Physical properties of graphite (2)

The triple point is achieved, by recent estimates, at a temperature of 4200K and a pressure of 100atm, as shown in the vapor-pressure curve of Fig.3.7. A great deal of uncertainty still remains regarding these values of pressure and temperature, reflecting in part the difficulty of conducting experiments under such extreme conditions.

vapor pressure and triple point of graphite

Fig.3.7-vapor pressure and triple point of graphite

The onset of sublimation and the melting temperatures are apparently close. At temperatures above that of the triple point and at pressures of argon greater than 100 atm, a mixture of solid and liquid carbon is detected.

Graphite can thus be considered the most refractory of all the elements, tungsten being second-best with a melting point of 3680K. However hafnium carbide and tantalum carbide are reported to have higher melting points and are the most refractory of all materials.

Heat of vaporization: The heat of vaporization of graphite is higher than that of many metals as shown in Table 3.3. Reported values show considerable differences.

The large amount of energy required to vaporize graphite is used to good advantage in the design of ablative structures such as nose cones and rocket nozzles.

Table 3.3 Heat of vaporization of selected elements at boiling point


Graphite       355.8-598.2

Molybdenum   598.0

Copper        300.3

Iron           349.6

Nickel         370.4

Tungsten       824.0

Silver          250.5



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