Copper-beryllium alloys offer a combination of mechanical and electrical properties which is unique for copper alloys. The mechanical strength achieved after heat treatment ranks highest among all copper alloy materials and is combined with an electrical conductivity which outperforms that of bronzes. In order to best meet the different needs of the electrical engineering, connector and watch industries, a full range of copper-beryllium alloys is rolled at Lamineries MATTHEY. In extreme cases, when the spring properties are critical even at high temperatures, nickel-beryllium is used as the solution of choice.
This alloy which contains approximatively 2 % of beryllium and achieves the highest mechanical strength and hardness after heat treatment of all copper beryllium alloys. In soft or slightly re-rolled condition, it exhibits excellent bending behaviour. It distinguishes itself by high fatigue strength, outstanding relaxation resistance at elevated temperatures and a unique combination of high strength and excellent electrical conductivity.
Lamineries MATTHEY also supply mill hardened CuBe2 alloys, the so-called alloy 190. When using this alloy, heat treatment at the customer is no longer necessary, preventing also the distorsion of the finished product. Alloy 190 provides outstanding bending behaviour, which however varies according to the different tempers.
It is identical to a version of lead-containing alloy 25 and achieves the same exceptional strength after hardening. This alloy is supplied as wires and rods which are mainly employed for machined products. Its low lead content improves its machinability (shorter chips and reduced wear of tools). The alloy is normally hardened after machining. It can however be soft-annealed again so that it can be crimped and electroplated. This alloy distinguishes by high endurance limit, outstanding relaxation resistance at exposure to heat and a unique strength-conductivity ratio.
Compared to alloy 25 and 190 it contains only a low beryllium content. Thus, it shows a medium mechanical strength while electric conductivity is high. The alloy 3 can be hardened and provides outstanding bending behaviour in unhardened condition. Factory-annealing is also possible for alloy 3, thereby slightly reducing the formability, whilst heat treatment of the finished products is not necessary.
Copper alloy with low beryllium content. It contains only few alloy elements: Beryllium and cobalt. Alloy 174 combines outstanding electric conductivity with high mechanical strength (typical values: 50% et 750N/mm2 Alloy 174 is supplied hardened so that a later heat treatment of the products is not necessary. This reduces production costs and prevents the deformation of the finished products. Although alloy 174 is supplied in hardened condition, it shows excellent bending behaviour. This alloy distinguishes by excellent bending behaviour in connection with mechanical strength and conductivity, which outperforms any other copper alloy of this price level.
This alloy is an innovation of Brush Wellman. It is supplied hardened and offers very high mechanical strength and in relation to this strength exceptionally high electric conductivity.
Alloy 360 is a Nickel alloy containing approximatively 2 % of beryllium. It is used for all applications that require good elastical properties at elevated temperatures. Mechanical strength is rather high and when hardened is even higher than that of alloy 25.