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Design & Technology

Components, joints and adhesives

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Components are the smaller parts that make up a product, often used to join materials together. Different kinds of component are used to join plastics, woods and metals, and adhesives are used to join materials together by glueing.

Components

An assortment of metal nuts, bolts and rivets.

Components made from resistant materials are usually bought ready-made. The most common components are nails, screws, hinges and catches.

Common components

ComponentDescription and use
NailsGenerally used where appearance is not important or where a quick job is needed. Made of mild steel.
Panel pins and veneer pinsUsed to fix backs onto cupboards and bottoms onto boxes. Veneer pins are finer (or thinner). Made of mild steel.
Wood screws Used to join metal or plastic components to wood, or to join two pieces of wood to make a strong joint.
Machine screwsHave a screw thread to fit into a threaded hole or a hexagonal nut. They can be used to join two or more pieces of metal or plastic.
BoltsHave a screw thread which fits into a threaded hole or a hexagonal nut, and are normally used to join two or more pieces of metal or plastic. A bolt is only threaded for part of its length. Bolts normally have hexagonal heads.
Set screwsHave a screw thread along the whole or most of their length, and normally have hexagonal heads.
Pop rivetsOriginally designed for use in the aircraft industry but are now used in many different products. They are often used where there is only access to one side of the material.
Hinges, catches and locksUsed on boxes, cabinets and cupboards. They can be used on products made from wood, metal or plastic. They are normally fixed to the product with wood screws or machine screws and nuts.

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