Metal mesh and lighting effects can create an especially striking balustrade panel.

Stand out from the crowd with these interesting uses of internal balustrade

When you develop the visual identity of a building, all details are important. While a major element, like a facade, can quickly catch the eye of passersby, the smaller individual components inside a structure work together to develop a sense of continuity, purpose and specific aesthetic.

In this context, it's important to consider the value of internal balustrade and how they contribute to the design, intent and purpose of your project. With the right application, these supporting structures can stand out in the eyes of all those who enter your building as well as help guide them through the space safely and as intended.

Let's go through a brief review of exactly what internal balustrades are, then consider some unique and eye-catching uses of them in a variety of building contexts.

What are internal balustrades?

A balustrade is a group of balusters, which themselves are individual structural forms. They're most commonly seen supporting staircase railings but can also be used in fencing and other applications. In the simplest terms, they're vertical posts connecting the floor and the railing or other object above.

Balustrades offer elements of both form and function. They might be intricately or simply styled, in line with the overall design concept of the structure they reside in or outside of. They play a key safety role as well, keeping people and objects from easily falling – an especially important need when serving as a barrier between a lower and higher level, like a balcony. These design elements can be made of wood, stone or a variety of metals, including stainless steel, aluminium and other materials.

Internal balustrades, then, are just balustrades seen indoors. Because they aren't exposed to the elements on a regular basis, they can be coated, painted and otherwise designed with more freedom than exterior balustrades.

Interesting uses of internal balustrades

Floor-to-ceiling post balustrade

Balustrades can fulfil their function in a variety of forms. While internal balustrades are often designed to connect a railing and the steps or floor below it, this doesn't always have to be the case. Australian company Studio Black Interiors put a new spin on the common format by extending the balustrades next to a staircase from floor to ceiling.

This eye-catching concept still offers the protective, functional element of a balustrade, but does so in a novel way. This look could be executed with a number of different materials and finishes, such as stainless steel or a variety of coated metals. Depending on the needs of your specific project, a similar approach could help craft the visual identity of your main or ancillary stairwell.

Mesh screens as balustrades

The flexibility of the basic balustrade design concept is on display in this example that we fabricated. As opposed to keeping the posts between the steps and railing – or using posts at all – a reinforced wire screen plays the role of balustrade on the side of the staircase that's exposed to the floor below.

This foundational idea can be customised with a variety of individual specifications. You may choose to use woven wire as the screen material. Aluminium, stainless steel and other metals can offer the support and protection from heights needed while lending themselves to a visually impressive appearance.

Steel wire balustrade

Balustrades don't have to be strictly vertical elements. A combination of wide-spaced vertical posts with wire run between them adds a new dimension to the look while also addressing safety issues.

Netherlands-based Newstairs executed this concept on a balcony, creating an area that feels less confined without sacrificing any of the protection balustrades provide. Other, similar options for this approach include using stainless steel or aluminium balustrade panels to offer a mix of visibility and security on balconies.

A partner to help you make the most of internal balustrades

A great concept or design for a balustrade is only effective when you have an experienced, dependable partner to help craft, finish and deliver the necessary parts. Locker helps architects, builders and other stakeholders successfully execute their vision for new construction and renovations with a variety of standard and custom-made fabricated metal parts. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help turn your vision for your internal balustrades into a reality.

Perforated metal sheets have so many architectural and design applications.

6 patterns to try in perforated metal sheets


Perforated metal sheets offer a valuable combination of aesthetics and practicality. These architectural elements can be extensively customised, with a wide variety of patterns available. Perforated metal can help a structure stand out with a memorable appearance and address a number of issues common to midsize and large buildings.

Let’s look at some of the most important benefits perforated metal sheets provide, then review some intriguing patterns than can help your next project be uniquely memorable.

How do perforated metal sheets benefit my project?

There are many potential benefits that come with the careful placement of thoughtfully designed perforated metal sheets. They include:

  • Strong visual identity: Perforated metal sheets make a clear statement to those who work in, live in or visit your building. They can also serve as a local landmark or attractive visual experience for those who pass by. With options like Pic Perf, your company can implement a totally original design. Whether it incorporates a corporate logo, distinct visuals related to the purpose of the facility or simply a novel pattern, Pic Perf emphasises fresh and engaging visuals.
  • Acoustic adjustments: Perforated metal can positively influence the acoustics and overall audio environment in buildings where it’s used. The two major ways perforated metal influences acoustics are by acting as a facing for specially designed materials like acoustic foam and serving as a tuned resonant absorber, which absorbs sounds at a specific frequency.
  • Privacy: Using perforated metal sheets near windows or as screens for outdoor areas can help limit the ability of the general public to see in without restricting those inside from seeing out. In buildings where privacy is required or desired, like medical facilities and business offices, perforated metal can serve as an elegant solution to a common problem. They can also be used to divide indoor spaces without totally sectioning them off from each other.
  • Sunlight and heat regulation: Large windows are excellent portals to the outside world, helping those within a building spark creativity or simply check on the weather. But banks of windows can also allow an excessive amount of heat and light into buildings. Perforated metal sheets can deflect sunlight and the heat that comes with it, creating valuable shade and reducing cooling costs as well.

Intriguing patterns to consider in perforated metal sheets

The versatility of perforated steel and other metals is clear. Finding the right pattern can perfectly align aesthetics and practical use, making your project look, feel and function exactly how you want it to. Keep these seven popular hole pattern options in mind, and remember than there are so many others you can choose from.

1. Pic Perf: Anything you want it to be

Our Pic Perf product allows you to design almost any perforated metal pattern and apply it to steel or other types of metal base layers. Pic Perf often utilises stainless steel and aluminium and a number of coating treatments, including anodising, powder coating and electroplating. Our knowledgeable and experienced team capably combine imagery, substrate and coating to craft a completely customised final product. If you have a very specific vision in mind for your project and don’t want to rely on existing patterns, as versatile and striking as they can be, Pic Perf is the solution.

A curved sheet of perforated metal with square perforations.A curved sheet with square perforations offers a unique blend of rigidity and flexibility.

2. Grid and square patterns

A grid pattern provides a stable aesthetic, with a repeated, uniform visual appearance. This type of perforated metal sheet doesn’t have to be implemented in a standard square or rectangle shape, either. A curved sheet can blend the appearance of a natural wave form or evoke the feeling of the blowing wind while striking a balance with the soothing repetition of a square pattern. And with plenty of options for the size and spacing of the square perforations, you can address acoustic and privacy concerns with this type of perforated metal sheet as well.

3. Honeycomb pattern

Honeycombs have plenty of positive associations. Bees operate in highly efficient and organised societies. They store a product that is critical for bees’ own survival and is a common food and ingredient for across the world. A honeycomb is also visually pleasing, with hexagons neatly fitting together across surfaces large and small.

A honeycomb pattern can be used internally and externally, stretched across most of or an entire facade or in other, more targeted applications as privacy screens and fences. With many different sizes of honeycomb pattern available, there’s plenty of versatility too.

4. Champagne pattern

Utilising different-sized circular perforations, the champagne pattern offers a sense of whimsy that isn’t seen in more regimented styles like honeycomb and grid perforations. This eye-catching visual is easy to craft and install, making it a simple and direct choice despite its novel appearance. While still an abstract visual, the champagne pattern evokes a bubbly, happy atmosphere that can be used in a variety of settings.

5. Herringbone pattern

Herringbone is an enduringly popular pattern seen across classic and contemporary fashion, from military fatigues to wool suits. It even pops up as a common design on the soles of sneakers and other shoes. In terms of perforated metal sheets, the zigzagged rows of rectangles or parallelograms create a visually pleasing design that is orderly and neat, but becomes more and more intricate as a viewer spends the time to take a closer look. Herringbone is easily used in applications ranging from pure aesthetics to privacy and sun screens.

A mesh patterned perforated metal panel.A mesh pattern can be effective inside and outside of buildings.

6. Mesh pattern

Small holes placed close together emphasise fine detail, creating a pattern that viewers can briefly lose themselves in. A mesh pattern is practical, too, in that it can help regulate sunlight and related heat exposure, as well as serve as an effective privacy screen when placed in the right area. Mesh’s uniformity, and the ability to use mesh patterns of different sizes across various parts of a facility, offers an effective mix of standardisation and customisation.

Finding the right partner for your perforated metal sheets

A dependable and experienced partner can help turn your vision for perforated metal sheets into reality. Locker has the knowledge, tools and staff needed to create standard and custom perforated metal that suits the specific need of your project. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

Galvanised steel can support a variety of architectural and industrial needs.

Why choose a galvanised metal?

Finding the right material for a specific project means longer lasting and generally better results. Using the best metal for the specific conditions faced within a facility or given environment helps address issues like rusting and corrosion, improving structural integrity and appearance. Taking the time to research your options and select the most effective metal for your specific needs can pay off for years and even decades to come.

Let's take a closer look at the galvanising process and how it's utilised to enhance key attributes of steel. With this information in mind, you can make an informed choice about selecting the best wire mesh and finding other suitable applications for galvanised steel.

Galvanised steel will stand the test of time for many years.Galvanised steel will stand the test of time for many years.

What is galvanisation?

Galvanisation addresses a major issue with iron and the alloys that contain it, like steel. Rust ultimately affects these metals. While the process may be very slow under certain conditions, it's inevitable. And in situations where untreated steel is exposed to particularly moist or wet environments, rust and corrosion can start to cause problems quickly.

Galvanisation helps steel last longer, improving its resistance to corrosive processes and therefore slowing the spread of rust. The protective coating created through galvanisation is durable and stable, offering decades of protection from the continual loss of structural integrity that rust promotes.

There are a few processes used to galvanise metals:

  • Hot dip galvanisation involves submerging a piece of metal into a bath of hot zinc. This is common for larger pieces of metal and many applications in general.
  • Electrogalvanising is a form of electroplating and is common in the automotive sector.
  • Thermal diffusion galvanisation uses a drum and heat to combine smaller or more complex pieces of iron or steel with zinc.

The result of all of these processes is a zinc coating that creates a barrier between the steel and the moisture content of the surrounding atmosphere. Galvanisation offers a number of benefits in terms of protection. While it fully coats the underlying metal, it also can be scratched or otherwise compromised in small areas and still provide resistance to rust.

While the coating will eventually wear off, this is an especially slow process outside of situations where the galvanised steel is consistently exposed to salt water or high levels of acidity. In those cases, stainless steel may prove to be a better choice.

Why should you choose galvanised steel for your project?

Protection against rust is the foundational benefit of galvanisation. The layer of zinc on galvanised metals allows architects and builders to use this material in a much broader variety of applications, both interior and exterior. The many other benefits of steel – like its high level of strength relative to weight and resistance to many types of deformation – stand out even more when you give it protection against one of its few weaknesses.

Cost is another factor to consider in terms of rust protection. Galvanisation is an economical process that doesn't drastically increase the price of the treated steel. Other types of protective coatings can be more costly, or wear away in less time, increasing the long-term price tag. Aside from situations in which the treated steel faces continued exposure to salt water or extreme acidity, galvanisation offers a strong value for companies.

While galvanisation wouldn't hold much value if it didn't provide strong, long-lasting protection from rust, there are other benefits to be had from this process. Hot dip galvanisation has a striking aesthetic side effect, creating a pattern called spangle on the finished metal. This unique pattern often appears as irregular shapes on the surface of the metal, each of which will catch and reflect light slightly differently. This variation in shades of the underlying silver colour is unique to the hot dip galvanising process.

The exact appearance of spangle can be adjusted by the company coating the steel, offering pronounced results or a more uniform and understated appearance. This can be beneficial when specific design considerations come into play. Depending on the specific vision of architects and other project stakeholders, various finishes are possible without compromising the rust protection offered by galvanisation.

Partnering with a dependable provider of galvanised steel

Finding a trustworthy company to provide your project with high-quality galvanised steel is critical. With the right partner, you know all of your galvanised steel – from wire mesh to walkways – will be of a high quality and last for many years to come.

To learn how Locker can connect your construction project with the galvanised steel it needs for a variety of applications, get in touch with us today.

Painting galvanised steel gratings isn't required, but can provide some significant benefits when applied carefully and correctly in a variety of settings.

Painting galvanised steel grating: Do you need to?

Steel is a critical component in modern buildings. Of course, steel is a broad category, and there are many types of this metal that are best suited for specific applications.

Two types of steel common in industrial applications (for grates, flooring and similar uses) are stainless and galvanised steel. Galvanised steel has a number of unique attributes that can be beneficial in many settings, including manufacturing, power generation and warehouses, just to name a few.

The appearance of galvanised steel grating is a major consideration for practical needs, like safety, as well as the visual qualities it can provide. Let's review exactly what galvanised steel is, then consider whether you need to – or should, depending on your specific plans – paint it.

What is galvanised steel?

Steel is an alloy, or combination, of two elements: carbon and iron.

It is more durable and strong than either of those elements separately. It's also especially reliable.

When manufactured following well-defined standards, steel offers a consistent final product you can count on to support staff, equipment and other assets when used as grating in your facility. It can also be recycled easily, an important consideration in an increasingly environmentally conscious economy.

One of the key issues with basic steel is its vulnerability to rusting on its surface. This slow yet steady process eventually threatens the stability and strength of regular steel. This requires both time and money on the part of a business to manage, address and eventually replace standard steel as it begins to rust. Otherwise, companies using the basic steel alloy expose themselves to a variety of negative outcomes.

Galvanised steel is an improved version of the basic form of this metal. A zinc powder coating applied to the surface steel helps prevent air and moisture from creating rust. This outer layer, applied either through a hot-dip galvanising process (common for large pieces) or through thermal diffusion (regularly seen for small steel components), limits corrosion thanks to zinc's unique properties.

Galvanised steel does not need to be replaced on a frequent basis and can last for decades.Galvanised steel does not need to be replaced on a frequent basis and can last for decades.

Do you need to paint galvanised steel grating?

There's no absolute requirement or imperative to paint galvanised steel. The rust resistance offered by the zinc coating will eventually wear away, but this issue won't raise its head for many, many years. Galvanised steel does not need to be replaced on a frequent basis – it can last for decades. When it comes to steel grating, galvanised steel is an especially long lasting and dependable choice for industrial applications.

The appearance of galvanised steel is a unique attribute. The hot-dip galvanisation process produces a unique effect called spangle. This can result in a pattern of differently coloured patches or shapes on the steel's surface, with varying shades of metallic grey. Changes in the specifics of the hot-dip process allow for a wide degree of variation in this finish, from a uniform appearance to many types of spangle. Your company can select the option that best aligns with the aesthetic vision of your facility. It can also let the manufacturer make the final decision if this isn't an important attribute.

While some companies will paint galvanised steel grating for aesthetic or practical purposes, there isn't a need to do so. When your business works with a dependable producer of galvanised steel, it won't need to paint its gratings.

Finding a dependable partner to provide steel grating

You need a trusted provider to fabricate and deliver your galvanised steel. Learn more about what Webforge can offer your business, from galvanised steel to a number of other effective options. Get in touch with us today.