a good substitute for copper and silver in some applications. It is a major component of refractory, lubricant, coatings and plastics/rubber additives. It is also used in carbon brushes and paint, metallurgy and batteries.
Flake graphite is available in a wide range of purities from around 80-90% carbon (for froth floatation only) to 99+% pure. It is offered in lump, granular and powder form, as well as in slurry or micron sized.
The purity of graphite varies depending on the location of the deposit. Run of mine flake graphite contains a percentage of ash intercalated between the graphite particles. Careful control of floatation methods can improve the overall purity but floatation cannot remove this ash completely.
Research shows that there are 2 factors that directly influence the resistance to oxidation; particle size and purity. The larger the flake size and the higher the purity, the better the resistance to oxidation. This translates into longer refractory life.
Expandable graphite is made from natural flake graphite that has been treated with chemical or electrochemical processes. It has the ability to expand up to 250 times its original volume under certain conditions. It is used in various applications including lubricant additives, polymer and rubber composites, thread compound, drilling mud additive, packing and seals.