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Graphite Powder

Coal Dust
Graphite has a layered, planar structure. In each layer, the carbon atoms are arranged in a hexagonal lattice with separation of 0.142 nm, and the distance between planes is 0.335 nm. The two known forms of graphite, alpha (hexagonal) and beta (rhombohedral).


Properties :


Category                           : Native element mineral
Chemical formula                  : C
Strunz classification             : 01.CB.05a
Crystal symmetry                  : Hexagonal dihexagonal dipyramidal
H-M symbol : (6/m 2/m 2/m)
Space group : P 63/mmc
Unit cell                         : a = 2.461 Å, c = 6.708 Å; Z = 4
Color                             : Iron-black to steel-gray deep blue in transmitted light
Crystal habit                     : Tabular, six-sided foliated masses, granular to compacted masses
Crystal system                    : Hexagonal
Twinning                          : Present
Cleavage                          : Basal – perfect on {0001}
Fracture                          : Flaky, otherwise rough when not on cleavage
Tenacity                          : Flexible non-elastic, sectile
Mohs scalehardness               : 1–2
Luster                           : Metallic, earthy
Streak                           : Black
Diaphaneity                      : Opaque, transparent only in thin flakes
Density                           : 2.09–2.23 g/cm3
Optical properties               : Uniaxial (–)
Pleochroism                      : Strong
Solubility                        : Molten Ni


Graphite can conduct electricity due to the vast electron delocalization within the carbon layers (a phenomenon called aromaticity). The conductive properties of powdered graphite allowed its use as a semiconductor substitute in early carbon microphones.


Graphite powder is valued in industrial applications for its self-lubricating and dry lubricating properties. In foundries it is used by spraying on mouldsas it prevents the mud of mould to stick to the molten metal.