Can Graphite Scratch Glass? (And Other Facts)

No, graphite cannot scratch glass.

Graphite cannot scratch glass because it is a much weaker material than glass.

On the other hand, graphite scratches easily, and its shaft has many layers of protection.

Continue reading to find out more interesting facts about graphite and glass and to learn more details about can graphite scratch glass.

Can Graphite Scratch Glass? (Let’s Learn More)

Can Either of These Minerals Scratch the Other?

The Mohs hardness scale specifically measures the hardness of a mineral.

It also serves as an identification of minerals.

The number on the scale is also an indicator of how each mineral can and should be used.

The Mohs hardness scale uses ten classifications, with one being the softest and ten being the hardest.

As you can imagine, diamond is a ten because it is the hardest mineral.

On the opposite end of the Mohs scale is graphite at a 1. It is the softest mineral and can be scratched by even a fingernail.

Graphite can be scratched by just about anything.

Therefore, glass is perfectly capable of scratching graphite.

Even though layers within the mineral graphite can slide over the top of each other, these layers are weak. 

Glass is about halfway on the Mohs hardness scale, coming in around 5.5.

It has half the hardness of diamond but is still hard enough to scratch graphite.

What is interesting about glass is it can be created with a higher rating on the Mohs scale.

There have been many applications of glass that are much harder than others.

A great example of this is the glass on the iPhone screen or some of the screen protectors that you can purchase for your iPhone. 

What is Graphite?

Graphite is a version of crystalline carbon that forms naturally.

Graphite and diamonds are the two mineral versions of carbon.

They share the same composition but have very different structures.

Graphite is found in both igneous and metamorphic rock.

It is really soft and splits with only light pressure.

Graphite has a low specific gravity which means it is a lightweight mineral.

Despite all of this, graphite resists heat well.

It does not react to most other materials.

While it may not be strong enough to scratch glass, it has many uses in manufacturing and metallurgy. 

Most of the graphite that is found is near the surface of the Earth.

It is formed in the crust at low pressure and temperature.

The carbon atoms found in graphite form sheets in a hexagonal network.

They are as thick as one atom.

These sheets are not connected well and split easily under the smallest amount of force.

It makes graphite weak but also slippery, which makes it ideal for lubricant. 

You can also find synthetic graphite.

This type of granite is made when you heat high carbon materials like coal-tar pitch and petroleum coke at extremely high temperatures.

When these temperatures are met, any volatile material is destroyed.

What is left over forms links of a sheet like crystalline structure.

The synthetic version is about 99 percent pure carbon.

It is often used in products that must have a pure material. 

You will find graphite in lubricants, pencils, batteries, polishes, brushes for motors, and nuclear reactor cores.

It is mined in Canada, China, India, North Korea, and Brazil. 

What is Glass?

Glass is a solid material that is inorganic and typically transparent.

It is hard and unaffected by natural elements.

Over the centuries, glass has been used for decorative and practical applications.

It is still used as a building material, telecommunications, and houseware items.

In addition, it has been used for aesthetic purposes such as glassware and stained glass.

Glass basically starts as sand, one that is high quality silica.

Other items are then added to the silica.

Combining these items creates a mixture called a batch.

The other items that can be added to the silica include limestone, salt cake, soda ash, dolomite, feldspar, and broken glass from a previous batch.

This broken glass is called cullet, and it is added to help the batch melt.

Glass is made by cooling hot ingredients like silica sand rapidly.

This quick cooling process prevents visible crystals from forming.

The crystals are building blocks that are three dimensional.

They can make any substance rigid on the inside.

When there are no crystals, glass is technically a liquid and not a solid.

The lack of crystals is what makes glass transparent.

It is also referred to as an amorphous solid, meaning that it lacks some of the characteristics of crystal. 

In general, glass is presented in a number of different applications, each having its own physical qualities and composition.

Despite being so different, most glass has some specific qualities in common.

When glass is cold, it is not a great heat conductor.

It is often fragile and can be broken by a shock or sharp hit.

If it does not break, but only cracks, the cracks of the glass are visible.

Glass picks up color when its mixture and metallic oxides are fused.

Glass can be made into a unique composition with the addition of specific chemical and physical properties.

For example, regular glass can be turned into eyeglasses by changing some amount of refractive index to create multicomponent lenses.  

When you are deciding what type of glass you need, it is essential to consider some features.

First, you need to think about the amount of light that is transmitted by the glass.

Second, you need to consider where you will use the glass and how much force or weight it will sustain. 

can graphite scratch glass