Using proper hose fittings, especially in a commercial setup, is essential to avoid leakage and any possible damage. While they come in quite a variety, the ones most commonly used are plastic and brass fittings.
Both of them are fairly good. However, their material properties make them quite different from each other. Which one out of them will be much suitable for you mostly depends on what they will be used for.
How are brass and plastic hose fittings different?
The following points are the main differences to be considered while purchasing brass or plastic fittings.
Using your hose fittings for a system that will carry steam or hot liquids makes temperature resistance an important concern. While the grade of plastic used for fittings is pretty tough, it is still prone to breakage at extreme temperatures.
Plastic might not be able to withstand the amount of pressure, whereas brass fittings are strong enough to bear it. Thus, brass is comparatively more resistant to damage at high temperatures, making it a much reliable option here.
When you are using fittings for industrial purposes, they might come in contact with corrosive liquids for a prolonged period. This is why checking corrosion resistance becomes an important factor here.
Plastic hose fittings can be corrosion resistant to particular liquids but not for all. Long periods of contact with corrosive liquids can eventually melt and corrode them, leading to further damage.
However, brass hose fittings are found to be highly corrosion resistant as compared to other hose fitting alternatives. Thus, they can last much longer and can be relied upon for not contaminating the liquid passing through it.
Many places have to deal with a regular supply of hard water due to their location. The hose fittings that have to constantly deal with hard water should not be susceptible to damage from it. Here plastic hose fittings are considered durable enough to serve the purpose.
Also, though brass hose fittings used to corrode due to hard water in the earlier times. But, the newer improved versions with limestone resistant inner core are highly resistant to corrosion due to hard water.
Some plastic hose fittings tend to cool down the steam/liquid passing through it. While usually, it is not much of a concern, but in labs or industries, it can matter a lot. This is why brass hose fittings should be used for such purposes because of their high conductivity.
They do not alter the temperature and will provide accurate outputs. However, though brass fittings can handle the heat, their outer surface tends to heat up very much as well. Thus, they can cause burns and must be handled with caution.
Brass hose fittings have been improved with time with a corrosion-resistant inner coating making it resistant to multiple damaging factors. However, plastic hose fittings may or may not be able to withstand extreme conditions.
Thus, for moderate/domestic purposes, buying plastic fittings can be a better and economical choice. But, if you need hose fittings that should be stronger and more durable connectors, you must choose brass.