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An Introduction to Beryllium Oxide Ceramics

Introduction of Beryllium Oxide

Beryllium oxide (BeO) is an extremely stable ceramic used in a variety of applications due to its good electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity. The inorganic compound beryllium oxide (BeO), sometimes referred to as beryllium, has the formula BeO. Beryllium oxide as an amorphous solid is white. Natural occurrences of beryllium oxide include the mineral bromellite. Due to its sweet flavor, beryllium oxide has also been referred to as glucina or glucinium oxide historically and in materials science. Only diamond outperforms it in terms of thermal conductivity and electrical insulation. Due to its excellent thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity, BeO is a very stable ceramic that is employed in a range of applications. They find widespread usage in the aerospace, electronics, communications, electric vacuum, and power industries. BeO has the same level of electrical isolation as alumina, aluminum nitride, and numerous other electrical insulators. BeO has advantages for use in high-frequency sectors since it has a 20% lower dielectric constant than alumina and aluminum nitride. It is more affordable than materials like silicon carbide, boron nitride, and aluminum oxide. Still, it has demonstrated superior qualities.

Common Properties of Beryllium Oxide

  1. At roughly 7.5 in./in./°C for the temperature range of 25°C–1000°C, BeO's Coefficient of Thermal Expansion is comparable to several other ceramics and many metals.
  2. BeO is one of the most chemically stable oxides, resisting both carbon reduction and molten metal attack at high temperatures, except for reactivity with water vapor at high temperatures (1000°C).
  3. BeO has strong thermal conductivity and a reasonably very good thermal shock resistance. The density of beryllium oxide is exactly 25% less than that of alumina. Theoretically, BeO has a density of 3.01g/cc, Al2O3 of 4g/cc, and AlN of 3.26g/cc.
  4. In comparison to alumina, the mechanical strength is often lower. Its fracture toughness is typically half that of alumina, but with appropriate design and controlled fabrication procedures, BeO can be used in commercial applications with acceptable strength.
  5. With a bulk resistivity of 1016 cm, BeO is categorized as an electrical insulator, however, its mechanical strength is often lower than alumina.

In general, the mechanical strength of BeO is less than that of alumina. Although BeO's fracture toughness is typically roughly half that of alumina, with appropriate design and careful production, BeO can be made to have adequate strength for commercial uses.

Applications of Beryllium Oxide

BeO ceramics' excellent process adaptability, high thermal conductivity, high insulation, low dielectric constant, and low medium loss make it applicable in vacuum electronics, microelectronics, photoelectron technology, and beryllium oxide.

Integrated circuits and high-power electronics

BeO ceramics are currently used in high-performance, high-power microwave packaging, high-frequency electronic transistor packaging, and high-circuit density multi-chip components. By using BeO materials, the heat generated in the system can be promptly dissipated, ensuring the stability and dependability of the system.

Nuclear reactor

One of the most crucial materials used in nuclear reactors is ceramic material. Ceramic materials are exposed to radiation from beta rays and high-energy particles in reactors and converters. As a result, ceramic materials also need to be more structurally stable in addition to being resistant to high temperatures and corrosion. BeO, B4C, or graphite are typically used as the nuclear fuel's neutron reflector and moderator.

Metallurgical crucible

BeO ceramics are a refractory material. Additionally, BeO ceramic crucibles can be used for melting rare and precious metals, particularly when a high-purity metal or alloy is required. These crucibles have a working temperature of up to 2000 °C. BeO ceramics can be utilized for molten glaze and plutonium due to their high melting temperature (2550 °C), good chemical stability (alkali), thermal stability, and purity.

Beryllium Oxide Crucible

Toxicity in the Production of BeO

BeO has the potential to produce berylliosis, a persistent allergic-type lung illness, and is carcinogenic in powdered form. If not subjected to machining that produces dust, it is safe to handle once it has been burned into a solid form. Although clean breakage doesn't produce much dust, crushing or grinding operations can be dangerous. The fact that beryllium oxide dust is harmful to humans cannot be overlooked, even if high-purity beryllium oxide ceramics are very safe. This is comparable to the fact that while plastics themselves do not emit poisons when used, the materials they are made of frequently do. However, beryllium oxide ceramics do not specifically impair human health. China is one of the nations that classify beryllium oxide powder as a harmful good. The toxicity of beryllium oxide ceramic powder must be fully understood if you want to avoid pollution and threats as much as possible. The regulatory agencies also play an important role in helping to coordinate the use of beryllium oxide dust. Registration of beryllium oxide use also includes establishing practical and efficient beryllium oxide operating instructions and increasing investment in the safety protection of beryllium oxide production businesses and employees.


The combination of the physical and chemical characteristics of beryllium oxide makes it very useful in several applications, such as Integrated circuits and high-power electronics, nuclear reactors, and metallurgical crucibles. Contrary to popular speculations, beryllium oxide ceramics are not hazardous, despite beryllium oxide's toxicity. As an extremely stable ceramic, it is used in a variety of applications due to its high electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity. Thank you for reading our article and we hope it can help you to have a better understanding of BeO ceramics. Advanced Ceramic Materials (ACM) supplies high-quality ceramic powder and related products to meet our customers’ R&D and production needs. Please visit for more information.

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