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ArticleName How the structure of iron oxide nanoadditives can influence the graphite properties
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.03.05
ArticleAuthor Apalkova G. D.

South Urals State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia:

G. D. Apalkova, Professor, e-mail:


This paper examines a relationship between the globular and acicular structure of iron oxide nanoadditives and the properties of graphite. It is shown that under similar conditions the effectiveness of the acicular iron oxide rises in comparison with the nanoadditives having globular structure, which leads to an average of 14% decrease in the specific electrical resistance of graphite and a 20–22% increase in mechanical strength. When electrodes are pressed in a piercing press, the acicular particles of the nanoadditive go parallel to the press centre line, as is typical of anisometric elements. During mixing, the polar components of the pitch — i.e. asphaltenes, which are a carbon forming component of the pitch, go through chemisorption involving the acicular additive. During baking, the aromatic macromolecules of the coal-tar pitch take a directional orientation of the anisometric grains of the additive, which are something like nucleation centres of a new phase. From the structure with a directional orientation, the following heat treatment (graphitisation) creates a secondary structure — i.e. graphite. If globular additives are used, there is observed no directional orientation of the coke microcrystals, which are the result of the additive added to the pitch, and the process of graphitisation (or, transformation resulting in a three-dimensional layered structure) would require a much higher thermodynamic force. That’s why, under similar conditions, the use of acicular nanoadditives produces graphite with a better structure and a low electrical resistance. Moreover, the anisometric grains of the nanoadditive serve to reinforce the graphite phase forming from the coaltar pitch, which is the weakest link in the graphitised composition. The findings suggest that the acicular structure of iron oxide nanoadditives improves the physical and mechanical properties of the graphite phase formed from the coal-tar pitch, which reduces the risk of fracturing and enhances the durability of electrodes.
The research reported in this paper was funded by the Government of the Russian Federation (Decree No. 211 dated 16 March 2013), Agreement No. 02.A03.21.0011.

keywords Graphitised electrodes, iron oxide nanoadditives, acicular additives, globular structure, electrical resistance, mechanical strength

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