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Mesh curtains are effective in restaurants, offices and many other spaces.

How mesh curtains create atmosphere in any space

Truly successful architectural projects must meet standards of safety, stability and durability to address the most basic needs of the people who work, live, shop and otherwise spend time in them. But safety is far from the only consideration that needs to be made when designing a new structure or renovating an existing one.

To create a broadly positive experience, aesthetics must also be addressed. Designing a pleasing space that makes its purpose clear and provides an engaging atmosphere is an important part of the overall process, as the Whole Building Design Guide explained. Finding opportunities to define spaces and separate distinct areas with options besides standard walls is one effective way to leverage the power of aesthetics. The result is a more memorable and enjoyable experience for the people spending time in a building.

Metal mesh curtains can support this goal by creating clear boundaries in a less common way, while also appealing to those within a building through their unique design and appearance. Let's take a closer look at what mesh curtains are and how they can be used in an optimal way.

A mesh curtain divides two parts of a restaurant.Metal mesh curtains help define interior space in an aesthetically pleasing way.

What are metal mesh curtains, exactly?

High-quality metal mesh curtains are made of interconnected and spiralled wire metal mesh. The many constituent pieces of the material combine to create sturdy, long-lasting curtains that can be used to clearly divide spaces or serve as screening facades. Generally, mesh curtains contribute to a modern and sophisticated look. They aren't especially common in residential construction, which means their novelty can be a positive for businesses looking to create an interesting and distinct atmosphere.

Customisability is a core concern for architects, designers and many other project stakeholders. When it comes to mesh curtains, partnering with the right provider means access to a wide variety of base metals, designs and finishes. Locker offers stainless steel, brass and aluminium options, as well as a variety of wire profiles, mesh thicknesses and weave types that can be used as you see fit.

Mesh curtains have some practical benefits that should be considered as well. While often used mainly or purely for aesthetic purposes, there are some practical benefits of mesh curtains that are important in the context of a building's overall design. The two major advantages to keep in mind are encouraging airflow and allowing natural or artificial light to pass through.

How can I use metal mesh curtains to build atmosphere in my project?

Metal mesh curtains are a simple an effective option for adding texture and character to a space. Depending on your project's specific objectives, you may find using them as a purely decorative tool is the best approach. Putting a mesh curtain in front of a standard wall, for example, can create a more interesting environment and offer a more unique alternative to painting or wallpapering. Of course, there are plenty of options for using a wall's background colour and the colour, spacing and finish of the mesh to create even more engaging optics.

Metal mesh can also serve as an interior sunscreen, reducing but not eliminating the amount of natural light in a given area. This approach offers an alternative to standard curtains and blinds that is more memorable. And with customisation options, you can control the amount of light the curtains allow into your space.

One of mesh curtains' most visible roles is in dividing large spaces into more manageable and easily navigated ones. Convention centres and event spaces can both leverage metal mesh curtains to create divisions between different areas. This is most effective when there doesn't need to be total separation, such as the main floors of trade shows and similar gatherings. Mesh curtains can be positioned to help define the flow of foot traffic while also allowing visibility into other areas of the space.

Restaurants, especially those with large, open interiors, can also utilise mesh curtains to divide the dining space while maintaining a lively and convivial atmosphere. Because metal mesh curtains preserve a sense of openness while still serving as a barrier, the space can be more defined without feeling cramped or limited. And there are fewer concerns with light and airflow than there would be with traditional walls in place.

Finding a dependable partner for your mesh curtain needs

Mesh curtains need to be study, carefully crafted and designed to meet the specifications you lay out for your project. Identifying a capable and trustworthy provider is critical in this context. Locker has more than 60 years of institutional experience providing products that exceed our customers needs. Our knowledgeable team of experts can help you work through the process and realise the exact type of curtain your project needs. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

Architectural trends can greatly inform the results of building projects.

What architectural trends to look out for in 2020 (and beyond!)

Architecture can be seen as both a science and an art. New developments in this field can stem from innovations related to efficiency, safety and performance. Purely aesthetic concerns can also drive new styles of construction. And a mix of both factors may also influence trends.

Understanding current and emerging architectural construction and design preferences can help your next facility in terms of improving operational costs and addressing environmental concerns, as well as creating a more eye-catching facade and pleasing interior. Consider these emerging architectural trends for 2020 and beyond.

A facade screening a building from sunlight.Design trends have led to a variety of functional and visually appealing structures.

Understanding architectural design trends

Architectural work is incredibly complicated, as it has to successfully balance the intent and purpose of a structure with vital considerations like structural integrity and the safety of those in and around the building. Trends come and go, as they do with any type of art or design, but certain concepts can have plenty of staying power. These remain both useful and visually appealing long after a new fascination in the world of architecture emerges.

The concepts detailed below don't involve extremes or pushing design ideas to their practical limits. Instead, they incorporate current areas of interest and preferences while focusing on an all-around effective result in the long term.

Emphasis on outdoor areas and public spaces

International architectural firm RMJM highlighted one trend that can be relevant to all commercial and industrial construction projects: a focus on courtyards, greens and similar public spaces. There is a sustainability aspect tied to this emphasis on outdoor areas, in terms of encouraging individuals to spend time outside and consider their relationships with the local environment and natural world.

Of course, there are more practical benefits, too. A well-designed and carefully constructed public space – or an outdoor area set aside specifically for residents, employees and customers – offers a place for rest and relaxation and a change in setting from an indoor environment. Making this option available isn't particularly costly or complicated, but offers a clear benefit for many of the people who occasionally or regularly use the facility.

Outdoor areas still need to have protection from the elements and, in some cases, a sense of privacy or separation from fully public areas like sidewalks. Woven wire, for example, can serve as a durable and effective sun screen. This material can create a physical barrier when needed while still facilitating airflow and providing a level of visibility.

Blending of form and function

While discussion of and experimentation with the roles of form and function are nothing new in the world of architecture, this core design concept is re-emerging to the forefront, according to Build Australia. The website said a blending of both concepts into a dual-purpose goal is increasingly common among designers. This approach makes sense, as few architects, owners or tenants want to completely sacrifice one quality for the other. By bringing form and function together, the best qualities of both can be highlighted in a fashion that is both aesthetically pleasing and useful.

With a very broad underlying concept, there are many different ways in which architects can incorporate this blending of form and function into their designs. Perforated metal sheets can perform especially well in this role. The fabrication process for these panels allows for a wide range of variation in appearance while also providing practical advantages. And by providing effective sun screening and wind resistance without significantly disrupting airflow, building owners and operators can enjoy benefits such as lowered heating and cooling costs and more consistent internal temperatures.

A building featuring a unique facade design.Contemporary facades blend form and function for a top-notch result.

The rise of geometric motifs

Architectural Digest pointed to a building interior trend that draws on elements of modernism and art deco: bold colours and clean, sharp lines. This trend includes an emphasis on geometric patterns and related design elements. It stands in contrast to another trend mentioned by Architectural Design that emphasises earth tones and motifs based on plants and animals.

While the most visible applications are expected to be seen in home design and decorating, there is plenty of room for this trend within the world of commercial and industrial construction. Bright colours can be encouraging and motivating, and clean, connected geometric designs are often seen as eye-pleasing. A sense of uniformity and consistency has a home in many businesses, from offices to retail stores and plenty of other applications.

Expanded metal mesh provides many opportunities for catchy designs in both interior and exterior applications. By manufacturing each order to client specifications, we ensure your building has a durable material that meets your unique needs. The benefits of mesh when used as sun shading and in terms of facilitating airflow shouldn't be ignored, either.

Increased use of cladding

Although generally focused on residential trends and interior decoration, design website Houzz pointed to an emerging trend that could have a major impact on other types of architectural design and construction projects: metal cladding. This type of construction is far from unknown when it comes to industrial and commercial buildings, but the rationale behind its rise in popularity may also indicate room for increased use in those areas. Houzz said safety concerns tied to construction using combustible materials is one of the primary factors in the move to metal cladding, something that those who want a new facility, office space or retail location should also keep in mind.

Cladding can work in concert with perforated panels to create an effective mix of protection, pleasing aesthetics and a cohesive overall design. For example, cladding isn't desirable as an outer layer to windows and glass panels, but perforated metal sheets can offer effective protection from the elements and maintain visibility. With plenty of options for customisation based on overall aesthetics and the functional role of the perforated sheets, there are many different choices for stakeholders to explore when it comes to utilising perforated metal sheets.

Greener building options

Another 2020 architectural trend highlighted by Build Australia is increased sustainability in building materials. With eco-consciousness increasing among the general public, it's not surprising that more architects are reflecting this awareness and desire for change in their building plans and designs.

The ease with which materials can be reused and their longevity in multiple use cycles are core concerns in this respect. Build Australia highlighted different levels of durability among various building products, pointing out that wood and plastic have reuse potential but lose quality and are fit for fewer applications following each instance of recycling. Other materials, such as aluminium, hold up far better when repurposed for a new cycle of use. Aluminium's high potential for reuse and its general dependability in many construction applications make it a strong choice, especially because it is already incorporated into many building designs.

Laser cutting aluminium panels can help bring additional visual appeal and functionality to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Aluminium can be custom cut to produce a nearly endless array of designs and patterns, offering an eye-catching and pleasing design that can also allow light to filter through and encourage airflow. The deep customisability of this metal comes together with its extremely strong reuse potential to offer an effective and environmentally conscious solution for a variety of architectural considerations.

Finding the trend that works best for your project

Trends are very useful when it comes to identifying new and exciting ideas for a building project, both in the work architects do directly and the input provided by the many stakeholders in a large construction project. Just remember that you don't need to only choose from the latest or most popular trends when trying to create a concept for a building or fine-tuning its design. A more traditional approach accented with a few flourishes informed by trends can yield a final product that's just as satisfying as one specifically focused on the newest, most influential architectural trends.

Locker is here with experience, deep organisational knowledge and the technical ability to execute a wide variety of designs, including our visually stunning Pic Perf range. Our long standing in the industry means you have a dependable partner for your next construction project. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

FRP grating includes a coarse grit on its surface, which improves traction.

Plastic grating versus metal grating: which to use

Grating is a core component of many industrial facilities. This dependable flooring can do it all. It supports workers and the equipment and supplies they carry every day while standing up to heavy loads, high heat, chemical spills and other concerns.

Grating is easily cleaned and relatively simple to install. It has a low cost compared to other types of industrial flooring and doesn't require significant, regular maintenance. It promotes air circulation and, crucially, provides a safe, slip resistant and reliable surface for employees as they go about their duties.

Plastic grating and metal grating are the two major types of industrial grating in common use today. Understanding the differences between them and the best applications for each will allow you to make an informed decision that will address the needs in your facility.

A view of an FRP walkway in an industrial facility.FRP grating offers a number of benefits in industrial environments.

What is plastic grating? When should I use it?

Plastic grating is a more general term for fibre reinforced plastic grating, often referred to as FRP grating. This type of industrial flooring is composed of glass fibres, which have a high degree of resistance to tension and compression, with a durable plastic that can stand up to the demands of modern facilities.

There are a number of benefits when it comes to FRP. Load-bearing capacity, the foundational element of any type of flooring, is important to point out. Because FRP is generally produced in a single piece with a square grid pattern, it allows for efficient weight distribution. That's true on the grating itself as well as the support structure it's connected to. When employees have to carry heavy equipment or large loads of raw materials or finished products across an elevated surface – or any other one where grating is preferred – FRP can capably support their work.

The overall safety of the work surface is improved by a few other key attributes:

  • Chemical resistance: Caustic chemicals and related concerns are a fact of life for businesses involved in heavy manufacturing and many other segments of the economy. FRP grating offers a high degree of resistance to corrosion caused by many industrial chemicals. Workers, safety supervisors and managers won't have to worry about hazardous corrosion that could lead to workplace injuries. From a structural integrity perspective, it's a safer choice in many cases.
  • Slip and fall protection: While many of the benefits of FRP grating come from the advanced processes and techniques used to fabricate it, a simple addition offers standout protection against frequent sources of workplace injuries: slips and falls. When a coarse grit is added to the top surface of the grating, staff can more safely move across it. In situations where the grit may cause issues, a smooth surface can also be produced.
  • Lack of sparking, conductivity and magnetism: Because FRP doesn't contain metal, it won't produce sparks if metal tools or other objects fall onto it or are dragged across it. Similarly, it won't carry an electrical current in the same fashion as metal grating. Additionally, it doesn't have any magnetic field to speak of – making it a preferred choice in some applications.

When should you use FRP grating? Considering its many attributes, it has plenty of applications. But it can perform best in situations where corrosion resistance is a must, slips and falls are a major concern and when metal grating could introduce additional possible hazards in the workplace.

What is metal grating? When should I use it?

Metal grating is an umbrella term that can apply to many grating types, including:

These common types of industrial floor gratings offer an effective combination of support, strength and security. There are also more configurations available for metal grating than for FRP. With steel and aluminium options, your company can select from a variety of top surfaces that promote safe travel now and for years into the future. Different surfaces can be used in areas with especially high risk for or notably negative consequences from slipping and falling, such as on sloping walkways and at high elevations.

Stainless steel grating's major benefit is strong resistance to rust and corrosion. Whether caused by chemicals, ambient moisture or a mix of both, stainless steel doesn't easily rust or corrode. While metal grating has many useful applications, this is one area where the stainless steel variety truly shines.

Aluminium grating also offers strong resistance to moisture, helping to substantially slow the appearance and spread of rust. Anodised aluminium, meanwhile, has enhanced durability thanks to a process that binds the substrate metal with a layer of aluminium oxide. This improves durability. Notably, anodised aluminium can last between 20-50 years, depending on the specifics of its production and its application. Overall, aluminium's value comes from its light weight and its pleasing appearance. In applications where these factors are central to the success of a project, aluminium grating is a strong choice.

Moving forward with your next project

Your organisation understands the unique demands of your construction or renovation project better than anyone else. By developing a detailed list of the intended uses of grating in a specific area as well as the potential hazards that could exist, you can develop a profile that will help guide your decision-making. From there, the next step is finding a reliable and experienced partner that can fabricate and provide the type of industrial floor grating best suited to your project.

Webforge offers a range of industrial gratings, both in premade panels that address the needs of many projects as well as custom-fabricated panels that align with more unique applications. With more than 75 years of experience in producing industrial flooring and many of the products associated with it, we have a strong understanding of the entire process from start to finish.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

Metal screens are at home both inside and outside of buildings.

5 unique things to do with metal screens

Metal screens have plenty of practical applications in residential and commercial structures. These screens can serve as a decoration, a functional component of the building or fulfil both roles at the same time.

Whether fabricated as a standard size panel or customised for unique projects, metal screens can address a wide range of widespread aesthetic and practical needs. There are also some less common applications in which these screens can be just as useful. Let's look at a few of them:

A metal screen facade on a car park.Metal screens can be deployed in a wide variety of shapes, colours, and orientations.

1. Branding and identification

Decorative metal screens may not be the first thing that comes to mind when your business starts to consider opportunities around branding your building or helping visitors identify it. But improvements in the tools and processes used to create screens have led to a variety of options on this front.

Our Pic Perf screens offer the opportunity to faithfully reproduce many logos, images and abstract patterns with a high degree of accuracy. There are few limits when it comes to implementing a custom design on a Pic Perf screen. Whether you want to use a wordmark or an image that makes your building's purpose clear, you can work with our team of experts to craft a solution that aligns with your goals.

With the right design factors taken into account, Pic Perf can also offer many of the practical benefits of metal screens. That includes benefits like protection from direct sun exposure and maximised airflow.

2. Privacy and protection

The need for privacy exists in settings ranging from restaurants and shopping centres to apartment buildings and office blocks. The right degree of separation from the outside world doesn't always require locked doors and windowless rooms, however.

Privacy screens can provide a happy medium between a bunker-like atmosphere and total exposure to the outside world. They limit visibility without completely cutting off the rest of an office floor or commercial space, creating a sense of openness that takes the aesthetics of a given area into account. When paired with a glass partition, screens can provide an effective barrier in terms of both visibility and sound.

Using metal screens for privacy isn't limited to internal applications, either. Facilities like medical centres, schools and many others can utilise laser-cut screen options to create a sense of separation without eliminating access to sunlight or visibility into the local area.

3. Balustrades

A balustrade is made up of a railing that's held securely in place by a support rising from the ground. While vertical columns are the first thought for many when it comes to balustrades, there are many options for decoration as well as functional support. Perforated screens can add a unique element to what is often simply a functional part of a building. Adding ornamentation to a transitional space like a stairwell can make the experience of moving through them a little more enjoyable.

4. Regulating temperature and sunlight exposure

Modern architectural screens tend to have an impressive appearance, whether they're made of expanded metal mesh, woven wire or a number of other materials. This is often the first thing an employee, visitor or passer-by will notice as they approach a structure. However, it's far from the only reason to include a screen in your construction or renovation plan.

Screens have a core practical function when placed outside exterior windows or in interior spaces that face substantial exposure to sunlight. By filtering sunlight without completely blocking it, metal screens can help to regulate temperature and exposure to sunlight. While some people who visit or work in a building may never notice the practical benefits of a metal screen used in this fashion, they'll more than likely enjoy the result.

5. Roofing

You wouldn't use a metal screen to cover the top of a building, of course. But what about an outdoor space for staff to enjoy their breaks, or an open green included in part of an outdoor shopping centre?

Using screens as roof replacements can offer practical and aesthetic benefits. Laser cut, perforated and many other types of metal screens can limit sun exposure without eliminating it, providing an enjoyable mix of light and shade. Pairing metal screens with a central walkway or seating area that includes a traditional roof structure can help protect employees, customers and visitors from the elements when needed, while offering a unique space on days with nicer weather.

Getting started with your own unique plans for metal screens

Whether you want to use the most traditional metal screen possible or have a truly unique idea for a design or application, you need a trustworthy provider who can assist you throughout the process. To learn more about your many options for metal screens, get in touch with our team of experts today.

Webforge FRP features a gritty non-skid surface as a standard feature.

Why FRP grating is so versatile

The right grating is vital for a safe and productive facility.

Businesses have to contend with a wide range of factors when it comes to the flooring that literally and figuratively supports their operations. Strong, dependable weight-bearing properties are crucial. Resistance to physical, chemical and other types of corrosion must be carefully considered. Limiting the effects of accidental or inadvertent electrical discharge is another central concern. General durability and resistance to wear and tear has to be considered as well.

What kind of grating can fit the bill for the many demands of modern industrial facilities? Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) – also sometimes called fibreglass reinforced plastic – is often the answer.

FRP grating used in an outdoor industrial facility.FRP grating reliably supports a variety of industrial applications and needs.

What is FRP?

FRP brings together two core substances that support and strengthen each other when properly designed and fabricated: Plastic and fibre reinforcements. The strength of FRP is recognised and utilised in many different industries, from aerospace and automotive to construction and boat building. Its use in ballistic armour by militaries and security forces is especially notable in terms of demonstrating FRP's strength, resilience and durability.

While a range of fibre reinforcements can be used depending on specific applications, FRP is generally constructed using fibreglass. This is a cost-effective alternative to carbon fibre and doesn't sacrifice the key attributes that are so important when used as as grating in an industrial context.

The fibre reinforcements used to formulate FRP provides additional strength to the final product while also boosting elasticity. This means FRP is better able to consistently support loads and distribute that weight without permanently deforming, cracking or otherwise breaking. When it comes to safe flooring and grating, this is an especially important concern.

FRP has existed in one form or another since the early 20th century. Initial development occurred in the 1930s, driven in part by the growing use and clear potential of the aviation industry. Years of improvement and fine-tuning led to widespread FRP manufacturing by the 1950s. More options and further positive changes and additions to the process have occurred since, with the current product proving even more dependable and useful in a variety of use cases.

Why is FRP so versatile?

FRP's versatility is clear when considering the many applications where it plays a critical role. When it comes to industrial flooring and grating applications specifically, there are a few key considerations to assess.

Customisability to meet individual needs

FRP grating can be can be produced on a standardised basis, addressing many common needs for high-strength flooring in industrial applications. It can also be fabricated according to custom specifications, allowing businesses to ensure each and every walkway and other grating application can be effectively addressed no matter the details.

While customisability is a common benefit across many types of industrial flooring, combining it with the many more distinct advantages of FRP makes this grating especially attractive for industrial facilities.

High strength and dependability

The strength of industrial flooring is one of its most important attributes. Businesses need grating that can support the specific processes and workflows that occur within a facility on a daily basis. By using glass fibre to enhance the plastic, FRP can offer higher strength than is seen in a variety of metal grating types.

The exceptional load-bearing ability of FRP comes from the substances used to form it as well as its design. The standard grid structure helps distribute loads across a wider surface area, reducing the stress on any given point.

The right flooring means individual staff members and the company as a whole can both be more confident in the ability of the grating to offer safe, dependable surface in the long term.

Durability and ease of maintenance

Strength is critical for industrial grating, but it can only go so far if the material used regularly requires intensive maintenance and replacement. It's much easier to select and use a type of grating that can provide the needed support as well as reduce the time, effort and spending associated with repair efforts.

The process used to create FRP offers superior durability, both in terms of the strength of the final product and the general lack of complicated upkeep. FRP grating is produced in large, single pieces, which reduces opportunities for wear and tear in fasteners and similar hardware used to connect or link other types of grating together. This makes it simple to maintain – occasional cleaning may be all that's required for many years of use.

Resistance to corrosion and deterioration

FRP's resistance to the effects of chemical corrosion makes it uniquely suited to many industrial applications where other materials can be damaged and degrade in a significantly shorter period of time. It is similarly resistant to damage caused by exposure to the elements. While no substance is totally resistant to every form of corrosion, FRP offers excellent all-around durability in this context. When businesses choose to use FRP grating, they can be confident that its long life span won't be drastically shortened by chemical splashing, contact with vapours and similar concerns.

Slip resistance and ease of clearing debris

Debris can cause a variety of slip and fall hazards in industrial areas. FRP's standard construction includes 70% open surface area, allowing liquids and small objects to easily fall through and remove themselves as potential obstacles or causes of an accident.

Similarly, general slip resistance is a core need for a safe workplace. The anti-skid surfacing used in Webforge FRP grating helps workers stay safe and on their feet in all conditions.

Finding the best partner for your FRP needs

FRP grating plays a foundational role for many industrial facilities. Your business needs a dependable, proven partner to supply this grating and ensure that it's fit for installation and use. To learn more about Webforge's FRP production process and make an order, get in touch with our team today.

Woven mesh is one of many decorative metal options for buildings.

How decorative metal can add flair to any project

A successful construction or renovation project has to ensure structural integrity and general usability above everything else. But a perfectly functional and safe building will leave something to be desired without a strong visual identity.

Aesthetics are a vital consideration when engaging in new construction or managing a major overhaul of an existing building. The right approach can make your structure more recognisable and memorable to everyone who interacts with it, whether in passing or on a daily basis.

Decorative metal is an excellent option for project managers who want to address the need for strong aesthetics. There are many different choices available, from bespoke designs to standardised patterns, in a variety of materials. Decorative metal can be implemented across a structure's exterior as well as in various internal applications. Whether your project needs cladding, a unique facade, engaging interior design work, or a mix of these design elements, there are a wide variety of decorative metal applications to consider.

Let's look at a handful of dependable, flexible, and eye-catching ways you can add flair to your next project through decorative metal.


Laser-cut designs in a substrate metal allow for many abstract or representational images and patterns to be faithfully replicated. Recent advances in technology, tools and processes mean laser designs can go far beyond regular or repeated shapes and designs. There are still best practices to keep in mind for ensuring a design isn't so intricate that it causes issues with cutting or the long-term stability of the finished product. Locker is here to help you streamline complicated designs and imagery to ensure the end result is of the highest quality.

Whether your plan focuses on a handful of small panels in key areas or dozens of them stretching across an interior or exterior wall, laser cutting can create intricate images and clean, eye-pleasing shapes. Combined with the many options available for coating and painting laser-cut metal, you can realise a wide variety of results.

A series of mesh panels on a car park.Atmosphere panels bring together color, shape, and texture to support a building's aesthetic.


An intriguing facade makes a great first impression to visitors, guests, workers, and residents. These architectural elements also serve practical purposes. With the right facade, a building can reduce its exposure to sunlight and heat, lowering cooling costs and making areas from offices to car parks more comfortable for those that use them.

Decorative metal used as a facade can evoke a recognisable form or abstract concept through perforations in the substrate layer as well as larger three-dimensional shapes made by aligning panels at an angle or crafting panels with ridges. Colour and finish also play crucial roles. Our Atmosphere offering takes all of these design considerations into account, providing you with a facade that closely aligns with your vision and needs. And detailed work by our engineering teams allows for fast and dependable installation.

Pic Perf

Perforated metal offers a number of advantages in terms of practicality and design. Pic Perf maintains the functional advantages, like regulating exposure to sunlight, with a more complex and powerful visual component. Our Pic Perf process allows you to incorporate imagery into metal sheets through perforations. Our detailed approach allows you to essentially print your company wordmark or logo, a visual representation of the building's purpose, or an abstract design onto metal sheets. The scale at which Pic Perf is created means a high degree of detail is possible.

These panels can serve as a partial or complete facade or as an accent piece, wall, or partial barrier on the inside of a building. The many options available for utilising Pic Perf make it that much more valuable when choosing key design elements for a new project.

Woven Wire Mesh

Wire mesh may sound simple compared to the other options we've reviewed, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Woven wire is available in many different substrates and designs, from the most traditional grids to much more detailed and uncommon weaves and patterns. Mesh offers many of the practical benefits that perforated metal provides in terms of limiting visibility and regulating exposure to sunlight. Coating and painting options offer additional opportunities for customisation. Wire mesh is an effective way to make a new project or major renovation stand out from other structures in the area.

Adding flair to your next project with a top-notch partner

At Locker, we provide a variety of perforated metal and wire mesh products focused on boosting design aesthetics and introducing a sense of flair to new construction projects and major renovations. With our industry experience, skilled technicians, carefully calibrated processes, and end-to-end support, you have a partner you can count on. To learn more, get in touch with one of our experts today.

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.

Exterior architectural screens can blend aesthetic and practical benefits.

4 uses of exterior architectural screens you’ll want to implement yourself

Exterior architectural screens are versatile, attractive additions to building projects. Placement over windows, above doors and in many other locations can help to create a cohesive visual identity for your structure while offering some valuable practical benefits.

Whether you use mesh (including wire mesh and architectural mesh), cladding, louvres or another specific type of screen, you can realise some important and positive changes for your building. Let's look at four unique uses of exterior architectural screens you'll want to use in your own project. One especially important thing to remember as you review these benefits is their ability to stack upon one another. You can implement an exterior architectural screen that offers improved aesthetics, helps regulate cooling costs and adds an element of privacy all at the same time.

A screen at a train station.Exterior architectural screens help blend visibility and privacy.

1. Improved aesthetics

Exterior screens have an immediate visual impact on everyone who sees the building, whether they work, live or shop there or simply pass by. Architectural screens add a new dimension to a structure, making them more unique in terms of design and how they're perceived by individuals and the community. There are many examples of perforated metal and other types of screens helping a building stand out from the crowd.

The flexibility of architectural screens are important to note in this context. You can select mesh screens, perforated metal, woven wire and other options to best align with your overall vision for the project. Stainless steel and other types of metal can be finished and painted in a variety of styles, adding to the design flexibility. Whether your concept is a wholly abstract one or a visual representation of the structure's intent, you can enhance the aesthetics of your project with exterior architectural screens.

2. Informing intent

The concept of demonstrating the purpose of a building via exterior architectural screens is tied to idea of improved aesthetics, but offers some unique advantages separate from that goal. With a Pic Perf screen, for example, you can offer a concise and powerful visual explanation of the activities carried out within the structure. This application of architectural metal makes the intent of a facility clear in a way that many types of traditional signage cant. The ability to thoroughly customise the image perforated into the underlying metal sheets and vary the size and shape of the screen makes Pic Perf uniquely suited for addressing this opportunity.

An external architectural screen that demonstrates the purpose of the facility behind it is useful for attracting customers, growing interest in the local community and guiding first-time visitors to a specific location. With the use of this powerful design concept still on the rise, your facility will stand out for many years to come.

3. Temperature regulation and control

Heating and cooling costs for buildings are a major component of the long-term budget for operation. The Department of Environment and Energy found HVAC costs account for 39% of total energy consumption within an office building. Depending on their placement and the size of the gaps in the material, exterior screens can play a valuable role in providing shade to a structure while still allowing for visibility. By deflecting and absorbing sunlight, less residual heat filters into the building behind them.

In office buildings, apartments and other structures with a large number of windows, exterior architectural screens can reduce the ongoing price tag associated with cooling a building without significant maintenance costs of their own.

4. Privacy and limiting access

Windows that face the outside world help workers, customers and residents connect with the broader environment around them, as well as keep track of the weather and the passage of time. Allowing natural light into a building can also help to reduce the costs associated with electric lighting. These benefits aren't always in line with the purpose of a given building. Whether its environments with an expectation of privacy, like a medical facility or school, or a simple desire for limited visibility, exterior architectural screens can effectively address this need.

A screen can help strike a balance between visibility and privacy, allowing those inside a structure to see out while significantly reducing the ability of those outside to see in. With an exterior architectural screen, your building can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Finding the best partner for your exterior architectural screen

Knowing you want to add an exterior screen to your project is just the first step in realising this beneficial addition to your building. Partnering with a trusted, experienced provider of architectural screens means you can be confident in the results of your efforts.

To learn more about how Locker can help you make your vision a reality, get in touch with us today.

Metal grating is available in a wide variety of fabrications.

3 unusual uses for metal grating

Metal grating is an indispensable tool in a variety of industrial and commercial settings. In its most common applications, it helps keep workers and visitors in a facility safe, providing a stable flooring base and traction when walking at ground level and, especially, at heights. It also can serve as an effective safety barrier, helping to deter accidents that could harm staff, equipment and the facility itself.

Stainless steel grating is especially valuable in this context, as it resists rust and corrosion. That means a longer-lasting walking surface or barrier with increased reliability and greater long-term value to the businesses using it. Grating can be customised to fit in many different facilities and is offered in different formulations, taking different load-bearing requirements and other factors into account.

A material as versatile as metal grating has many more applications than its most familiar one. Using steel grating in new and unique fashions can combine its practical safety applications with other considerations, like a specific aesthetic or an opportunity to set a mood when entering a facility. Let's look at three unusual and attractive applications of metal grating.

A close up of a metal grating floor.Metal gratings play a critical role in the safe operation of many facilities, but can be used in many other applications.

1. A unique, consistent aesthetic

Metal grating can be deployed as everything from standard floor and walkway coverings to platforms and mezzanines. While safety and durability are always the most important factors in these applications, there are also opportunities to create a unified aesthetic for a facility within the requirements set by considerations like the need for traction and weight support. This unified visual feel can make a facility appear more cohesive overall, providing a sense of continuity across all surfaces where the material is used. It can also be extended to protective barriers, strengthening this holistic approach to design.

There are a number of strategies to consider in this regard. Prefabricated panels can be used in many circumstances where this type of grating meets the needs of the facility. Knowledgeable grating providers can also create custom grating that fit into nonstandard floor plans and address specific operational needs, allowing for consistent appearance as well as effective management of safety concerns.

2. Visually appealing applications in entryways and office spaces

Not every space within an industrial or commercial facility needs metal grating from a safety or functional perspective. Office areas, entryways outside of the factory or warehouse and other places within the facility may not need the same slip protection and support if staff aren't engaging in activities that require this level of safety and support. However, metal grating can offer a unifying element in these areas, visually tying all areas of the facility together with a unified appearance.

Using the same metal grating within an entryway or foyer, set into a supporting floor structure, helps to indicate the major purpose of the facility and the type of work performed there to everyone who steps foot inside it. Metal grating can also be used in a pure application of form in this way, mounted to walls to provide visual context. Although it's not being used in its most common application, it can be a powerful design element that creates a sense of unified function.

3. Aluminium – an increasingly popular alternative

While steel grating is often seen as the standard in industrial applications, there are effective alternatives that can replicate the most important elements of this type of support structure. Aluminium is an increasingly popular choice for businesses that don't want to implement steel grating. While not as strong as steel due to its lighter weight, aluminium can capably provide the support and traction needed in a variety of industrial applications. In fact, its lighter weight makes it easier to instal in situations where the load-bearing capabilities of the underlying support structure is an important consideration. Its light weight also allows it to be more easily used as a false ceiling, facade or landscape feature, bringing a variety of aesthetic design options to the table.

Aluminium additionally offers a unique visual appearance that can stand out more than standard steel. If the safety features of aluminium meet your project's requirements, you can benefit from an effective combination of form and function by choosing this option.

Webforge is a leader in the prefabricated and custom metal grating space, offering a wide range of options for industrial and commercial projects. Our ability to custom craft many different styles of metal grating means you can rest assured that your facility can instal the grating it needs to address concerns of appearance and safe operation, regardless of the specifics.

To learn more, get in touch with the experts at Webforge today.