Widely found in products used throughout society, beryllium improves the way we live and work. A naturally occurring element, beryllium is one-third lighter than aluminum, yet has six times the specific stiffness of steel. Beryllium is the fourth element on the Periodic Table with the symbol “Be”.
While it is still unknown to many, this amazing, almost magical metal imparts remarkable physical and performance qualities to its end-use products making for a better, more connected and safer world.
The three primary forms of beryllium produced are: pure beryllium metal, alloys containing small amounts of beryllium and beryllia ceramics.
Only the United States, China and Kazakhstan process commercial quantities of beryllium from ore into pure beryllium metal or other beryllium-containing materials. Currently, the only fully integrated producer (from mine to mill fabrication), Brush Wellman Inc., is located in the U.S.
The unique properties of this lightweight metal make it a critical enabler of modern technologies extensively used throughout aerospace, defense, telecommunications and computer, energy exploration, medical diagnostic and other advanced applications.
When compared to the ancient histories of metals such as gold, copper and lead, beryllium is a relative newcomer. Though beryllium was discovered in the late 18th century, its unique properties and commercial value were not recognized until the 1920s.