Beryllium oxide is a white ceramic material that looks very similar to alumina, is an excellent electrical insulator, but has unique thermal conductivity. Three countries-China, Kazakhstan, and the United States-process beryllium ore. Beryllium is also used in nuclear reactors as a reflector or moderator of neutrons. Workplace related exposures to dusts or fumes of beryllium and beryllium compounds are known to cause serious health problems, such as cancer or chronic beryllium disease, which is an immune system response that can damage the lungs. High conductive and high strength beryllium-copper alloys, which are used in both electronic and structural applications, comprise as much as three-quarters of annual beryllium usage. Photograph by David A. Lindsey, United States Geological Survey. National stockpiles also provide significant amounts of beryllium for processing. It is a steel-gray metal that is quite brittle at room temperature. With the gradual deepening of research on beryllium in various countries, the scope of application of beryllium is still expanding. Probably the most important use of beryllium is in radiation windows for X-ray tubes. Compared with beryllium copper alloys, their working temperature can be increased by 250 ~ 300 ℃, and they have relatively high heat resistance and corrosion resistance. Bertrandite Nodule: Much of the bertrandite found at Spor Mountain, Utah is contained in nodules composed of fluorite, opal and bertrandite. Beryllium is now classified by the U.S. Department of Defense as a strategic and critical material because it is used in products that are vital to national security. It is mainly used in precision machinery, aviation instruments, electronics, and instrument industries, such as automatic navigation components, springs for aviation instruments, etc. The front of the mirror is completely smooth and coated in a thin film of gold. Your email address will not be published. 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. Photograph courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The green color in emerald is due to traces of chromium and sometimes vanadium in the beryl crystal lattice. there are carbonate rocks (limestone or dolomite). Minuteman), Springs and membranes for surgical instruments (beryllium iron and beryllium nickel alloys). In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 common uses of beryllium. All beryllium engine components were later banned in 2001. Pure beryl crystals are colorless, but the inclusion of other elements in beryl creates colorful, valuable gemstones. In a sound amplification system, the faster the speed of sound, the higher the resonant frequency of the amplifier, the greater the range of sound that can be heard in the high range. Beryllium has also been used in the trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons. We provide customers with high-quality refractory metal products at a very competitive price. In short, beryllium has excellent performance and plays an important role in the high-tech field and improving the performance and quality of many products. These data are used to inform U.S. national policymaking. As a free element The U.S. Department of Defense aims to hold approximately 45 metric tons of hot-pressed beryllium metal powder in the National Defense Stockpile. Due to its low density and atomic mass, beryllium is relatively transparent in x-rays and ionizing radiation, making it a key component in the construction of x-ray windows. Notable gemstones which contain beryllium include beryl (aquamarine, emerald) and chrysoberyl. These alloys are strong, hard, and nonmagnetic; they are good conductors of electricity and heat, and they resist corrosion and fatigue. The United States imported approximately 34 percent of the beryllium raw materials it used in 2011, including beryllium metal and other processed beryllium materials used in manufacturing; two-thirds of this material came from Russia and Kazakhstan. Beryl gems: Four varieties of gemstone-quality beryl: from back left, going clockwise: morganite (pinkish-orange), heliodor (yellow), green beryl (pale green), aquamarine (blue-green). Beryllium and some beryllium compounds are toxic and must be handled carefully. Beryllium became a topic of debate among fans of F1 racing in 1998 when the McLaren Formula One team began using Mercedez-Benz engines that were designed with beryllium-aluminum alloy pistons. Beryllium has good thermal properties, such as high melting point, high specific heat, high thermal conductivity, and appropriate thermal expansion rate. Approximately 65 percent of the estimated global resources of nonpegmatitic beryllium is located in the United States. Terence Bell wrote about commodities investing for The Balance, and has over 10 years experience in the rare earth and minor metal industries. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. It is used in metallurgy as a hardening agent and in many outer space and nuclear applications. America's largest faceted emerald, a 64-carat gemstone, was cut from a 310-carat dark green crystal found at the Adams Emerald Mine in North Carolina in 2009. The use of beryllium alloys in automobiles has continued to grow over the past few decades. Techniques to assess mineral resources have been developed by the USGS to support the stewardship of Federal lands and to better evaluate mineral resource availability in a global context. The pale blue to blue-green color of aquamarine is caused by iron atoms with an oxidation state of +2 (Fe2+); other elements in beryl crystals produce colors that range from gold to red. An Occurrence Model for the National Assessment of Volcanogenic Beryllium Deposits. All the beryllium currently being mined in the United States comes from the mineral bertrandite. Beryllium, chemical element that is the lightest member of the alkaline-earth metals of Group 2 of the periodic table. In nuclear reactors, beryllium metal and beryllium oxide are used to control fission reactions. Beryllium metal is very light and very stiff. The Young’s modulus divided by the density is called the specific elastic modulus. Other medical uses of beryllium include in: Finally, one application that may direct future demand for beryllium is in nuclear power generation. Beryl is most often found in veins or pegmatites, which are rocks that contain the last minerals to crystallize from a large igneous intrusion. # Beryllium is used as an alloying agent in the production of . On a weight-to-weight basis, beryllium is six times stiffer than steel, and it maintains its shape at high and low temperatures. Beryllium-copper alloys account for approximately 80 percent of the beryllium used in the United States. Beryllium telescope mirror: View of the back of one of the 18 beryllium mirror segments for the James Webb Space Telescope. And Electrofusion has used beryllium aluminum alloy to make high-quality horn housings, car steering wheels, tennis rackets, wheel tows, and auxiliary devices and racing cars. Uses of Beryllium. Beryllium is widely used in the aerospace sector as an alloying agent in structural metals because of its high thermal stability, thermal conductivity, and low density.