Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Beryllium, Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Fathi Habashi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_171
Beryllium is the first member of the alkaline earths but its chemical properties are more similar to aluminum – a property described as “diagonal similarities” (Fig.  1) as discussed below. Beryllium is an expensive metal used in small and specialized industries. Its dust and fumes as well as vapours of its compounds are poisonous to inhale. Its compounds have sweet taste that is why it was initially called “glucinium.” It is fabricated by powder metallurgy techniques because coarse grains tend to develop in the castings causing brittleness and low tensile strength. About 10 % of the metal is used in the metallic form, 80 % in form of beryllium–copper alloys (containing about 2 % Be), or other master alloys, and the remaining 10 % is used as a refractory oxide. In the metallic form it is used as a moderator to slow down fast neutrons in nuclear reactors because of its low atomic weight and low neutron cross section. As an alloy with copper, it is particularly important in...
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  1. Habashi F (2003) Metals from Ores. An Introduction to Extractive Metallurgy, Métallurgie Extractive Québec, Québec City, Canada. Distributed b Laval University Bookstore “Zone”. www.zone.ul.ca
  2. Petzow G et al (1997) In: Habashi F (ed) Handbook of extractive metallurgy. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 955–980Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials EngineeringLaval UniversityQuebec CityCanada