is graphite a non metal
Graphite is one of the two naturally occurring crystalline forms of carbon, the other being diamond. It is a soft greyish black mineral with a metallic lustre, and it is extremely slippery to touch.
It occurs in igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks, and is found throughout the world. It has a wide range of uses in industrial applications, and it is the most important form of natural carbon used today.
The molecule of graphite is made up of hexagonal layers of tightly stacked carbon atoms, each layer being a single atom thick. Each atom uses three of its electrons to make strong covalent bonds to its nearby neighbours, leaving one free electron for weak bonding between the layers.
These bonds can easily slide around on each layer giving graphite its lubricity, and they are also responsible for the conductivity of the material as well as its strength. This is because of the way that each carbon atom is bonded to only three other carbon atoms, and this leaves each atom with a spare electron that can loosely bond the layers together as a delocalized sea of electrons.
Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, which is why it is used in crucibles, bricks and other heat-resistant materials. It also has self-lubricating properties that make it an essential part of many industrial lubricants and can be used as a component in paints and pigments.