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Performance Alloys’ historical roots extend back to 1931 when its predecessor company, The Brush Beryllium Company, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, to commercially develop the beryllium technology of Brush Laboratories. Brush Laboratories was started in 1921, by Charles Brush, Jr. and Dr. C. Baldwin Sawyer, who pioneered work in the extraction of beryllium from ore and the production of beryllium metal, oxide and master alloys. In the late 1940s, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) developed interest in beryllium powder metal technology and became the first significant user of metallic beryllium and beryllium oxide.

During the 1950s, commercial applications for beryllium containing materials grew, particularly copper beryllium. In 1953, The Brush Beryllium Company built a small commercial plant at Elmore, Ohio, to produce copper beryllium alloys. That facility is now the largest and most advanced facility for beryllium and beryllium-containing alloy production in the world.

In 1958, The Brush Beryllium Company purchased Penn Precision Products Company of Reading, Pennsylvania. This acquisition provided the company the capability to supply a full range of copper beryllium rolled strip products. The Reading facility now provides world class beryllium-containing strip, rod and wire alloys to meet the demand for these products. 

During the 1960s, The Brush Beryllium Company acquired extensive mineral rights in the Topaz mountain area of Utah and developed techniques for extracting beryllium from these bertrandite deposits. These ore reserves are sufficient in size to accommodate the global demand for beryllium and beryllium containing alloys well into the future, and make Brush the only fully integrated producer of beryllium, beryllium-containing alloys and beryllia ceramic.

In 1971, the Brush Beryllium Company purchased the S.K. Wellman division of Abex Corporation. The Brush Beryllium Company name was changed to Brush Wellman Inc. The S.K. Wellman division was later sold, but the name remained. Brush Wellman Inc. was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972.

Brush Wellman’s international organization was established in the 1980s with the formation of Brush Wellman GmbH (now Materion Brush GmbH) in Stuttgart, Germany. This was followed by Brush Wellman Ltd. (now Materion Brush Ltd.) in Reading, England; and Brush Wellman Japan Ltd. (now Materion Japan Ltd.) in Tokyo, Japan.  Brush Wellman Singapore (Pte) Ltd. (now Materion Brush Singapore Pte Ltd.) was formed in 1992 to provide local service and distribution in Southeast Asia.

In 1997, Brush Wellman opened a new facility in Lorain, Ohio, to produce non- beryllium containing high performance copper alloys, including ToughMet® alloys and MoldMAX® XL alloys.

In May 2000 Brush Wellman Inc., and its foreign subsidiaries, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of a newly created holding company, Brush Engineered Materials Inc.

On March 8, 2011, Brush Engineered Materials Inc. became Materion Corporation, and Brush Wellman Inc. became Materion Performance Alloys. We are the world’s leading supplier of high-performance alloys, providing high-strength, high-conductivity copper and nickel beryllium products, and non-beryllium-containing specialty alloy products. With unparalleled technical expertise and global service, our materials are the first choice for the most demanding applications.