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Graphite electrodes (GE) are generally made of calcined coke petroleum (CPC). Needle coke production technology, as the main raw material of CPC, is available exclusively in few countries. raw-material and production costs account for 70%-80% of total expenses for GE. Therefore raw material price fluctuations effect the GE market significantly.
Graphite electrodes types are : RP, HP and UHP. The RP type is for small-scale applications. The high-current HP electrode is appropriate for casting operations or occasionally in arc furnaces. The UHP type (ultra-high-power) usage is in electric arc and heavy-duty pan furnaces. UHP section is the wide used that earmark 65% of the revenue of target market.
Graphite electrode production
Raw materials and the manufacturing methods are the most important factors in determining the quality of graphite electrodes. When buying an electrode, you should consider properties such as porosity, thermal expansion coefficient, electrical resistance, tensile and flexural strength, modulus of elasticity and resistance to thermal shock.
It took about 90 days to produce a batch of GEs. but currently the new procedure has shrank production time to 60 days because of improved technology and advanced equipment. however the highest grade (UHP grade) still can take approximately about 80 days to produce.
Graphite electrode is a consumable product that stock inventory levels and demand rates directly affect its final price. also manufactures and nations policies has brought dramatic changes on foundation of GE market in previous years. 2021 annual production volume of graphite electrodes is about 754,250 metric tons and global market forecast is beyond US$ 11.1 Billion and growing to US$15.3 Billion by 2027.
China is on the cutting edge of Global graphite production capacity (not only electrodes), accumulating about 70% of the whole market.
GE & Ecosystem
Nowadays, factories have substituted graphite electrodes with copper electrodes in arc furnace. Due to reduction of harm upon ecosystem, heavily polluting basic oxygen furnaces (BOF), forced to shut down in many regions and replaced with arc furnaces.