Why Can Beryllium Metal Be Applied for Missile?



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Beryllium is a material with relatively special performance, some properties of which are irreplaceable by any other metal materials,especially nuclear properties and physical properties. Beryllium mainly concentrated in the nuclear industry, the application scope of weapon system, aerospace industry, X-ray instrument, electronic information systems, automotive industry, household electrical appliances and other fields. As the research progressed, its application range has the trend of expand.

Beryllium has three big good qualities that prompt it replaced the steel, titanium and aluminum metal quickly and become the ideal material to make gyroscope.

The first quality is the good thermal properties. The coefficient of thermal conductivity of beryllium is 3 times of steel, copper is five times, thermal expansion coefficient is less than half of magnesium. Gyroscope in the high speed rotating rotor produces a large amount of heat, good thermal performance  make the heat distributed in the gyro evenly to reduce internal stress of it. Smaller thermal expansion coefficient reduced the deformation of gyro in further.

The second quality is excellent mechanical properties. The proportion of beryllium is the 1/3 of titanium, two-thirds of aluminum alloy, and the elastic modulus is 3 times of titanium, aluminum, magnesium, 5 and 7 times respectively. Its specific strength is 1.7 times of aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy with 2.1 times and 1.5 times of steel. This means that the gyro skeleton can be lighter and stronger. Changing a three-stage missile inertial navigation system’s structure to beryllium metal can reduce the system several kilograms of weight, thus reduced the burden of overall system from the missile guidance control system greatly.

The third quality is super stability. If there is one percent micro of deviation in gyro rotor centroid position, it will bring the error of the hundreds of meters long-range missiles. The appearance of beryllium metal can keep stable and bounce back quickly even after a lot of stress. Beryllium surface has the oxidation and corrosion resistance without any surface treatment which is even stronger than most stainless steel material that had a variety of santicorrosive treatments.(The surface of beryllium can form oxidation layer  that avoid the further oxidation by air effectively; To be heated to above 1000 ° C, beryllium will continue to react and air.)

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