Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Beryllium, pp. 111-114 PDF (464.0 KB)
112 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 CONSUMPTION AND USES In 1978-79 the domestic beryllium industry consumed beryllium ore equivalent to 5,918 and 9,518 tons of beryl, respectively, containing a nominal 11% BeO. Products utilizing beryllium-copper alloys accounted for the greatest quantity of beryllium consumption. These alloys were used by the business machine, appliance, transportation, and communications industries. Beryllium-copper alloys were also widely used in electrical and electronic systems for connectors, sockets, switches, and temperature- and pressure-sensing devices to provide reliability and long service life. Beryllium oxide (beryllia) ceramics were used in lasers, microwave tubes, and semiconductors, primarily for heat dissipation. Beryllia was used also as a substrate in various electronic devices and equipment. Beryllium metal, with its high stiffnessto-weight ratio and excellent thermal properties, was used in items such as inertial navigation systems, satellite structures, space optics, nuclear devices, and military aircraft brakes. STOCKS Consumer stocks of beryllium minerals containing 11% BeO totaled 1,346 tons at yearend 1978, and 835 tons at yearend 1979. The drawdown of beryllium mineral year- end stocks reflected increased beryllium mineral consumption and the low quantity of beryllium mineral imports. PRiCES AND SPECIFICATIONS From January 1978 to the end of August 1978, Metals Week quoted the price of imported beryl at $40 to $42 per short ton unit of contained BeO. For the remainder of 1978, imported beryl was quoted at $45 to $50 per short ton unit. At the beginning of 1979, beryl ore price went to $50 to $53 per short ton unit and remained at that level throughout 1979. At yearend 1978, the American Metal Market quoted the following prices for beryllium materials: Vacuum-cast ingot, $120 per pound; metal beads (1,000-pound lots), $93 per pound; metal powder (5,000-pound lots), $103 per pound; beryllium-copper master alloy, $67 per pound of contained beryllium; beryllium-copper casting alloy, $2.75 to $3.40 per pound; beryllium-copper in rod, bar and wire, $4.79 per pound; beryllium- copper in strip, $4.77 per pound; beryllium- aluminum alloy ingot (100,000 pound lots), $83 per pound; and beryllium oxide powder, $26 per pound. All beryllium metal quotations were for 97%-purity metal. At the end of 1979, the price quotations for vacuum-cast ingot, metal beads and powder, and oxide remained unchanged. Other beryllium categories were as follows: Beryllium-copper master alloy, $72.50 per pound of contained beryllium; berylliumcopper rod, bar and wire, $5.56 per pound; beryllium-copper strip, $5.54 per pound; beryllium-aluminum alloy, $98 per pound. FOREIGN TRADE Although the quantity of wrought and unwrought beryllium alloys and waste and scrap exports declined in 1978-79, the annual average value of exports increased, indicating that greater quantities of finished forms of beryllium metal and alloy were exported. Beryl was the only beryllium mineral ore imported. The average value of the import- ed material rose from $399 per ton in 1977, to $404 per ton in 1978, and $471 per ton in 1979. In addition, 1,455 pounds of wrought, unwrought and waste and scrap beryllium metal valued at $11,226 was imported from Mexico and France in 1978, and 2,107 pounds valued at $9,182 from Canada and the United Kingdom in 1979.
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