Increasing Graphite Powder Density

The density of a graphite powder refers to the mass per unit volume of the graphite powder measured after vibrating the powder in a container under specified conditions. This volume includes the sample itself, the gap volume, and the pores.

The Scott density and tamped density of a starting graphite powder, being a synthetic or natural graphitic carbon which has a high graphite content in the particle, can be increased by a process that allows individual graphite powder particles to impact with one another at a measured speed so that their surface structure changes while substantially retaining the graphite particle shape without substantial grinding effect occurring.

During this process, a saturating fluid is pumped onto the graphite powder voids to remove ambient gas and saturate them with a desired amount of a substance, such as helium or mercury, for example. This fluid saturates the voids and thus changes their density, which is the true density of the solid graphite powder, and not just the apparent density d, due to the voids and the spaces between the graphite powder particles.

The saturating fluid is preferably delivered by a jet. Alternatively, a fluidization bed is used that enables individual graphite powder particles to be dispersed and fluidized in the gaseous environment. This method is known to be effective for the treatment of a variety of materials. The process can also be carried out in the presence of a large number of graphite powder particles.

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