Cloissone wire

Hi Orcadians from a wanabe enameller. The book I am using says that I
should not use electrical cable as cloisonn� wire because it contains
Beryllium. So I won’t. Can any tell me why I should not use copper
wire containing Beryllium? Regards to you all.
Dave from Grimsby UK

Hi Dave, I’m writing off line because of speed. I’m an amateur
enameller and have many books on the subject but have never read
comment. What’s your reference? Beryllium metal is toxic. I used to
use it for special purposes and had to make sure I never touched it.

David P

I don’t know anything about the beryllium dangers or problems but
cloisonn� wire is fine silver with doesn’t oxidize, is thin and
short. It bends easily to go around corners ad bends. It has a higher
melting point than sterling. A round wire will not make as nice of
bends so unless you want the copper color or the width go with the
fine sliver cloisonn� wire. It’s hard enough to be a beginner without
making problems for yourself with tools or materials. The wire is

Marilyn Smith

What book is this? Beryllium would definately not be a common alloy
with copper for electrical wire. Alloys of copper exhibit reduced
conductivity even when the second metal is in very low concentration.
Beryllium is especialy not desired where high conductivity is required
such as electrical cables. Beryllium copper is used where a very hard
stiff high strength corrosion resistant alloy is required i.e. for non
sparking tools , springs, gears, bearings etc. A remark to not use
Berrylium copper is a wise one since the fumes are toxic but it
wont’be found in electrical cable.


Can any tell me why I should not use copper wire containing

Because beryllium (Be) is extremely toxic, and can be shed as fumes
when the copper alloy is heated. Not to mention dust generated
during cutting, filing, polishing, etc.


Hi Jesse; I don’t know about copper being used in electrical wire, it
seems unlikely, but there is a common application of it in electrical
applications. My father worked in a Beryllium plant. They made
copper springs, used to press the brushes to the communtator in large
motors. The beryllium in the copper made the copper very springy, as
you describe. He got a bad case of berylium poisoning from inhaling
the dust. It almost killed him, but there was no lasting damage. He
left the position immediately after that.

David L. Huffman

Electrical wire does not contain Beryllium. Beryllium Copper is used
in the electronics industry as a spring material. It looks like brass
and is very hard and springy it is normally found in sheet form. You
would have great difficulty in bending it for cloisonne wire due to
its hardness. I worked with the stuff for years in the electronics
industry you do need to take precautions with it but it is generally
only a problem if it is in dust form and inhaled or ingested.

James Binnion Metal Arts

Member of the Better Business Bureau

Hello tas, Don’t be afraid of the beryllium in the copper, it is very
well bonded in the crystal matrix of the copper. And it can come out
only when you overheat the copper when you melt it. (to boiling the
stuff). Also the polishing dust is still copper bindet. Beryllium is
used to make copper springs, and copper tool who do not give of sparks
and static electricity. It is used in explosion dangerous
environments, like fire work manufacturers.