Timber engineering hardware and connectors

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The term 'timber 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 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 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 engineering hardware should adhere to.



  • Materials
  • Metal plate fasteners
  • Connectors used with bolts
  • Product certification
  • Fire resistance
  • Durability and protection


This Wood Information Sheet was revised in March 2022. Changes include:

  • Removal of references to the withdrawn BS 5268-2.
  • Updates to assessment methods and product certification following the UK's departure from the EU.
  • Information added on the installation of metal plates and timber to masonry connectors.
  • Changes to Table 1 and 2.
  • Amendments to the information on durability and protection.


Suggested Reading

Design of structural timber connectionsnavigation-arrow

Connections are an essential part of any structure, and in timber structures they are often the most critical part of a design. The timber section size is often determined by the strength of the section remaining after drilling holes for bolts or dowels, or by the spacing requirements for the...

27/02/2017 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Enabling tomorrow's timber designers todaynavigation-arrow

James Norman and Andrew Thomson are passionate advocates of sustainable building. They have written a new, accessible textbook on structural timber design, full of essential information, worked examples and clear illustrations, and offer these reflections.


25/03/2020 |  Magazine Article  

Round timber in construction: An introductionnavigation-arrow

Wood is man's oldest structural material, and prior to the introduction of tools such as saws it was largely used in its natural round form, often connected together with lashings rather than by mechanical jointing.

This document gives readers an outline of the applications of round timber, including the...

01/01/2004 |  Other Technical Guidance