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Old 06-03-2012, 10:06   #16
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

If it were my boat I'd just haul it and replace everything below the waterline with seacocks!
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:15   #17
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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No, Hanover, Maryland USA. That's great to hear! I'm real surprised they are casting bronze in Maryland...
I think they cast it in different places, like most companies these days but the company is US based. Spartan Bronze casts & machines their 85-5-5-5 bronze seacocks in New England, but you pay for it...
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:28   #18
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

Maine, you got a passport handy? 'Cause I'm feeling certain we can take a trip over to the former USSR, and somewhere in there, someone must be sitting on a warehouse full of surplus titanium nuclear submarine through-hulls and shut-off valves. I see a great trade opportunity here!

Yellow metals. Who needs cheap yellow metals when there are vastly superior Soviet Navy parts for sale? And if they're not in a box, heck, we get a blowtorch and go to the fleet pick-n-pull yard, right? :-)
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:49   #19
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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Bronz & Brass are generic terms like "steel". There are thousands of variations on the formulas of copper added to alloys and fairy dust.
Here's a list of some of them:
Galvanic series

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:21   #20
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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Maine, you got a passport handy? 'Cause I'm feeling certain we can take a trip over to the former USSR, and somewhere in there, someone must be sitting on a warehouse full of surplus titanium nuclear submarine through-hulls and shut-off valves. I see a great trade opportunity here!

Yellow metals. Who needs cheap yellow metals when there are vastly superior Soviet Navy parts for sale? And if they're not in a box, heck, we get a blowtorch and go to the fleet pick-n-pull yard, right? :-)
Great idea, because the Soviet submarine fleet has such a distinguished safety record.

I recommend "Rising Tide: The untold story of the Russian submarines that fought the Cold War" for some light reading. One submarine, K19, was involved in no less than 6 lethal accidents over it's dubious history.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:48   #21
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

To the layman,
brass=copper + zinc alloys
bronze=copper = tin alloys

Which leaves the distressing question of what to call an alloy of copper with both brass and tin in it. As some leading "bronze" castings are.

But Comrade Mark, K19 never had a through-hull problem! The reactor valves, we will not import. Those we will sell to China. <VBG>
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:01   #22
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

That's criminal and there definitely should be a law
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:07   #23
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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Which leaves the distressing question of what to call an alloy of copper with both brass and tin in it.
Gunmetal: also called red brass in the USA, is an alloy of 88% copper, 10%tin, and 2% zinc. The name gunmetal originated because it was the preferred material from which cannons were cast well up into the 19th century.


Another copper alloy, C23000, also known as red brass in the US, has 85% copper, .05% lead, .05% iron, and the balance zinc, making it a brass instead of bronze.
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:33   #24
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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Gunmetal: also called red brass in the USA, is an alloy of 88% copper, 10%tin, and 2% zinc. The name gunmetal originated because it was the preferred material from which cannons were cast well up into the 19th century.


Another copper alloy, C23000, also known as red brass in the US, has 85% copper, .05% lead, .05% iron, and the balance zinc, making it a brass instead of bronze.
Or just buy what I have seen last for 40+ years from company's like Groco, Apolo & Spartan. I have some very old seacocks I work on that are like new in terms of lack of corrosion at more than 40 years old. WC's, old Groco's & Spartans made from 85-5-5-5. These old tapered cone seacocks seeminly last forever if properly maintained, lubed & lapped occasionally......

85% Copper, 5% Tin, 5% Lead, 5% Zinc or what is commonly referred to as 85-three-five bronze....


This ball valve shows what can happen, in less than a year, using cheap "yellow brass" valves purchased from Home Depot. This valve was literally a week or two away from catastrophic failure of the boat sinking type!



The ball in this valve, that keeps water out of the boat, was completely gone as in; not there, totally missing, corroded away and never to be seen again. All in a little less than a years time! All the other valves on this boat were marine UL by Groco and two by Apollo. They were all much older than this valve. None of them showed any signs of corrosion and all worked perfectly.

The owner while transiting the ICW grabbed a valve where he could and figured he'd change it out later and then promptly forgot about it.... This boat was never tied to a dock and spent her time at anchor as the boat was on a 5 year circumnavigation and spent the vast majority of the time on the hook when not sailing.


This yellow brass male adapter simple sheared off:


This yellow brass home center quality gate valve literally crumbled and disintegrated note how coppery the metal is all the way through. There was no zinc left in this yellow brass....:
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:05   #25
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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No, Hanover, Maryland USA. That's great to hear! I'm real surprised they are casting bronze in Maryland...
Casting plants are all over the US. You just need to know where to look. We have gray iron, ductile iron and aluminum cast in several areas around West Michigan. There are also a couple places that do custom brass/bronze alloys in Grand Rapids & Chicago. You could have duplicates of existing parts made to replace really special stuff ($$$$). We had special parts commissioned in Cleveland a few years ago. just make sure you specify the alloy &/or use. People who run these places are amazingly helpful and knowledgeable.
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:31   #26
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

Surprisingly, the tapered bronze seacocks on 3 taiwan boats I've had were all real nice with no apparent corrosion....when serviced.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:39   #27
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

A easy way to tell the difference between brass and bronze is all bronze tailpieces are cast not machined like brass.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:27   #28
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Re: Near Disaster with Brass Used in Below Waterline Plumbing

The broken Hose barb shown in post #2 magazine picture appears to be cast with a machined barb.
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Old 07-03-2012, 15:44   #29
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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A easy way to tell the difference between brass and bronze is all bronze tailpieces are cast not machined like brass.
Not always true of the entire fitting some have both the threads and the male adapter machined leaving only the wrench flats that still have sand cast marks.

This bronze male adapter made by Perko is in fact cast bronze not yellow brass and the hose end has been machined...



Perko Cast Bronze Male Adapter (LINK)



I think the easiest way to tell is to simply put known bronze next to something you suspect is brass...
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Old 07-03-2012, 18:02   #30
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Re: Near disaster with brass used in below waterline plumbing

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Not always true of the entire fitting some have both the threads and the male adapter machined leaving only the wrench flats that still have sand cast marks.

This bronze male adapter made by Perko is in fact cast bronze not yellow brass and the hose end has been machined...



Perko Cast Bronze Male Adapter (LINK)



I think the easiest way to tell is to simply put known bronze next to something you suspect is brass...
The part on the left appears to be brass as well. Its like archeology. Its hard to know without provenance. BTW, the cast barbs can be hard to seal (right picture). I chuck them in a drill or lathe and use a file to make them smooth and sharp. At least file off the casting parting lines.
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