The top 5 applications of bronze valves may be debatable, but the following 5 are the most likely. Bronze has been favored for plumbing and pipeline valves for centuries because of its ductile strength and ease of casting, as well as its machine ability, and other metallurgical qualities. The 5 applications for bronze valves listed here are a reflection of these qualities.
- Portable Water Lines: Like brass, bronze is an alloy made primarily from copper. Because of its water purifying properties (copper kills bacteria), copper has always been the traditional choice for piping material when it comes to drinking water. A copper alloy, bronze is easy to cast into valves. Bronze is soldered to copper tubing quite easily because of similarities. While lead was used for centuries to make the alloy more malleable, it is frequently being replaced with no-lead metalloid alternatives today.
- When a Bronze Valve is Preferable Over a Brass Valve: Dezincification. Bronze typically has a much lower zinc content than brass, and is far less susceptible to corrosion through the chemical reaction known as dezincification, which is caused (typically) by impurities in water.
- When the Line Size is 3" or under: Bronze valves are at there strongest when a 3" size or under. This is the optimal range for bronze valves when a media is exerting pressure on the valve body. While larger bronze valves are available, they are usually for low pressure applications. Bronze is also a good choice for this size of valve for cost reasons.
- Heating/Cooling: Because of its nature, bronze valves are an excellent choice for heating and cooling applications. Bronze valves are often used for steam because of their high resistance to rust and corrosion, and they are equally favorable for coolants in HVAC and other refrigeration units.
- 4-Way Ball Valves, Multi-port Valves, and Manifolds: Bronze is the number one choice for multi-port valves because of its exceptional casting characteristics. Today's complex valves are cast to exacting standards.
Valves will continue to be made from bronze for years to come. It is easily cast into complex shapes and configurations; can withstand temperatures of over 500° Fahrenheit, or as low as -20° F; can withstand pressures over 700psi; is highly corrosion resistant; and is easily attached and sealed to copper tubing and most other metal piping (depending on compatibility). Bronze valves are a common choice for potable water and other liquid medias. It may be used with steam and air, as well. A well known name in bronze valve manufacturing is Apollo Valve (Conbraco). If you enjoyed this article, you may like reading Why Choose Apollo Ball Valves.