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Old 14-02-2011, 19:50   #1
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Identifying Brass and Bronze

For informational purposes only, are all sand cast valves and fittings always bronze and machined valves/fittings brass?

Was looking at the 3/4" pipe elbows and ball valves at Menards Hardware that are sand cast in texture, vs the normal machined look of obvious brass that's more common for the general household use of hose barbs and flared fittings and such. Also looked bronze in color, the normal darker tint vs bright polished look. Some of the sand cast products were listed as brass, some as bronze, even though the same product was described as either dependent upon which package happened to pick up.

Just thinking Menards plumbing supplier is somewhat careless in labeling.


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Old 14-02-2011, 20:02   #2
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dont forget naval brass

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Old 14-02-2011, 20:36   #3
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Yes, many suppliers are ignorant of the difference. And careless. I would think either could have the cast or machined appearance. The marine bronze is usually a shade darker ... browner ... than brass. But that can change as the part ages and acquires a patina. Bronze is much harder than brass, if that's any help.

Use a supplier that knows the difference.
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Old 15-02-2011, 06:39   #4
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Read the manufacturer’s label.
No label information? Probably inferior quality. Think “mystery meat”.

Brass and bronze are both alloys of copper; where brass is mostly made of copper and zinc, while bronze is mostly made of copper and tin.

Bronze is richer, darker, more golden in colour than brass, which is usually a lighter, shiny, yellow colour.

What daddle said.

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Old 15-02-2011, 07:47   #5
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If you are searching for quality bronze marine fittings they are usually not found in your local hardware store.
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Old 15-02-2011, 17:05   #6
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Curiousity got me today, so stopped by for a closer look. The valves I questioned at Menards are NIBCO brand, and were indeed bronze, as by the manufactures label. The description confusion was do to Menards themselves. Correct labels were on product itself, but mislabed on the item description shelf bins themselves. Menards used 'brass' descriptions loosely. The Nibco website shows both bronze and brass ball valves. Appears to be quality product company. Then compared to the Groco brand valves. Both use chrome plated brass balls and PTFE seals. I'm not suggesting the valves at Menards are acceptable for marine use by any means, just provoking some thought.
I just don't believe marine parts are only availble at marine stores at an inflated prices.

Along the same thought process as Blue Seas using Carling circut breakers, and that the Blue Seas buss bars are available from industrial suppliers such as McMaster-Carr w/o the Blue Seas label, down to the same photo.

Haven't been able to verify if Groco manufactures or simply relables thier valves. Possibly someone here knows ??? I did find this bulletin worthy of noting. SERVICE-BULLETIN

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