5 useful pyrolytic graphite properties

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Pyrolytic graphite properties

5 useful pyrolytic graphite properties

Pyrolytic graphite is a synthetic form of graphite – produced from hydrocarbon gas at high temperatures – and it’s become an increasingly popular option across many different industries. But why? Special Metals is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of this unique product and, here, we take a look at some of the main pyrolytic graphite properties that have led to its popularity.

  1. Anisotropic qualities

It may sound complex; but, essentially, this means that pyrolytic graphite properties differ depending on which direction the material is cut. This is due to its layered structure.

Atoms within each layer are strongly linked together, but those between layers have a much weaker bond – and, as such, demonstrate a completely different set of qualities. This unusual characteristic is why pyrolytic graphite is so versatile and suitable for a broad spectrum of applications.

  1. Thermal conductivity

Due to its anisotropic nature, the thermal conductivity of pyrolytic graphite differs in each plane. In the A-B plane (i.e. within the layers), it exhibits high thermal conductivity of 350~400W/(m·k). It acts as a superconductor and, as a result, is commonly used within aviation and aerospace industries.

By contrast, in the C plane (i.e. across the layers or against the grain), it demonstrates comparatively low thermal conductivity of 5~10W/(m·k) – and, as such, is frequently used as an insulator.

  1. High melting point

Pyrolytic graphite has an extremely high melting point over 3500°C. This makes it a particularly useful option for use in intense heat applications – such as those found in the aerospace industry. It also makes it a suitable material for the production of crucibles. Thanks to the graphite’s stability at high temperatures, such crucibles can then be used for the smelting of precious and rare metals.

Crucible made from pyrolytic graphite

  1. Corrosion-resistance

The attraction between solvent molecules and carbon atoms will never be strong enough to overcome the strong covalent bonds in graphite – which is why it’s insoluble in water and highly resistant to corrosion. This is one of the most beneficial properties of pyrolytic graphite; allowing it to be used on a day-to-day basis, for many purposes within the chemical and metallurgy industry.

  1. Diamagnetism

Once again, this is a term that many people are unfamiliar with – but it simply refers to any material that repels an externally applied magnet. Pyrolytic graphite exhibits the greatest diamagnetism of any room temperature solid. In fact, it is approximately 10,000 times more diamagnetic than most diamagnetic materials – and, as a consequence, can be successfully levitated over earth magnets.

Want to know more about pyrolytic graphite properties?

It’s an intriguing material, with a range of useful properties – and it could be of benefit to you. So why not find out more today and contact our team of experts? It may be a recent addition to our materials range, but we demonstrate excellent knowledge of the main qualities and characteristics of pyrolytic graphite and can offer further information on its real-world applications.

Either call us on 01268 820409 or send an email to sales@special-metal.co.uk and discover whether this unique non-metal material is the ideal product for your needs.

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