Posted December 20th, 2013 by Lenora Hamilton
Even if you aren’t familiar with the manufacture and usage of perforated metal, you probably see buildings sheathed in perforated metal panels every day. Perforated metal brings all the strength of metal to any structural application but has the added benefits of being attractive, lightweight and easy to install.
The Manufacture of Perforated Metal Panels
A perforated metal panel starts out like any other metal panel. The metal is formed by hot or cold rolling to the required thickness, or gauge. The metal may also be covered with a protective coating or decorative finish. Perforated metal is subjected to an additional step by passing over cutting dies designed to punch out a portion of the metal. Perforated metal is categorized by the size of the openings and the percentage of the panel that is free of metal. The holes in perforated panels are generally round and evenly spaced but can also be square or spaced in various patterns. Common size openings for round perforations are between one-eighth and three-eighths inches in diameter with spacing between holes of three-eighths to nine-sixteenths inches. The percentage of open space in the panel is generally between 10 and 40 percent. Perforated metal panels may be corrugated or folded for greater strength and visual appeal, and the panels may be installed with the folds running horizontally or vertically depending upon the specific look desired.
Uses and Installation of Perforated Metal Panels
Perforated metal is an excellent choice for open-air structures. The panels provide a degree of screening and shade, while the perforations allow light, air and sound to pass through. Perforated metal panels are often installed on parking garages and on the exterior façades of buildings because they produce an open effect without entirely sacrificing privacy. Also, because perforated panels are not solid metal, they contribute less weight to the exterior of a structure and are easy to transport and handle during installation.
Perforated Metal as a Design Feature
Perforated metal panels are available in colors that range from metallic shades to a rainbow of colored finishes. Although the surface of a perforated metal panel includes open spaces, enough of the metal exists to allow most perforated panels to be covered with a business logo, advertising message or other graphic design. The perforations themselves can be cut into unique shapes using shaped dies that coordinate with the artwork. Ensuring that the panel surface sheds moisture properly is an important part of applying graphics or artwork to any metal panel. Use of galvanized metal for panels intended to be covered with graphics helps to protect the metal from corrosion and prevents the rapid deterioration of the artwork.
Finding a Perforated Metal Panel Supplier
Wade Architectural Systems supplies perforated panels to clients throughout the states of Texas and Oklahoma. We carry round perforated metal panels in all common gauges, and pattern configurations range from 10 percent open space with one-eighth inch diameter holes spaced at three-eighth inch intervals to 40 percent open space with three-eighths inch diameter holes spaced at nine-sixteenth inch intervals. Panel materials include aluminum, steel and galvanized aluminum and steel for extra protection from moisture. The width of panels varies from product to product but is generally between 12 and 24 inches with lengths of up to 30 feet available.
If you need perforated metal panels for any construction project, check your local supplier, Wade Architectural Systems, first. We have over 20 years’ experience providing all types of interior and exterior architectural metal products and will work with you to find the right product for your application.