[time-nuts] beryllium oxide

Hal Murray hmurray at megapathdsl.net
Fri Jan 16 13:09:02 EST 2009


> Beryliosis.

The problem that I'm familiar with is dust made when machining beryllium.  In 
the 60s, MIT had a whole building that was full of the stuff leftover from 
machining parts for the Polaris guidance system.  Beryllium is light and 
stiff, good for making gyros.

Beryllium oxide is a ceramic similar to aluminum oxide.  I expect it's being 
used as an insulator with good thermal conductivity.  I'd expect that to be 
safe.

There might be troubles if you break it or grind it.  (It would probably 
ignore sandpaper.)

>From an AAVID web page:
  http://www.aavidthermalloy.com/products/standard/access/beryllium.shtml

Beryllium oxide is chemically inert and completely safe to use in its fired 
state. Handling of finished parts presents absolutely no health hazards.

Beryllium oxide,however, is toxic when dust, mist or fumes containing 
particles small enough to enter the lungs are inhaled. Therefore, grindings, 
sanding, and pulverizing the material should be avoided.

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Max temp is 2149C/3900F.  I guess it won't have any troubles in OXCOs.  :)



-- 
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