One of the lesser known characteristics, or properties of graphite, is with regards to its coefficient of kinetic friction. Most everybody knows what friction is. It is one of the forces that slows down an object in motion, or prevents an object from moving altogether. Some surfaces are certainly better than others. Surfaces that have a high coefficient of kinetic friction, surfaces such as rubber, require more force (or work) in order to move an object. Surfaces that have a low coefficient of kinetic friction, surfaces such as ice, require very little force (or work) to move an object. Graphite has a very low frictional coefficient, making it a wonderful dry lubricant. Dry lubricants are used when a grease, oil, or liquid cannot be used. And the number of applications that take advantage of this unique property is quite vast and eye opening. Graphite materials are often used in the automotive industry, the clean energy industry, oil and gas industry, manufacturing applications, and in locksmithing too.

In the automotive industry, because of the frictional properties, graphite materials are frequently used in brake linings, brake drums, transmission components (clutch facings in particular), and sometimes they are even used in piston guides and piston rings. In manufacturing, these graphite materials are often used in machines that tend to spin or rotate. Rotary Drums, rotary dryers, rotary coolers, and rotary kilns are just a few examples [25]. Graphite seals, rings, and gaskets are often used in clean energy applications — specifically in our windmills, solar energy systems, and hydro-electric turbines. These low friction graphite materials can also be used in main shaft bearings, rotor bearings, slewing rings, yaw cylinders, swing cylinders, blade angle tilt cylinders, dam gate cylinders, rotary shaft seals, v-rings, o-rings, and a variety of bushings and guide vanes too [27]. Not only are these products used in the clean energy sector, they are also frequently used in thermal and nuclear power generation and the oil and gas industry also.

Food processors, bottling companies, shipping companies, and just about any facility or factory that uses large scale conveyor systems have also used dry lubricants to assist in the functionality of their systems [26]. However, you do not have to work in a large production facility or be around heavy machinery to have a need for dry lubricants. Many people have used dry lubricants in their homes, or around the house. Graphite powders and graphite sprays can be safely used to lubricate your door hinges and door locks.


[25] Ouradnik, Travis; Carlson, Carrie. “Seal Options For Rotary Dryers, Coolers, Kilns, and Drums.” Feeco International. Online Article. Accessed 1 May 2017.
[26] Higgins, Kevin. “Dry Lubricants Changing The Way Bottlers Maintain Conveyor Functionality.” Food Processing Informational Source For Food and Beverage Manufacturers. Online Article (2013). Accessed 1 May 2017. dry-lubricants-conveyor-functionality/
[27] “Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution.” Triada Technologies. Product Literature
(2010). Accessed 1 May 2017.