Flake Graphite is a crystalline form of Carbon with a set of unapparelled diverse properties, derived from its unique crystal structure as depicted below:
The layered Hexagonal alignment of Carbon atoms is visible in the sheet like appearance of Flake Graphite, every single layer of atoms being GRAPHENE. The covalent bonds demonstrate extreme levels of strength resulting in GRAPHENE being discovered as a material with strength unparalleled The Van der Waals bonds are weaker bonds making it possible to break or penetrate these bonds. Given these molecular characteristics and some others, Flake Graphite exhibits this unique set of properties:
As a Conductor
Being a pure form of Carbon, it is the only NON Metallic high performance conductor of electricity, property which in itself is unique
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 form normally and is also a Good Conductor. It therefore is the material of choice in various applications by virtue of these properties, including Energy Storage.
The mirror finish Flakes of Graphite align on any surface providing excellent Solid state lubricant, that can sustain higher temperature as compared to petroleum based Lubricants
The mirror finish also makes it a mirror like Reflector of light, giving it a shining lustre too.
Infusions of certain chemicals within the layers of Graphite, aprocess referred to as intercalation, creates weakening of the Vertical Van Der Waals bonds in Flake Graphite Crystals. Intercalated Flake Graphite instills a property of Expansion on heating, which can exceed 300 times in volume. Commonly, this is known as Expandable Graphite
Chemical & Other Properties
With melting temperature exceeding 3000 digree centigrade, Flake Graphite is an excellent refractory material in reducing atmosphere.
Its Coefficient of Thermal Expansion is Negligible, an added advantage to its refractory properties, a property exhibited by very few known materials.