Beryllium Oxide Safety
BeO ceramic is utilized for its proven superior properties and its cost effectiveness is unmatched by aluminum nitride, aluminum oxide, boron nitride, silicon carbide or any ceramic.
Safety concerns may have you evaluating possible substitutions for beryllia. But the fact is, there are no substitutes—without sacrifice. No other ceramic material can compare to the properties of beryllia, without sacrificing performance and cost-effectiveness.
Beryllia is the best ceramic thermal conductor and competes with the most conductive metals (see beryllium oxide properties and beryllium oxide thermal conductivity). Electrical isolation is equivalent to that of alumina and the best electrical insulators. A 20% lower dielectric constant than alumina and aluminum nitride offers advantages in the high-frequency field. Its high chemical and temperature stability in harsh environments has been proven in over sixty years of service.
Click here for Beryllium Oxide MSDS from American Beryllia.
Beryllia (in its purest form) is processed in locally ventilated areas within controlled environments. From there, BeO compacts are fired to form ceramic materials. Once fired into a finished part, beryllia can be handled with complete safety.
Exposure to fine, airborne beryllium oxide powder or dust in sufficiently large concentrations, may cause a lung disease in a small number of hypersensitive people.
With proper precautions, BeO ceramics can be safely ground, lapped, machined, drilled, metalized or subjected to any dust or fume producing operation.
Industrial hygiene procedures have been established to regulate the processing of beryllium oxide and other ceramic materials (i.e. aluminum nitride, boron nitride) at producer plants. Firms utilizing beryllia in solid ceramic form are not exposed to any potential hazards posed by powdered materials. Simple and inexpensive environmental controls have been effectively used since standards have been adopted.
Normal precautionary steps are taken to protect product from damage in shipment, including the protection of beryllia parts to avoid grinding and crushing during transport.
Parts are shipped in properly identified containers; thoroughly cleaned before shipment; and packaged to prevent generation of particles during shipment and handling.
Beryllium oxide ceramics should be stored with the same care and precautions as other electronic materials. Beryllia is inert and completely safe in solid form.
American Beryllia will take back and dispose of BeO ceramics in a safe manner.
Finished parts of BeO ceramic are completely safe to handle and use. American Beryllia is committed to: (1) maintaining the highest health and safety standards; (2) working with customers to assure knowledgeable and safe handling; (3) encouraging the continued use of beryllia in present and developing applications.
- Beryllium oxide ceramics are not a hazardous waste under Federal law.
- Beryllia ceramics are the highest performing and often the most cost-effective material available for thermal management, while retaining electrical insulation. There are no substitutes.
- A wealth of information is available from American Beryllia at 973-248-8080.