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Hardware Manufacturers

11/2/2012 6:32:14 PM | by Anonymous

Hardware - Manufacturers

The word hardware is a general term used to identify various things such as computer hardware, household hardware and builder’s hardware. Because of this reason, the hardware manufacturers also differ depending on the type of hardware to be produced. Computer hardware refers to parts that can be seen on personal computers and laptops. Both household hardware and builder’s hardware work as a support in building construction. Household hardware is tools held by hand such as nails, bolts & nuts and screws. Builder’s hardware is similar to household hardware but besides including metal hardware such as fasteners, locks, etc, it can also consist of glasses and plastic. This would depend on the preferred material to be used as parts.

 

Builder’s Hardware

Even though builder’s hardware is not evident on the building, it plays an important role in making the building parts work. The products under this hardware category are usually produced from steel, copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminium and iron. Builder’s hardware can be classified according to where they are used. Some of the classifications are bathroom, door, furniture, safety & security, plumbing and curtain hardware. Bathroom hardware includes shower, faucet, mirrors, etc., safety & security hardware comprises of locksets, plumbing hardware includes hoses and pipes and curtain hardware consists of rings and hooks among others. The products that belong to door and furniture hardware are fasteners and other components that made up their design such as door handles in the case of the door and arms and legs for the furniture. Metal is the most common material in producing builder’s hardware. In order to produce it into the desired hardware form, it has to undergo a manufacturing process.

 

Hardware Manufacturing Process

Hardware especially those created from metal has to undergo a complex process before it is formed into its desired shape. Pure metals are not used solely because they hold characteristics which are not ideal for building construction such as durability and corrosive resistant. In order to attain the desired characteristics, different pure metals are mixed forming alloys. The widely produced metallic alloys are the alloys of iron namely cast iron, stainless steel and steel to name a few. Other metallic alloys being used today but not as much as steel are aluminium, copper, magnesium and titanium.

 

Steel manufacturing begins by purifying an iron which naturally contains oxygen and sulfur. If these other elements are not removed before the manufacturing process, iron would not perfectly alloy into steel. The iron can be acquired through mining or a scrap iron can be used and purified in a reduction furnace which will burn away the impurities. When this is done, the purified metal is mixed with other elements and heated inside an electric arc furnace. In order to create steel, about 1 percent of carbon is needed. Electric arc furnace works by having large electrodes and electricity release that would heat the iron and result for the elements to melt.

 

The iron and carbon that melt will combine creating a steel alloy. However, this steel alloy is not perfect yet as it is typical for it to appear with a darker layer. This layer called slag is not successfully reduced impure element. Since this element will not be usable, it has to be removed by pouring it off so only the pure steel will be left. This step marks the end of the creation of steel.

 

The manufacturing process for metal hardware can finally start once the steel is made readily available. Different hardware products can be produced through casting. Casting happens by melting the steel and pouring it into the mold. Depending on the mold, the solidified steel comes out with different shape. The hardware manufacturers then will deliver the hardware products to businesses or wholesale suppliers.

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