This is really a ridiculous situation when you get stuck between brass and bronze for valve material. But it’s a very important thing to select the right one. Here in this article, you’re going to learn about the differences between the brass valve and the bronze valve. So, let’s break it down.
Brass vs. Bronze
You can assume the main difference between brass and bronze valve by their names. Yes, it’s the material. So, you’ve to know about brass and bronze first for better understanding.
Brass is the result of a copper and zinc mixture. Brass is a malleable metal and easy to work with. So, the use of brass in the valve industry is increasing. It comes in a beautiful goldish color. Also, it’s a versatile, corrosion-resistant, and efficient element… even in extremely high temperatures. And its low lead level ensures safe drinking water for you. However, it has weaknesses in salinity and high levels of chlorine media.
On the other hand, bronze is one of the oldest metals and is made with copper and tin. Bronze is malleable and more corrosion-resistant than brass. It offers a good look with its reddish-brown skin. But bronze has a high level of lead which is not good.
Both brass and bronze are composite metals. But people get confused for their same-sounding names, similar looks, and similar usage. However, these are individual and have different strengths and weaknesses… that need to consider while choosing a valve.
Difference Between Brass Valve And Bronze Valve
Here are the differences between the brass valve and bronze valve:
Brass is an alloy metal of copper and zinc where the copper content is 57% -63% and zinc 35% -40%. Sometimes lead completes the rest. On the other hand, bronze consists of 80%-88% of copper and 10%-12% of tin. Also, other metals like aluminum, nickel, manganese, lead… and non-metals like phosphorus, arsenic, and silicon are sometimes added to bronze. The different combination of materials adds various properties to the valves.
The issue of cost is important in this comparison because not all components come at the same price. When you compare brass and bronze, brass is 3-4 times cheaper than bronze. This is because zinc comes at a lower price which makes brass more affordable. Also, the smooth surface of brass and its machineable characteristics keep the finishing costs down during valve manufacturing. In contrast, bronze components are expensive… and require extra polish for their rough exterior polishing, which increases the cost.
Color And Interface
Although the main ingredient is copper for both brass and bronze, the other elements’ mixture makes the color difference. The main color of the brass valve is usually pale yellow or similar to gold but dull. And the bronze valves are reddish-brown. However, both types can have other finishes like chrome plating. You can choose either the natural color or different finishes to match the valve interface with your selected theme.
Media And Uses
This is most important when choosing between brass valves or bronze valves. Each type has different strengths and weaknesses for individual applications. For example, the brass valve is the best choice for the plumbing industry and potable water. Also, it does a great job while working with natural gas and oils. However, it could be a cause for concern for food and beverage producers.
On the other hand, Bronze valves can mix lead into the drinking water, which is harmful. But, if you can use a lead-free bronze valve, then it’d be okay. It’s somehow suitable for the plumbing and other industrial areas. Since bronze valves have more corrosion resistance in saline environments… it works great in marine fields.
When it comes to durability, both brass and bronze valves are solid and durable. But brass valves go slightly over the bronze valves. Brass is a tough, highly resistant, strong, and flexible material than bronze. However, high levels of chlorine and salt can damage the brass, but bronze is better in this situation. So, think of your media first and then choose the valve to get better stability.
Metal mash means how much metal the valve mixes with the media. There are 2-3% of lead present in brass and 5%+ in bronze. Since bronze has more information, it spreads more metal in the media. So, brass valves are recommended for potable water. However, some manufacturers use a lead-free material that meets the Clean Water Act lead restrictions. If you got something like that, you could use it.
Both brass valves and bronze valves respond well to high temperatures. The melting point of brass is 1710oF (930oC) and for bronze is 1590oF (865oC). So, brass can endure a bit more temperature than bronze. However, brass is more efficient at hot temperatures but not as good at cold temperatures.
Pros And Cons Summary
Above all, we’ve seen everything in detail. Now here are the pros and cons summary of the brass valve and bronze valve:
Almost no lead present in the metal.
Also strong, malleable, and durable.
Corrosion-resistant more than the bronze valve.
Best fit for marine fields but also good in the plumbing industry.
Very strong, tough, malleable, and Durable.
Best fit for plumbing sector and drinking water pipeline.
Cheaper in price.
Salt and high chlorine damage it.
The price is higher than the brass valve.
Not so good for food and beverage.
Less corrosion-resistant than the brass valve.
Higher presence of lead.
The surface is rough.
In The End
Brass and bronze valve, both are well. But if you turn the article, you will notice that the brass valve is slightly better than the bronze valve. I hope you found all your answers regarding the difference between the brass valve and the bronze valve. However, you have to make a decision based on your media, purpose, and environment.
Finally, if you’re looking for a highly corrosion-resistant, strong, and durable brass valve at an affordable price… then have a look at our brass valves. We make many types of brass valves for your different applications. Justify and select the suitable one for your needs.