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After six years of service, three water shut-off valves on a copper water line in a residential building were found to be inoperative. Macroscopic examination of the valves after disassembly revealed that all three failed at the key that holds the spindle in the gate. In addition, the color near the key changed from yellow to red-brown. The gate was made from leaded red brass (85-5-5-5) while the spindle was made from silicon brass. It was concluded that the valves failed by dezincification resulting from bimetallic galvanic corrosion. It is common in the valve industry to use components made of different alloys in the same valve, but this is not the best approach for all applications.

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Philip J. Kenny, Dezincification of Silicon Brass in Contact with Leaded Red Brass, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Buildings, Bridges, and Infrastructure, ASM International, 2019,

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