THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY OF BERYLLIUM OXIDE CERAMIC
G. P. Akishin
, S. K. Turnaev
, V. Ya. Vaispapir
, M. A. Gorbunova
Yu. N. Makurin
, V. S. Kiiko
, and A. L. Ivanovskii
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 12 pp. 43 – 47, December 2009.
Original article submitted September 7, 2009.
Prospects are discussed for the use of BeO-ceramic in electronic and other fields of technology and special in
strument building. With use of BeO-ceramic in electronic technology one of the main parameters is its high
thermal conductivity. Analysis of publications shows that BeO-ceramic in the range 300 – 500 K exhibits the
highest thermal conductivity among all ceramic materials used in electronic technology. Results are provided
for a study of the thermal conductivity of 170 ceramic specimens made from BeO-ceramic with an identical
configuration and dimensions prepared from one batch of BeO starting powder. It is established that the aver
age size of microcrystals and the density of specimens have a defining effect on thermal conductivity.
Keywords: BeO-ceramic, thermal conductivity, BeO powder, average grain size, density, specimen porosity,
impurity phase, physicochemical properties.
One of the most important properties of ceramic based
on beryllium oxide is its high thermal conductivity: among
other well-known oxide ceramic materials (Al
, etc.) BeO-ceramic has the highest thermal
conductivity, by a factor of three than for ceramics based on
MgO, and by a factor of 4 – 6 or more, than for ceramics
based on Al
. The thermal conductivity of BeO-ce-
ramic is 230 – 330 W/(m × K) depending on its density, and it
exceeds the thermal conductivity of beryllium metal and
other metals with the exception of gold, silver and copper
Beryllium ceramics exhibit not only high thermal con
ductivity, but also a unique combination of other physico
chemical properties such as high chemical, thermal, radiation
resistance, a considerable specific volumetric resistance, low
dielectric losses, transparency for vacuum, ultraviolet, visi
ble, infrared, x-ray and ultrahigh frequency (UHF) radiation.
This makes BeO-ceramic a promising material for use in
contemporary electronics, new fields of technology and spe
cial instrument building , and in high-current UHF tech
nology there is no alternative to BeO-ceramics.
Currently objects made from BeO-ceramic are used ex
– refractory material in special metallurgy with melting
of chemically corrosive substances, pure, ultrapure, expen
sive and refractory metals (beryllium, uranium, plutonium,
iron, nickel, and molybdenum, and also high-purity gold, sil-
ver, platinum, lead, cobalt, silicon and titanium);
– structural material in electronic technology making it
possible to miniaturize electronic and electrical circuit com-
– dielectric discharge channels of resonators, shells of
active elements, hollow dielectric waveguides for waveguide
gas lasers, and also optical quantum generators of a broad
spectral range, i.e. from ultraviolet (UF) to infrared (IR) re
gions of the spectrum;
– insulators and heat conductors, substrate-crystal hold
ers of powerful UHF transistors and ultra-large integral cir
– windows and insulators for high-current UHF technol
ogy, powerful on-board radars;
– structural elements for travelling-wave lamps;
– powerful heat transfer elements in cryogenic technology;
– material for heat release of a matrix element in nuclear
– neutron reflectors, neutron filters, and with impurities
(for example boron), for protecting installations from neu
trons of different energy.
In addition, in electronic, radio- and electrical engineer
ing industry BeO-ceramics are used for dissipation of heat
liberated during of radio elements of functional electronics.
There is active research for the use of BeO-ceramics in
electronic technology as:
– scintillators (in the form of light transparent ceramic)
for a new generation of tissue-equivalent scintillation dosim
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 50, No. 6, 2009
1083-4877/09/5006-0465 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
TOO KazMetizProm, Ust’-Kamneogorsk, Russia.
KTTs OAO Komintern Novosibirsk Plat, Novosibirsk, Russia.
Ural State Technical University - UPI, Ekaterinberg, Russia.
Institute of Solid Chemistry UrO RAN, Ekaterinberg, Russia.