The Power of Beryllium-Aluminum Alloys

From aerospace and defense to commercial applications, Beryllium-Aluminum alloys continue to push the envelope for the engineering and design of mission-critical uses. What makes this alloy so unique and powerful?

NASA’s Best Friend

Beryllium-Aluminum is extraordinarily strong but also lightweight. That makes it ideal for applications where weight reduction is highly prized (such as satellite and other space platforms). Satellite sensors, optical systems, rocket nozzles, and more all benefit from this stronger-than-steel alloy. It is also X-ray transparent, non-magnetic, and non-sparking.

What Makes Beryllium-Aluminum Special?

Beryllium-Aluminum holds its shape under extreme stresses in temperature, atmospheric pressure, and exposure to foreign environments. It’s also self-dampening — which means that it minimizes vibrations. That is why housings for precision optics in aircraft utilize Beryllium-Aluminum, as it greatly increases the optical resolution and range.

Beryllium alloys also yield crisper images from space telescopes. And, it provides lightweight yet sturdy protection for rovers during landings.

Common Uses of Beryllium-Aluminum

IBC Advanced Alloys has perfected a process for manufacturing Beryllium-Aluminum parts using investment casting, which involves pouring molten alloy into a near-net-shape mold and then flash-freezing the part. This process enables these parts to be made much more economically than completing technologies. It enables faster lead times and easy scaling for high-volume production. It allows for the manufacture of parts with complex geometries. It reduces post-production work. And, it minimizes waste, which is a significant problem with traditional computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing..

Any industry that needs high-quality machined parts can benefit from Beryllium-Aluminum:

  • Automotive
  • Agriculture
  • Consumer Products
  • Food Processing
  • Oil and Gas Exploration
  • Medical
  • Mining
  • Robotics

IoT Applications

Beryllium-Aluminum is a significant component used in the manufacture of computer chips increasingly used in precision electronics and communication devices. As the “Internet of Things” continues to grow through chip-enabled phones, laptops, tablets, thermostats, home security systems, wearable devices, household appliances and more — demand for computer chips is rising sharply.

Because Beryllium-Aluminum alloy parts have a high modulus (stiffness) and a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). That means, among other things, that Beryllium-Aluminum parts resist vibration and high stress forces, and don’t change size, shape, or fitting with extreme temperature changes. This makes them key in the manufacturing of high-precision computer chips.

Defense Applications

Another significant sector for Beryllium-Aluminum is military and avionics. Fighter jets, helicopters, ships, missiles, and more rely on parts that can withstand high acceleration and centrifugal forces.

Beryllium-Aluminum alloys add lightness and strength to many aerospace applications. They also are highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation — withstanding rapid environmental changes without losing structural integrity.

The military requires applications that can stand the test of time and extremely demanding operational environments. From aircraft carriers to the F-35 jet to computer information storage devices, Beryllium-Aluminum helps these applications deliver consistent performance in mission-critical situations.

About IBC

IBC Advanced Alloys is a world leader in producing beryllium and copper alloys and custom components made from these alloys. Our metallurgists, engineers, and skilled craftsmen produce parts for use in U.S. defense systems, such as the F-35 jet and next-generation nuclear submarines, as well as in multiple commercial applications.

IBC Advanced Alloys manufactures products to the highest quality standards that are sold into a variety of high-growth global markets. Many of our customers are Fortune 100 companies and leaders in their industry.