beryllium


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beryllium

(bərĭl`ēəm) [from beryl ], metallic chemical element; symbol Be; at. no. 4; at. wt. 9.01218; m.p. about 1,278°C;; b.p. 2,970°C; (estimated); sp. gr. 1.85 at 20°C;; valence +2. Beryllium is a strong, extremely light, high-melting, silver-gray metal with a close-packed hexagonal crystalline structure. It is an alkaline-earth metalalkaline-earth metals,
metals constituting Group 2 of the periodic table. Generally, they are softer than most other metals, react readily with water (especially when heated), and are powerful reducing agents, but they are exceeded in each of these properties by the
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 in Group 2 of the periodic tableperiodic table,
chart of the elements arranged according to the periodic law discovered by Dmitri I. Mendeleev and revised by Henry G. J. Moseley. In the periodic table the elements are arranged in columns and rows according to increasing atomic number (see the table entitled
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. Beryllium is resistant to corrosion; weight for weight, it is stronger than steel, and because of its low density (about 1/3 that of aluminum) it has found extensive use in the aerospace industry.

Beryllium is soluble in hot nitric acid, dilute hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, and sodium hydroxide. Like aluminum and magnesium, which it resembles chemically, it readily forms compounds with other elements; it is not found free in nature. However, like aluminum, it is resistant to oxidation in air, even at a red heat; it is thought to form a protective oxide film that prevents further oxidation. The compounds of beryllium are sweet-tasting and highly toxic; this toxicity has limited the use of beryllium as a rocket fuel, even though it yields more heat on combustion for its weight than any other element.

Beryllium transmits X rays much better than glass or other metals; this property, together with its high melting point, makes it desirable as a window material for high-intensity X-ray tubes. Because beryllium resists attack by liquid sodium metal, it is employed in cooling systems of nuclear reactors that use liquid sodium as the heat-transfer material; because it is a good reflector and absorber of neutrons, it is also used as a shield and as a moderator in nuclear reactors.

The addition of 2% to 3% of beryllium to copper makes a nonmagnetic alloy six times stronger than pure copper. This alloy is used to make nonsparking tools for use in oil refineries and other places where sparks constitute a fire hazard; it is also used for small mechanical parts, such as camera shutters. When beryllium is alloyed with other metals such as aluminum or gold it yields substances with a higher melting point, greater hardness and strength, and lower density than the metal with which it is alloyed.

Beryllium aluminum silicates, especially berylberyl
, mineral, a silicate of beryllium and aluminum, Be3Al2Si6O18, extremely hard, occurring in hexagonal crystals that may be of enormous size and are usually white, yellow, green, blue, or colorless.
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 (of which emeraldemerald,
the green variety of beryl, of which aquamarine is the blue variety. Chemically, it is a beryllium-aluminum silicate whose color is due to small quantities of chromium compounds.
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 and aquamarineaquamarine
[Lat.,=seawater], transparent beryl with a blue or bluish-green color. Sources of the gems include Brazil, Siberia, the Union of Myanmar, Madagascar, and parts of the United States. Oriental aquamarine is a transparent crystalline corundum with a bluish tinge.
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 are varieties), constitute the chief sources of the metal. Although its ores occur widely in North America, Europe, and Africa, the cost of extracting the metal limits its commercial use. Beryllium may be prepared by electrolysis of its fused salts; it is prepared commercially by reduction of the fluoride with magnesium metal.

Beryllium was discovered in 1798 as the oxide beryllia by L. N. Vauquelin, a French chemist. Vauquelin analyzed beryl and emerald at the urging of R. J. Haüy, a French mineralogist, who had noted that their optical properties were identical. Beryllium was first isolated in 1828 independently by F. Wöhler in Germany and W. Bussy in France by fusing beryllium chloride with metallic potassium.

beryllium

[bə′ril·ē·əm]
(chemistry)
A chemical element, symbol Be, atomic number 4, atomic weight 9.0122.
(metallurgy)
A rare metal, occurring naturally in combinations, with density about one-third of aluminum; used most commonly in the manufacture of beryllium-copper alloys which find numerous industrial and scientific applications.

beryllium

a corrosion-resistant toxic silvery-white metallic element that occurs chiefly in beryl and is used mainly in X-ray windows and in the manufacture of alloys. Symbol: Be; atomic no.: 4; atomic wt.: 9.012; valency: 2; relative density: 1.848; melting pt.: 1289°C; boiling pt.: 2472°C
References in periodicals archive ?
On the basis of geographic regions, global Beryllium Aluminum Alloy market is segmented into seven key market segments namely North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan, and Middle East & Africa.
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After a 1943 outbreak of berylliosis among workers and neighbors of a beryllium plant in Lorain, Ohio threatened precisely the public relations fiasco that the AEC feared, it took steps to reduce exposures to beryllium at beryllium processing and weapons manufacturing plants throughout the country.
Sharing authorship with product defense specialists, beryllium industry-associated scientists published a series of papers suggesting it was possible that beryllium particle size, or particle surface area, or particle number, are more important than previously thought in the development of beryllium disease.
Hundreds of workers in various private industries have already died of chronic beryllium disease (CBD), a fast-progressing, debilitating and potentially fatal lung disease in those whose immune systems have become sensitized following exposure to the substance.
The AIHA will make samples of beryllium available to laboratories that analyze workplace samples.
But many former employees left disappointed, because while they worked with some of the dangerous substances - particularly beryllium, a metal whose dust can cause fatal lung disease - they did so under Department of Defense or other contracts, but not for the DOE.
The Beryllium processor is, according to Virata, the industry's first 'ADSL home router on a chip', integrating the company's Helium communications processor and an ADSL physical layer transceiver onto a single chip.
A natural, non-magnetic metal found in beryl and bertandite rock, beryllium is extremely lightweight and hard, and is a good conductor of electricity and heat.
The benefits of beryllium include its high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios.
Beryllium copper has been used as a mold material for plastics since 1935.
Materion will provide these high performance coatings on any currently utilized substrate including glasses, ceramics, beryllium, composites and crystal materials.