OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

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RONALD
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OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by RONALD » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:35 pm

Berylium is something I have worried about when I melt down scrap mystery metals.

Very toxic.

http://www.afsinc.org/news/news.cfm?ItemNumber=19651

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warmstrong1955
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:06 pm

Where are you running across beryllium?

Bill
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by Harold_V » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:49 pm

warmstrong1955 wrote:Where are you running across beryllium?
Commonly found in copper, often used in making springs of various configurations. They need not be coiled, as those I've made were not.
Spark-proof tools are often made of beryllium copper. What it does for copper is truly amazing.

As noted, above, I've machined such copper on a few occasions, although many years ago. I still have some rems of the stuff.

When I started in the trade, back in '57, there were no controls on its use or machining. Years later, when I did sub-contract work for Litton Guidance and Control, I was informed that workers, there, could work with the stuff for a maximum of 90 days, and could then no longer handle it. Sort of reminds me of asbestos, and how it went from being perfectly acceptable to forbidden.

Harold
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warmstrong1955
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:59 pm

I wouldn't think there would be much around in scrap, as it's wildly expensive.
The copper alloys using beryllium don't contain a lot of the stuff either. 2% to 25% if I remember right, depending on the use. Past that, I thought most was used for aerospace stuff.
Neat metal though....just don't inhale any.... I have a big ol' box of it. Mostly toys & trinkets from experimenting and perfecting the process when my Dad figured out a way to make beryllium ductile. It was back in the space race days in the early 60's. It's quite brittle normally. It was popular then for the heat shield on space capsules for re-entry, after he made a method to form it.

What metallurgists do for kicks. The spoons weigh about the same as a toothpick.
Beryllium.jpg
Bill
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by Harold_V » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:44 am

Interesting. I'd not heard of it being used aside from being part of alloying copper, but it appears to be one of the metals that has seen an expanding market for modern technology, in spite of the hazards associated. I was also not aware of its light weight and it's stiffness. In copper, it permits precipitation hardening for an otherwise non-heat treatable metal.
Anyone interested in reading a brief report of its use in modern technology can follow this link: https://beryllium.com/about-beryllium

Harold
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by TomB » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:31 am

In the late 60's I designed fixtures for holding Saturn Memory support modules during electrical test. To connect to the module spring contacts were needed that would make a good electrical contact to pre-tinned posts that would eventually be soldered to flex-tape connectors. The designer that preceded me used beryllium half round pins that cantilevered against the pins because they would not absorb the solder from the pre-tinning. That did not make a suitable electrical connection. I replaced the beryllium cantilevers with flat stamped contacts that had a v shaped end to center on the posts and a 3 or 4 oz spring to apply pressure. Under a microscope you could see the 'Vee' hit on the pin slightly off center then slide into a centered position. That slide of a stamped edge that I accidentally designed in was enough to make a good connection while the slide of the beryllium pin did not cut the solder oxide.

In these test fixtures there were 1000's of these 2"long .050 diameter beryllium half rounds and I scraped them all. The only comment I got back came from the program managers who wanted to know why did I not change the design before they bought all the precious metal contacts. But that was before they hired me so it was not on my watch.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by warmstrong1955 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:44 am

I don't know a lot of uses for beryllium, past the Mercury & Gemini space capsules, as my father was working with it back then.
Copper alloys, and I guess it's still used in phones and cell phones.
Didn't know about the springs and other things. Interesting....

Normally quite brittle, and the ductility process my Dad figured out was temporary. No idea of that process or how it worked.
Those spoons are back to being brittle like normal. Had a friend of mine break one when he was looking at it. :(

Bill
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NP317
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by NP317 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:48 am

The Lockheed Agena upper stage satellite used solid beryllium curved plates for some of the outer skins.
I do not know the specifics of that material choice for the locations used.
See the black plates to the right of the US flag in the attached photo.
gemini-program-space-photos-scanned-agena-test-vehicle-floating-earth_47257_600x450.jpg
As a high school Explorer Scout (1967) I got to handle some of those expensive plates during a private tour of one of Lockheed's research areas.
The plate was incredibly light and very brittle. We were cautioned not to drop one or it would shatter.
No mention was made of material toxicity, and I'm still alive... Perhaps its refined solid form is relatively inert.
~RN

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warmstrong1955
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by warmstrong1955 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:55 am

As I recall, it's the dust that is bad, if you inhale it. So machine it, grind it, whatever, there can be a problem without the proper PPE.
I don't think the finished beryllium is hazardous, but with OSHA....who knows. They think Mother's milk is a carcinogen.
;)
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SteveM
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by SteveM » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:01 pm

I remember my dad had some beryllium copper sheet in the shop for springs. I remember him warning me, even decades ago, not to machine it.
warmstrong1955 wrote:They think Mother's milk is a carcinogen.
Michael Bloomberg would have banned Mother's milk if the "container" was larger than 16 ounces.

Steve

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warmstrong1955
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by warmstrong1955 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:24 pm

SteveM wrote: Michael Bloomberg would have banned Mother's milk if the "container" was larger than 16 ounces.
Steve
:)
No kidding!!!
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NP317
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Re: OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

Post by NP317 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:28 pm

SteveM wrote:[snip]

Michael Bloomberg would have banned Mother's milk if the "container" was larger than 16 ounces.

Steve
That sucks...
:D
~RN

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