Carbon Good

Carbon, in its various forms, is used extensively in industry and we couldn't manage without it.

It is alloyed with iron to make steel, in higher proportions to make knives, metal cutting tools and springs. In its close-packed form, diamond, it's a girl's best friend. As graphite, we use it in pencils and as a dry lubricant.

As pyrolytic graphite, it's used as a neutron moderator in certain types of nuclear generating plants and as durable replacement heart valves.

In powder form, it's used in the manufacture of vehicle tyres and rubber sheet. It's unaffected by many chemicals and is stable at high temperatures (in an inert atmosphere). Carbon is used in electrical brushes in motors and generators as it's both conductive and self-lubricating. It is used as the positive terminal in zinc-carbon batteries.

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