The surface properties of graphite, including its wettability and dispersion in water, were improved by Iranian researchers using nanotechnology.
Graphite has found its place in diverse industries specially refractory industries because of its resistance to thermal shocks and corrosion, low density, high strength to weight ratios at high temperatures, sufficiency, and cheapness.
However, its poor wettability properties and resistance to oxidation have limited the application of this valuable material.
According to the Iranian Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC), Seyed Mohammad A. S. Sheikholislami, a PhD student of Iran University of Science and Technology, proposed a novel yet simple method for coating graphite by nanocarbon and managed to improve surface properties such as surface wettability to an acceptable extent.
To this end, he first prepared a suspension of nanocarbon in liquid medium and mixed it with graphite and dried it to eliminate the water. Finally, graphite was undergone heat treatment for the elimination of its existing organic substances within the temperature range of 250c. It should be noticed that the latter step which is the coating stabilization is so important.
The remarkable point about this project is the use of ink as the liquid medium for preparation of nanocarbon suspension which is a novel idea and is important scientifically.
The reason is that ink contains organic and resin compounds which help the adhesion of nanocarbon to the surface of graphite as well as presenting an appropriate medium for the dispersion of nanocarbon.