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Flexible Graphite Electrical Resistance Decreases Under Compression

According to a study by Xiangcheng Luo, D.D.L. Chung of SUNY at Buffalo, Flexible graphite (a gasket material) under repeated compression was studied by real-time measurement of the electrical
resistance perpendicular to the flexible graphite sheet, which was sandwiched by copper. The resistance decreased reversibly
upon compression perpendicular to the sheet, due mainly to the reversible conformability of flexible graphite and the
consequent reversible decrease of the contact resistivity between flexible graphite and copper. Two cycles of compression
largely eliminated the irreversible resistance and strain changes. A low stress amplitude (,4 MPa) and a low strain
amplitude (,25%) were necessary in order to minimize irreversible deformation of the flexible graphite itself.