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Latest Research Report on Natural Graphite in 2024

Release time:

2024-05-29


In terms of reserves, the global graphite reserves in 2023 were 280 million metric tons. Among them, China's graphite reserves are 78 million metric tons, accounting for 27.86% of the global reserves; Brazil has 74 million metric tons of graphite reserves, accounting for 26.43% of global reserves.

In terms of production, the global graphite production in 2023 is 1.6 million metric tons. Among them, China's graphite production is 1.23 million metric tons, accounting for 76.87% of global production; Madagascar produces 100000 metric tons of graphite, accounting for 6.25% of global production.

In terms of import/export, the main exporting countries of natural graphite are China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Madagascar, and the main importing countries are South Korea, Japan, Germany, and the United States.

▍Introduction and classification of graphite

1.1 Definition and Characteristics of Graphite

Graphite is a mineral composed of hexagonal crystal structures of carbon atoms stacked in sheets, which is gray to black, opaque, and has a metallic luster. Natural graphite is extracted from deposits in metamorphic rocks, such as marble, schist, and gneiss, and originates from the accumulation of vein like deposits. Natural graphite is usually formed by the metamorphism of organic matter accumulation in sedimentary rocks. Synthetic graphite is made by high-temperature heat treatment (graphitization) of hydrocarbon materials or chemical deposition from hydrocarbon materials. Synthetic graphite is graphite with a purity of over 99.9%, but with slightly higher porosity, lower density, lower conductivity, and a much higher price than natural graphite.

In terms of physical and chemical properties, the Mohs hardness of graphite is 1-2, and its hardness can increase to 3-5 with the increase of impurities in the vertical direction. The specific gravity is 1.9-2.3, and the specific surface area range is concentrated in 1-20m2/g. Under oxygen isolation conditions, its melting point is above 3000 ℃, making it one of the most temperature resistant minerals. Graphite, along with diamond, carbon 60, carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc., are all elemental elements of carbon, and they are allotropes of each other.

In addition, graphite has several special properties:

1) High temperature resistance: The melting point of graphite is 3850 ± 50 ℃, and even after being burned by an ultra-high temperature arc, the weight loss is very small, and the coefficient of thermal expansion is also very small. The strength of graphite increases with temperature, and at 2000 ℃, the strength of graphite doubles.

2) Conductivity and thermal conductivity: The conductivity of graphite is one hundred times higher than that of general non-metallic minerals. The thermal conductivity exceeds that of metal materials such as steel, iron, and lead. The thermal conductivity decreases with increasing temperature, and even at extremely high temperatures, graphite becomes an insulator. Graphite can conduct electricity because each carbon atom in graphite only forms three covalent bonds with other carbon atoms, and each carbon atom still retains one free electron to transfer charges.

3) Lubricity: The lubrication performance of graphite depends on the size of the graphite flakes. The larger the flakes, the smaller the friction coefficient, and the better the lubrication performance.

4) Chemical stability: Graphite has good chemical stability at room temperature, and can withstand acid, alkali, and organic solvent corrosion.

5) Plasticity: Graphite has good toughness and can be ground into very thin sheets.

6) Thermal shock resistance: Graphite can withstand drastic temperature changes without damage when used at room temperature. When the temperature suddenly changes, the volume of graphite does not change much and will not crack.

Pure graphite is not found in nature and often contains impurities such as SiO2, Al2O3, FeO, CaO, P2O5, CuO, etc. These impurities often appear in the form of minerals such as quartz, pyrite, and carbonate. In addition, there are gas components such as water, asphalt, CO2, H2, CH4, N2, etc. Therefore, for the analysis of graphite, in addition to measuring the fixed carbon content, it is also necessary to simultaneously measure the content of volatile matter and ash.

1.2 Graphite classification

Graphite is divided into two categories: natural graphite and artificial graphite, and natural graphite comes from graphite deposits.

1. Artificial graphite

The largest production in the carbon industry is various artificial graphite products. Artificial graphite products are generally made from easily graphitized petroleum coke and asphalt coke as raw materials, and are processed through a series of processes such as batching, kneading, molding, calcination, graphitization (high-temperature heat treatment), and mechanical processing, with a production cycle of dozens of days.

There are also many types of artificial graphite, such as single crystal graphite, polycrystalline graphite, pyrolytic graphite, highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, polyimide synthesized graphite, graphite fibers, etc. Most artificial graphite products belong to the category of polycrystalline graphite.

The main products in artificial graphite are graphite electrodes used in electric arc steelmaking furnaces and submerged arc furnaces. Graphite electrodes are conductive materials that are resistant to high temperatures and corrosion. Artificial graphite has a wide range of applications in many other industrial sectors, such as electric brushes for motors, precision casting molds, EDM molds and wear-resistant components in the mechanical industry, conductive materials or corrosion-resistant equipment used in electrolytic cells in the chemical industry, high-purity and high-strength artificial graphite is a structural material for reactors in the nuclear industry and used as components for missile rockets.

2. Natural graphite

Graphite deposits are mainly of medium and small size, and can be roughly divided into five types: layered graphite deposits in crystalline schist, graphite deposits in metamorphic coal seams, graphite deposits in nepheline syenite, graphite deposits in siliceous rocks, and vein graphite deposits in crystalline schist.

Natural graphite can be roughly divided into three categories: block graphite (dense crystalline graphite), flake graphite (crystalline graphite), and earthy graphite (cryptocrystalline graphite, microcrystalline graphite).

1) Block graphite

Blocky graphite, also known as dense crystalline graphite. This type of graphite crystal is clearly visible to the naked eye. The particle diameter is greater than 0.1 millimeters, and the specific surface area is concentrated in the range of 0.1-1m/g. The crystal arrangement is disorderly and presents a dense block like structure. The characteristic of this type of graphite is its high grade, with a general carbon content of 60% -65% and sometimes up to 80% -98%. However, its plasticity and smoothness are not as good as those of flake graphite. Blocky graphite is the rarest and most valuable graphite ore, mainly found in Sri Lanka.

2) Flake graphite

Scaly graphite (crystalline graphite) is composed of many single layers of graphite combined, existing as separate flakes in metamorphic rocks, with low reserves and high value. The crystals are in the form of flakes, which are formed by metamorphism under high pressure and can be divided into large and fine scales. The characteristic of this type of graphite ore is that its grade is not high, generally between 2% -3%, or 10% -25%. It is one of the best floatable ores in nature, and through multiple grinding and selection, high-grade graphite concentrate can be obtained. This type of graphite has superior floatability, lubricity, and plasticity compared to other types of graphite, therefore it has the greatest industrial value.

Scale graphite is mainly distributed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, and Madagascar. In recent years, a large amount of flake graphite resources have also been discovered in places such as Tanzania and Mozambique in Africa. Scholars have studied the flake graphite ore in Ancuaba, Mozambique and Chilalo, Tanzania. The results show that the mineral composition of graphite ore in Ancuaba and Chilalo is similar, and they are both high-quality large flake graphite resources.

In addition, flake graphite can also be further processed into spherical graphite. Spherical graphite is the negative electrode material of lithium-ion batteries. In general, flake graphite forms a spherical shape through mechanical wear processes. The rounded shape of spherical graphite can effectively encapsulate particles in the negative electrode of lithium-ion batteries, thereby improving the energy and charging capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries require spherical graphite of different sizes, as particle size can affect the performance indicators of lithium-ion batteries. For example, small spherical graphite particles are used for fast charging requirements in lithium-ion batteries, while larger spherical graphite particles are required for higher power requirements in lithium-ion batteries. Currently, global production of spherical graphite is led by China.

3) Earthy graphite

Earthy graphite, also known as cryptocrystalline graphite or microcrystalline graphite, has a crystal diameter generally less than 1 micrometer and a specific surface area concentrated in the range of 1-5m/g. It is a collection of microcrystalline graphite, and its crystal shape can only be seen under an electron microscope. The characteristic of this type of graphite is that its surface is earthy, lacking luster, and its lubricity is slightly worse than that of flake graphite. High grade, generally 60% -85%, with a few reaching over 90%. Generally used in the casting industry. With the improvement of graphite purification technology, the application of earthy graphite is becoming increasingly widespread.

Earthy graphite is the most abundant type, with small scales and low crystallinity. It is used to produce low value products and is the lowest priced among the three types of graphite. Earthy graphite is mainly contained in Türkiye, China, Europe, Mexico and the United States.

 

▍ Overview of the Global Graphite Industry

2.1 Global graphite reserves

According to the latest data released by the US Geological Survey, the global graphite reserves in 2023 will be 280 million metric tons, mainly distributed in China, Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, Russia, India, Türkiye, Mexico, North Korea, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and other countries.

Among them, China's graphite reserves are 78 million metric tons, accounting for 27.86% of the global reserves; Brazil has 74 million metric tons of graphite reserves, accounting for 26.43% of global reserves; Madagascar has 24 million metric tons of graphite reserves, accounting for 8.57% of global reserves; Tanzania has 18 million metric tons of graphite reserves, accounting for 6.43% of global reserves; Russia has 14 million metric tons of graphite reserves, accounting for 5% of global reserves. The total reserves of the top 5 countries with major graphite mountain reserves worldwide account for 74.29%. It is worth noting that the reserves of natural graphite in Türkiye have dropped sharply from 90 million tons in 2022 to 6.9 million tons, and Turkey is no longer the country with the largest reserves in the world.

In terms of regional distribution of mines, there are two types of graphite minerals in China: flake graphite (crystalline graphite) and earthy graphite (cryptocrystalline graphite, microcrystalline graphite). Scale graphite ore is mainly distributed in 8 provinces (autonomous regions) including Heilongjiang, Shanxi, Sichuan, Shandong, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Hubei, and Shaanxi. Earthy graphite deposits are mainly distributed in seven provinces (autonomous regions) including Inner Mongolia, Hunan, Guangdong, Jilin, Shaanxi, Shandong, and Fujian.

Brazilian graphite ore is distributed in Minas Gerais, Ceara, and Bahia, with the best graphite being found in Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais state.

Graphite in Madagascar is mainly distributed in the eastern Marivolanitra region; Graphite mines in India are mainly distributed in the states of Orissa and Rajasthan; Canadian graphite deposits are distributed in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec; Sri Lanka is world-renowned for its abundant high-grade dense block graphite deposits in its western and southwestern regions.

 

2.2  Global graphite production

According to the latest data released by the United States Geological Survey, global graphite production in 2023 was 1.6 million metric tons. Among them, China's graphite production is 1.23 million metric tons, accounting for 76.87% of global production; Madagascar produces 100000 metric tons of graphite, accounting for 6.25% of global production; Mozambique produces 96000 metric tons of graphite, accounting for 6% of global production; Brazil produces 73000 metric tons of graphite, accounting for 4.56% of global production; South Korea produces 27000 metric tons of graphite, accounting for 1.68% of global production

The total production of major graphite mountain producing countries in the world accounts for 95.36%.

In the past 30 years, China's graphite production has ranked first in the world. Important production areas of crystalline graphite in China include Jixi and Luobei in Heilongjiang, Pingdu and Laixi in Shandong, Xinghe in Inner Mongolia, Chicheng in Hebei, Neixiang in Henan, Yichang in Hubei, and Nanjiang in Sichuan. The development of cryptocrystalline graphite in China is mainly carried out in the Chenzhou area of Hunan Province and the Panshi area of Jilin Province. Several companies in the Chenzhou area of Hunan Province use ultra-high temperature technology to produce high-purity microcrystalline graphite.

The main graphite developers in Madagascar include Grande and Galois.

Graphite in Mozambique is mainly distributed in the Parama and Ancuabe regions, with a total graphite resource of 305 million tons in the two graphite mining areas in the Parama region.

Tanzanian graphite is mainly distributed in areas such as Mahenggai, Nachu, and Liandu.

National de Graphite Ltda is the leading producer of graphite in Brazil and one of the world's largest graphite producers. This company mines three large scale graphite deposits in Minas Gerais, producing 70000 tons of natural graphite annually, but in reality, it provides all of Brazil's natural graphite.

The development of graphite in India is mainly carried out in the states of Orissa and Rajasthan, with 65% -75% of the state's graphite production. The main producer is Agrawal, which has two graphite mines: Ganjaudar and Temtimal; TP Mineral Company develops graphite mines near Phulbani, Magudarf, and Sargipali, while the two companies produce flake graphite and powdered graphite products.

The main graphite producers in Canada are Timcal and Eagle Graphite. The mining and processing plant of Timcal Canada is located in Lake des Iles, and its production capacity is kept confidential to the public. Industrial Minerals Corporation (IMI) is developing the Bissett Creek flake graphite mine located in Maria City, Ontario. The company aims to become the largest producer of flake graphite in North America. Fortune Graphite Inc. develops cryptocrystalline graphite and flake graphite, with mines located in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. Quinto Mining Corp. is developing the Lac Gueret graphite deposit, located in the Cotenord region of northeastern Quebec. The deposit has a graphite grade of 15% -40%. Global Graphite Co., Ltd. is developing the Superior graphite deposit, which is flake graphite with a mineral reserve of 55 million tons.

 

2.3 Global graphite export/import data

The main exporting countries of natural graphite are China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Madagascar. These countries export 97% of the world's graphite, accounting for 90% of the graphite export value. Earthy graphite is mainly exported from Mexico, block graphite is exported from Sri Lanka, and China, Canada, and Madagascar export flake graphite. In 2022, global natural graphite exports amounted to 682 million US dollars, of which China's natural graphite exports amounted to 385 million US dollars, accounting for 56.45%. The export amount of natural graphite from China in 2023 has decreased due to the impact of the epidemic.

 

The main importing countries for graphite globally are South Korea, Japan, Germany, and the United States. In 2022, the global import value of natural graphite reached a historic high of 915 million US dollars.

 

According to statistics from China Customs, the export volume of natural flake graphite from January to March 2024 was approximately 8107 tons, with an export amount of 8.4868 million US dollars. Among them, the export volume of natural flake graphite from China in March 2024 was about 4871 tons, a year-on-year decrease of 23.48%. The main export countries are South Korea, Japan, and Germany.

From customs data, it can be seen that the year-on-year decline in export quantity in January and February was significant, still hindered by export restrictions. The application process for export licenses for natural graphite enterprises is still relatively long. According to natural graphite enterprises, natural graphite inventory in the overseas market has gradually been consumed in the early stage, and there is a shortage of natural graphite resources. However, for overseas order demand, it seems unlikely to expedite exports.

 

2.4 The price trend of natural graphite in China

In the past year, the price of natural graphite in China has shown a fluctuating downward trend. According to data from Baichuan Yingfu, although the downstream production of negative electrode materials increased in April 2024, the increase in raw material procurement was not significant, and the price was at a disadvantage due to the abundance of spherical graphite resources on site. From the perspective of the refractory material market, the shipment of negative grade flake graphite is generally average, and the positive grade resources used for the three major components of steel or for making expandable graphite are relatively scarce, resulting in high prices.

In terms of the latest quotation:

1) Shandong region: As of April 28, 2024, mainstream natural flake graphite enterprises in Shandong region have quoted prices of 2800-3000 RMB/ton for -190 yuan- 194 Price: 3500-3800 RMB/ton- The price for 195 is 3700-4200 RMB/ton. The mainstream enterprise quotation for spherical graphite is: the price of large balls is 14000-15000 RMB/ton, and the price of small balls is 15000-16000 RMB/ton.

2) Northeast China: As of April 28, 2024, mainstream natural flake graphite enterprises in Northeast China have quoted prices of -190 RMB 2500-2700 RMB/ton- 194 Price: 3000-3400 RMB/ton- The price for 195 is 3200-3500 RMB/ton. The mainstream enterprise quotation for spherical graphite is: the price of large balls is 13000-14000 RMB/ton, and the price of small balls is 14000-15000 RMB/ton.

 

 

Purification methods of graphite

The premise of the graphite deep processing industry is purification, which is a complex physicochemical process. The purification methods mainly include flotation, alkaline acid, hydrofluoric acid, chlorination roasting, and high-temperature methods.

1) Flotation method

Flotation is a commonly used and important mineral processing method, and graphite has good natural floatability. Basically, all graphite can be purified through flotation. To protect the flakes of graphite, graphite flotation mostly uses a multi-stage process. The graphite flotation collector generally uses kerosene with a dosage of 100-200g/t, and the foaming agent generally uses pine alcohol oil or butyl ether oil with a dosage of 50-250g/t.

The value and application of large scale graphite are much greater than those of fine scale graphite, and once damaged, it cannot be restored. Protecting the large flakes of graphite in graphite beneficiation is an issue that cannot be ignored in the beneficiation process. Due to the excellent natural floatability of graphite, the flotation method can increase the grade of graphite to 80% -90%, and even up to about 95%. The biggest advantage of this method is that it has the lowest energy consumption, reagent consumption, and cost among all purification schemes. However, the silicate minerals and compounds of elements such as potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and aluminum, which are mixed in an extremely fine state in graphite flakes, cannot be dissociated by grinding and are not conducive to protecting the large graphite flakes. Therefore, flotation is only a primary means of graphite purification. To obtain high carbon graphite with a carbon content of over 99%, other methods must be used for purification.

2) Alkali acid method

The alkaline acid method includes two reaction processes: alkaline melting process and acid leaching process. The alkali melting process is a chemical reaction between the molten alkali and acidic impurities in graphite under high temperature conditions, especially impurities containing silicon (such as silicates, silicoaluminates, quartz, etc.), to generate soluble salts, which are then washed to remove impurities and improve the purity of graphite. The basic principle of acid leaching process is to utilize the reaction between acid and metal oxide impurities, which do not react with alkali during the alkali melting process. Transforming metal oxides into soluble salts, then washing them to separate them from graphite, and combining alkaline melting and acid leaching has a good effect on graphite purification.

Various alkaline substances can remove graphite impurities, and the stronger the alkalinity, the better the purification effect. The alkaline acid method often uses NaOH with a low melting point and strong alkalinity. The acid used in the acid leaching process can be HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, or a mixture of them, with HCl being more commonly used.

For some graphite with high silicon content, alkaline melting method can also achieve comprehensive recovery and utilization of silicon. The solution after alkaline melting and acid leaching is acidic, and the silicon impurities in the solution are transformed into silicic acid. By adding a certain amount of alum, silicic acid can be extracted, and then calcined at high temperature of 900 ℃ to obtain pure silica.

Alkali acid method is the most widely used method in the production of graphite purification industry in China, which has the advantages of low one-time investment, high product grade, strong adaptability, as well as simple equipment and strong universality. The shortcomings include the need for high-temperature calcination, high energy consumption, long process flow, severe equipment corrosion, large graphite loss, and severe wastewater pollution. Therefore, it is very important to use graphite purification wastewater to produce comprehensive utilization technologies such as polymeric aluminum silicate iron chloride.

3) Hydrofluoric acid method

Hydrofluoric acid is a strong acid that can react with almost any impurities in graphite, and graphite has good acid resistance, especially to hydrofluoric acid, which determines that graphite can be purified with hydrofluoric acid. The main process of the hydrofluoric acid method is to mix graphite and hydrofluoric acid. The hydrofluoric acid reacts with impurities for a period of time to produce soluble or volatile substances. After washing to remove impurities, dehydration and drying are carried out to obtain purified graphite.

Hydrofluoric acid reacts with metal oxides such as Ca, Mg, and Fe to form precipitates. The resulting H2SiF6 is soluble in solution and can also remove impurities such as Ca, Mg, and Fe. Hydrofluoric acid is highly toxic and causes serious environmental pollution. Combining it with other acids to purify graphite can effectively reduce the amount of hydrofluoric acid used. The hydrofluoric acid method for purifying graphite has the advantages of simple process flow, high product grade, relatively low cost, and minimal impact on the performance of graphite products. However, hydrofluoric acid is highly toxic, and safety measures must be taken during use. The generated wastewater must be treated before being discharged outward, otherwise it will cause serious environmental pollution.

4) Chlorination roasting method

Chlorination roasting method is a process in which graphite is mixed with a certain reducing agent and roasted at high temperature under specific equipment and atmosphere. Valuable metals in the material are transformed into metal chlorides in the gas or condensed phase, and separated from other components to purify graphite.

Impurities in graphite can decompose into oxides with higher melting and boiling points, such as SiO2, under high temperature conditions Al2O3、Fe2O3、CaO、MgO。 These oxides react with chlorine gas at a certain high temperature and atmosphere to produce chlorides with lower melting and boiling points. So at lower temperatures, these chlorides can vaporize and escape, achieving separation from graphite and purifying it.

The advantages of chlorination roasting method lie in energy saving, high purification efficiency (>98%), and high recovery rate, but there are also problems such as chlorine gas toxicity, severe corrosiveness, and serious environmental pollution. The purity of graphite produced in the process is limited, and the process stability is not good, which affects the application of chloride method in actual production. Further improvement and enhancement are needed.

5) High temperature purification method

The melting point of graphite is 3850 ℃± 50 ℃, which is one of the substances with the highest melting and boiling points in nature, far higher than the boiling point of impurity silicates. By utilizing their differences in melting and boiling points, graphite is placed in a graphitized graphite crucible and heated to 2700 ℃ using specific instruments and equipment under a certain atmosphere. Impurities can be vaporized and escaped from the graphite, achieving purification. This technology can purify graphite to over 99.99%.

There are many factors that affect the purification of graphite by high-temperature method: ① The impurity content of graphite raw materials has the greatest impact on the purification effect of high-temperature method. The ash content of the obtained product varies with the impurity content of the raw materials, and graphite with high carbon content has better purification effect. High temperature method often uses graphite with a carbon content of 99% or more after flotation or alkaline acid purification as the raw material; ② The carbon content of graphite crucibles is also an important factor affecting the purification effect. The ash content of crucibles is lower than that of graphite, which helps the ash content in graphite escape Using high current, graphite heats up quickly, which is beneficial for graphite purification. It is best to use raw materials from high-power electrodes and undergo high temperature treatment at 2800 ℃; ④ The particle size of graphite also has a certain impact on the purification effect.

The high-temperature method for purifying graphite has high product quality and a carbon content of over 99.995%, which is the biggest feature of the high-temperature method. However, it also requires high energy consumption and extremely high equipment requirements, requiring specialized design and investment. There are also certain requirements for the purified graphite raw materials. Only graphite used in high-tech fields such as national defense, aerospace, and nuclear industry can be purified using this method.

The main application areas downstream of the graphite industry chain

Graphite can be used to produce refractory materials, conductive materials, wear-resistant materials, lubricants, high-temperature sealing materials, corrosion-resistant materials, insulation materials, adsorption materials, friction materials, and radiation resistant materials. These materials are widely used in metallurgy, petrochemicals, machinery industry, electronics industry, nuclear industry, and national defense.

1) Refractory materials

In the steel industry, graphite refractory materials are used as refractory lining for electric arc blast furnaces and oxygen converters, as well as refractory lining for steel ladles; Graphite refractory materials mainly include integral casting materials, magnesia carbon bricks, and aluminum graphite refractory materials. Graphite is also used as a film-forming material in powder metallurgy and metal casting. Adding graphite powder to molten steel increases the carbon content of the steel, giving high carbon steel many excellent properties.

2) Conductive materials

Used in the electrical industry for manufacturing electrodes, brushes, carbon rods, carbon tubes, positive electrodes for mercury rectifiers, graphite gaskets, telephone parts, coatings for television tubes, etc.

3) Wear resistant and lubricating materials

Graphite is often used as a lubricant in the mechanical industry. Lubricating oil often cannot be used under high speed, high temperature, and high pressure conditions, while graphite wear-resistant materials can work without lubricating oil at high sliding speeds at temperatures between -200 and 2000 ℃. Many devices that transport corrosive media widely use graphite materials to make piston cups, sealing rings, and bearings, which do not require the addition of lubricating oil during operation. Graphite emulsion is also a good lubricant for many metal processing (wire drawing, tube drawing).

4) Corrosion resistant materials

Specially processed graphite, with characteristics such as corrosion resistance, good thermal conductivity, and low permeability, is widely used in the production of heat exchangers, reaction tanks, condensers, combustion towers, absorption towers, coolers, heaters, filters, and pump equipment. Widely used in industrial sectors such as petrochemicals, hydrometallurgy, acid-base production, synthetic fibers, and papermaking, it can save a large amount of metal materials.

5) High temperature metallurgical materials

Due to its small coefficient of thermal expansion and ability to withstand sudden changes in temperature, graphite can be used as a mold for glassware. After using graphite, black metal can obtain castings with precise dimensions, smooth surface, and high yield. It can be used without processing or slight processing, thus saving a lot of metal. Powder metallurgy processes such as producing hard alloys typically use graphite materials to make ceramic boats for pressing and sintering. The crystal growth crucible, regional refining container, support fixture, induction heater, etc. of monocrystalline silicon are all processed from high-purity graphite. In addition, graphite can also be used as a graphite insulation board and base for vacuum smelting, as well as components such as high-temperature resistance furnace tubes.

6) Atomic Energy and Defense Industry

Graphite has excellent neutron moderators used in atomic reactors, and uranium graphite reactors are currently one of the most commonly used types of atomic reactors. The deceleration material used in atomic reactors for power should have high melting point, stability, and corrosion resistance, and graphite can fully meet the above requirements. The purity requirement for graphite used in atomic reactors is very high, and the impurity content should not exceed tens of ppm. Especially, the boron content should be less than 0.5ppm. In the national defense industry, graphite is also used to manufacture nozzles for solid fuel rockets, nose cones for missiles, components for space navigation equipment, insulation materials, and anti radiation materials.

In addition, graphite is also a polishing agent and rust inhibitor for glass and paper in light industry, and an indispensable raw material for manufacturing pencils, ink, black paint, ink, artificial diamonds, and diamonds. With the development of modern science, technology, and industry, the application fields of graphite are constantly expanding, and it has become an important raw material for new composite materials in the high-tech field, playing an important role in the national economy.

Related listed companies

At present, upstream graphene mining and equipment companies in China's graphene industry chain include Fangda Carbon and Baotailong; Midstream graphene powder and film production companies include Betray, 2D carbon, etc; There are many downstream application fields, and currently representative enterprises in the new energy field include Dow Technology, Nandu Battery, Xinwangda, etc; Representative enterprises in the field of coatings include Letong Co., Ltd; Representative enterprises for new chemical materials include Xinlun Technology, etc; Representative enterprises in the field of electronic information include Yuanwanggu and Hanwei Technology.

 

 

Information source: Ed Securities Futures Research Department

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