A graphite pencil is a solid, metal pencil made from graphite oxide. By melting the graphite, the material becomes soft enough in the hand that the pencil can be used effectively. It retains its original metallic form, and is very soft and flexible. The properties of the pencil have been described as “extremely soft” and “flexible.” Most graphite pencils include two separate electrodes, but for the best results, it’s better to have only one.
What makes a graphite pencil softer?
By melting the graphite, the material becomes hard enough in the hand that it can be used effectively.
This softness comes from the fact that the graphite is now exposed to air and friction. This causes a change in the graphite’s molecular structure. As a result, it has the texture of graphite; it is not hard like pure graphite.
A graphite pencil can only be as soft as its metal material, which is why the best results are usually obtained with two electrodes. One electrode is coated with a metal oxide such as graphite powder, the other electrode is coated with a thin, high-traction layer of carbon, such as titanium, gold, or aluminum. A thin layer of the metal layer absorbs atmospheric gases, and as a result, the carbon dioxide and carbon nitrate that are produced in the process are released from the pencil. The carbon nitrate prevents the carbon dioxide from forming carbonic acid, so it helps the graphite stick to the paper. The high amount of carbon dioxide does not dissolve the graphite in the way that the carbon oxide does, so the graphite cannot become brittle and the pencil can be easily sharpened by simply wiping the pencil with liquid nitrogen or acetone.
What are the benefits of graphite?
Graphite pencils have the highest return rate on investment per pound.
Since the graphite is not a hard material, it’s easy to use.
Graphite pencils are made to resist damage and sharp edges.
You can sharpen a graphite pencil without removing its ink, and it is easy to re-coat the pencil for long-term wear and tear.
Why do graphite pencils require special precautions?
When you sharpen the edge of a graphite pencil, it is necessary to use some special tools to make sure that the pencil has a good grip. You’ll notice in the above photo that the pencil is coated in