Beryllium is a rare light metal with many excellent properties such as low density, high melting point, large elastic modulus, large tensile strength, excellent thermal performance, good dimensional stability, small neutron absorption cross-section, good X-ray transmission, etc. With the gradual deepening of research on beryllium in various countries, the scope of application of beryllium is still expanding. In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 common uses of beryllium.
The density of beryllium metal is low, and Young’s modulus of beryllium is 50% higher than that of steel. Young’s modulus divided by the density is called the specific elastic modulus. The specific elastic modulus of beryllium is at least 6 times that of any other metal. Therefore, beryllium is widely used in satellites and other aerospace structures.
Beryllium has good thermal properties, such as high melting point, high specific heat, high thermal conductivity, and appropriate thermal expansion rate. Therefore, beryllium can be used to directly absorb heat, such as being used in rocket engines, aircraft brakes, and space shuttle brakes.
Beryllium has the properties of lightweight and high rigidity and can be used in inertial navigation systems for missiles and submarines that require precise navigation.
Beryllium is used as a shielding material in the core of some nuclear fission reactors to improve the efficiency of fission reactions. People are also experimenting with beryllium as the lining of thermonuclear fusion reaction vessels. From the viewpoint of reducing nuclear pollution, it is superior to graphite.
In a sound amplification system, the faster the speed of sound, the higher the resonant frequency of the amplifier, and the greater the range of sound that can be heard in the high range. And the speed of sound propagation of beryllium is faster than other metals, so beryllium can be used as a vibrator for high-quality loudspeakers.
A series of beryllium copper alloys can be formed by dissolving about 2% of beryllium in copper, and its strength is about twice that of other copper alloys. Beryllium copper alloy has excellent processing technology performance, is non-magnetic, does not produce sparks when impacted, and maintains high thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, so it is very versatile.
Nickel beryllium alloys, such as NiBeTi, and NiBeMg, have ultra-high strength and elasticity, and high electrical conductivity. Compared with beryllium copper alloys, their working temperature can be increased by 250 ~ 300 ℃, and they have relatively high heat resistance and corrosion resistance.
Beryllium nickel alloy can be used to make important elastic components that work below 300 degrees Celsius. It is mainly used in precision machinery, aviation instruments, electronics, and instrument industries, such as automatic navigation components, springs for aviation instruments, etc.
Recently, a series of beryllium aluminum alloys have been developed by Brush Wellman in the United States. These alloys are excellent in strength and rigidity and are expected to be applied in many aerospace departments. And electrofusion has used beryllium aluminum alloy to make high-quality horn housings, car steering wheels, tennis rackets, wheel tows, auxiliary devices, and racing cars.
Beryllium oxide is a white ceramic material that looks very similar to alumina, is an excellent electrical insulator, but has unique thermal conductivity. And it is suitable for use as an endothermic insulating material in electronic devices. Besides, one of the new uses of beryllium oxide is applied in certain lasers, especially argon lasers, to meet the increased power requirements of modern lasers.
In short, beryllium has excellent performance and plays an important role in the high-tech field, and improves the performance and quality of many products. The uses of beryllium should be given special attention.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you want to know more about beryllium, you can visit Advanced Refractory Metals (ARM) for more information. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, USA, ARM is a leading manufacturer & supplier of refractory metals across the world. We provide customers with high-quality refractory metal products at a very competitive price.
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