Stainless Steel Ball Valve vs Brass: How to Choose

In this blog post, you’ll read:Choosing between stainless steel and brass ball valves depends on your needs. Stainless steel ball valves are durable, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for high-pressure applications. Brass ball valves, ideal for household plumbing, are more affordable, easier to weld, and require less maintenance. Assess fluid type, pressure requirements, budget, and temperature tolerance to select the appropriate material.
Table of Contents

A ball valve is a shut-off valve that controls fluids or gas. When you visit a ball valve manufacturer, you can choose between two materials: Stainless steel ball valves or Brass ball valves. To choose the right one, it’s essential to know the differences and features of each material from ball valve suppliers.

Main differences

The stainless steel ball valve is more for a high-pressure connection than natural gas. Stainless steel is known for its durability and corrosion resistance, making it a long-term, high-pressure valve. Because of its high pressure, it can withstand pressure from 6000PSI up to 10000PSI. The lifetime of the stainless-steel valve will be 150,000 times on and off. This valve can withstand temperatures between -60 degrees to 160 degrees.

The brass ball valve manufacturer is designed for liquid or gas, not for high-pressure use. The sizes available for brass valves are ½ inch to 2 inches.  The working essure of brass ball valves is 600WOG. The lifetime is the same as that of stainless steel, at 150,000 times on and off. The temperature at which the valve can function is between -10 degrees and -120 degrees.

Features between stainless steel ball valves and brass ball valves

The features of the stainless-steel ball valves are:

  • The nominal diameter is DN25, and it ranges from DN6-DN50.
  • Suitable for high pressure like hydrogen energy and gas.
  • The port type is threaded. Comes in ferr le, BW but welding, UBM union butt welding, etc.
  • Different end connection types are available.
  • Comes with a self-sealing, anti-blowout stem.
  • Temperature limits are between -60 degrees to 160 degrees.

These are the features of the brass ball valve:

  • The sizes available for the brass ball valve are between DN15 and DN50.
  • The material is low lead brass, C69300, and C63000.
  • Thread is NPT and is designed for water use.
  • The maximum temperature is from -10 degrees to -120 degrees.
  • Testing of the valve was successful between 0.6MPa and 0.8MPa
  • The brass is corrosion-resistant and can be used long-term
  • Essential specs include blow-out proof pressure retaining stem

Application differences

ss ball valve and brass ball valve
ss ball valve and brass ball valve

The application of the stainless steel ball valve is to control flow by using a hollow, pivoting ball. It closes the valve by rotating it 90 degrees using the valve handle. The stainless steel makes the valve durable and resistant. It will be co-rosion-free and can withstand extreme weather conditions. The stainless steel ball valve is designed for natural gas, which needs high-pressure valves.

Most valves are made from bronze or brass. These valves are reliable and corrosion-resistant but not at the same level as stainless steel valves. Industries that use these valves include marine, food processing companies, chemical plants, and homes. It doesn’t need as frequent replacement as other ball valves and can control fluids at different temperatures. Brass valves are more versatile because they accept welding better.

Properties between stainless steel and brass ball valves

Brass valves are made with a mixture of copper and tin. Some cheaper versions also have a small number of leads. This is why most brass ball valves aren’t FDA-approved. Unless the company can prove that its brass products are lead-free. Brass has excellent heat and electrical conductivity, which makes it ideal for hot liquids and gas. It can be used outdoors as well as indoors at water heaters.

Brass valves are softer than stainless steel valves. They make sealing easier, especially for hot liquids like steam and water.  The stainless steel valve has no lead traces, making it more likely to get FDA-approved. Stainless steel is more stable at high and low temperatures. The valves are rust-resistant and are better when it comes to corrosion resistance. The seal of the stainless steel valve is better because no leaks are essential for high-pressure valves. This is also why these valves are blow-out-proof.  Regular maintenance should be done with the stainless-steel ball valves, and it isn’t as long-term as the brass valves.

Advantages and disadvantages between stainless steel and brass valves

stainless steel ball valve and brass
Stainless steel ball valve and brass

The benefits of the stainless-steel ball valves include:

  • It is durable and can endure high pressures without wear, tear, and pressure failure.
  • It is corrosion-resistant and will not rust or cause corrosion on the valve.
  • Stainless steel handles temperature better, especially when it comes to high-temperature gas.
  • These ball valves can be used for natural gas, marine water, and brewing systems.

Disadvantages of stainless-steel ball valves:

  • Stainless steel ball valves are heavier than other metals. It can also influence the result of your work if weight is essential to it.
  • Welding on these ball valves is harder and takes more skill.

Brass ball valve benefits:

  • Brass is an excellent option for household plumbing.
  • Less maintenance is needed, or fewer replacements to ensure a leak-proof valve.
  • It can be used at higher temperatures than other type of ball valves
  • It won’t cause corrosion because of salt water or chemicals.

Disadvantages of the brass ball valves

  • In general, it will corrode more easily than stainless steel. However, it won’t corrode like other materials.
  • They are not designed for high-pressure plumbing.

Consideration for selecting the material

Knowing which type of ball valve to choose means that you need to consider these factors. This will make selecting the right valve easier.

  • What type of fluids will flow through the valve? Does it need high-pressure or low-pressure valves?
  • Budget also plays a huge part in choosing the correct material ball valve
  • How much temperature tolerance should the valve take?
  • Do you need to weld around the valve? Brass valves take welding better

Different types of stainless steel and brass materials

stainless steel rods, raw material for automotive parts
Stainless steel rods, raw materials for automotive parts

Something interesting to know is that with brass ball valves aren’t many different materials used. The only difference in materials is if it has led or not. Lead brass va ves should not be used for drinking water.

There are different types of stainless steel valves to consider. These are some stainless steel options you can choose from.

  • Stainless steel 201. A lower amount of nickel present
  • Stainless steel 304, also known as A2
  • Stainless steel 316, marine-grade stainless steel

Conclusion

The stainless-steel ball valve from valve distributors isn’t better than the brass ball valve. And visa versa. The different materials are concerned with the pressure level it needs to take. The stainless steel can take more pressure than the brass.  It would be best to decide which material to choose by considering where to install the ball valve.

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