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86 Cards in this Set

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Design and Technology: Product Design

Design and Market Influences - Processes and Manufacture - Materials and Components

Materials and Components


Paper weight and thickness is measured in grams per square metre (gsm). Most paper is now manufactured from recycled paper sources. Virgin paper is made from 100% wood pulp and contains no recycled material. Different types of paper and board have different uses.

What is layout paper and its uses?

Lightweight, inexpensive, thin white paper. Used for sketches and initial ideas, takes colour well.

What is tracing paper and its uses?

Thin and translucent, expensive. Used for making manual copies of drawings.

What is cartridge paper and its uses?

Quality white paper, available in multiple weights. Can be used for simple model work.

What is bleedproof paper and its uses?

Smooth and hard, medium cost. Used for water or spirit based felt tip pens.

What is coloured paper and its uses?

Available in multiple colours and thicknesses. Used to mount finished work and to apply colour surfaces to models.

What is grid paper and its uses?

Printed square and isometric grids in multiple sizes, low cost. Used as a guide for model making.

What are the different standard paper sizes?

In most of the world paper is available in sizes from A0 (biggest) to A6 (smallest). The most standard size is A4. Each size is half the one before, eg. A4 is half the size of A3.


The thickness of cardboard (sometimes called just Board or Card) is measured in microns; one micron is one thousandth of one millimetre. Sometimes the thickness of cardboard is given in sheets. This refers to the numbers of sheets of paper that have been glued together to make the sheet of board.

What is board and its uses?

Thickness (between 300 and 650 microns). Range of colours. Use to create models. Thickness depends on usage.

What is corrugated card and its uses?

Strong and Lightweight. Used for packaging protection. Available in different thicknesses.

What is mounting board and its uses?

High quality thick card. Coloured surfaces. Used for final models and mounting work.

What is spiral wound tubing and its uses?

Strong. 3D printable surface. Used for packaging.

What is duplex and its uses?

Foam based board. Multiple finishes available. Used for food packaging.


Softwoods come from coniferous trees which are evergreen, needle-leaved, cone-bearing trees, such as cedar, spruce, fir and pine.

What is pine and its uses?

Very light brown colour. Straight grained and sometimes knotty, fairly tough. Cheap quality furniture, simple joinery.

What is spruce and its uses?

Creamy white colour. Not very tough. Indoor work including bedroom and bathroom furniture.


Hardwoods come from broad-leaved, deciduous trees. The main hardwood timbers include ash, beech, birch, cherry, elm, mahogany, oak and teak.

What is ash and its uses?

Light brown colour. Open grained, tough and flexible. Tool handles, some sports equipment.

What is beech and its uses?

White to pinkish brown colour. Close grained, hard, tough but warps easily. Tool handles, children’s toys, furniture.

What is elm and its uses?

Light to medium brown colour. Open and sometimes interlocking grain, durable in water, tough, resists splitting. Outdoor and indoor furniture.

What is mahogany and its uses?

Pink to reddish brown colour. Fairly strong, durable, some interlocking grain. High end furniture.

What is oak and its uses?

Light brown colour, strong, hard, tough, open grained, corrodes steel screws and fittings. High end furniture, interior wood work.

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals contain Iron and are prone to rusting if exposed to moisture. Due to the iron within them they can also be picked up by a magnet. Ferrous metals include: Cast Iron, Mild Steel, High Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and High Speed Steel.

What is cast iron and its uses?

Melting point of 1200°C. Hard skin but softer underneath, but brittle and it corrodes by rusting. Metalwork vices, manhole covers and car brake discs etc.

What is mild steel and its uses?

Melting point of 1600°C. Tough, ductile, malleable, good tensile strength. It will rust if in constant contact with water. Nuts and bolts, car bodies, building girders.

What is high carbon steel and its uses?

Melting point of 1800°C. Very tough and very hard, resistant to abrasion. Used for most tools: chisels, screwdrivers, saws etc.

What is stainless steel and its uses?

Melting point of 1400°C Hard and tough resistant to wear and corrosion. Cutlery and kitchen equipment.

What is high speed steel and its uses?

Melting point of 1400°C. Brittle but resistant to wear. Milling cutters and lathe tools.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-Ferrous metals do not contain iron. Examples of non-ferrous metals include: Aluminium, Copper, Tin, Zinc and Brass.

What is aluminium and its uses?

Melting point of 660°C. Light in colour although it can be polished to a mirror like appearance. It is very light in weight. Cooking foil, window frames, ladders etc.

What is copper and its uses?

Melting point of 1080°C. A ductile and malleable metalIt is often red/brown in colour. It is a very good conductor of heat and electricity. Plumbing and electrical components such as telephone wire.

What is tin and its uses?

Melting point of 230°C. Very ductile and very malleableIt is resistant to corrosion from moistureIt is bright silver in appearance. Coating on food cans, tin foil and soldering.

What is zinc and its uses?

Melting point of 420°C. Very resistant to corrosion from moisture. However zinc is a very weak material. Coating on screws, steel bucketsIt is also used to galvanise steel.

What is brass and its uses?

Melting point of 900-1000°C. An alloy of copper and zinc. Brass is resistant to corrosion, fairly hard, good conductor of heat and electricity. Decorative metal works such, such as door handles and musical instruments.


Thermoplastics can be heated and reshaped many times.

What is polyamide (nylon) and its uses?

Tough, fairly hard, self-lubricating, resists wear, good resistance to chemicals and machines. Casing for power tools, curtain rail fittings and clothing.

What is polymethyl methacrylate (acrylic) and its uses?

Stiff, hard but scratches easily, durable, brittle in small sections, good electrical insulator, machines and polishes well. Signs, aircraft canopies and windows, covers for car lights, wash basins and baths.

What is high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and its uses?

Light but hard plastic. Available in sheets but softens at high temperatures. Common for school projects which include products' outer casings or packaging.

What is polypropylene (PP) and its uses?

Light plastic, hard but can scratch easily, tough, resistance to chemicals, resists work fatigue. Used for medical and laboratory equipment, seating, rope, some kitchen equipment.

What is polythene: low density (LDPE) and its uses?

Tough, resistance to chemicals, flexible, fairly soft, good electrical insulator. Plastic bottles, toys, packaging film and bags.

What is polythene: high density (HDPE) and its uses?

Stiff, hard, able to be sterilised. Plastic bottles, tubing and milk crate.

What is PVC and its uses?

Stiff and hard wearing. Air and water pipes and medical devices.

Thermosetting Plastics

Thermosetting plastics can only be heated and shaped once.

What is epoxy resin (epoxide, ER) and its uses?

Good electrical insulator, hard, brittle unless reinforced, resists chemicals. Used for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and surface coatings and adhesives.

What is melamine formaldehyde (MF) and its uses?

Stiff, hard, strong, resists some chemicals and staining. Electrical insulation and tableware.

What is polyester resin (PR) and its uses?

Stiff, hard, brittle unless laminated, good electrical insulator, resists chemicals. Used for car bodies and boats.

What is urea formaldehyde (UF) and its uses?

Stiff, hard, strong, brittle, good electrical insulator. Used for electrical fittings and adhesives.

What is phenol formaldehyde (PF, bakelite) and its uses?

Hard and brittle. Board and table top games and billiard balls.


Components are often the used to join materials together. They are the smaller parts that make up a product. Different components are used to join plastics, wood and metals together. Adhesives are used to glue materials together. Components made from resistant materials and are typically bought ready-made. The most common used in Design and Technology are nails, screws, hinges and catches.

What are nails and their uses?

Made from mild steel. Mostly used where appearance isn’t important.

What are panel and veneer pins and their uses?

Made from mild steel. Used to fix backs into cupboards. Veneer pins are finer and thinner.

What are machiene screws and their uses?

They have a screw thread to fit into a threaded hole or a hexagonal nut. They are used to join two or more pieces of metal or plastic.

What are wood screws and their uses?

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

What are set screws and their uses?

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

What are bolts and their uses?

They 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.

What are hinges and catches and their uses?

They are used on boxes, cabinets and cupboards. They can be used on products made from wood, metal or plastic. They are normally fixed to the product with wood screws or machine screws and nuts.


Most products are made from multiple materials. Joints are therefore needed to join the pieces together when the product is fabricated or assembled.

What are permanent and temporary joints?

Permanent joints are intended to stay put throughout the product’s lifecycle. They may be assembled using adhesives, nails, rivets, or one of the heat processes of brazing, soldering or welding. Assembly jigs are often used to hold components in place while they are being joined. For example, the parts of a steel roof frame can be put into the jig and then welded together. Temporary fixings usually involve components: such as screws, nuts and bolts, or one of the many knock-down (KD) fixings.

How do you join plastics?

Plastic products are often moulded to snap together during the assembly process. Permanent joints are created using adhesive, machine screws, rivets or bolts.

How do you join woods?

The method used for joining wood will depend on the product and its usage. Wood joints can be made with screws, nails and glues, or with frame joints, such as butt joints, halving joints, mortice-and-tenon, dovetail and box joints.

What is a screw and how does it work?

To insert screws two sizes of hole are needed. The main hole must be very slightly bigger than the shank of the screw so that the shank can move freely in the clearance hole. The first hole must be smaller than the core of the screw so that the core fits tightly into it.

What is a nail and how does it work?

Nails are cheaper and easier to use than screws and come in many shapes and sizes. To fix nails holes need to be drilled to prevent the wood from splitting, or when using hard woods.

Joining Metals

Metals joints are made by brazing, soldering, welding, machine screws or rivets.

What is brazing?

Brazing is a way of bonding materials by melting a filler metal or alloy between the components. The filler metals used in brazing must have a lower melting point than that of the material being joined. Brazing forms very strong, permanent joints.

What is soldering?

Soldering is a type of brazing which works at lower temperatures.

What is welding?

Welding works when two pieces of metal are melted along the joints, the metals fuse together as they cool.

What is a machience screw?

Machine screws are screws used for joining metal components. Holes have to be pre-drilled into the component. They must have the correct internal thread.

What is a rivet?

Rivets can be used to join metals, plastics and plywood. The rivet is placed in a hole drilled through both pieces of material. The end of the rivet is then beaten into a dome. A tool called rivet set is then used to finish off the joint. Some rivets are countersunk.


Adhesives glue materials together. Different adhesives need to be used for different materials and product uses. The main types of adhesive are PVA (polyvinyl acetate), synthetic resin, epoxy resin, contact adhesive and acrylic cement.

What is PVA (polyvinyl acetate) and its uses?

General purpose woodwork glue. Some PVA adhesives are water resistant.

What is synthetic resin and its uses?

A strong water-resistant glue for woodwork. It needs to be mixed up immediately before use.

What is epoxy resin and its uses?

For joining metals and plastics. It is waterproof but must be mixed up immediately before use.

What is contact adhesive and its uses?

For joining polystyrene and fabrics. Also useful for fixing plastic laminates to a wooden base.

What is acrylic cement and its uses?

For the joining of acrylic and some other types of plastics. The adhesive "melts" the surface of the plastic and fuses it together.

Design and Market Influences

Evolution of Product Design - Meeting Consumer Needs - Design in practice - Packaging and Marketing - Design in Human Context - Global Responsibility

Evolution of Product Design

Why do products change over time?

As a product develops over a long period of time new technology becomes available. This leads to changes in the way the product looks, its efficiency and desirability to the potential customers. Designers always look for modern technology that can be applied to the products they design. This helps them keep ahead of their competitors.

What was the Arts and Crafts Movement?

William Morris founded the Arts and Crafts Movement at the end of the 19th century. His designs for wallpaper, furniture and textiles were inspired by organic shapes and patterns found in nature. Morris was a socialist, firmly against poor working conditions and the damage done to the envrionment by industrialisation. He was keen to promote the production of quality products. His work used expensive materials and traditional techniques that only the wealthy could afford.

What was the Art Noveau Movement?

This design style took its name from s shop that opened in Paris in 1895. Based on the organic lines of climbing plants and Japanese art, it was popular with designers of glass, furniture, fabrics and wrought ironwork. SOme of the most famous designs are the lamps of Louis C. Tiffany and the work of René Lalique.

What was the Modernism Movement?

Modernist designs were made ergonomically, using appropriate materials and very little decoration. Designers like Charles Rennie Mackintosh moved away from organic lines and started to use geometric shapes, which were easier to mass produce.

What was the Bauhaus Movement?

The Bauhaus was a school of art and design, founded in Germany by Walter Gropius. Between 1919 and 1933, Bauhaus designers used modern materials and mass-production methods. Experimental work using colour and form was encouraged to produce designs that were both artistic and skilled, while following the underlying principle that form should follow function.

What was the Art Deco Movement?

The fashionable and glamourous period of design was influenced by other design movements, as well as ancient Egyptian art. Used in interior design between 1920 and 1939, its influence can also be seen in the architerture of the time. Clarice Cliff, a famous designer of ceramics, decorated her work using this bright, bold style until the Second World War when it became illigal to use time and resources on decorating products.

What was the De Stijl Movement?

Using basic shapes abd primary colours, this movement took geometirc design to another level. Founded in Holland by a group of painters and architects, including Theo van Doesburg, it was the insipiration for a range of furniture and architerture that used only the essential form and colour in the design.