Use of lead in brass alloys has been strictly restricted in potable water systems since 2014 due to increasing health concerns, but the corrosion-resistance potential of newer lead-free brasses is of concern. Resistance of “lead-free” bismuth brass and silicon brass alloys to pitting and dezincification was investigated under conditions of extreme corrosiveness. A field-based retrospective cohort study was also conducted of bismuth and silicon brass water meters exposed to waters with low to high dezincification propensity; while the meter bodies were made of bismuth brass and silicon brass C87850, these brasses had a built-in pivot nut made of yellow brass. Accelerated-life tests showed that the newer “Pb-free” brass alloys C87850 and C89833 showed similar and satisfactory corrosion-resistant potential relative to corrosion-resistant brass alloys C83600 and C87600. In field tests, bismuth and silicon brass water meters showed no dezincification even though yellow brass exhibited a dezincification prevalence rate concordant with water dezincification propensity.

You do not currently have access to this content.