Adhesives and Components (BBC Bitesize)

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Design & Technology

Components and adhesives

The components of a product are the smaller elements or parts which make it up. Examples of components are the nails, screws, hinges or catches that hold the product together.

Adhesives are used to join materials together by gluing. Different types of materials and different situations require different adhesives. It's important you learn the type of adhesive, rather than the brand name.

Components: 1

Resistant materials components are usually bought ready-made. The most common components you need to know about are nails, screws, hinges and catches.

The main types of component are:

  • threaded fastenings, including wood screws, machine screws, nuts and bolts, and self-tapping screws
  • rivets, including hammered rivets and pop rivets
  • hinges, catches and locks
  • knockdown fittings
  • a round wire nail, an oval nail and a panel pin (


    Nails are generally used where appearance is not important, or where a quick job is needed. Panel pins and veneer pins are used to fix backs onto cupboards and bottoms onto boxes. Veneer pins are finer (or thinner) than panel pins. Nails and pins are usually made of mild steel.

  • two wood screws: one with round head, one countersunk (


    Wood screws are used to join metal or plastic components to wood, or to join two pieces of wood to make a strong joint.

  • a machine screw (

    Machine screw

    Machine screws have 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.

  • a bolt (


    Bolts have 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.

  • a set screw (

    Set screw

    Set screws have a screw thread along the whole or most of their length, and normally have hexagonal heads.

Components: 2

  • four rivets. Snap head, countersunk head, pan head and flat head. (


    Hammered rivets are used to join metal, but are sometimes used on products…


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