When steel is alloyed with chromium, a rough, invisible, corrosion-resistant film permanently forms on the surface of the steel, creating a perfect metal for outdoor applications or other contexts in which the metal will be exposed to moisture.
Perforated stainless steel is manufactured in sheets, tubes, pipes, plates, screens and panels. The automotive, furniture, food and beverage, restaurant, manufacturing, water filtration, building construction, architectural, interior design and pharmaceutical industries all use products made of perforated steel.
Since stainless steel fares well in any climate, its perforated products are often used in exterior building construction as grating, screens, sun shields, lighting diffusers, stair treads, facades and decorative paneling. Outdoor furniture like tables, chairs and benches are often constructed out of perforated stainless steel so that rainwater and snow will fall through the holes instead of building up on the furniture’s surface.
Stainless steel does not contaminate other substances, and because of its smooth surface, it is easy to clean and sanitize. Therefore, it is used to make filters and sifters in food, beverage, potable water and pharmaceutical applications.
Kitchen tools like pans and strainers are also made of perforated stainless steel as well as clean room workstation equipment.
There are 15 different grades of stainless steel that are used to manufacture perforated products, all of which resist bacterial growth, rust and corrosion. Each has a different finish, including matte, satin, brushed, reflective, coarse and abrasive.
Many different holes and shapes are punched into stainless steel, including round, square, oval, triangular, diamond, hexagonal, slot and star shapes. These shapes are often used to form intricate and decorative patterns.
Depending on the complexity of the design, stainless steel sheets are perforated two different ways. Both processes begin when the sheets of stainless steel are fed into the punching press.
For simple, repetitive patterns that expand across the whole sheet, all-cross perforated punching presses are used. These metal shaping machines use rams in the shape of the desired pattern to puncture the thin sheet of stainless steel.
When complex, unique and custom-made patterns and designs are needed, a sectional two-axis punching press is used. This machinery is often CNC controlled and moves the sheet under a stationary punching ram to produce holes that are non-repetitive.