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topic 12468

Beryllium copper hazards?


What are the hazards, if any and the machining characteristics of beryllium copper? I know this is not related to plating, but I thought I would ask. Our company does job shop CNC machining.

Edsel Roberts
LTEK Industries, Inc. - Ann Arbor, Michigan


Few to very few unless you are getting it very hot in machining. Get a MSDS sheet from the vendor that you will buy the copper from. Under the exact wrong conditions you might get too much beryllium in your cutting fluid and have to treat it as haz waste. It is a slow build up, so dump the cutting fluid before it reaches haz level. You might not have any problem with it at all.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


Hello Edsel!

Both Brush Wellman and NGK metals have information on their sites on this topic. Additionally Brush Wellman has set up a site specifically on health and safety issues called "befacts". Realize that they make and sell these alloys, so as to understand the direction of their bias.

So, please machine and grind your beryllium copper wet- Ted likes to keep his readers.

Good luck!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart

January 15, 2008

Hazards of one time exposure to BeCu dust. I work in plant w/some alloy usage BeCu is a concern. What are recommended handling
procedures when polishing needs to be done? Also I inhaled some dust from a grinding
procedure into nose causing irritation to sinuses.Should any specific action be taken?

Marcus Schave
tool shop/polishing - Kohler, Wisconsin

January 15, 2008

Although we are not industrial hygienists or M.D.s, I see no problem in discussing the general issue on this forum, Marcus. But when you are talking about an exposure that has happened, there is a temptation to judge the seriousness of it by the sense of urgency in the feedback, and that can be a huge mistake. This is a public forum and someone may see this page today or no one may even stumble across it for a month. The very least I'd do is go to a doctor.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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