Perforated metals are metals that have been punched with holes or other shapes in a pattern or series. Used in building construction, interior and exterior design and many manufacturing applications like filters, strainers and piping inserts, perforated metal can be fabricated in a large number of configurations for use within the insulation, structural, filtration, food service, waste management and many other industries.
The number one application for perforated metals is as architectural perforated metals, which are used as decorations, access restriction utilities and in many other ways. Common perforated metals include perforated steel, perforated copper, perforated stainless steel and perforated aluminum, although perforated metal suppliers often manufacture a wide range of perforated alloys and specialty grades as well. Perforated brass sheets are just one example of the many alloy metals used to make perforated sheet metal products. Perforated metal panels are widely used in building construction and decoration, as are perforated metal screens. Many industrial and processing applications make use of perforated tubes, and thick perforated plates may be used in a variety of design or structural applications. Perforated sheet metal is made into screens, filters, baskets, trash cans, tubing, light fixtures, vents, audio speaker covers, patio furniture and many other products.There are two main manners of punching perforations into sheet metal, and they vary based on the complexity, repetitiveness and design of the hole patterns. For simple perforations, a standard punching press is used. As the sheet metal is slowly fed into the press, it is perforated by a large press containing the hole pattern. For decorative perforated metal panels that have complex designs using many different shapes in a non-repetitive manner, a sectional XY axis punching press, which is usually CNC controlled, is best in terms of accuracy and precision. Like the standard press, sheet metal is slowly fed through the punching press. It is secured to the machinery and moved around underneath one or several stationary punching rams with a single shape. As the sheet moves in the direction of the hole design, the rams create a detailed and complex pattern on the metal. This process takes much longer but produces complex and decorative perforated sheets and panels. The main advantages of CNC punching over manual punching are the lower labor costs associated with automation, the speed with which automated machinery can create products and the high repeatability of the process.
Types of hole patterns include staggered rounds, centers and squares, straight square slots, round and line squares, round slot end, side staggered, diamond, chain link, cross, hexagon and decorative cut outs like stars and flowers. Perforated metal manufacturers make their products out of stainless steel, galvanized steel, cold-rolled carbon steel, brass, copper, zinc, titanium, aluminum and other metals. Perforated sheets can be produced from sheets providing options that include margins and blank areas as well as with full perforation. Every perforation creates a piece of scrap metal, which generally can be recycled and made into more sheet metal. Since there are often so many perforations in the metal, perforated products are very light in weight, making them easy to handle and transport. A common way to produce perforated sheets begins with roll-formed coils. This method provides great flexibility in both design and handling. Perforated coils can be produced from coils as well, which is generally faster than perforating sheets.
Like perforated metals, expanded metals are also used for filtration, reinforcement and decoration. Expanded metals are similar to perforated metals, but they have been cut and stretched into a shaped framework rather than punched. Using expanded metal can be both cost-effective and ecologically sustainable, as the expanded metal fabrication process creates very little waste material and can expand a metal sheet's surface area by up to 70%. Applications for expanded metals are often similar to those of perforated metals; they include enclosures such as lockers and cages, supportive structures such as grating, shelves and catwalks, and protective structures such as guards and fencing. Although expanded metal is sometimes a cost-effective alternative to perforated metal, perforated metal is capable of being fabricated with much finer holes in a wide variety of configurations, making it an optimal choice for many metal screen applications as well as filter, design and construction applications. The decision whether to expand or perforate metal depends upon the industrial application, budget and specific design requirements. Perforated metal remains useful because it is easy to manufacture, cost-effective, versatile and suitable for a wide range of metals.
Images Provided by McKey Perforating Company, Inc.
Perforated Metal Terms
device that attaches the perforated metal grating to its supports.
- Flat metal bars connected to each end of the bearing bars of a perforated metal grating.
- Individual strips of metal that make up perforated metal grating panels; they support the load applied to the perforated metal grating.
- The point of intersection between two strands of expanded metal.
- Angles or flats that get welded to the perforated metal grating.
- The process of moving unheated metal through pairs of roller dies to increase strength and reduce thickness. Expanded metal is flattened in the cold rolling process.
- The bars perpendicular to the bearing bars of expanded metal grating.
- The amount of deformation that occurs upon the application of stress to perforated metal grating. Acceptable deformation usually measures about 0.25.
- A coating applied to perforated metal grating. This coating is typically paint or galvanizing.
- The distance measured in inches between two bond midpoints.
- The openings or gaps in expanded and perforated metals that are surrounded by metal strands.
- A manufacturing method for perforated metal grating in which a specialized press, fit with cross-bar deformation, locks the bearing bars in position. The press-locked method is an alternative to riveting and welding.
- A shearing method that leaves prongs or jagged edges on the expanded metal.
- The inclusion of a row of notches on expanded metal grating to provide slip resistance.
- Process of trimming metal to meet size and shape design requirements.
- Process whereby metal strip width is reduced to meet design criteria.
- In expanded metal, the metal strip creating the pattern framework.
- A panel of grating to which carrier end plates and nosing are welded. Tread is designed specifically to be used as stairs.