I am trying to find symbols for hardware elements which are not usually visible and do not have AFAIK a more recognizable symbol, such as caches, pipelines, etc.
It's in the context of a hardware-oriented application, so it does not need to convey the information for any kind of people, but for those which already expect such icons to exist.
I wonder if using symbols related to the usual meaning of the words (e.g. an industrial oil-like kind of tube to represent a pipeline, a weapon to represent a "(weapon) cache", a small branch to represent a branch predictor, etc.) would be appropriate, or if there are rules which state such kind of "metaphors" detract from the design. I am concerned some users might consider it as derisory.