Posted on June 29, 2022

Are Stainless Steel and Brass Fittings Compatible?

John Joyce
Written by

John Joyce

Posted in
Fittings, Tube Fittings

The type of tube fittings and adapters used within a hydraulic system is crucial. When it comes to choosing the material, it’s important to make sure it’s the perfect fit. The wrong material can cause contamination and other issues.


Hydraulic fittings can be made of carbon, stainless or brass. In this blog post, we’ll discuss these three types and help you choose what’s best for your application.

#1 – Carbon Steel

Some carbon steel fittings can withstand more than 5000 pounds per square inch, meaning they can be used for both low- and high-pressure systems. They are widely used in industrial, construction and agricultural equipment.
Carbon can be more brittle, causing it to crack or break from intense forces are applied to it. Therefore, it’s not a suitable material where crimping is used. It’s also not ideal for harsh environments, as it may rust easily if not coated properly, with electroplated cadmium, zinc or zinc phosphate.

Stainless steel is ideal for food processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and textile applications, because carbon can corrode and rust.

#2 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel fittings are durable, making them useful in corrosive and high-pressure environments. Although they can cost more than carbon, they can provide the strength and durability you need for a harsh environment.

Stainless steel fittings can rate to 10,000 psi, while specifically designed stainless can go as high as 20,000 psi. These fittings can be used for the following applications:

  • Oil, gas and offshore equipment
  • Chemical processing
  • Food manufacturing
  • Medical and instrumentation
  • Agricultural fertilizer
  • Marine

#3 – Brass

With moderate strength and good ductility at high temperatures, brass fittings are more likely to be used in lower pressure applications, as they can accommodate pressures to 3000 psi. These fittings are also not recommended for temperatures exceeding 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The safety, reliability and service life of a system are only as good as its transfer lines and connections. Learn how to select fittings using the STAMP method by downloading our white paper on “The What, Where and Why of Tube Fittings and Adapters.”

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