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Mineral allotrope of carbon. It is dark gray to black, opaque, and very soft. Its layered structure, with rings of six atoms arranged in widely spaced parallel sheets, gives it its slippery quality. It occurs in nature and is used (mixed with clay) as the lead in pencils. It is also used in lubricants, crucibles, polishes, arc lamps, batteries, brushes for electric motors, and nuclear reactor cores.
Variants of GRAPHITE
graphite or plumbago or black lead
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on graphite, visit Britannica.com.