What Is Beryllium Alloy

Beryllium alloy refers to beryllium-based alloys and alloys containing beryllium. There are mainly beryllium copper alloys, beryllium aluminum alloys, beryllium nickel alloys and beryllium titanium composite materials. Among them, beryllium copper alloy is the most widely used. It contains beryllium 0.2% to 2.8%. It has high strength, high conductivity, high toughness, high fatigue limit, high wear resistance, seawater corrosion resistance, non-magnetic, thermal shock resistance, and impact resistance. The advantages of no sparks, etc., are widely used in electrical equipment, electronic devices and control instruments.

The Definition Of Beryllium

Beryllium is a gray-white alkaline earth metal. Beryllium and its compounds are highly toxic. Beryllium is both soluble in acid and lye. It is an amphoteric metal. Beryllium is mainly used to prepare alloys.

Beryllium is a steel gray metallic light metal. The hardness of beryllium is higher than that of metals of the same group, unlike calcium, strontium, and barium, which can be cut with a knife.

Beryllium, like lithium, forms a protective oxide layer in the air, so it is stable even when it is red hot in the air. Insoluble in cold water, slightly soluble in hot water, soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid, dilute sulfuric acid and potassium hydroxide solution to release hydrogen. Metal beryllium has obvious corrosion resistance to oxygen-free sodium metal even at higher temperatures. The valence state of beryllium is positive divalent, which can form polymers and a class of covalent compounds with significant thermal stability.

Beryllium Copper Alloy

Beryllium copper, also known as beryllium bronze, is the “king of elasticity” in copper alloys. After solution aging heat treatment, products with high strength and high conductivity can be obtained. High-strength cast beryllium bronze alloy, after heat treatment, not only has high strength, high hardness, but also has the advantages of wear resistance and corrosion resistance, excellent casting performance, beryllium bronze alloy is suitable for manufacturing various molds, explosion-proof safety tools, and wear resistance Parts such as cams, gears, worm gears, bearings, etc.

High beryllium copper has the characteristics of high strength, high hardness, high conductivity, high elasticity, wear resistance, fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance and small elastic hysteresis. It is mainly used for temperature controllers, mobile phone batteries, computers, auto parts, micro Motors, brush needles, high-grade bearings, glasses, contacts, gears, punches, various non-spark switches, various welding electrodes and precision casting molds, etc.

High-performance beryllium copper mainly focuses on the various working conditions used in non-ferrous metal low-pressure, gravity casting molds. Through in-depth research on the failure causes of beryllium bronze mold materials, the internal relationship between the composition and the corrosion resistance of molten metal, the development of high conductivity (thermal), high The high-performance beryllium bronze mold material that combines strength, wear resistance, high temperature resistance, high toughness, and liquid metal corrosion resistance solves the problems of low pressure of non-ferrous metals, easy cracking and easy wear of gravity casting molds, and significantly improves mold life and Casting strength; overcome the adhesion of molten metal slag and erosion of the mold; improve the surface quality of the casting; reduce production costs; make the life of the mold close to the imported level.

The hardness of high-performance beryllium bronze mold material is between (HRC) 38-43, the density is 8.3g/cm3, the main element is beryllium, and the content of beryllium is 1.9%-2.15%. It is widely used in the inner inserts of plastic injection molding molds. Mold core, die-casting punch, hot runner cooling system, heat conduction nozzle, integral cavity of blow mold, automobile mold, wear plate, etc.

Beryllium Aluminum Alloy

Beryllium aluminum alloy is a beryllium-based alloy containing aluminum. Generally, the aluminum content is 25% to 43% (mass). The density is 2.10g/cm3.

Beryllium aluminum alloy has two grades: LX-62 and LX59-3. The tensile strength is 524~670MPa, the yield strength is 479~516MPa, and the elongation is 3.7%~4.3%. It is produced by powder metallurgy extrusion and rolling process. Used in missiles, rockets, ultra-high-speed structural parts, aircraft brakes and electronic computer disk drives.

Beryllium aluminum alloy contains about 2-6% beryllium. Beryllium aluminum alloy is an additive required for the melting of magnesium alloys and aluminum alloys. Magnesium alloys usually require 8-20ppm, and aluminum alloys require 8-15ppm. Its functions are:

1. Improve the cleanliness, fluidity and corrosion resistance of magnesium and aluminum;
2. Protect the oxidation and combustion of magnesium and aluminum, and reduce the oxidation loss of elements;
3. Improve the structure of the alloy, refine the grains and increase the strength.
Beryllium aluminum alloy containing about 60% beryllium is mainly used in aerospace and aviation frame materials.

Beryllium Nickel Alloy

The content of beryllium is 1.85%~2.75% (mass). Adding alloying elements such as chromium, titanium or carbon to improve the heat energy of machining and thermal machining. The yield strength is 1500MPa, and the tensile strength is 1600MPa. High strength, good elasticity, corrosion and abrasion resistance, and can be used for a long time under high temperature. It is grown by powder metallurgy. Used as heat-resistant springs, aircraft instrument membranes, altimeter and pressure gauge materials, casting membranes and glassware forming tools.

Beryllium Titanium Composite

Beryllium titanium composite material is a composite material composed of titanium alloy and beryllium wire. In the 1970s, the United States, through research, used beryllium-titanium alloy composite materials for the manufacture of aircraft engines.

It mainly uses the high temperature resistance and impact resistance of titanium alloy and the high modulus, low density, and high strength of beryllium wire. At the same time, it also uses the characteristics of both having obvious metal ductility in the temperature range of 450~750℃. , Using the usual metal pressure processing technology for production, with single or multiple metal beryllium rods inserted into the titanium alloy matrix material for extrusion, to obtain the beryllium wire reinforced titanium alloy composite material. The proportion limit of the material is 137~275MPa, the tensile strength is 755~1160MPa, the elongation is 1%~3%, and the modulus is 123~247GPa.

There are two types of beryllium-titanium composite materials: Ti-50Be and Ti-60Be. The room temperature tensile strength of Ti-50Be is 848MPa, the elastic modulus is 1924MPa, and the elongation is 1.5%; the room temperature tensile strength of Ti-50Be is 765MPa, elastic The modulus is 1806MPa.

Application of beryllium alloy in spacecraft

Beryllium metal is located between the file and boron in the periodic table of elements. According to the diagonal principle, its chemical properties are similar to aluminum. It is an active element and generally does not exist as a simple substance. The abundance of bee on the earth is not large, due to its scarcity, it is rarely used in general; but because of its special physical and chemical properties, bee alloys have a wide range of uses in the atomic energy industry and aerospace fields, especially in spacecraft. . In the atomic energy industry, due to the compactness of the metal structure, it is widely used as a neutron moderator. In spacecraft, beryllium alloys are widely used as structural parts, brackets and other components due to their light density (lighter than aluminum, magnesium, copper, etc.), large heat capacity, and high specific strength.

Russia has more applications of beryllium alloys in spacecraft. The main products produced by Russian composite materials are:

  • 1) Satellites and satellite precision instruments need heat preservation parts with large heat capacity;
  • 2) The space metal material of beryllium and aluminum-boron composite metal is made into a tubular structural frame, which is used as a prefabricated panel support for solar cells and external appliances;
  • 3) The quilt materials used to manufacture the satellite instrument platform;
  • 4) Beryllium alloy composite devices manufactured by precision casting methods;
  • 5) Beryllium and beryllium alloy materials for high-modulus components and high-precision rotation transmission mechanism made of the instrument cabin;
  • 6) Sensitive and sensitive alloy materials for the production of frame frames and reflectors of space optical telescopes;
  • 7) It is the composite metal material of the micro-thrust engine combustion chamber used in the satellite attitude control system.

The use of beryllium alloys in the aerospace industry is inseparable from its special physical properties. Beryllium has the highest elastic modulus and the lowest density at the same time. It has only the highest fit between the elasticity and high strength ratio of metal parts. Since the production materials of the spacecraft require both strong and light weight, the sensitive alloy has a very broad prospect in the manufacture of spacecraft.

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