Perforated Sheet Metal
Perforated sheet metal is any metal sheet that has been punctured by a perforation machine or perforation tools to the effect of a product with shapes or holes set out in designs or patterns. Perforations may be uniformly sized and evenly and repetitively spaced, or they may be laid out complexly with more than one shape and/or pattern. Examples of common sheet metal perforation shapes include: round holes, triangular holes, square holes, hexagonal holes, diamond shaped holes, chain link patterned holes and cloverleaf shaped holes.
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Perforated sheet metal has many, many different applications. It is particularly popular for use in the creation of filters, vents, screens and lighting fixtures. In a commercial setting, perforated sheet metal is often used to make items like trash cans, silos vents, anti-slip flooring, stair treads, baskets and cooking tools like pans, strainers and fruit and vegetable presses. In addition, perforated metal sheets are also widely used to create decorative accents in exterior and interior building design alike. Examples of such decorative accents include facades, ceiling panels and wall panels.
Similarly, perforated metal sheets are used to produce products that serve practical indoor and outdoor purposes around the house. Products like these include sunshades, fireplace screens, cladding, outdoor furniture and room dividers. Made using perforated metal sheets, radiator covers serve both a decorative and a practical purpose; they hide heaters behind a decorative metal casing, while simultaneously ensuring that heat can escape the room. For use in and around recording studios and large and noisy public transportation hubs like subway stops, bus stops and train stations, perforated metal sheets can function as acoustical dampeners, meaning they work to muffle and absorb sound.
Perforated metal sheets are thin and lightweight and are known for their load bearing capacity, which contrasts with similar products like expanded metal and wire mesh as more accurate and more accurate. Their positive attributes, combined with their perforations, make them popular for use in many industries, such as agriculture, architecture, automotive manufacturing, construction, defense contracting, interior design, lighting, mining and petrochemicals. Professionals in these industries can form or request perforated sheets using nearly any metal material. Examples of commonly perforated metal sheets include: brass, stainless steel, galvanized steel, cold rolled steel, carbon steel, aluminum, zinc and copper.
Typically, manufacturers create perforated metal sheets using one of two different types of presses, the choice of which largely depends upon the regularity and intricacy of a hole pattern. These presses are all-cross perforated punching presses and sectional two-axis punching presses. (Other types of perforation equipment include perforation lasers, perforation rolling presses, die punches and handheld tools.)
- All-cross Perforated Punching Presses
- Quite straightforward and are chosen when manufacturers wish to create perforated metal sheets with simple, repetitive patterns spread across the whole of the sheet. These punching presses work using rams in the shape of the desired pattern, which press into the thin metal sheet in order to puncture it and leave behind the pattern.
- Sectional Two-axis Punching Presses
- Used to make complicated, unusual and/or custom made designs and patterns. These metal shaping machines also employ a ram. They, however, use it differently. In this case, instead of moving to the sheet, the sheet moves to the ram, which is stationary. In more detail, the typically CNC controlled technology machine upon which the sheet is placed secures non-repetitive perforation in the metal sheet by moving up to the punching ram and making contact with it. Perforated metal sheet, which is typically between 16 and 24 gauge, is fed into the various types of stamping presses via large industrial sized rolls. Note that the higher the transparency of a perforated metal product, the larger the perforations.
Thanks to CNC technology, manufacturers are able to accept requests for irregular and custom perforation patterns in varying thicknesses, lengths and widths. This greatly increases the options of customers with unique requirements. In addition to offering the capabilities that come along with CNC machining, most manufacturers also offer perforated metal sheet products that meet the standards of various governmental and independent organizations, such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the American Iron and Steel Institute and ISO (International Standards Organization). They will also make products that meet the specific standards or requirements of any individual application. To learn more about perforated metal sheets or to secure a quote, reach out to one of the many excellent sheet metal manufacturers listed on this page.