Acceptance of Beryllium can boost innovation

27 July 2011

Beryllium is a naturally occurring element that is present in the earth’s crust

The decision not to restrict the use of beryllium and beryllium oxide under the newly revised European Union RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) list of restricted substances will help ensure affordable, high-quality performance of the next generation electronic products.

That’s according to W. Glenn Maxwell, President of Materion Brush Performance Alloys. The exclusion followed a thorough review and consideration of a range of materials by authorities in Europe.

“Beryllium metal, beryllium-containing alloys and beryllium oxide ceramic are used in critical applications that are vital to electronic technology,” said Maxwell. “They offer property combinations not available in other materials, and allow designers to achieve world-class levels of innovation, performance, energy efficiency and reliability. The decision not to include beryllium on the list underscores the conclusion of the leading European research and consultancy institute working for a sustainable future that beryllium and beryllium oxide ceramic, and therefore copper beryllium and nickel beryllium alloys, do not constitute significant health and environmental risks when used in electrical and electronic equipment.”

Beryllium is a naturally occurring element that is present in the earth’s crust. Beryllium metal is used to provide physical and mechanical properties which offer end-user performance benefits throughout the electronics, aerospace, energy, defence, security, medical and other industries.

Copper beryllium (CuBe) alloys are the most widely used beryllium-containing materials in mobile phones and other electronic equipment. CuBe alloys, which contain less than 2% beryllium, are used in mobile phones and high-performance electronic devices to increase electrical and thermal conductivity, enhance product performance, increase reliability, and facilitate the miniaturisation of components and products.

Consequently, products manufactured with CuBe alloys are more efficient, conserve energy and natural resources, and increase product life.

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