St Marys Carbon Knowledge Base

Carbon Graphite Product Manufacturing Costs

Carbon graphite is a popular material for component manufacturing due to its versatility, durability, and relatively low cost. Its unique bonding characteristics make it ideal for impregnating with other materials, allowing it to meet a wide range of applications.

Carbon graphite is frequently used in corrosive environments, at high or low temperatures, high altitudes, and even situations where self-lubrication is necessary. If you’re interested in carbon graphite for a component or part and are curious about the associated costs, this guide is for you.


Top Factors that Affect Carbon Graphite Material & Product Prices

A variety of factors can influence the cost of carbon graphite materials as well as the manufacturing of products. Here are three factors that are most likely to influence the cost of carbon graphite:


Components that Are Heavily Machined

Components that Are Heavily Machined

Heavily machined components, or parts that have very tight tolerances, affect the price of carbon manufacturing more than anything else. This is true for four reasons:

  • Precision machinery and equipment may be necessary if certain tolerances or dimensions are required, and these tools are expensive.
  • Tighter tolerances extend the manufacturing process because these parts often require additional machining steps.
  • Extensive testing and inspections are necessary to verify that the finished components are in spec. This may even require someone to inspect each individual component of a product.
  • Parts that would typically be considered "usable" may be rejected if the tolerances are tight enough, which will obviously impact cost.


Custom Grades

Custom Grades

If your component can be created with a carbon graphite grade that the manufacturer already has in stock, there’s no additional cost. However, if a custom carbon graphite grade is required, that may increase your cost. This is because product development and/or engineering will need to be more heavily involved in developing a new grade that meets your requirements.




Based on your specific needs, it might be necessary to test your carbon graphite components in order to evaluate attributes such as strength, porosity, density, conductivity, and more.

Ideally, these examinations would uncover potential problems or imperfections that could have resulted in significant consequences if left unnoticed. Nevertheless, while carbon graphite testing holds significant importance, it does contribute to overall expenses.


How to Minimize Carbon Graphite Manufacturing Costs

Knowing what can impact the cost of carbon graphite manufacturing is useful, but this knowledge won’t necessarily help you reduce your expenses; if your component requires a custom grade, there’s no way around that.

However, there is still one thing that can be done to lower the cost of your next carbon graphite component order: Make a reputable carbon graphite manufacturer your primary supplier.

For example, St. Marys Carbon is able to occasionally offer discounted rates to customers that make them their primary supplier. Here are some of the benefits of doing this:


Blanket Orders

1. Blanket Orders

Blanket orders can streamline and simplify the procurement process for both the buyer and the manufacturer. Instead of placing individual orders for each batch of products as needed, blanket orders are larger orders that cover multiple deliveries over a predetermined period of time.

In these scenarios, pricing is negotiated and “locked in” ahead of time, which can help buyers minimize the cost of their carbon graphite components.


Volume-Based Pricing

2. Volume-Based Pricing

If you are going to need a very large volume of parts or components, your primary supplier may be able to give you a discount. Similar to blanket orders, these parts may not all be manufactured or delivered at once.


Early Payments

3. Early Payments

Instead of merely paying when the invoice is due, getting ahead of your payments is another way to secure a discount from your carbon graphite manufacturer. Your supplier wants to focus on making your parts instead of tracking down late payments, so paying ahead of time is a great way to give them peace of mind while saving you some money.


Carbon Graphite Cost FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions related to carbon graphite costs.


Does outsourcing impact the price of carbon graphite manufacturing?

Yes, this can affect the price of carbon graphite manufacturing. If the manufacturer does not develop and mix their own carbon graphite grades, or they only handle the machining, that means they outsource at least one aspect of the job.

Outsourcing adds more companies to the mix, which can create a host of issues such as longer lead times. Additionally, with each company needing to turn a profit, outsourcing often inflates the cost of carbon graphite manufacturing.


How much does carbon graphite manufacturing cost?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this question. As was discussed above, there are a variety of factors that can influence the cost of your carbon graphite parts, e.g., custom grades, testing, machining, inspection and volume. This can lead to parts that cost only pennies per piece to parts that are thousands of dollars per piece. Generally, volume and machine time will be the biggest factors that will influence your overall per piece price.

In cases where costs become an issue, make sure you talk with the manufacturer to discuss ways that you can potentially decrease your costs.


Wrapping Up: Carbon Graphite Product Manufacturing Costs Explained

Carbon graphite is a versatile, durable, and cost-effective material widely used in component manufacturing.

Key factors influencing carbon graphite material and product costs include complex machining requirements, custom grades, and testing needs. Luckily, you have some options to reduce costs, and establishing a reputable carbon graphite manufacturer as a primary supplier is recommended.

This can lead to benefits like streamlined procurement through blanket orders, volume-based pricing discounts, and early payment incentives.

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