FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are tempers and what do those silly letters and numbers mean?

Tempers

The industry method of defining how much cold work is in the material and what high temperature processes may have been used to affect the strength of the material.

A or TB00

In beryllium copper this means the material is annealed; however, it is a special anneal. CuBe Alloys heats the metal to a very specific temperature and holds the metal for just the right amount of time. Then CuBe Alloys takes the metal out of the furnace and very quickly quenches the metal in a large water pit.

Why do this? CuBe Alloys tricks the metal into thinking that it is still at the elevated temperature. Then, later when you or CuBe Alloys heat treat the metal, it drops out a very specific beryllium rich product that hardens the material.

Extra Credit: For more specific details on this process e-mail CuBe Alloys at: sales@cubealloys.com and we'll help you more.

What is the result: The metal from all outward appearances is the same as when it was soft; however, give it just a little heat treatment and it gets very hard. This is the true beauty of the alloy system.

Hardness level: Rb 45-75

How does CuBe Alloys make this: sales@cubealloys.com



AT or TF00

In beryllium copper this means that the material is annealed and then heat treated. We have made the metal as A/TB00 and then CuBe Alloys heat treats the material at around 625F for about two (2) hours. We then air cool or furnace cool the material.

Why do this? Remember, we tricked the beryllium copper when we annealed and quenched it in the water. This low temperature process causes the beryllium rich product to come out into the grains and grain boundaries and makes the metal much harder.

Extra Credit: For more specific details on this process e-mail CuBe Alloys at: sales@cubealloys.com and we'll help you more.

What is the result: The metal looks like it is still soft; however, it will be much harder and have a bell like ring to it.

Hardness level: Rc 36-42

How does CuBe Alloys make this: sales@cubealloys.com



H or TD04

In beryllium copper this means that we process the material like the A/TB00 above and then we pull the rod, tube or bar through a die that will make the diameter, etc. smaller and the bar becomes longer. We use equipment like a draw bench, dies or sometimes even a bull block.

Why do this? The material will get very hard on it's own without drawing; however, this extra cold work will make it respond even better in the final heat treatment by either CuBe Alloys or you.

Extra Credit: For more specific details on this process e-mail CuBe Alloys at: sales@cubealloys.com and we'll help you more.

What is the result: The metal comes out of the die and it is harder than it was before. It is also shinier. If you hit it with a hammer, it will sound more like a bell than before the rod was drawn.

Hardness level: Rb 85-102

How does CuBe Alloys make this: sales@cubealloys.com



HT or TH04

In beryllium copper, this means that after we carefully anneal the rod, bar or tube and then we precisely cold draw it on a draw bench to a very specific size--we then heat treat the product. Then those beryllium rich products that were tricked in annealing by CuBe are released and make the rod very much harder.

Why do this? The material while hard in drawing, needs to be much harder to perform properly. The cold work gives the metal extra energy and combined with the low temperature cycle which releases the beryllium rich product; the metal becomes extremely hard and wear resistant.

Extra Credit: For more specific details on this process e-mail CuBe Alloys at: sales@cubealloys.com and we'll help you more.

What is the result: The metal comes out of the die and it is harder than it was before. It is also shinier. If you hit it with a hammer, it will sound more like a bell than before the rod was drawn.

Hardness level: Rc 37-45

How does CuBe Alloys make this: sales@cubealloys.com



Where did those silly alloy and temper names come from?

In the 1940's and earlier, the metals industry was awash in numerous names and numbers for their product. In the late 60's and 70's; industry associations and customers searched for ways to make the selection of products much easier and more easily understood. For instance, C17200 is the same thing as Alloy 25 or derivations of that name that are still used today. If you see an Alloy 25 or an Alloy 14 on your print; use this simple guide to update your company's prints, bids and correspondence to the 21st Century

Old Alloy#CDA Alloy
25C17200
165C17000
10C17500
14C17510
3C17510


The same should really be applied to the silly temper names. Update your prints as follows:

Old TemperCDA Temper
ATB00
ATTF00
HTD04
HTTH04




Who or what is CDA?

CDA is the Copper Development Association. It works with it's industry partners to assure that materials are properly named and that specifications are uniform within the industry.



Heat treatment, what is it and what happens?

Heat treating can be performed before or after machining. When the beryllium copper is heat treated, it becomes much harder. The material become two to three times stronger at a temperature similar to the self cleaning cycle of your home oven.

What kind of an oven does CuBe Alloys use? CuBe Alloys uses a very specially designed vacuum furnace. This furnace allows CuBe Alloys to get rid of oxygen that causes oxidation of metal at elevated temperatures. The metal comes out of the furnace just about a clean as it went in.

In heat treating the material releases the beryllium rich product. Nothing goes into the air, the beryllium rich product simply precipitates itself into the grains and grains boundaries. The metal gets very hard and depending on the metals processing before it is heat treated, it may need to very firmly clamped or fixture.

The temperature commonly used for C17200 alloy is 600-625 Fahrenheit. The time depends on a number of variables; however, it usually is 2 to 3 hours. For C17510 the temperature could run between 850 to 925 F and range in time from 3-12 hours