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Alloys of beryllium

Alloys of copper and beryllium can be prepared by heating an intimate mixture of the oxides, in suitable proportions, with carbon in an electric furnace. Low percentages of beryllium impart a yellow colour; with higher percentages the alloys tend to become white. Small amounts of beryllium also make the metal very sonorous: even 0.5 per cent, of beryllium makes the alloy sonorous and yellow. An alloy containing 1.32 per cent, of beryllium is golden yellow, highly sonorous, and can be readily filed or forged. Alloys with 10 per cent, are nearly white; those with 5 per cent, are more yellow, easily filed or forged, malleable, unaltered by air, tarnished by hydrogen sulphide, and soluble in nitric acid.

Alloys of beryllium with other metals can be prepared by a similar method, or by electrolysing double beryllium-sodium fluorides in a carbon crucible, which acts as anode, containing the other metal in a state of fusion.

The eutectic systems of beryllium with iron, silver, copper, and aluminium have been investigated by Oesterheld. It appears to be impossible to alloy beryllium and magnesium, since the latter boils below the melting-point of the former.

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