Graphite Platelet Nanostructures
Separated graphite nanostructures are formed of thin graphite platelets having an aspect ratio of at least 1,500:1. The platelets have an angular geometric structure and may be fully independent from an original graphite particle, or partially attached to the particle. The graphite platelets have an average thickness in the range of 1-100 nm. The graphite nanostructures are created from synthetic or natural graphite using a high-pressure mill. Fluid jets of the high-pressure flaking mill cause fluid to enter the tip of cracks in the graphite particles, which creates tension at the tip. This tension causes the cracks to propagate along the natural planes in the graphite so that small particles of the graphite separate into platelets. The platelets can be treated after the milling process by drying the platelets in a spray dryer. The platelets may optionally be introduced into a hydrocyclone to separate the platelets by size. The resulting graphite nanostructures can be added to conventional polymers to create polymer composites having increased mechanical characteristics, including an increased flexural modulus, heat deflection temperature, tensile strength, electrical conductivity, and notched impact strength.
M. Mazurkiewicz, "Graphite Platelet Nanostructures," The Curators of the University of Missouri, Jan 2002.
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
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