Low-Cost, Environmentally Friendly Beryllium Manufacturing

Period of Performance: 03/07/2005 - 09/07/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


Creare proposes to develop a novel Beryllium Machining System (BMS) that is comprised of highly efficient, indirect cooling of the cutting tools and a particle control system to dramatically reduce the costs associated with beryllium machining and improve worker health and safety. Beryllium is an ideal material for numerous aerospace and defense applications. However, beryllium is expensive, it is highly toxic in powder form, and it is difficult to machine. All of these facts drive up the cost of beryllium manufacturing. Our novel Beryllium Machining System (BMS) will enable significant cost reductions for beryllium machining in two ways. First, because our indirect cutting tool cooling methodology has been proven to outperform conventional coolants, especially for difficult-to-machine materials, beryllium parts can be machined faster with no decrease in tool life. Second, since the cutting tool will be cooled indirectly, an inexpensive, inert fluid can be used for particle control that will dramatically reduce the cost of scrap separation and recycling, as well as eliminate the use of hazardous degreasing materials. We will implement our innovation in a low-cost, easy-to-use system that can be readily retrofitted onto existing machine tools.