Perforated sheet metal manufacturers produce products for a wide variety of different industries, including automotive manufacturing, lighting, architectural, construction, agricultural, petrochemical, mining, defense contracting and interior design.
While many different products are created by perforating metal sheets, the most widely used are vents, lighting fixtures, filters and screens. They are also very popular as decorative accents in both interior and exterior building design as sunshades, facades, ceiling and wall panels, room dividers, fireplace screens and outdoor furniture.
In recording studios and large, noisy transportation venues like train stations and subway stops, perforated sheet metals act as acoustical dampeners to muffle and absorb sound. Commercial products made from perforated sheets include baskets, cooking tools like strainers and pans and trash cans. Most radiator covers are perforated metal products to conceal heaters in a decorative metal casing that will also let the heat out into the room.
The perforations in sheet metal may simply be a series of uniformly sized, repetitive holes or a complex pattern design made of different shapes, including round, square, triangular, hexagonal, cloverleaf, diamond and chain link.
Products like screens have high transparency and therefore contain many perforations with large gauges. Most sheet metal is between 16 and 24 gauge and is fed into the stamping press from large industrial sized rolls.
Depending on the complexity and repetitiveness of the hole pattern, there are two different types of presses used to perforate sheet metal. The first press is made for simple, repetitive patterns that expand across the whole sheet.
An all-cross perforated punching press is used. These metal shaping machines use rams in the shape of the desired pattern to puncture the thin sheet of metal. When complex, unique and custom made patterns and designs are needed, a sectional two-axis punching press is the preferred method of perforation.
This machinery is often CNC controlled and moves the sheet under a stationary punching ram to produce holes that are non-repetitive. Nearly any metal is formed this way, including carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum and zinc.