Why are graphite electrodes crucial to the metals industry?
The industry has been growing progressively for some time. In recent years its progress has been rapid, particularly as a result of the decarbonisation of the steels and metals industry.
As a leading power in both industries, China sees the highest quantities of graphite electrodes both produced and used across the globe.
COVID-19 has affected us all, from China to the UK, and this has been no different for the steel industry. Shortages and an affected workforce led to longer lead times and less business overall.
Having said this, the Chinese steel industry has been making an impressive come-back from these initial worries.
What are graphite electrodes?
Graphite electrodes are large cylindrical parts consisting of synthetic graphite. Synthetic graphite is created with petroleum coke, needle coke and coal bitumen, which can be used as a binder.
They can be produced in a massive range of sizes, and can be as long as 3 metres.
- High electrical conductivity levels
- Capacity to withstand high temperatures of up to 1600 degrees Celsius
- Resistance to thermal shock
Because of these beneficial features of graphite, it is the ideal material for electrodes. They can be used in processes such as Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF), ladle refinement of steel and in the production of ferroalloys.
Graphite electrodes account for about 2-3% of the total steel production costs.
Olmec Graphite is often used in other high temperature applications…
Olmec Advanced Materials specialise in parts used in many other high temperature applications.
One of the major benefits of graphite is its ability to perform under extremely high temperatures.
This is why graphite is used across applications like:
- Continuous casting dies
- Insulation and other parts for high temperature furnaces
- Vacuum and Inert Heat Treatment
- Rotary Ovens