The element beryllium, is very hazerdous when ingested or inhaled.
It causes a wide range of problems. Do not under any circumstances
work with the copper alloys containing beryllium without full
knowledge of the safety precautions necessary for its safe
handling. It is used extensively in the nuclear industry and they
have developed a long sad list of problems it causes. It is a known
human carcinogen and causes a chronic pulmonary disease Here is a
link to the MSDS for beryllium
While there are industrial solutions that require its use it has
no place in a metalsmiths studio.
Folks....Underscore what Mr. Binnion is saying....
Even though the metal is Beryllium Copper.....and, as an alloy it
binds itself pretty much up... If you play with melting or grinding
and polishing the stuff...
Beryllium even has it's very own disease condition....beryliosis....
A horrible, and ugly way to go... Usually takes high level or long
exposure to develope, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to take the
Industrial uses I've seen is for tools that are impervious to high
strength magnetic fields, or where you can't have a tool causing a
spark, in it's use....
Think you also find it in some ceramics, and other, high tech
As a wrench or hammer....BeCu......is not as safe as, say, Ampco
Metal (Al-Bronze) tools, to use.....but there are cases where the
tool rquirements are such that one can't get away from the BeCu and
have a durable, functional tool....
BeCu tools are considered "safety" tools.........with a warning.....
Gary W. Bourbonais