Field portable measurement of airborne beryllium, chromium, lead and other metals. Instruments, methods and future directions. Part I: beryllium.
Berylliam is one of the lightest, strongest and hardest metals known, with remarkable resistance to deformity over a wide range of temperatures. These properties make beryllium ideal for aerospace and military applications. Beryllium is used in a wide range of products, indcluding weaponry, nuclear reactors, x-ray windows, space optics, missile fuel and space vehicles. Beryllium oxide is used as an electrical insulator and heat conductor. Copper and beryllium are often blended to form an alloy that is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, resistant to corrosion, nonmagnetic and far stronger than copper alone. Beryillium may be found at a variety of sites, ranging from the deactivation and decommissioning of facilities where beryllium-containing items were produced, stored and tested, to machine shops, ore extraction plants, ceramic plants and beryllium alloy manufacturers. The United States supplies most of the world with beryllium products and is one of only three countries that process beryllium concentrates and ores.