Brass vs Stainless Steel Ball Valve: Which One Is The Right Fit?

Home Brass vs Stainless Steel Ball Valve: Which One Is The Right Fit?
07/09/2022
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Brass and stainless steel are among the primary metal ball valves. They are employed in many pipeline applications to regulate the flow of media passing through them. While stainless steel is an iron alloy mixed with chromium and nickel, brass is a mixture of copper and zinc.

When choosing the perfect valve type for a particular project, learning about brass vs stainless steel ball valve is crucial because of the difference in material and cost. Deciding between the two is difficult, but the task can be made simpler by considering the application they are required for.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

Everything to Learn About Brass Ball Valves:

Dombor industrial Ball Valve
Source: Dombor

One of the most common materials used in plumbing applications is brass. The valves bought from China valves manufacturers made out of it are relatively easy to work with and even install. They offer optimal corrosion resistance and are much softer than stainless steel, which makes sealing easier.

A specific pipe tape or thread sealant is necessary when sealing a valve made of a material other than brass. But brass sealing products are much more appropriate and easier to use. Some of its no-lead options risks lead contamination if they succumb to corrosion. But it is not a big deal if the brass valve is not a part of a system built for drinking water.

It is essential to note that brass’s possible lead release is directly related to its zinc content – the more the valve contains, the more lead it might release. Brass ball valves are suitable for water-well and plumbing applications and are further divided into three-way brass ball valves and forged brass ball valves.

Advantages of Using Brass Ball Valves:

  • Valves for oil and gas that are made of brass are perfect for plumbing applications.
  • They are available in two types: leaded and no-lead. If working on a system for drinking water, the no-lead valve is a better choice.
  • They are a more cost-effective option than their counterparts and include several vital features.

Disadvantages of Using Brass Ball Valves:

  • Brass valves are more susceptible to corrosion than stainless steel.
  • These devices are not suitable for use in saltwater environments.
  • Some no-lead brass options risk contamination if they succumb to decay.

Applications of a Brass Ball Valve:

  • Water well
  • HVAC
  • Residential and commercial plumbing

Everything About Stainless Steel Ball Valves:

Dombor Stainless Steel ball Valve
Source: Dombor

These valves are the best for residential and commercial applications, offering great versatility. But there is much more to learn about brass vs stainless steel ball valve than their uses.

One can quickly close a stainless steel ball valve with a 90-degree rotation and a small torque. Its entirely equal internal cavity offers a straight flow channel with little resistance for the medium. It has a compact structure, which makes it easy to operate and maintain. It is ideal for controlling the flow of various media types, such as air, water, steam, and corrosive media, including oil, mud, radioactive, and liquid metal.

The body of a stainless steel ball valve can be integral or combined. But it is generally installed in a horizontal position in the pipeline.

Advantages of Using Stainless Steel Ball Valves:

  • These valve types are highly durable and can work for a long time.
  • Stainless steel valves outperform other metals in temperature tolerance and pressure ratings.
  • They are resistant to corrosion, making them suitable for marine water and commercial brewing systems.
  • Stainless steel valves demand meager maintenance expenses than their counterparts.

Disadvantages of Using Stainless Steel Ball Valves:

  • Stainless steel ball valves are available at higher price points, making them a disadvantage.
  • The devices made of this stainless steel tend to be slightly heavier than other materials. So, if weight is a vital factor in any project, using these valves may not be a good choice.

Applications of a Stainless Steel Ball Valve:

Everything to Know About Brass vs Stainless Steel Ball Valve:

Oil and Gas Industry
Source: Unsplash

Here is a quick table to help everyone understand brass vs stainless steel ball valve to pick the ideal one according to the application.

BASIS OF DIFFERENCEBRASS BALL VALVESTAINLESS STEEL BALL VALVE
MATERIALA brass ball valve is a copper alloy with copper and zinc occasionally mixed with other metals.A stainless steel ball valve is an iron alloy of nickel and chromium.
COSTThe price of a brass industrial ball valve is lower than that of stainless steel ball valves.The price of stainless steel ball valves is higher than leaded and lead-free brass ball valves.
SOFTNESSBrass is softer than stainless steel, making it easier to seal than stainless steel valves.Stainless steel is more challenging than brass, making it difficult to seal than brass valves.
PRODUCT AVAILABILITYProducts for sealing brass ball valves are more accessible to obtain than products for sealing stainless steel ball valves.Products for sealing stainless steel ball valves are a little more challenging to obtain than products for sealing brass ball valves.
WELDINGDue to its chemical makeup, brass is much better for welding than stainless steel.To use stainless steel for welding, one must often break down its oxide layer.
CORROSION RESISTANCEBrass valves can withstand corrosion much better than plastic.Stainless steel is preferable in the corrosion-resistance department, especially in the marine environment.
DURABILITYValves made of brass are not a good choice in a harsh water environment, offering less durability.Stainless steel valves are much better in a harsh water environment, ensuring a longer-lasting valve.
PRESSURE RATINGThese valves have low-pressure ratings compared to stainless steel, which makes them less resistant to high pressure.These valves have higher pressure ratings than brass. So, they are more resistant to high pressure than brass ball valves.
HIGH-TEMPERATURE RESISTANCEBrass ball valves are not the best option for situations involving high temperatures.Stainless steel can work at higher temperatures than brass and lasts longer.
FDA APPROVALThe FDA disapproves of brass ball valves unless they are certified lead-free, as it makes them a poor choice for use in the food industry.The FDA approves a stainless steel ball valve for use in the food industry.

Although both valves are an excellent choice for a plumbing job, they have a few differences, which make each perform well in varying conditions.

Parting Thoughts

When choosing the ideal valve material for the next project, don’t forget to consider these factors. It is also essential to conduct an in-depth study of the industry, requirements, and materials for the project. Also, if the application requires more corrosion resistance, use a stainless steel system.

Anyone wanting a high-quality stainless steel and brass ball valve should contact us. This blog will help everyone select the perfect material for their plumbing systems, as it is a hefty responsibility. All the factors listed above, including price points, durability, resistance, and safety, will help the tough decision, so the best component is used for a particular application.

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