Nanostructured Carbon and Graphite – Ultra Lightweight Engineering Materials
Fine grain graphite has been an important material for tribologically loaded components such as seals and bearings for almost a century. Requirements are becoming more severe and complex concerning miniaturization, higher normal loads and toxicological restrictions. Today state-of-the-art production of high quality fine grain graphite from binder and filler begins to reach its technical and economic limits and manufacturers face some pressure that their products are suppressed by other materials like silicon carbide. Nanostructured carbon and graphite derived from sinterable carbon such as pretreated petrol-, coal-tar- as well as synthetic pitch precursors offers the opportunity to improve the material properties, simplify the production processes and reduce the environmental and workplace protection requirements. To achieve this objective raw materials and compounds were adapted to near net-shape ceramic manufacturing technologies. The feedstocks were formed and shaped. Post treatment and sintering technologies were developed in order to obtain carbon components with superior mechanical strength, and both very high hardness and self lubricating tribological behaviour even at high normal loads.
F. Kern and R. Gadow, "Nanostructured Carbon and Graphite – Ultra Lightweight Engineering Materials", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 45, pp. 1495-1504, 2006