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What is the difference between natural graphite and artificial graphite?

Commodity prices are on track for their biggest rally in more than a century, while fixed-income assets have seen their longest run of outflows as the war in Ukraine adds to inflationary pressures in the global economy emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, according to Bank of America.

"Commodity prices this year are on track to record their biggest gains since 1915." the bank said in its weekly briefing. They cite many factors, such as pandemics, lockdown, civil strife, wars, excessive monetary and fiscal stimulus, and supply chain disruptions, that have led to "historically" high inflation.  

By the same token, it said government bonds were heading for their worst year since 1949, and "negative-yielding bonds will quietly disappear" from the market as central banks embark on a monetary tightening cycle and raise interest rates to tame soaring inflation.  

The prices of many commodities like the natural graphite are expected to increase in the future.

Given that what is prepared from natural graphite is usually artificial graphite in the narrow sense, this paper will only analyze and discuss the differences and links between natural graphite and artificial graphite in the narrow sense.

Crystal structure

The crystal development of natural graphite is relatively complete, the graphitization degree of natural flake graphite is usually above 98%, and the graphitization degree of natural microcrystalline graphite is usually below 93%.

The degree of crystal development of artificial graphite depends on the raw material and the heat treatment temperature. Generally speaking, the higher the heat treatment temperature, the higher the degree of graphitization. At present, the degree of graphitization of artificial graphite produced in the industry is usually less than 90%.

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Organizational structure

Natural flake graphite is a single crystal with a relatively simple structure, with only crystallographic defects (point defects, dislocations, stacking faults, etc.), and macroscopically showing anisotropic structural characteristics. The grains of natural microcrystalline graphite are small, the grains are disorderly arranged, and there are pores after the impurities are removed, showing the isotropic structural characteristics on the macroscopic level.

Artificial graphite can be seen as a multi-phase material consisting of a graphite phase transformed by carbonaceous particles such as petroleum coke or pitch coke, a graphite phase transformed by a coal bitumen binder encapsulated around the particles, particle accumulation, or pores formed after heat treatment of coal tar binder, etc.

Physical form

Natural graphite usually exists in powder form and can be used alone, but is usually used in combination with other materials.

There are many forms of artificial graphite, including powder, fiber, and block, while artificial graphite in the narrow sense is usually blocked, which needs to be processed into a certain shape when used.

Physical and chemical properties

Natural graphite and artificial graphite have both commonalities and differences in performance. For example, both natural graphite and artificial graphite are good conductors of heat and electricity, but for graphite powders of the same purity and particle size, natural flake graphite has the best heat transfer performance and electrical conductivity, followed by natural microcrystalline graphite and artificial graphite the lowest.

Graphite has good lubricity and certain plasticity. Natural flake graphite has better crystal development, smaller friction coefficient, best lubricity, and highest plasticity, while dense crystalline graphite and cryptocrystalline graphite are second, and artificial graphite is worse.

High quality graphite manufacturer

Luoyang Moon & Star New Energy Technology Co., LTD, founded on October 17, 2008, is a high-tech enterprise committed to the research and development, production, processing, sales and technical services of lithium ion battery anode materials. After more than 10 years of development, the company has gradually developed into a diversified product structure with natural graphite, artificial graphite, composite graphite, intermediate phase and other negative materials (silicon carbon materials, etc.). The products are widely used in high-end lithium ion digital, power and energy storage batteries.

If you are looking for graphite or lithium battery anode material, click on the needed products and send us an inquiry:sales@graphite-corp.com

 


The natural graphite industry has experienced demand expectations driven by the rise and the off-season tired stock driven by the seasonal decline in two rounds of the market. Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and other factors, inventories of manufacturers continue to accumulate, putting pressure on market sentiment. In addition to off-season factors, the weak trend of natural graphite also reflects the market's concern about the epidemic and some other related enterprises' financial situation. 

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