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The physical properties of graphite

Aug 18, 2020 Source: DanCarbon Writer: Yvonne
The physical properties of graphite
The physical properties of graphite
• Graphite has a high melting point, similar to that of diamond. In order to melt graphite, it isn't enough to loosen one sheet from another. You have to break the covalent bonding throughout the whole structure.
• Graphite has a soft, slippery feel, and is used in pencils and as a dry lubricant for things like locks. You can think of graphite rather like a pack of cards - each card is strong, but the cards will slide over each other, or even fall off the pack altogether. When you use a pencil, sheets are rubbed off and stick to the paper.
• Graphite has a lower density than diamond. This is because of the relatively large amount of space that is "wasted" between the sheets.
• Graphite is insoluble in water and organic solvents - for the same reason that diamond is insoluble. Attractions between solvent molecules and carbon atoms will never be strong enough to overcome the strong covalent bonds in graphite.
• Graphite conducts electricity. The delocalised electrons are free to move throughout the sheets. If a piece of graphite is connected into a circuit, electrons can fall off one end of the sheet and be replaced with new ones at the other end.

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