What is Graphite

Natural Graphite Overview

Graphite is a versatile non-metallic material yet exhibits both metallic and non-metallic properties making it suitable for many applications. Key graphite properties include:

- Electrical and thermal conductivity

- Inertness

- Lubrication

- Resistance to corrosion and

- Resistance to high temperatures

Extraction of Natural Graphite

Mined ore Natural graphite is then beneficiated into graphite concentrate (typically 90% to 95% total graphitic carbon) that is sized and screened into various mesh sizes.

Graphite Size Upper Size (US mesh) Lower Size (US mesh) Upper size (microns) Lower size (microns)

Jumbo

 

50

 

>300

Large Flake

-50

80

<300

>180

Medium Flake

-80

100

<180

>150

Fines

-100

140

<150

>105

Synthetic Graphite Overview

Synthetic graphite is a substance manufactured by the processing of carbon material – usually petroleum coke. Only certain types of carbonaceous feeds are suitable for the production of synthetic graphite to ensure a high quality graphitic carbon. The dry raw materials are mixed and moulded into desired shapes and baked or carbonised at 800 – 1300 degrees Celsius over several weeks and then further processed at temperatures of 2,600-3,000 degrees Celsius for graphitisation.

Synthetic graphite is primarily (80-85% of total demand) used as a conductive electrode used to refine iron in an electric arc furnace or alumina in an aluminium smelter. Other markets include the battery anode sector and brake linings which both compete with natural graphite for market share.