F graphite is a hard, yellowish, opaque, brittle, white, silvery powder. This mineral forms in the combustion of graphite, which is either in the air or in fire.
The combustion of graphite produces carbon dioxide and water. Carbon dioxide, water and carbon monoxide are often called oxygen and water, but in fact they are just two forms of carbon. The carbon monoxide is very stable as solid carbon, but the carbon dioxide becomes volatile and so the carbon monoxide gas remains in a solid form. Carbon dioxide and water are the most commonly used gases.
The graphite that you see under a bright light, and the graphite that the light absorbs, are two different kinds of graphite. If you are not careful, you could end up shooting yourself in the face!
Graphite is found in rock or in granules, small particles at the center of a rock or sediment. These granules contain graphite. When the rock is dry, a small amount of gas bubbles can build up in the granules of graphite. They slowly expand into a mass like a balloon, but it’s so hard to see the balloon, that it is hard to tell it’s any longer. Then, when the surface is dry, the gas suddenly starts out gaseous and becomes liquid. This is how graphite forms.
The graphite that forms in rock and in gaseous bubbles is called a graphite needle, graphite ball or graphite spheroid. The name “stamping” came about when scientists wanted to identify specific types of grains or crystals that they could then use to make instruments to measure.
Why do graphite pencils have grooves?
Gruse is the term for any grooved surface, usually in the form of a rough stone or hard rock. The term is derived from the Greek grakios, which means stone or rock.
The grooves give a sharp edge to a pencil, especially the thicker graphite ones. A smooth graphite pencil has a flat surface. The grooves of the graphite on the side of the pencil give a smooth, straight edge.
How long does a graphite pencil last?
Before the graphite begins to break up, a pencil is about 15 years old. Even after that it tends to last for about 10 years or so (but the pencil can always be changed, and new ones made until they become brittle, too.)
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