Structure and Properties - Flake Graphite

Given these molecular characteristic, flake graphite is a material with a unique set of properties, making it the preferred and mostly non-repalceable choice in various industries, products and applications. Though it is a non-metal, it has unique properties of both metals and non-metals.

Molecular Structure of Flake graphite
Flake graphite non-metallic conductor of heat

As a Conductor

  • Being a pure form of carbon, it is the only non-metallic high-performance conductor of electricity
  • It is also the only non-metallic high-performance conductor of heat

Given the above two properties, flake graphite is the only known material occurring in a free-flowing powder which is also a good conductor, making it the material of choice in various applications, including energy storage.

Flake graphite structural properties

Structural Properties

  • The mirror finish flakes of graphite align on any surface providing excellent solid state lubrication, that can sustain higher temperature as compared to petroleum based lubricants
  • It is a reflector of light, giving it a shining lustre
  • Infusions of certain chemicals within the layers of flake graphite, a process referred to as intercalation, weaken the vertical Van der Waals bonds in crystals. This instils a property of expansion on heating, which can exceed 300 times in volume. Commonly, this is known as Expandable Graphite, a key material in flame retardants.
Chemical properties flake graphite

Chemical & Other Properties

  • With melting temperature exceeding 3000° Centigrade, flake graphite is an excellent refractory material in reducing atmosphere
  • Negligible coefficient of thermal expansion, an added advantage to its refractory properties, a property exhibited by very few known materials
  • Chemically inert and non-hazardous
  • Low adsorption of X-rays and neurons