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Uses for Beryllium in Communications

Beryllium is used in the manufacture of telecommunications infrastructure equipment, computers and cellular phones, thereby helping people around the world to keep in touch.

Telecommunications System

Connecting continents. On the ocean floor, copper beryllium housings protect the electronics that allow fiber optic cables to function flawlessly. These barrel-like housings, which resist highly corrosive sea water and extreme pressures, show little deterioration even after decades of service.

Enabling multi-function devices. On the ground and through the air, society stays connected thanks to beryllium and beryllium-containing materials:

  • Battery contacts and electronic connectors in cell phones and portable electronics are made with copper beryllium alloys. The material meets stringent requirements for durability, weight savings, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance in all extremes of weather and temperature.
  • Copper beryllium alloys provide “spring memory” that ensures continuous, fatigue-free electrical connections through constant use, openings and closings, vibrations and accidental drops.
  • The low electrical resistance and high thermal conductivity of beryllium-containing materials supports the convergence and miniaturization of multiple functions – phone, camera, MP3 player – into a single, lightweight, compact device.

Advancing digital technology. High-performance processors pack more and denser layers of high-frequency circuits into smaller packages. That means higher processing speeds and better performance for personal computers, routers, and the internet, as well as radars, avionics, and defense systems. The exceptional thermal conductivity and insulating properties of beryllia ceramic protect these systems from the potentially crippling effects of intense heat generation. With thermal conductivity up to 10 times greater than that of alumina ceramic, beryllia ceramics remain the insulators of choice for such high-frequency circuits.