Beryllium copper (BeCu), also known as copper beryllium (CuBe), is a copper alloy with 0.5—3% beryllium and sometimes with other alloying elements.
Beryllium copper combines high strength with non-magnetic and non-sparking qualities. It has many specialized applications in tools for hazardous environments, musical instruments, precision measurement devices, bullets, and aerospace. Beryllium-containing alloys create an inhalation hazard during manufacturing due to their toxic properties.
Disadvantages of Copper Beryllium
Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) primarily affects the lungs. CBD may occur among people who are exposed to the dust or fumes from beryllium metal, metal oxides, alloys, ceramics or salts. It occurs when people inhale beryllium in these forms.
CBD usually has a very slow onset, and even very small amounts of exposure to beryllium can cause the disease in some people.
In some cases, CBD develops while workers are still on the job, but in others it may not develop until many years after a person has stopped working in the beryllium industry, or has been transferred to a job that does not involve beryllium exposure.