Considerations for Specific Operations

Considerations for Specific Operations

BeST has developed safety practices for specific operations as detailed below. In addition, BeST has developed communications on the results of case studies performed on specific operations where copper beryllium (CuBe) alloys are processed that provide the reader with information on exposure and exposure control options such as work practice, administrative and engineering controls.

Specific Operations

Drilling, Boring, Milling, Turning, Tapping, Reaming, Sawing, etc.

Copper beryllium is a ductile metal that machines easily, generally producing large chips and turnings.  Processes that generate large particles are usually performed in an open shop environment with no special ventilation or housekeeping practices required.  Machining processes that do generate small particles must be controlled with appropriate work practices and engineering controls.  BeST has prepared a Safety Bulletin “Safety Practices for Machining Copper Beryllium Alloys” for use by end users.  Additionally, a more detailed guide for machining copper beryllium alloys for use by end users is offered.

Additional Information:

Sanding, Grinding, Buffing, Lapping and Polishing

These machining processes are capable of generating small particles.  These processes must be controlled with appropriate work practices and engineering controls.  BeST has prepared a Safety Bulletin “Safety Practices for Sanding, Grinding, Buffing, Lapping and Polishing Copper Beryllium Alloys” for use by end users.  BeST has also prepared a case study report on benching operations.

Additional Information:

Stamping Copper Beryllium Alloys

Copper beryllium alloys are stamped into a variety of shapes, sizes and designs for use in electrical and electronic equipment.  The manufacturing operations commonly associated with precision stamping can safely process copper beryllium alloys.  The latest scientific evidence indicates that airborne beryllium exposure levels experienced at precision stamping operations are not sufficient to adversely affect health.  Special controls are not required during the precision stamping, die repair, and inert atmosphere heat treating of copper beryllium alloys.  BeST has prepared a Safety Bulletin “Safety Practices for Precision Stamping Copper Beryllium Alloys” for use by end users.  BeST also has developed a case study report on stamping.

Additional Information:

Welding

Welding or cutting (with a gas flame or electric arc) indoors, outdoors, or in confined spaces, involving beryllium-containing base or filler metals must be done using local exhaust ventilation and airline respirators unless atmospheric tests under the most adverse conditions have established that the workers' exposure is within the acceptable concentrations.  In all cases, workers in the immediate vicinity of the welding or cutting operations shall be protected as necessary by local exhaust ventilation or airline respirators.  BeST has prepared a Beryllium Safety Bulletin for safety practices for welding on copper beryllium alloys.

Additional Information:

Casting and Alloying

Safe foundry practices must be employed when working with beryllium alloys.  Furnace ventilation is required to capture fume and particulate generated during melting operations.  The configuration and extent of ventilation must be designed for the specific application.  One type of melting furnace, for example, may by its very design create little air contamination, while another may require more sophisticated engineering controls. Implicit in all foundry operations are the difficulties of handling molten metal and drosses plus the cutoff and finishing operations that are usually involved.  BeST developed an overview of safety practices for copper beryllium foundry operations.

The importance of controlling airborne beryllium contaminant from drosses in an alloy foundry cannot be overlooked.  Chemical analysis has shown that drosses frequently carry higher concentrations of beryllium than the alloys originally melted.  Dross, moreover, is easily airborne, a characteristic which intensifies the need for appropriate management and control.

 

Additional Information:

Ram Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

Ram EDM uses spark erosion to remove metal.  When sufficient voltage is applied, the dielectric oil ionizes and controlled sparks melt and vaporize the work piece. As the metal melts and vaporizes, metal fumes are emitted.  To control visible fuming and potential exposures, a properly designed ventilation system is recommended when conducting EDM on beryllium-containing alloys.  BeST has developed a case study report on an EDM operation.

Additional Information:

Heat Treating

Heat treatment of beryllium-containing alloy parts requires certain safety precautions in most instances.  BeST has developed a Safety Bulletin on Heat Treatment operations.

Additional Information:

Forging

Forging of beryllium-containing alloys requires certain safety precautions in most instances.  BeST has developed a Safety Bulletin on Forging operations.

Additional Information: