They can be made to any size and are either used for decorative or functional architectural applications.
Perforated metal panels can be applied in many contexts. Decorative perforated metal panels are more likely to have a complex, non repetitive design, while the others are made with simple hole patterns.
Compared to their alternatives, expanded metal panels and wire mesh, perforated metal panels have greater, more predictable and accurate load bearing capacity. They are used in the architectural, building construction, interior decorating, aerospace, chemical processing and cryogenic industries.
They aid in building insulation by providing structural support in building construction, and they act as infill panels under stairway handrails. Many perforated panels are added to walls, roofing and ceilings for decorative accents as well as structural components.
Recording studios and noisy public areas like train stations, subway stops, swimming pools, gymnasiums and convention centers use perforated metal as acoustical panels to muffle and absorb unwanted noise. Stereo speaker covers and radiator covers are also constructed out of perforated metal panels because the hole patterns let heat and sound out while also providing protection.
All perforated metal is manufactured from large rolls of sheet metal. However, depending on the complexity and design of the hole punctures, there are two different ways that the perforations are accomplished.
For simple, repetitive patterns that extend across the entire sheet of metal, all-across punching presses are used. The sheet metal is fed through the press, where rams in the shape of the pattern strike down on the metal. When complex and unique custom-made patterns for decorative panels are needed, a different type of punching press is used.
Sectional punching presses are often CNC controlled and move the sheet of metal underneath a stationary punching ram to create an intricate design. After the perforations have been made to the newly formed panels, most of them are put through secondary processing of some kind.
To improve corrosion and temperature resistance, many metal panels are galvanized in a bath of molten zinc. Protective coatings and clear lacquers are applied to the surface of many perforated panels to provide a shiny, attractive finish as well as slow the rusting and tarnishing processes. Many panels are also corrugated, a process that bends the panels into a continuous and uniform wave-like pattern for added detail.