Brass Valve Vs. Bronze Valve

In this blog post, you’ll read:How do brass valves vs. bronze valves compare? Brass and bronze have similar appearance, composition, and applications. Both are commonly used copper alloys for valves, although their properties and costs vary. Bronze is primarily an alloy of copper combined with tin, but rarely other metals. However, brass is an alloy of zinc and copper. The properties of these two alloys make them useful in many applications. This article will discuss these characteristics and their particular uses and benefits. We'll do an in-depth comparison of brass valves vs bronze valves to learn the critical differences between the two valves.
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How do brass valves vs. bronze valves compare? Brass and bronze have similar appearance, composition, and applications. Both are commonly used copper alloys for valves, although their properties and costs vary. Bronze is primarily an alloy of copper combined with tin, but rarely other metals. However, brass is an alloy of zinc and copper.

The properties of these two alloys make them useful in many applications. This article will discuss these characteristics and their particular uses and benefits. We’ll do an in-depth comparison of brass valves vs bronze valves to learn the critical differences between the two valves.

What are Brass Valves

The alloys of brass valves are made or composed of zinc and copper. Compared to bronze, brass is more malleable and more accessible to form. Its smooth surface reduces the need for additional finishing, thus reducing expenses. Brass doesn’t rust easily.

However, high chlorine can damage it over time. Brass valves are suitable for natural gas and drinkable water. Brass doesn’t rust as well as bronze.

It breaks down faster with high chlorine. Brass valves have less lead, so they’re safe for drinking water. You can also use brass valves to shut off natural gas pipes.

Brass valves are the best choice for natural gas and drinkable water. The malleability of brass makes it easy to cast or machine. Brass valves last longer and work better than bronze valves.

What Is Bronze Valve?

bronze valves
Bronze valves

Contemporary bronze alloys often include manganese, aluminum, copper, and tin elements. Some specific bronze alloys that contain nickel or lead can maintain a shine. Generally, bronze has a porous and irregular surface. The techniques used to manufacture bronze ball valves involve casting and machining cast ingots.

Bronze has numerous advantages, such as enhanced malleability, corrosion resistance, and cost-effectiveness. People commonly use bronze ball valves to control flow, shut off, and ensure safety relief in different applications.

Varieties of bronze ball valves that are lead-free are accessible for utilization with drinkable water. However, they must fulfill or surpass the lead standards established by the Clean Water Act.

What Does Bronze Look Like?

Bronze exhibits a reddish-brown color and a metallic sheen. However, bronze is susceptible to oxidation, which can result in the development of a greenish-blue patina. Over time, oxidation can also cause a dark brown coloration.

brass valves works on pipeline
Brass valves work on pipeline.

Bronze Valve Vs. Brass Valve: How to Tell the Difference

  • Heat Endurance

The first step in the difference between bronze and brass valves is heat endurance. Both Brass and bronze valves can handle high temperatures well. Bronze melts at 1590 degrees Fahrenheit (865 degrees Celsius), while brass melts at 1710 degrees Fahrenheit (930 degrees Celsius).

This means that brass has slightly better resistance to heat than bronze valves. However, brass valves are less efficient at low temperatures than high ones.

  • Durability

Is bronze stronger than brass? Both brass and bronze valves are solid and durable. However, brass valves are better than bronze valves because they last longer and are more robust.

Brass is more flexible than bronze, but high chlorine and salt can damage it. So, bronze is a better choice. When selecting a valve, consider the media used to stabilize it.

  • Manufacturing Technologies of Brass and Bronze Valves

Another main difference between brass versus bronze valves is their distinct manufacturing techniques.

  • Bronze
bronze casting
Bronze casting

Making bronze valve parts requires a casting process that involves removing semi-processed metal from the casting. This leads to an uneven and inconsistent surface. The bronze valve’s forging method cannot guarantee or maintain the component’s integrity.

Bronze casting has limitations. It involves shrinkage voids, porosity, melting, and isolation. Identifying these issues is challenging because of process variations for bronze valves. Problems can include leaks, collapse, and corrosion.

  • Brass

Cold drawing, casting, forging, and heated extrusion are possible for making brass valve parts in the brass valve manufacturing industry. There is a greater preference for forging parts over casting brass because it results in a denser metallographic design.

This results in poor porosity, reduced size tolerance, and a clean surface. Gas sector brass under pressure demonstrates its defect-free nature.

Corrosion Resistance

  • Brass

Corrosion resistance is an essential point to remember when choosing between bronze and brass valves. In sanitary hydrothermal applications, brass reveals corrosion resistance. The chlorine-rich water can cause the brass to corrode and become complex. Dezincification is the process by which zinc leaches from brass alloys. It contains more than 15% zinc in the presence of oxygen and moisture.

When considering this condition, dezincification-resistant brass is the more favorable choice. The pipe connectors made from DZR material are suitable for potable water. Applying a particular surface protection coating prevents corrosion resistance of brass.

  • Bronze

Bronze possesses high resistance to dezincification corrosion. However, it is susceptible to restricted corrosion. This may result from metallurgical limitations. Although corrosion cracking in bronze is tolerable, it never occurs to it.

brass parts machine
Brass parts machine
  • Lead Levels

Using brass valves in home pipes is safer because less lead is present than bronze valves. Because of this, it is better to use brass valves for drinking water applications. They lower the chance that lead will get into the water and cause health problems.

  • Melting Point

The melting point refers to the specific temperature at which a solid substance changes from solid to liquid. Bronze has a 1590 degree Fahrenheit (865 degrees Celsius) melting point. In contrast, brass has a melting point of 1710 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Uses and Media

This is essential to remember when choosing between bronze and brass valves. They have distinct capabilities and weaknesses. This makes them better or worse for various tasks. The brass valve is the best choice for plumbing and drinkable water uses. Also, the oil and natural gas industries can use it without problems. The applications for food and drinks might be concerned.

  • Metal Mash

“Metal mash” is the amount of metal the valve blends with the media. Bronze has at least 5% lead, while brass has only 2% to 3%. Bronze extends more metal in the media. Because of this, brass valves work better with drinkable water.


brass bronze valves types
Brass bronze valve types


  • Brass

Due to its high machinability with mechanized machinery, brass is used in the valve industry. Increased cutting rates improve the manufacturing process. It results in a reduced cost of production. Due to the parts’ uniform surface, polishing and varnishing them is feasible at a minor expense.

  • Bronze

Despite the lead, bronze exhibits a diminished capacity to adjust to mechanized machinery. Certain components have surface defects and roughness—particularly those manufactured through casting- leading to pressure loss. The resultant surface is less reflective and polished due to the galvanic process.

  • Interface and Color

The combination of other parts determines the color of brass and bronze, with the main copper part. Brass valves are a dull pale yellow hue nearly identical to gold. The bronze valves exhibit a reddish-brown type. However, additional treatments, such as chromium plating, are possible. Natural color or many finishes are better to ensure that the valve interface matches the intended application.


  • Brass

Zinc, the major alloying of brass, is an alloy of copper. The chemical composition of brass differentiates it from brass and copper. Due to its plasticity, it finds application in fabricating plates, tubes, rods, and wires. It is also used in parts such as condenser tubes and heat pipelines.

Copper and zinc have a lower malleability than brass. It exhibits a low melting point (900 degrees Celsius). This enables its casting into molds and causes it to leak when malleable. Copper alloys, including aluminum, manganese, silicon, and iron, contribute to brass’s erosion and corrosion resistance. Ammonia exposure reduces these valves susceptible to tension fracture.

The composition of each alloy differs according to its particular application. The material employed in fabricating firearm cartridges contained 30% zinc. For many applications on ships, marine brasses could contain as much as 39.7% zinc compounds. Bismuth bronze is a bronze alloy composed of one component of bismuth. It contains 30 components of nickel, 12 components of zinc, five parts of lead, and 52 parts of copper.

  • Bronze

Metal bronze is brittle and hard. Tin content dictates the alloy’s melting point, approximately 950 degrees Celsius. Bronze is superior to most steels in terms of thermal and electrical conductivity. It also resists corrosion and metal attrition more effectively than steel.

Copper alloys in bronze comprise additional elements besides tin and aluminum. It includes beryllium, manganese, silicon, and lead.

Numerous variations of this substance are available. These are silicon bronze, lead bronze, and countless others. Pressure-treated bronze and cast bronze are additional types of bronze.

  • Conductivity

Bronze valves are different from brass valves in terms of conductivity. Bronze is better than brass when electrical conductivity is essential. Electrical connectors use bronze valves because they conduct electricity well.

Brass conducts heat well, so it finds use in heat exchangers where efficient heat transfer matters.

Brass and bronze have different conductivity, allowing industries to choose the material for their needs in ball valves. Also, understanding the conductivity differences between brass and bronze valves is crucial. It ensures optimal performance in various applications.

  • Material

Copper constitutes 57%–63% of the alloy metal brass, while zinc comprises 35%–40%. Lead can sometimes fulfill the rest. In contrast, bronze includes tin -10 % to 12% and copper—80-88%. Bronze also contains non-metallic elements.

These are phosphorus, arsenic, silicon, and other metals such as nickel, aluminum, manganese, and lead. Valves possess a variety of properties due to the diverse material combinations.

    Brass Vs. Bronze Valves: How to Choice? 

    Brass valves and bronze have an elevated level of corrosion resistance. They are frequently employed in the petrochemical and marine sectors. Bronze and brass ball valves are also commonly used in natural gas. It has been discovered that these materials can tolerate fire exposure and more expensive stainless steel substitutes.

    Make sure to choose brass valves if they are to be used in the following applications:

    • Air and liquid shut-off
    • Natural gas shut-off
    • Flow direction control
    • Potable water

    Bronze valves are frequently employed in high-performance applications and the petrochemical industry. It is mainly used in marine situations where low levels of corrosion are necessary. Make sure to choose bronze valves if they are to be used in the following applications:

    • Petrochemical
    • Marine
    • Safety relief
    • Flow direction control
    • Flow shut-off
    • Flow Control

    Are Brass Valves Better Than Bronze Valves?

    A significant drawback of brass valves is their tendency to break down when subjected to high chlorine levels. In addition, they have a reasonably low corrosion resistance. They have little to no lead content. Furthermore, people know brass valves for their flexibility and durability.

    Although brass exhibits corrosion resistance, the elevated chlorine levels have the potential to degrade the zinc content. Brass is suitable for various media, including natural gas.

    Brass valves are inherently superior to bronze for potable water containers. It has considerably less lead content than bronze.

    What Are the Applications of Bronze and Brass Valves?

    Bronze valves exhibit distinct characteristics that render them most suitable for the following applications:

    • Marine
    • Safety relief
    • Flow Control
    • Flow shut-off
    • Petrochemical
    • Flow direction control

    Brass valves are distinctively suitable for these uses:

    • Flow Control
    • Natural gas shut-off
    • Air and liquid shut-off
    • Potable water
    • Flow direction control

    FAQs About Bronze Vs. Brass Valve

    Are Brass Valves Safe To Use With Drinking Water?

    You can use brass valves for drinking water, but you must ensure they don’t have any lead. There is a chance that lead can get into water from some brass alloys. For use with drinkable water, look for valves that are free of lead.

    Brass Valve Vs. Bronze Valve: Which One Is Best For Low-Temperature Applications?

    Bronze and brass valves may remain open in low temperatures. Bronze valves are often used in icy environments because they don’t break as easily.

    Is Bronze More Durable than Brass Valves?

    The majority of bronze valves last longer and are more durable than brass valves. Their sturdiness makes them useful in naval and industrial settings.

    Does Brass Cost Less Than Bronze?

    Because tin is costlier than zinc, bronze is more expensive than brass. Copper is expensive, and bronze usually has more copper than brass. You might pay up to four times as much for certain bronze alloys as some brass alloys.

    Wrap-up with Brass and Bronze Valves

    Regarding the bronze vs brass valves difference, we understand the many differences. Numerous industries and applications utilize both bronze and brass valves. However, the optimal method to choose between brass and bronze valves is to consider the intended use and medium.

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