Graphite and Its Primary Role in Powder Metallurgy

November 8, 2022

Manufacturers continue to maximise metal powders in manufacturing a wide range of parts and products. Through powder metallurgy, they can produce, utilise, and offer these things without compromising their core properties.

Powder metallurgy is popular in various industries since it fully maximises compacted metal powders in creating different parts and products. This process subjects the said materials to a temperature below their melting points to attain a good surface finish and accurate dimensions. It also cuts the amount of scrap produced during metal powder processing. It even minimises the need for additional machining, trimming, and heat treatment.

To date, tons of materials can be used as metal powders. One of these materials is graphite.

A Quick Overview of Graphite

Graphite is soft and black-grey metal often maximised in powder metallurgy. It is the crystalline form of carbon, which is mostly comprised of stacked graphene layers. With a melting point of above 3,000 degrees Celsius, processing this material can produce parts and products that can effectively resist high temperatures. Its stability under standard conditions then makes the material useful in a lot of applications, including powder metallurgy.

The general features of graphite are excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and chemical inertness. It is also heat resistant and soft.

To date, graphite can be classified into two: natural and synthetic. Natural graphite can be obtained from metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, and meteorites. And once exposed to high pressures and temperatures, this material may be converted into a diamond. Synthetic graphite, alternatively, is generated by exposing petroleum coke at high temperatures. This type of graphite can maximise over 99% carbon, making it useful for a lot of manufactured products.

Graphite in Powder Metallurgy

When it comes to powder metallurgy, graphite can be utilised as an additive in specialised refractories. It can also be maximised for hot metal toppings as well as an alloying element thanks to its good size distribution, optimal thickness, and purity. Its oxidation resistance and thermal conductivity are also some of the reasons why graphite is great for powder metallurgy.

Some key applications of graphite include sintered ceramics, lubricants, can coatings, heat-exchange foils, carbon brushes, fuel cells, brake pads, and supercapacitors. Graphite, alongside polymer and rubber compounds, can also be used in developing seals, gaskets, and electronic device housings.

Once graphite is used in powder metallurgy, manufacturers can expect their products to be dense and maximise high tensile strength. Quality is also expected to be consistently high with parts and products made with graphite and other elements.

Working with PM Distributors

If you want to maximise sintered parts and products with graphite, you must work with us at PM Distributors. We can generate custom parts out of varying powder options, chemistries, and sizes to suit your application requirements. Our team can also provide options through prototypes and even give you some insight into the whole process of powder metallurgy. Support can likewise be provided so you can still reach us whenever necessary.

To maximise sintered graphite products, you can contact us at PM Distributors.

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