Perforated metal sheets are usually fairly light in weight and feature higher load-bearing capacity than wire mesh, expanded metal and other alternatives to perforated metal.
Perforated sheet metal is used in a wide variety of different industries. The automotive, lighting, architecture, construction, agriculture, petrochemical development, mining, defense contracting and interior design industries all make use of perforated metal sheets.
Some of the most common perforated metal sheet constructions are vents, filters, lighting fixtures and screens. They are also widely used as sunshades, facades, ceiling and wall panels, room dividers, fireplace screens and outdoor furniture.
Perforated sheet metal can also be used as a component in acoustical dampening systems in recording studios and large, noisy transportation venues like train stations and subway stops. A wide assortment of other products like baskets, cooking tools and trash cans can all be made out of perforated sheet metal. Because of the versatility of the material, there are few limits to the possibilities for its application.
There are many different kinds of perforations, and they are employed depending on the application for which the metal is intended. These shapes include circles, squares, triangles, hexagons, cloverleaves, diamonds and a wide variety of custom shapes.
The size, quantity and spacing of perforations determine the function of the finished product. Perforated screens feature a very high number of perforations in close proximity to each other, which gives them a greater amount of transparency than other configurations.
There are two different types of presses used to perforate sheet metal. The first press, which is called an all-cross punch press, is made for simple, repetitive patterns that expand across the whole sheet.
These metal shaping machines use rams in the shape of the desired pattern to puncture the thin sheet of metal. Sectional two-axis punching presses are employed in the punching of more complex and custom patterns.
Sectional two-axis presses move metal sheets under a stationary punching ram to produce holes that are non-repetitive. They are usually computer controlled and can produce designs with high precision. Stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum and zinc can all be formed into perforated sheets, and use of perforated sheet metal is extensive all around the world.