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Valued for its strength, flexibility, and aesthetics, perforated metal is a popular material choice for commercial and residential architectural applications alike. Most often, perforated metal — also called perforated sheet, perforated plate, or perforated screen — is used for facades and exterior building design. But it’s also used in a huge range of other applications, from food and furniture to automotive and agriculture.
To produce this unique metal, a raw material is coil-fed into a high-speed press. The metal is punched on the downstroke of the press, and the material advances on the upstroke of the press. The size, shape, and pattern of the perforations are custom-made, and will depend on the specific project and aesthetic requirements at hand. Few materials can achieve both the flair and functionality afforded by perforated sheet metal.
Perforated Metal Form and Function
Perforated sheets can be made from a variety of materials — stainless steel, coated steel, refractory metals, aluminum, copper alloys, zinc, nickel, and titanium, just to name a few — in order to work in conjunction with materials such as wood, natural stone, ceramic tiles, bricks, glass, and leather. This unique metal can also be manufactured in many different styles and patterns. Holes in the metal sheet can be round, diamond, hexagonal, or square, and are offered in various sizes. These holes can be arranged in a staggered or straight pattern.
Perforated metal is very easy to clean and maintain, making it well-suited to both indoor and outdoor architectural design applications. It’s commonly used in facades, stair railings, balconies, ceilings, room dividers, stairways, and screens.
The Benefits of Perforated Metal
Perforated metal offers several key advantages, including:
Optimal aesthetics — There are countless customization options available for perforated metal products. Hole shapes, sizes, geometric patterns, and finishes can all be chosen to match the particular application at hand, making it easy to achieve a specific look.
High versatility — Because perforated metal can be easily bent and configured to suit its intended application, it’s ideal for use as a lightweight decorative element or as a structural component in buildings.
Sound absorption — Perforated metal is an excellent material for diffusing sound. For example, it can play a key role in eliminating frequencies in sound-filtering systems, such as enclosures surrounding large air-conditioning or compressor units.
Superior ventilation — The openings in perforated metal permit the passage of light, air, heat, and gases. And by allowing for a balanced level of natural lighting during the day, perforated metal reduces the amount of artificial light needed, while deflecting heat at the same time. Adding visual interest to buildings’ exterior, perforated metal allows occupants to enjoy views while still maintaining privacy.
Durability — Thanks to its high strength-to-weight ratio, perforated metal can also control or equalize pressure, allowing it to easily withstand harsh weather. Plus, the perforations reduce the material’s overall weight, meaning buildings’ frameworks have less to support.
Perforated Metal for Your Design
To learn more about perforated metal or discuss options for your next architectural design project, contact the experts at Metalex today.