Acceptance of Beryllium by EU RoHS can Boost Innovation in Electronic Products

Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:23am EDT

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Acceptance of Beryllium by EU RoHS can Boost Innovation in Electronic Products

The decision not to restrict the use of beryllium and beryllium oxide under the newly revised European Union RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) list of restricted substances will help ensure affordable, high-quality performance of the next generation electronic products, according to W. Glenn Maxwell, President, Materion Brush Performance Alloys. The exclusion followed a thorough review and consideration of a range of materials by authorities in Europe.

“Beryllium metal, beryllium-containing alloys and beryllium oxide ceramic are used in critical applications that are vital to electronic technology,” said Maxwell. “They offer property combinations not available in other materials, and allow designers to achieve world-class levels of innovation, performance, energy efficiency and reliability.”

“The decision not to include beryllium on the list underscores the conclusion of the leading European research and consultancy institute working for a sustainable future that beryllium and beryllium oxide ceramic, and therefore copper beryllium and nickel beryllium alloys, do not constitute significant health and environmental risks when used in electrical and electronic equipment,” he said. While authorities reviewed beryllium and other materials in electronic products under the RoHS process, beryllium-containing materials are widely used without health and environmental risks in many other end-use applications in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Beryllium is a naturally occurring element that is present in the earth’s crust. Beryllium metal is used to provide unique physical and mechanical properties which offer unrivaled end-use performance benefits throughout the electronics, aerospace, energy, defense and homeland security, medical and other industries.

Copper beryllium (CuBe) alloys are the most widely used beryllium-containing materials in mobile phones and other electronic equipment. CuBe alloys, which contain less than 2 percent beryllium, are used in mobile phones and high-performance electronic devices to increase electrical and thermal conductivity, enhance product performance, increase reliability, and facilitate miniaturization of components and products. Consequently, products manufactured with CuBe alloys are more efficient, conserve energy and natural resources, and increase product life.

Materion Brush Performance Alloys is a business of Materion Corporation (NYSE:MTRN), which, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, supplies highly engineered advanced enabling materials to global markets. Products include precious and non-precious specialty metals, inorganic chemicals and powders, specialty coatings, specialty engineered beryllium alloys, beryllium and beryllium composites, and engineered clad and plated metal systems.

For more information, visit www.Materion.com.

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