What distinguishes graphite from diamond?

Graphite and diamond are considered to be allotropic forms of carbon. Allotropy in chemistry is called the existence of one chemical element several simple substances, depending on their crystalline structure. Another allotropic form of carbon is a well-known coal. What distinguishes graphite from diamond is, despite their identical chemical composition? Let’s see in more detail.

The content of the article

Graphite and diamond in nature

The name of the mineral diamond comes from the Greek word meaning «enduring». However, the form of «diamond» it has taken through the Arabic language and in the original Greek, was «Adamas». The mineral is known to people since olden times, and the name speaks for itself. Today the diamond is the hardest of known substances. Other applications of the diamond like its cut to get a diamond, in ancient times did not know.

Diamonds first mined as placer gold– that is, washed in running water, not knowing where the primary deposits. In the 18th century, they began to find in the mines, and B19-m has occurred «diamond revolution»: the Deposit of diamonds was discovered in South Africa near the town of Kimberley. It was a special geological formation called «kimberlite pipes». Since deposits of this type are the primary source of diamonds.

Unlike graphite from diamond in almost everything, even in the form in which it occurs in natural conditions. Minerals associated with graphite in nature, spinel, pyrite and garnets. In our country there are deposits of graphite on the Kola Peninsula, the Urals and Siberia. This mineral is known since ancient times and its name he received from the Greek verb «to write» for the ability to leave marks on papyrus. «Writing» a function of graphite was his main «profession» for a very long time.

to table of contents ↑the Difference between graphite and diamond

The differences between these minerals is enormous. In fact, it is easier to say what they have in common only the carbon is the chemical element from which consist of both graphite and diamond. The differences begin at the level of the crystal lattice. It is a diamond cubic, which makes it the hardest mineral on Earth, while graphite is layered, and that «delamination» of the layers of the grid under load and gives it the ability to write.

Most sought after quality of a diamond is its hardness. Because of this, he, in addition to the jewelry industry, have found wide application in engineering in the manufacture of cutting tools and abrasive treatment, but today are often used and other properties of this mineral. It is a good semiconductor, so it is increasingly used in various branches of electronics. Very promising, for example, considered the diamond of the substrate, which are widely used in microelectronics.

Graphite, in contrast to the chemically inert diamond, well reacts with alkaline metals and some salts. Therefore, it has found application not only as a pure mineral, Noi in the composition of chemical compounds. Range of use –wide. He goes to the production of melting crucibles and pasty lubricants; in-demand in space technology and in nuclear industry (members-moderators in nuclear reactors); for the production of industrial diamonds, and welding electrodes. That is, as we see, in common with diamond applications of graphite are almost there.

to content ↑Comparative table

In a compact table gives examples of the difference between graphite and diamond. The differences between these consisting of carbon minerals perfectly illustrate how different can be different allotropic forms of the same chemical element.


What is
The carbon has a layered structure
Carbon has a cubic crystal lattice

Distribution in nature
It is widely distributed. In Russia – on the Kola Peninsula, the Urals and Siberia
Circulated relatively widely, but because of the difficulty of extraction and processing of diamond are of high value

Wide application in various industries: in the manufacture of pencils, of different lubricants, in the nuclear and aerospace industries, in metallurgy and some other
Jewelry industry, production of working parts of cutting and abrasive tools, last time in the electronic industry

Filed in: Tip

Post Comment