Beryllium
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Beryllium

Beryllium

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Beryllium Document Transcript

  • 1. Beryllium<br />Atomic Weight9.012182Density1.848 g/cm3Melting Point1287 °CBoiling Point2470 °C<br />Full technical data<br />This pure broken crystal of refined beryllium ordinarily would be melted down and turned into strong, lightweight parts for missiles and spacecraft. It is expensive and toxic, but unbeatable when cost is no object.<br />Complete gyroscope module.<br />Beryllium-containing gyroscope module.<br />Source: eBay seller parker282828<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 15 June, 2004<br />Text Updated: 18 October, 2009<br />Price: $75<br />Size: 3" <br />Purity: 90% <br />Beryllium-copper gas wrench.<br />This is, I'm pretty sure, a wrench designed to operate various valves on natural gas equipment. As such it makes sense that it is made of non-sparking beryllium-copper alloy.<br />Source: eBay seller 69chuck69auctioneer<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 16 April, 2009<br />Text Updated: 17 April, 2009<br />Price: $30<br />Size: 12" <br />Purity: <5% <br /> <br />Beryllium-copper wrench.<br />Copper does not create sparks when you strike it against steel, an important fact if that steel is located on something like an oil well or other location where flammable gases are likely to be around. Unfortunately straight copper is not strong enough to make tools out of, so beryllium is added to greatly harden the alloy.<br />This is an ordinary crescent wrench made of such an alloy by the Berylco Company.<br />Source: eBay seller cape-estate<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 16 April, 2009<br />Text Updated: 17 April, 2009<br />Price: $20<br />Size: 8" <br />Purity: <5% <br />Thick disk of solid beryllium.<br />This is a slice of pure beryllium, probably x-ray grade meaning pure enough to allow x-rays through. Not cheap at all, no sir, not cheap.<br />Source: eBay seller chifizica<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 15 April, 2009<br />Text Updated: 15 April, 2009<br />Price: $430<br />Size: 6" <br />Purity: >99% <br />Beryllium copper irons (golf clubs).<br />Golf clubs are categorized by what they are made of: There are " woods" and there are " irons" . The woods are not often made of wood (titanium or aluminum are common) and the irons are often not made of iron, as you can see in the case of these beryllium copper irons. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny to use three different element names in a row to describe a golf club, but then I think most things to do with golf are silly.<br />Beryllium copper is an alloy of copper often used for tools that need to be reasonably strong and reasonably hard, but that more importantly need to not create sparks when used. This is important if you are, for example, working on an oil well and are drenched in flammable fluid while using the tool.<br />Source: eBay seller dp63<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 24 March, 2009<br />Text Updated: 24 March, 2009<br />Price: $30<br />Size: 4" <br />Purity: <5% <br />Metal salesmans sample.<br />From the eBay item description, which pretty much sums up what this item is:<br />This auction is for a very unusual, what I think would be called a Salesman Sample, of 5 exotic metal disks. The brown plastic case that measures 2.50 in. by 6 in., was received by my Father when he visited the Kawecki Berylco Industries in the 1970's. The company was bought by Cabot Corp. in the late 70's. The disks measure 1.25 in. dia. by .1in. thick. According to the description in the case the 5 metals are Beryllium, Lock alloy, Beryllium Copper, Columbium [an older name for niobium], and Tantalum.<br />This is the Lock alloy sample from the set; the others are listed under their respective elements. Lock alloy is said to be 62% beryllium and 38% aluminum, and used in exotic supersonic aircraft. Click the Source link to see the samples all together, and here's a picture of the whole set:<br />Source: eBay seller jacav111<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 27 December, 2008<br />Text Updated: 28 December, 2008<br />Price: $134/set<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Purity: 62% <br />Metal salesmans sample.<br />From the eBay item description, which pretty much sums up what this item is?<br />This auction is for a very unusual, what I think would be called a Salesman Sample, of 5 exotic metal disks. The brown plastic case that measures 2.50 in. by 6 in. was received by my Father when he visited the Kawecki Berylco Industries in the 1970's. The company was bought by Cabot Corp. in the late 70's. The disks measure 1.25 in. dia. by .1in. thick. According to the description in the case the 5 metals are Beryllium, Lock alloy, Beryllium Copper, Columbium [an older name for niobium], and Tantalum.<br />This is the pure beryllium sample from the set; the others are listed under their respective elements. <br />Source: eBay seller jacav111<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 27 December, 2008<br />Text Updated: 28 December, 2008<br />Price: $134/set<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Purity: 99.9% <br />Beryllium raw material.<br />Description supplied by the source:<br />This piece of beryllium was originally purchased about 25 years ago from Brush-Wellman, by far the largest and oldest company in the world that deals with the production, refining, and fabrication of beryllium. This sample certainly shows some of the difficulties in dealing with pure beryllium- from the internal surface texture, it is pretty clear that the stuff is ridiculously brittle. In addition, it is very difficult to melt, cast and work- the hole that is visible in this rough piece is actually a void passing all the way through that remains as an artifact from when it was originally melted! This sample is, like all beryllium, mind-bogglingly light to hold- our brains are not used to hefting a piece of beryllium and associating that kind of density (or lack thereof) with a piece of solid metal.<br />Source: Ethan Currens<br />Contributor: Ethan Currens<br />Acquired: 21 March, 2008<br />Text Updated: 21 March, 2008<br />Price: Anonymous<br />Size: 2" <br />Purity: 99.9% <br />X-ray window sheet.<br />X-rays are generated by accelerating electrons in a vacuum tube: When they strike a target at the positive side of the tube, x-rays are emitted. The problem then is how to let the x-rays out of the tube without letting air in. The answer is a beryllium window. Beryllium is virtually transparent to x-rays, but impervious to air. This is a sheet of beryllium from which several round pieces have been punched to make x-ray windows.<br />Source: Juan Jimenez<br />Contributor: Juan Jimenez<br />Acquired: 6 April, 2007<br />Text Updated: 6 April, 2007<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 3" <br />Purity: >99% <br />Sphere.<br />Described as a beryllium gyroscope sphere from a military aircraft. It's definitely not one of the classic light-weight gyroscope spheres: It appears to be solid, though of course still very light. No idea what it was really used for?<br />Source: eBay seller ohioidustrialsurplus<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 10 January, 2006<br />Text Updated: 20 February, 2006<br />Price: $66<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Purity: 99% <br />X-Ray tube with window.<br />This is a complete x-ray tube with a chromium target and three beryllium windows (used because beryllium is largely transparent to x-rays). See a few samples back for an example of one of the windows removed from a similar tube.<br />Source: eBay seller allthedodaday<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 2 November, 2004<br />Text Updated: 11 March, 2007<br />Price: $24<br />Size: 0.5" <br />Purity: 99%<br />Sample Group: Medical <br />Thimbles.<br />These are small thimble-like parts: No idea what they were used for but it's probably aerospace related since there are few other applications of beryllium.<br />Source: eBay seller allthedodaday<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 2 November, 2004<br />Price: $38<br />Size: 0.5" <br />Purity: 99% <br /> <br />Complete gyroscope module.<br />This is the complete unit that contains one of the beryllium spheres pictured above: It's a fabulous bit of machining; I just wish I could figure out how to take it apart without breaking something.<br />Source: eBay seller parker282828<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 15 June, 2004<br />Text Updated: 18 October, 2009<br />Price: $70<br />Size: 2.5" <br />Purity: 90% <br />Missile parts.<br />More miscellaneous missile parts: Soon I could build a complete, um, junk pile.<br />Source: eBay seller parker282828<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 15 June, 2004<br />Text Updated: 18 October, 2009<br />Price: $30/each<br />Size: 3" <br />Purity: 99% <br />Missile part.<br />This is a machined beryllium missile part of some sort. Beryllium is extremely toxic in powdered form, but relatively harmless as long as it's fully intact. Making a part like this must be quite difficult to do safely considering the amount of very toxic beryllium dust and shavings that would be generated.<br />Source: eBay seller parker282828<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 12 May, 2004<br />Text Updated: 18 October, 2009<br />Price: $67<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Purity: 99% <br />Broken gyroscope sphere.<br />See the sample above for a detailed explanation of these spheres. What makes this one fascinating is that it's cracked in half, allowing you to see just how thick the walls are. From holding an intact sphere you would think it must be a paper-thin, very delicate ball, because it's just so light. But with a broken one you can see that it's actually quite substantial: Beryllium is used for these sorts of parts precisely because it's so incredibly light weight.<br />Source: eBay seller spatial-one<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 12 May, 2004<br />Price: $50<br />Size: 1.50000" <br />Purity: 99% <br />Gyroscope sphere.<br />These spheres appear from time to time on eBay and tend to go for pretty high prices. They are said to be from an air force gyroscope: The sphere would be spinning at very high speed, suspended electro statically. The markings on the surface allowed the system to track the orientation of the sphere as it was spinning. It's commonly claimed that they are extremely accurate spheres, within millionths of an inch of perfect. Or at least, they were until they inevitably crashed into the wall, got scratched or bent, and thus ended up on eBay. Here's what the seller had to say about this particular one:<br />This is a hollow beryllium Electro statically Suspended Gyroscope (ESG) Sphere used in the Inertial Guidance System of the B52 and F117 bomber Aircraft.<br />This high tech unit was designed to rotate over 50,000 times a minute and electro statically suspended in a near perfect vacuum.<br />While in flight use aboard the aircraft it had a catastrophic failure and crashed in its housing. This caused a distortion of this near geometrically perfect oblate sphere.<br />Note: This particular sphere has only minor scratches (less than one thousandth of an inch deep) and is in otherwise good condition.<br />It originally measured 1.50000 inches in diameter, weighs 10 grams and has a highly polished optical surface. There are a series of etched patterns used to read out the position and speed of this sphere with a set of photovoltaic sensors.<br />The guidance system it belonged to was known as the Standard Precision Navigator/Gimbaled Electro statically Suspended Aircraft Navigator or SPN/Geans. The SPN/Geans was the prime inertial position and velocity sensing system for the aircraft.<br />This gyroscope originally cost the government over $17,000 and was so expensive to maintain that it was discontinued from service.<br />This is very similar to what other sellers say about similar spheres, and having to reason to doubt it, I think it's probably all true. See the next sample for a fascinating variation on the theme: A broken gyroscope sphere.<br />Source: eBay seller spatial-one<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 29 February, 2004<br />Price: $98<br />Size: 1.50000" <br />Purity: 99% <br />Blob.<br />This is a big blob of beryllium from China, part of a one-kilogram lot Max purchased for making element samples for his commercial sets and museum displays. It's very light for its size, so much so that it seems hollow, but he's broken some of these open and they are not. The white granular stuff hidden in the crevice is a bit alarming: If it's beryllium oxide then it's dangerously toxic: Until this has been determined I am keeping this sample in a sealed bag and handling it only gently and with gloves.<br />Source: Max Whitby of RGB<br />Contributor: Max Whitby of RGB<br />Acquired: 22 July, 2003<br />Text Updated: 13 August, 2006<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 4" <br />Purity: 99.9% <br />Sample from the Everest Set.<br />Up until the early 1990's a company in Russia sold a periodic table collection with element samples. At some point their American distributor sold off the remaining stock to a man who is now selling them on eBay. The samples (except gases) weigh about 0.25 grams each, and the whole set comes in a very nice wooden box with a printed periodic table in the lid.<br />This particular sample requires a special warning: Powdered beryllium is extremely toxic! Max Whitby has calculated that this sample contains enough beryllium to contaminate 100,000 cubic meters of air to the regulatory hazard level. Were it to break, special precautions would be necessary. Fortunately, it's a relatively coarse powder and would probably not spread very far or very fast, but it would definitely be necessary to clean it up carefully and completely (not using a vacuum cleaner).<br />To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description and information about how to buy one, or you can see photographs of all the samples from the set displayed on my website in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.<br />Source: Rob Accurso<br />Contributor: Rob Accurso<br />Acquired: 7 February, 2003<br />Text Updated: 20 November, 2008<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 0.2" <br />Purity: >99% <br />Sample from the RGB Set.<br />The Red Green and Blue Company in England sell a very nice element collection in several versions. Max Whitby, the director of the company, very kindly donated a complete set to the periodic table. <br />To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description or the company's website which includes many photographs and pricing details. I have two photographs of each sample from the set: One taken by me and one from the company. You can see photographs of all the samples displayed in a periodic table format: my pictures or their pictures. Or you can see both side-by-sides with bigger pictures in numerical order.<br />The picture on the left was taken by me. Here is the company's version (there is some variation between sets, so the pictures sometimes show different variations of the samples):<br />Source: Max Whitby of RGB<br />Contributor: Max Whitby of RGB<br />Acquired: 25 January, 2003<br />Text Updated: 11 August, 2007<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 0.2" <br />Purity: 99.9% <br />Electrical insulator. <br />Beryllium oxide is used as an electrical insulator because while it doesn't conduct electricity, it does conduct heat very well, which allows it to cool the components it is isolating electrically. It's quite glassy, like a real ceramic, not powdery like many metal oxides. I don't know if that's a basic property of the material, or whether it's somehow vitrified in a matrix of some other ceramic material. The package warns that while this insulator is harmless as supplied, it should not be modified in any way; presumably because of the danger of releasing beryllium oxide powder (beryllium is very toxic in powdered form where it can get into the body).<br />Source: eBay seller billw87<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 8 November, 2002<br />Text Updated: 11 August, 2007<br />Price: $20<br />Size: 9" <br />Purity: 36% <br />X-ray window. <br />This is described as an x-ray tube window. It has a crude edge around it, which I thought might be just the way they are (since the x-ray beam may be exiting though just a small area in the middle). However reader Marten Kooistra from the Netherlands thinks it looks more like someone cut it out of the tube with a screw driver or something. He sent the following picture of a tube he had with a similar window, showing what a window like this looks like in place:<br />Source: eBay seller rubbleshop<br />Contributor: eBay seller rubbleshop<br />Acquired: 4 November, 2002<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 0.5" <br />Purity: >99% <br />Crystalline lumps, 99.9%. <br />Ed Pegg got these little lumps of pure beryllium from Tom Salow.<br />Source: Tom Salow<br />Contributor: Ed Pegg Jr<br />Acquired: 18 July, 2002<br />Text Updated: 4 May, 2007<br />Price: $10/gram<br />Size: 0.4" <br />Purity: 99.9% <br />Londonite-Rhodizite. <br />Description from the source:<br />Londonite-Rhodizite serie ((Cs K Rb) Al4 Be4 (B Be) 12 028 to Rb=0 for the pure Rhodizite cub.), Antandrokomby, Antsirabe`, Madagascar. Perfect isolated crystals. 1x0, 8x0, 7 cm the bigger; 2 g all.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 28 January, 2009<br />Text Updated: 29 January, 2009<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 0.4" <br />Composition: (CsKRb) Al4Be4 (BBe) 12028 <br />Metal salesman's sample pouch. <br />From the eBay item description, which pretty much sums up what this item is:<br />This auction is for a very unusual, what I think would be called a Salesman Sample, of 5 exotic metal disks. The brown plastic case that measures 2.50 in. by 6 in., was received by my Father when he visited the Kawecki Berylco Industries in the 1970's. The company was bought by Cabot Corp. in the late 70's. The disks measure 1.25 in. dia. by .1in. thick. According to the description in the case the 5 metals are Beryllium, Lock alloy, Beryllium Copper, Columbium [an older name for niobium], Tantalum.<br />The individual disks are listed under their respective elements (beryllium for lock alloy, copper for beryllium copper).<br />Source: eBay seller jacav111<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 27 December, 2008<br />Text Updated: 28 December, 2008<br />Price: $134<br />Size: 6" <br />Composition: BeAlCuNbTa <br />Beryl. <br />Description from the source:<br />Beryl ( Be3 Al2 Si6 O18 hex.), Antsongombato, Antananarivo, Madagascar. Partial crystal with good blue-green color. 2,3x2,1x2 cm; 25 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 27 December, 2008<br />Text Updated: 28 December, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 1" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18 <br />Londonite-Rhodizite. <br />Description from the source:<br />Londonite-Rhodizite serie ((Cs K Rb) Al4 Be4 (B Be) 12 028 to Rb=0 for the pure Rhodizite cub.), Antandrokomby, Antsirabe`, Madagascar. Yellow, partially translucent crystals on matrix with tourmaline. I repeat these species also for other elements, but am very interesting and rich in rare elements. 3, 5x2, 5x1, 5 cm; 12 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 19 November, 2008<br />Text Updated: 20 November, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 1.4" <br />Composition: (CsKRb) Al4Be4 (BBe) 12 <br />Photo Card Deck of the Elements.<br />In late 2006 I published a photo periodic table and it's been selling well enough to encourage me to make new products. This one is a particularly neat one: A complete card deck of the elements with one big five-inch (12.7cm) square card for every element. If you like this site and all the pictures on it, you'll love this card deck. And of course if you're wondering what pays for all the pictures and the internet bandwidth to let you look at them, the answer is people buying my posters and cards decks. Hint.<br />Source: Theodore Gray<br />Contributor: Theodore Gray<br />Acquired: 19 November, 2008<br />Text Updated: 21 November, 2008<br />Price: $35<br />Size: 5" <br />Composition: HHeLiBeBCNOFNeNaMg AlSiPSClArKCaScTiVCrMn FeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBrKr RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAg CdInSnSbTeIXeCsBaLaCePr NdPmSmEuGdTbDyHoErTm YbLuHfTaWReOsIrPtAuHgTl PbBiPoAtRnFrRaAcThPaUNp PuAmCmBkCfEsFmMdNoLrRf DbSgBhHsMtDsRgUubUutUuq UupUuhUusUuo <br />Phenakite. <br />Description from the source:<br />Phenakite (Be2 SiO4 trig.), Madagascar. Isolated, prismatic, geminated. 1, 9x1, 4x1, 2 cm; 8 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 26 October, 2008<br />Text Updated: 26 October, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 0.75" <br />Composition: Be2SiO4 <br />Londonite-Rhodizite. <br />Description from the source:<br />Londonite-Rhodizite serie ( (Cs K Rb) Al4 Be4 (B Be)12 028 to Rb=0 for the pure Rhodizite cub.), Antandrokomby, Antsirabe`, Madagascar. Rich in rubidium example, with Tourmaline (probably Liddicoatite). 3, 1x2, 5x2 cm; 22 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 30 September, 2008<br />Text Updated: 1 October, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Composition: (CsKRb) Al4Be4 (BBe) 12028 <br />Chrysoberyl. <br />Description from the source:<br />Chrysoberyl (Be Al2 O4 orth.), Colatinha, Espirito Santo, Brazil. Geminated, purple-greenish color. 2, 2x2x1, 2 cm; 10 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 30 September, 2008<br />Text Updated: 1 October, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 1" <br />Composition: BeAl2O4 <br />Beryl. <br />Description from the source:<br />Beryl ( Be3 Al2 Si6 O18 hex.), Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Not terminated cristal on Quartz with decent color. 6x4,5x4 cm (crystal up to 22 mm); 126 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 30 September, 2008<br />Text Updated: 1 October, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 2.4" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18 <br />Hydroxilherderite. <br />Description from the source:<br />Hydroxilherderite (CaBe(PO4).(OH) mon.), Linopolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Geminated, good rare crystal. 3, 2x2x1, 5 cm; 10 g.<br />Source: Simone Citon<br />Contributor: John Gray<br />Acquired: 26 September, 2008<br />Text Updated: 28 September, 2008<br />Price: Trade<br />Size: 1.25" <br />Composition: CaBe(PO4).(OH) <br />Aquamarine Beryl. (External Sample)<br />The metal beryllium is named after this mineral. It comes in a great variety of shapes and colors.<br />Location: John Gray's Collection<br />Photographed: 16 December, 2004<br />Size: 4" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18 <br />Aquamarine Beryl. (External Sample)<br />The metal beryllium is named after this mineral. It comes in a great variety of shapes and colors.<br />Location: John Gray's Collection<br />Photographed: 11 March, 2003<br />Size: 3" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18 <br />Aquamarine Beryl. (External Sample)<br />The metal beryllium is named after this mineral. I used to say here that beryl was named after beryllium, but reader Jeffrey Shallit kindly pointed out the absurdity of that notion, since the mineral was known and named long before the metal. He writes:<br />The word beryl comes from ancient Greek and according to the OED, first appeared in English in 1305. But beryllium was not discovered until 1797 and the word " beryllium" did not appear in English until 1863.<br />Beryllium the metal is fairly plain looking and toxic, while beryl the mineral is quite beautiful and comes in a great variety of shapes and colors.<br />Location: John Gray's Collection<br />Photographed: 11 March, 2003<br />Size: 3" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18 <br />Aquamarine Beryl from Jensan Set. <br />This sample represents beryllium in the " The Grand Tour of the Periodic Table" mineral collection from Jensan Scientifics. Visit my page about element collecting for a general description, or see photographs of all the samples from the set in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order. <br />Source: Jensan Scientifics<br />Contributor: Jensan Scientifics<br />Acquired: 17 March, 2003<br />Price: Donated<br />Size: 1" <br />Composition: Be3Al2Si6O18<br />