Timber Design > Engineering hardware and connectors

Date Published

9 August 2022

Document Type




The term ‘timber Design > Engineering hardware’ encompasses a diverse range of metal components made of steel plate, sheet or strip, which are used to connect timber members together, usually in conjunction with dowel-type metal fasteners.

Timber Design > Engineering components have widely replaced traditional carpentry joints, due to their ease of use, ready availability and the avoidance of complex machining of timber members.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) is an overview of the wide range of different timber Design > Engineering hardware available, as well as the different materials which can be used to create them. It also contains some of the different types of product certifications which Design > Engineering hardware should adhere to.

Key Information

There are two types of metal plate fasteners: two-dimensional plates used to join two or more pieces of timber and three-dimensional nail plates such as joist hangers, framing anchors, truss clips and wall ties.

There are three types of bolted connectors: split-ring connectors, shear-plate connectors and toothed-plate connectors. Eurocode 5calls these Types A, B and C.

There is no harmonised Standard for three-dimensional nailing plates, so these are CE marked according to the appropriate European Technical Assessment.

Case studies

The architect HawkinsBrown has used timber to create an elegant cathedral-like structure for a new swimming pool, a structure which is also corrosion-resistant, resilient and carbon-neutral.

The new UK headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an ultra-green, energy-efficient building in Woking designed by Hopkins Architects and known as the Living Planet Centre.