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Beryllium and Beryllium Alloys and Composities

  1. Donald J. Kaczynski

Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.0205182519201514.a01.pub3

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Kaczynski, D. J. 2011. Beryllium and Beryllium Alloys and Composities. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1–25.

Author Information

  1. Brush Wellman Incorporated

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

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Beryllium is the only light metal having a high melting point. Although 45 beryllium-containing minerals have been identified, only beryl and bertrandite are of commercial significance. Brush Resources Inc.,operating in Utah, is the one U.S. company that mines bertrandite ore, which is converted along with imported beryl and beryl from the U.S. National Defense Stockpile into beryllium hydroxide. The majority of beryllium commercially used is in alloys, principally copper-beryllium alloys. The uses of unalloyed beryllium is based on its nuclear and thermal properties and its unique stiffness. Beryllium oxide ceramics are important because of very high thermal conductivity of the oxide while also serving as an electrical insulator. Beryllium's reactivity limits its use in the formulation of composite materials. There are only two available: beryllium-aluminum and beryllium-beryllium oxide. A small amount of beryllium produces strong effects in several base metals. In copper and nickel, this alloying element promotes strengthening through precipitation hardening. In aluminum alloys, a small addition improves oxidation resistance, castability, and workability.Beryllium, beryllium-containing alloys, and beryllium oxide ceramics can be recycled.


  • beryllium;
  • beryllium alloys;
  • beryllium composites;
  • copper;
  • ore processing