Hardware refers to the physical mechanical parts used in a product or application. Instrumental in numerous applications, hardware is a comprehensive term that includes small, basic parts that are used to fasten, reinforce and enable movement. Hardware is generally constructed from metals and hardware suppliers offer a wide range of materials such as steel, copper, nickel, brass, bronze, stainless steel, aluminum and iron. Often used for opening and closing applications, such as with door hardware and gate hardware, builders hardware including hinges, locks and latches are crucial in the construction industry as well as to industries such as automotive, residential and aviation. In addition, industrial hardware such as fasteners, gears, springs and bolts are crucial to many manufacturing, machining and assembly processes for applications such as conveyor systems, automation equipment and linear actuators. Hardware is used in every industry imaginable, ranging from semiconductor and electronics to medical and power generation.
Types of Hardware:
Bolts come in many different shapes and sizes, each with specific purposes. Eye bolts for example do not have a standard head but rather a circle which is known as an “eye” allowing for ropes and wire to pass through the eye. Another example of a unique bolt is the anchor bolt which are shaped like the letter L. These are used in concrete to anchor items to a foundation.
One of the most common type of hinge design is known as the butt hinge. This type of hinge utilizes two plates that interlock with the use of a pin or stud. A friction hinge is a more complex hinge as this hinge allows for simultaneously movement but can hold a position at any point in its range of motion.
Latches are products that are used to close doors, cabinets, windows and many other types of items. The configurations of latches include: compression latches, draw latches, bolt latches, spring latches and slam latches. Based upon the application, different materials are utilized for the latch such as stainless steel for heavy duty latches.
Since wire is a material that is easy to manipulate many manufacturers create products known as wire forms. Wire forms come in a wide range of styles such as wire racks, wire grids, wire screens, wire guards and point of purchase displays. There are a variety of processes involved with wire forming including roll forming, welding, coil making and more.