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BERYLLIUM METALS ENABLE TECHNOLOGIES IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS

For decades, Materion has manufactured beryllium metals that are essential for the most advanced technologies in the world, including space structures, X-ray and imaging equipment, military aircraft, defense systems and more. Beryllium offers an unmatched modulus-to-weight ratio and a low thermal expansion, which makes it resistant to changing shape in extreme temperatures. 

Beryllium brings several other unrivaled advantages to its end-use applications, including good natural damping, low density, low neutron absorption, a high infrared reflectance and high specific heat. 

BERYLLIUM METALS SPECIALIZED FOR UNIQUE APPLICATIONS 

We offer beryllium metals in a range of grades and forms to address the specific challenges of unique applications.  

Instrument Grade Beryllium for Space and Aerospace 

Our hot isostatically pressed beryllium metals,  I-220-H and I-70-H, are ideal for decreasing the weight of instrumentation in aircraft and satellites. They have high microyield strength, which allows instrumentation to maintain its form when exposed to stress. Hot isostatically press consolidated powder produces metal for applications that require isotropic physical and mechanical properties.

I-70-H grade beryllium consists of 99% beryllium with a maximum of 0.7% beryllium oxide. Low oxide grades such as this allow for bare beryllium mirrors to yield a lower level scatter and be more easily polished than higher oxide grades. It is also stable over a wide range of temperatures from -196°C to 226°C (-321°F to 440°F) and offers superior reflectivity in the far infrared region (98.5% at 8-12 micron wavelengths) without optical coatings. This IR reflectivity enables designers to create defense applications that are more difficult to detect. I-70-H is available in several forms, including rod, bar cut from block and specialty sizes or shapes. For additional technical information, download the I-70-H beryllium metal spec. sheet.

I-220-H beryllium is used in applications requiring high resistance to plastic deformation at low stress levels. This is crucial for applications that need high micro-yield strength. Typical uses include telescope supports on space exploration satellites and optical satellites. I-220-H is available in several forms including rod, bar cut from a block and specialty sizes or shapes. For additional technical details, download the I-220-H beryllium metal spec. sheet.

INSTRUMENT GRADE PROPERTIES

I-220-H

I-70-H

Ultimate Tensile Strength, ksi, minimum

65 ksi (448 Mpa)

50 ksi (345 Mpa)

Yield Strength (0.2% offset), ksi, minimum

50 ksi (345 Mpa)

30 ksi (207 Mpa)

Elongation (% in 4 diameters), minimum

2.0%

2.0%

Micro-yield Strength, ksi

6.0 ksi

3.0 ksi

Nuclear Grade Beryllium Metal for Reactors 

For optimal efficiency, nuclear test reactors and fusion walls require materials that perform in high heat conditions—and beryllium meets those requirements. Pure beryllium metals S-65 and S-65-H  are light weight with high strength. S-65 has the lowest impurity levels of commonly made grades of beryllium, which reduces transuranic elements and the required storage time after being removed from reactors.

S-65 and S-65-H beryllium metals also maintain their properties at elevated temperatures, thereby increasing usefulness in fusion energy applications over conventional graphite materials. These metals increase nuclear reactor efficiency and reduce hazardous waste production, which can help reactors run longer.

NUCLEAR BERYLLIUM PROPERTIES   | High neutron flux | Low neutron absorption | Reduced neutron kinetic energy in nuclear reactors | High neutron scattering cross section | Excellent neutron thermalization | High thermal conductivity under fusion conditions | Transparent to most forms of radiation | Superior cracking resistance under high heat flux thermal cycling | Maintains characteristics at elevated temperatures

Our nuclear grade beryllium is the reference grade for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a cutting-edge fusion energy program. S-65 beryllium metal was chosen for the walls in ITER and for breeder pebbles because of its ability to resist cracking under high heat flux thermal cycling. They were also used for nuclear reflector tiles for the walls in the Joint European Torus (JET), the world’s largest plasma physics experiment focused on nuclear fusion energy production. Other applications include neutron reflectors and moderators, neutron filter assemblies, nuclear test reactors and medical isotope reactors.

We offer nuclear grade beryllium in several forms. S-65 is vacuum hot pressed and available in rod, bar or custom pressing. S-65-H is available in rod or bar forms that are cut from a hot isostatically pressed block. Upon request, we can create custom geometry shapes and sizes based on the designer's requirement.

For more details, download the S-65 or the S-65-H specification sheet.

Beryllium Metal for Optical Space Systems

Our O-30-H beryllium was originally developed to make the mirrors for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and its unique property characteristics make it a critical material for optical space applications. O-30-H is a hot isostatically pressed optical grade material and is 99% beryllium and 0.5% beryllium oxide. With the highest thermal isotropy of any grade of the beryllium metals that we offer, it is a cryogenically optimal substrate material.

Read more about beryllium's impact on NASA or visit The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, Technology Development Papers to see how O-30-H metal is advancing space optics.

Download the O-30-H data sheet for additional chemical and mechanical properties.

Raw and High-Purity Beryllium Metal

Pure beryllium metal provides high strength, stiffness, low density, heat resistance and reflectivity, making it an ideal material for advanced defense and industrial applications.

Our raw beryllium B-26-D metal is a high purity, vacuum melted cast metal. It is commonly used when alloys require beryllium, but the exact mechanical properties of the alloy are not critical. Materion certifies this metal to conform to a minimum purity of 99.0%. It is available in cylindrical billets in sizes that range from 0.125 to 1.5 inches (3 to 40 mm) and chips that are approximately 0.040 x 0.125 x 0.005 inches (1 x 3 x 0.1 mm). For more information, download the B-26-D raw beryllium metal spec sheet.

We also offer an ultra-high purity beryllium metal known as UHP9999. At 99.99% purity, this metal is the highest purity beryllium metal we make. It is used in laboratories for cutting-edge research and by semiconductor manufacturers to make P-type semiconductors and high-end neutron collimators. It is available in one- to five-gram pieces. For more information, download the UHP 9999 beryllium metal spec sheet.

High Strength, Low Density Structural Beryllium 

We also produce high strength beryllium metals in a variety of structural grade specifications that provide unparalleled strength-to-weight ratios. They are essential for the most advanced technologies because they allow weight reductions while providing a durable structural material for satellites, reconnaissance systems, semiconductor equipment, aerospace instrumentation panels and electronic-optical targeting systems.

The four structural grades of beryllium that we offer include:  

  • S-200-F, which is 98.5% beryllium and vacuum hot pressed. It is used as an optical substrate and support bench in numerous astronomical telescopes, fire control and FLIR systems, and spacecraft and weather satellites. It can be certified to the SAE-AMS7906 specification and is available in rod and bar. Download the S-200-F spec sheet.
  • S-200-FC, which is 98.5% beryllium and cold isostatically pressed or sintered. While the tensile properties are lower than other grades of beryllium, the modulus and thermal properties are the same. It can be certified to the SAE-AMS7910 specification and is only available in special shapes based on part size. Download the S-200-F C spec sheet.
  • S-200-FH, which is 98.5% beryllium and hot isostatically pressed. This beryllium is more uniform with higher density and higher mechanical properties than traditional vacuum hot-pressed beryllium. It can be formed into regular or custom shapes and the production process has been optimized to conserve material and reduce total machining time. It can be certified to the SAE-AMS7908 specification and is available in rod, bar and special shapes. Download the S-200 F H spec sheet.
  • SR-200, which is a sheet beryllium metal manufactured by warm rolling billets of vacuum hot-pressed block. It is often selected by designers seeking high-performance heat sinks and structural supports in military electronic and avionics systems and is well-suited for satellite structures as a hot-formed material. It can also be certified to the SAE-AMS7902 specification and is made to order thicknesses, from 0.020" to 0.250" (0.5 mm to 6.25 mm) with maximum dimensions of 24" x 72" (61 cm x 183 cm). Download the SR-200 spec sheet.

STRUCTURAL BERYLLIUM APPLICATIONS | Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems | Electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) & targeting systems | Airborne early warning & control systems (AEW&C) | Surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (SRT) | Size, weight and power (SWaP) replacement systems | Semiconductor capital equipment | Space-based systems and components | James Webb Space Telescope support structure

Compare the forms, uses and descriptions of each of our beryllium metals.

ENGINEERING DESIGN AND PROJECT SUPPORT FOR BERYLLIUM METALS

Our team of beryllium experts can ensure that you get optimum results when using our beryllium metals for aerospace, defense, nuclear, space and other applications. We provide engineering support, managing projects from design inception to completion, even with the most complex design challenges. Beryllium has enabled technological breakthroughs that were previously unattainable—and our team continues to discover innovative uses for this high-performance material. 

Work with our team for engineering assistance on advanced applications.

SAFE HANDLING OF BERYLLIUM 

Beryllium, its alloys, and its salts can be handled safely if certain work codes are observed. No attempt should be made to work with beryllium before becoming familiar with proper safeguards. Read more health and safety information before using beryllium.