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.