Graphite and Lead Pencils
Growing up, it was always lead pencils; actually it still is called that today. Then there are all the articles of lead poisoning and how we are basically supposed to avoid it at all costs. Needless to say, at a young age I was very confused. Then I discovered that it is not actually lead in pencils, rather it is graphite. This is a soft material that comes from the element carbon and is the perfect product for pencils. This is precisely why the materials name comes from the Greek word grapho which means to draw or write. In addition to pencils, this diverse material can be used for a variety of other products as well. In its powder form, graphite is the perfect dry lubricant to be used in industrial and mechanical settings. It can be found in products like paints, batteries, brake linings and laptop components.
Electronic, automotive, aerospace, mechanical, electrical, nuclear and chemical industries are all able to make use of this graphite product. This brittle and electrically conductive element is typically shiny, ranging from a dark to medium gray color. It is also relatively inexpensive, making it an easy substitute for the traditional carbon. Products stemming from this material can come from machined graphite, carbon graphite or its natural form found in nature. The specific form chosen depends on the product it will be used for because each is able to supply its own additional unique characteristics. All forms are good conductors of electricity as well as heat. Its extreme levels of resistance allow it to be heated to up to 5,000 degrees without burning, melting or changing its chemical composition. A final benefit that graphite is able to provide is its ability to be easily recycled. Graphite can be melted down and reused several times out of scraps or left over parts.