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In general, the best way to minimize cost when utilizing perforated metal in a project is to choose readily available (stock) pieces, or those that can be created easily with standard tooling. Going custom usually means that the cost will escalate rapidly.
The table below provides a quick summary of the key characteristics of perforated metal and the cost considerations associated with each. Keeping your specification within these margins will result in a cost-effective approach to procuring your pieces.
Material Type Balance material type and strength against required sheet thickness to determine the most cost-effective metal for the project Sheet Size Choose a standard size sheet:· 3’x8’
Thickness · Thinner sheets are less expensive· Balance strength requirements against thickness to maximize cost effectiveness Hole Shape · Round holes are the most common and cheapest hole shape – readily available in stock pieces· Square and slot hole shapes are also available in stock pieces, although in limited configurations Hole Pattern · Straight line and staggered layouts are available in stock pieces· 60° staggered is the most common layout due to clean appearance and high strength of the staggered patterns.
· 45° pattern also available
Hole size · For low strength materials make sure that the hole size measurement is equal to or greater than the thickness of the metal· High-strength material and stainless steel, choose a hole size that is approximately 3 times the metal thickness Bar Width · Standard bar width range from 3/32 of an inch to 1 ¼ inch· Bar width should be equal to or greater than the thickness of the sheet
· Select maximum acceptable bar width — greater spacing between rows speed up production time and lowers cost
Center Distance Increase center to center distance to the maximum possible to speed up production time Open Areas Maintain percent open area in values of 70% or below in order to minimize distortion in the perforated metal Margins · When possible use standard margins· Unfinished ends are industry-standard and readily available
· Maintain margins at a distance that minimizes distortion of metal
Blank Areas Incorporate blank areas in the perforated metal sheets as a substitute for expensive joining or welding operations Burrs Accept standard expected burr heights from perforating process unless ultra-flat sheets are needed for special applications
Know Your Options When Selecting Perforated Products
There are many factors that go into selecting the right thickness, hole size, hole shape, spacing and more for perforated products. Our eBook, Proper Selection for Perforated Products, shares the cost implications and applications for different sizes and types of perforated sheets.