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Beryllium Copper and gold-plated SMA, safety concerns

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neazoi

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Hello,
I have two main questions here:

1. I suspect that these high quality SMA connectors (attached) contain Beryllium copper alloys, especially in their internal conductors. I do not think cheap Chinese connectors do contain such materials though. Of course I am not going to breathe or chip the alloy, but since I am going to solder them (not the same as welding temperatures?) I see that there might be a health hazard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryllium_copper#Toxicity I wonder, how safe are these to use in the LAB in a regular basis, where multiple inserts of the connectors might scratch out fine particles of the alloy, increasing the possipility to inhale them somehow?
Also, what colour has the Beryllium copper, is it that gold I see, or is it internally to the connector?

2. What this "gold-plated" material actually is in such connectors? Is it real gold or some other material? If it is real gold, I would not expect it to present in low quality Chinese connectors, so what will this "gold" be in such cheap connectors then?
 

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shaiko

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1. The color is similar to gold (yellower and less red then pure copper). With that said, it doesn't mean that a Beryllium Copper contacts can't be plated with gold (or other types of plating).
Regarding toxicity - A lot of materials that are used in electronics are considered a "health hazard".
I'm no expert, but this seems more relevant to the people that manufacture them then to those who handle them.

2. I think the material is: "Yellow Bronze" - alloy of Copper 85 % and Tin 15 %. It lacks the elasticity of Beryllium Copper and therefore considered inferior (lower mating cycles).
 
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    neazoi

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