Discovered in 1797 by N.L. Vauquelin in Paris, but not extracted until 1828 by Wöhler (Berlin) and A.A.B. Bussy (Paris). Beryllium is a light and lustrous metal which is obtained by the electrolysis of a fused halide (e.g. BeCl₂). It is resistant to attack by air or water, even at elevated temperatures (red heat). Beryllium is non-magnetic, is a good thermal conductor and is used as an alloying addition to copper or nickel, the alloys having excellent thermal, mechanical and electrical properties; in addition, when alloyed with nickel, the resultant Be/Ni alloy has the highest coefficient for secondary electron emission (12.3). Applications for pure beryllium include its use as windows in X-ray tubes and as a source of neutrons when bombarded with alpha particles, a technique used by Chadwick in 1932 in their discovery. Beryllium and its compounds are highly toxic, inhalation of the dust resulting in berylliosis, an inflammation of the lungs.
Powder - Small particles with an approximately defined size range. Those materials described as alloy precursors are not true alloys - they are made by sintering a blend of powders of the component metals to achieve alloying by diffusion. The resultant cake is ground and sieved to the required particle size range. Unless otherwise stated, the particle sizes shown are for guidance only. We do not guarantee either any particular size distribution between the quoted minimum and maximum sizes, or a specific particle shape.