Interest in beryllium as a structural material stems from its low density (about one-fourth that of steel) and its high modulus (about 1.4 times that of steel). Beryllium also has a very low thermal neutron absorption cross section which makes it vattractive for use as a moderator or reflector in spacecraft propulsion systems employing nuclear reactors. However, structural applications have been limited because of beryllium's low “ductility.”
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