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A Brief History of the Development of Graphite Electrodes

Feb. 14, 2020

Graphite electrode is made of petroleum coke and pitch coke as pellets and coal pitch as binder. It is a kind of high temperature resistant graphite conductive material made by kneading, molding, firing, graphitization and mechanical processing. Graphite electrode is an important high-temperature conductive material for electric furnace steelmaking. The graphite electrode is used to input electric energy to the furnace. The high temperature generated by the arc between the electrode end and the charge is used as the heat source to melt the charge for steelmaking. Graphite electrodes are also often used as conductive materials. Utilizing the excellent physical and chemical properties of graphite electrodes, it is also widely used in other industrial sectors. The carbon product industry, which mainly produces graphite electrodes, has become an important part of the contemporary raw material industry. Today Silicon Furnace Graphite Electrode Supplier introduces to you a brief history of the development of graphite electrodes.

As early as 1810, Humphry Davy used charcoal to make carbon electrodes that can generate electric arcs after being energized, which opened up a broad prospect of using carbon materials as high-temperature conductive electrodes. In 1846, Stair and Edwards used coke powder and sucrose to mix and press molding. They were fired at high temperature to make another carbon electrode, and then immersed the carbon electrode in concentrated sugar water to increase its bulk density. They obtained a patent right to produce this electrode.

In 1877, C.F.Brush and w.H.Lawrence of Cleveland in the United States successfully used calcined petroleum coke to develop a low-ash carbon electrode.

In 1899, O.G. Pritchard first reported a method for manufacturing natural graphite electrodes using ceylon natural graphite as a raw material. In 1896, H.Y. Gastner obtained the patent right to use electricity to directly heat the carbon electrode to high temperature and produce artificial graphite electrode with better performance than natural graphite electrode.

In 1897, EGAcheson of Carborundum Co. in the United States manufactured the first batch of artificial Graphite Electrodes using petroleum coke as a raw material in a resistance furnace for the production of corundum. This artificial graphite electrode was then used in the electrochemical industry to produce caustic soda. Based on this design The "Acheson" graphitization furnace will use a carbon electrode produced by petroleum coke and a small amount of resistance material (metallurgical coke particles) to form a "furnace core resistance", which will generate high temperature after being energized, so that the carbon electrode made of petroleum coke will be at high temperature. "Graphitization" to obtain an artificial graphite electrode.

At the end of the 19th century, the Frenchman P.L.T.Heroult invented the direct electric arc furnace, which began to be used in the production of calcium carbide and ferroalloys. It was first used in steelmaking in 1899. The electric arc furnace requires a certain number of high temperature resistant conductive electrodes. Although Acheson Graphite Co. sold connectable electrodes around 1900, only small-sized graphite electrodes were produced at this time.

HP Graphite Electrode

HP Graphite Electrode

In the early 20th century, electric furnace steelmaking mainly used carbon electrodes with anthracite as raw materials or natural graphite electrodes with natural graphite as raw materials. The process for producing carbon electrodes or natural graphite electrodes is relatively simple.

Carbon electrodes with a diameter of 610mm have been supplied to the market in 1910. However, the excellent performance of graphite electrodes and the continuous improvement of manufacturing processes, the mass production of large-scale graphite electrodes and the continuous decline in the price, the electric furnace steelmaking industry gradually switched to graphite electrodes, the use of carbon electrodes or natural graphite electrodes gradually reduced.

After the 1960s, most arc steel furnaces used graphite electrodes.

According to the different raw materials used and the physical and chemical indicators of the finished product, graphite electrodes are divided into three varieties: ordinary power graphite electrodes, HP Graphite Electrode and UHP graphite electrodes. This is because graphite electrodes are mainly used to supply electric arc steelmaking furnaces as conductive materials. In the 1980s, the international electric furnace steelmaking industry classified electric arc steelmaking furnaces into three categories according to the transformer input power per ton of furnace capacity: ordinary power electric furnaces (RP Furnace), high power electric furnace (HP furnace) and ultra high power electric furnace (UHP furnace).


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