Graphite is a naturally occurring substance containing a single oxygen atom and three hydrogen atoms. It is similar to iron in appearance but it has a much higher density and therefore is used in a wide range of products ranging from pencils to pencil sharpening compounds. It is also found as dust in soil, soil particles and water.
Why does it rust at my job site?
Graphite can rust at a variety of conditions, including exposure to air, water, soil, temperature and sunlight. Graphite rust is caused by oxidation (the oxidation of the oxygen atom in the oxidised graphite powder) combined with a weak reaction with moisture which leads to the formation of a metal oxide. Graphite powder can also rust by exposure to UV rays.
Do pencils rust at my workplace?
Many pencil sharpeners will store the pencil sharpener at high temperatures (over 5000 °C) to prevent corrosion from the metals in the sharpener. A sharpener and a pencil should not be exposed to the same conditions as the pencil but at different temperatures so that water, dust and humidity do not affect the pencil. A pencil in storage at a normal room temperature can rust, but in a sharpener at high temperatures or other hazardous conditions the pencil will rust away in a matter of days.
If your pencil becomes damaged in your shop, the sharpener manufacturer can replace it for free.
Where can I find information about the materials used to make our pencils?
The pencils we use are made from graphite powder, which is sold commercially under different brands and types. The name or logo of the manufacturer should be given to each set of paper and pencils. The most common graphite products are:
Sigma (brand names): Kustom – Graphite, Delta (brand names): Platinum, Sanyo (brand names): Kiyo Graphite, Agano (brand names).
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