Although beryllium copper and copper shares some similarities in name and characteristics, they are both different enough where the two materials should not be used interchangeably. Beryllium copper (BeCu) is a copper alloy that is combined with other metals, such as cobalt, iron, nickel, lead, and most commonly beryllium. Combining copper with other metals gives BeCu many unique properties.
Copper is known as a soft metal, whereas BeCu is used for its strength. Beryllium copper has the highest strength rating of any copper-based alloy. BeCu is frequently used to make springs because the alloy can be age hardened to very high levels of hardness (after being formed). Beryllium copper can be formed both against and with the grain.
Beryllium copper is known and used for its wide-reaching industrial applications that are typically used for making internal components. Copper is mainly used for appearance, whereas BeCu is used for hardness and fatigue strength.
Copper is 100% conductive, but beryllium copper ranges between 15-30%. It is not common for metals to need such high conductivity when combining the that with the need for the other desirable qualities of beryllium copper.
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