Two layers of perforated metal can create a different look, demonstrating its versatility.

Bringing your vision to life with customised perforated metal

Architecture is more than designing a structure to exist in space. With perforated metal, you have the opportunity to take a drab building front and turn it into something inspiring, unique, and architecturally interesting.

With the right perforated sheet metal partner, you can bring your vision to life. Let's explore how that's possible and why you may choose perforated patterns over any other material.

Square, round, varying sizes and uses, perforated metal can uplevel your next project in more ways than one.Square, round, varying sizes and uses, perforated metal can uplevel your next project in more ways than one.

Processing perforated metal

Perforated metal doesn't occur organically, and must go through a process to achieve your architectural applications preference. It's a type of sheet metal that may resemble mesh or a grid and has been stamped, fabricated or punched to create the hole shape, size and design.

You can choose from a variety of metals from aluminium to mild steel to fit in with the structural needs of the building and the weather conditions it may come in contact with.

While the limitations are few for what and how to construct your facade, there are structural needs that must be considered. For example, a fabricated metal sheet with large holes will need a thicker piece of metal to ensure better structural integrity. Or, in the case of a building that may come in frequent contact with seawater, you may choose to work with aluminium.

As a general rule of thumb, the thickness of the metal sheet should not be greater than the size of the holes or the width of the bars (the spaces between the holes). Metal can be as thin as tin foil or as thick as an inch and a half perforated stainless steel plate.

Why perforated metal instead of glass?

Most buildings (think skyscrapers in Sydney) are covered in floor to rooftop glass. The energy it takes to cool these spaces can run up rent costs and require expensive window covers, no view of the outside and forced AC.

Perforated metal products can offer several benefits that work in conjunction with a glass building or any other type of structure:

  • Ventilation
  • Sun cover
  • View to the outside
  • Privacy
  • Separation between spaces
  • Corrosion resistance

A custom pattern can do all of the above with an on-brand design.

Locker is your design partner

In 2018, Locker worked for the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. The Institute wanted a strategic perforated pattern design partner that could deliver a facade that was inspired by the innovation and creation happening within the building. They chose to work with Locker because we had both the material and the technology to create the design they envisioned: Something both aesthetically natural looking and with a five-star Green Star Design and As-Built Rating.

What resulted was a six-star Green Star Rating and an incredible perforated metal facade and awning.

We also took on the Moda project. For this project, Moda wanted custom-designed colour and hole-sized metal with the business name stamped on the outside. With Pic Perf software, we were able to deliver exactly what the client wanted, with the colour and dimensions they were looking for.

Using Australian-sourced sheet metal, we plug designs into the Pic Perf system so that when the metal goes through the perforation process, the design is programmed into the template. This allows the software to process highly-customised designs that perfectly align with the client's vision.

This project and so many more have the capability to look and function in all new levels with perforated panels. If you're ready to up-level your next project, reach out to a Locker perforated metal professional today to get started.

Perforated metal has many uses from design to function sun shade and air flow.

Benefits and uses of perforated metal

We know the environment and finding sustainable options are top of mind for many businesses today. With the goal of cutting down on energy consumption and finding construction solutions that use recyclable materials, perforated metal can meet many of these expectations. It's a building material that is versatile, weather resistant and attractive enough to exceed your construction goals with the right design and location.

But, what is perforated metal?

Perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.Perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.

Perforated metal briefly explained

As construction continues to evolve, perforated metal is used more often for facades of any shape and sheet size. This type of perforated metal sheet metal can resemble a grid or wire mesh and the holes within the metal can be circular, square, rectangular, hexagonal or any other custom design.

Architects typically choose a perforated panel to distribute the weight of a building's framework, for ventilation, sun protection and design. The thickness of the metal sheet will depend on weather and wind exposure and how large the round hole perforation is. Finally, perforated metal is usually easier to install than other types of building siding.

How its made

The most common question about perforated metal is how it's made. With a soft, malleable metal like aluminium, a machine will punch holes of any type into the metal. The critical part of perforating the metal is understanding the thickness level necessary to keep the structural integrity intact.

The strength you need for the metal will depend on how the piece is being used — either for structural or decorative purposes. The space around the perforated area must be strong enough to not rip through in the case of high wind and still hold the design of the sheet.

Besides appearance and ventilation, how is perforated metal actually beneficial for building facades?

Benefits of using perforated metal

Metal is known as an environmentally friendly material because it can be reused and reconstructed. And, although the metal is mined from ores in the earth, a lot of the material is already available for use because of its upcycling capabilities.

As the holes are punched into the metal sheet, these waste materials can be recycled for other purposes after they have been molded down and used again.

In addition, perforated metal panels' lightweight properties make it easy to install and lighter to transport onsite, reducing energy consumption. In the same vein, perforated facades can cut down on energy costs. They are capable of providing sun protection for buildings, and with the perforations as actual holes in the sheet metal, you can also use the material for ventilation and to control sunlight coming into the building without the use of additional artificial lighting.

You can even use this material to create intricate designs and interesting images with the use of small and larger holes.

How to use perforated metal

As you may have guessed, perforated metal is a great option for a facade, but it has other uses as well.

For example, perforated metal has been used for noise control as part of resonating absorption. Sound waves can pass through perforated metal sheets without diminishing.

Because of its ventilation and holes, perforated metal can be used as a partition as well. Imagine a bus stop where you need to separate the north- and south-bound routes, yet want a space for benches and sun protection. You can use perforated metal for all three in such a way that commuters can see through to the other side of the stop, get some protection from the sun and are not blocked from any breeze.

Variety and versatility with perforated sheet metal

You can choose any shape or size, aluminium, stainless steel, or mild steel, indoor or outdoor, coated or painted. Perforated steel sheet metal by Locker can give you the material you're looking for, with the perforation pattern design you need to delight clients. For more information or to choose from a variety of off-the-shelf or custom options, reach out to a Locker professional today.