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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.

Stainless steel grating is as dependable as it is versatile.

Why stainless? 4 surprising benefits of stainless steel grates

Stainless steel grates are an indispensable component of constructing safe and functional industrial facilities. When appropriately designed and installed, these reliable support surfaces help workers consistently complete their duties and mitigate the possibility of accidents on the job. Long life spans, the ability to support a range of activities based on the specific configuration of the grate and other benefits come together to make stainless steel grates a strong choice for industrial and commercial facilities across the modern economy.

Learning more about the specific benefits of stainless steel can help you make the most informed decision possible for your project and organisation. Let's look at four key reasons why stainless steel grates are so beneficial to the businesses that utilise them.

Stainless steel grating offers a number of advantages for businesses.Stainless steel grating offers a number of advantages for businesses.

1. Strength

Steel's strength is a core property recognised in a variety of design and construction contexts, from a skyscraper or industrial facility's columns and girders to its widespread use as grating. It has a high tensile strength compared to many other metals, meaning it can withstand heavy weight and pressure before starting to stretch out and deform. This is especially important for elevated walkways, staircases, mezzanines and similar structures, where the steel and the structure it's attached to are the only things keeping employees safely working at heights.

Steel and its many variations have different strength ratings depending on the specific composition of the final product. Stainless steel is strong enough to support a variety of industrial applications and comes with other benefits that make it a leading choice among the many options offered. Along with strength, businesses should also keep corrosion resistance in mind.

2. Corrosion resistance

Basic steel is an alloy comprised of iron and carbon to create a stronger, more durable metal than iron is by itself. Stainless steel is an alloy made by taking the basic formula for steel and incorporating other elements like chromium and, sometimes, molybdenum to improve corrosion resistance. Basic steel can suffer significant corrosion over time when it's regularly exposed to air and moisture. This results in cosmetic issues, namely rusting, and safety issues over time. As rust flakes away, the underlying steel will begin to rust. Ultimately, the steel will lose its structural integrity and pose a major safety issue for those who walk on it, carry out tasks near machinery made of it or work in buildings where steel components are exposed to air and moisture.

Stainless steel, in contrast, will develop a thin film in response to the onset of corrosion that prevents the spread of rust. The resistance to corrosion offered by stainless steel is what sets it apart from the many other varieties currently manufactured. The ability to resist rust and maintain its integrity helps stainless steel last longer and continue functioning safely in its intended role. A variety of stainless steel alloys are available to address different conditions present in a variety of facilities.

Corrosion resistance is especially important for stainless steel grating because of the many types of environments the material may be exposed to in an industrial workplace. Even in climate controlled facilities, ambient moisture content and the presence of oxygen can eventually lead to rusting and the issues that come along with it. With stainless steel's corrosion resistance and its underlying strength, you can be far more confident in the reliability of your grating.

3. Resistance to fire and heat

Stainless steel's overall reputation for dependability is tied to its strong performance in the face of adverse conditions. Along with its ability to remain functional in conditions that would corrode other types of steel, it also stands up well to other adverse events such as impacts, excess heat and fire. While every well-managed organisation takes careful steps to avoid accidents, an unpredictable series of events can lead to an emergency. Stainless steel grating that resists the damage caused by heat and fire can avoid further damage in these situations.

In less-catastrophic circumstances, resistance to heat can help stainless steel, especially protective barriers. Walkways, too, remain more durable in industrial conditions where high heat is an unavoidable element of operations. This helps improve safety considerations and reduces the costs associated with repair and replacement.

4. Customisability

A dependable and safe material only becomes useful when it can be consistently fabricated and installed in a way that meets the unique needs of a variety of different facilities. Stainless steel is broadly customisable, both in terms of the specific content of the alloy and the ways in which it can be manufactured. While there are recommendations and rules set by the International Organisation for Standardisation, Standards Australia and similar national rules authorities in terms of how to construct steel grating with safety in mind, many other elements of steel grating are easily changed to align with specific design requirements and the layout of a facility.

Whether it's a need to retrofit an existing building or address a unique layout and the needs of a specific industry, stainless steel gratings can be made to order for a perfect fit in nearly every situation. No matter the specifics, stainless steel can support your operations with both premade panels and bespoke pieces.

Finding the right provider to supply your project is crucial when it comes to stainless steel grating. A dependable partner can help you work through the entire process, from selecting the right existing panel option – or crafting custom elements from scratch – to producing and transporting it to the existing facility or construction site. Webforge can help your organisation select all of the necessary elements and associated hardware, from choosing the right slip resistance features to ensuring the most effective fixing clips are provided to help secure the grating.

To learn more about how we can help your business, get in touch with the experts at Webforge today.

Pic Perf has a wide range of eye-catching applications.

More than just a screen: Our favourite uses of Pic Perf technology

Architectural projects offer an opportunity to blend aesthetic and functional elements, creating a visually dynamic new structure or addition to an existing one that also plays a practical role. By taking both design and usefulness into account, organisations can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Individuality is another consideration that's deeply connected to both aesthetics and practicality. With the right design elements involved, organisations can highlight everything from the concrete – their logo, word mark or a visual display of what the building is used for – to the abstract – unique imagery that entrenches the structure in the mind of those who see it. By incorporating these striking visual elements into a function portion of the structure, the organisations and people that occupy them enjoy a more holistic approach to modern architecture.

Our Pic Perf technology helps your project successfully address all of these considerations, blending form and function together into a striking final product with nearly limitless options for customisation. Let's look at exactly what Pic Perf is, then review the many ways in which you can utilise it to improve practical and aesthetic elements of your structure.

What is Pic Perf?

In direct, basic terms, Pic Perf is a perforated metal facade added to a new or existing structure. The key differentiation is the design and application of the perforations.

Perforated metal in general has a variety of benefits when used in architectural applications. These custom-sized perforated sheets can help protect buildings from excess exposure to sunlight and win, or serve as an internal sun screen fulfilling the same purpose, and the many issues that can arise from those concerns. They do all of this while adding a unique design element to a structure. Perforated metal has a number of other specific applications that we'll detail in the next section of this article.

Pic Perf stands out from other perforated metal applications by offering the opportunity to incorporate everything from a logo to an abstract design into the manufacturing process. By working in concert with purely functional perforations throughout the sheet or sheets used, it doesn't sacrifice any of the functional benefits of perforated metal sheets. And with the experienced, skilled staff of Locker  working with you throughout the design process, you can be sure the imagery and functional perforations will harmoniously align into a visually striking final product.

This unique option can be used with many different types of metal and retain a natural finish or use anodised or powder coatings for additional customisation. Depending on scale, a Pic Perf installation can consist of a single panel or many, designed with the unique needs of an indoor or outdoor application in mind.

With a firmer grasp on the specifics that set Pic Perf apart from other perforated metal options available for construction projects, let's take a look at some key applications.

What are some of our favourite applications of Pic Perf?

Sun screens

We've briefly touched on one of the most common and effective uses of Pic Perf: sun screens and controlling the amount of light that hits a building. There are a number of reasons why this is important:

  • Comfort in working and living environments: One of our previous looks at Pic Perf shared data from the Urban Green Council, which found nearly 60 per cent of windows in all-glass buildings were covered with shades. Controlled exposure to sunlight can be a benefit of a building, but excessive light can disrupt both work and home life.
  • HVAC costs: The price of regulating a building's temperature, especially when it features many windows or is constructed entirely out of glass, adds a never-ending cost to operations. A sun screen can lower the price tag of this need without completely eliminating the flow of natural light, striking a happy balance.
  • Protecting vehicles and many other assets: Car parks exposed to substantial direct sunlight can create uncomfortable and even dangerous conditions inside vehicles. Sun screens that regulate light exposure help maintain a more comfortable environment for employees, customers and guests as they leave a structure, offering a positive experience to the very end.

With Pic Perf, your organisation can deploy its preferred design or branding on a functional sun screen – whether inside or outside of the building – adding a valuable visual component to a functional and important component of a structure.

Dividers and walls

While Pic Perf's most visible applications are in the context of an exterior facade that can be seen by anyone who passes by, there are many more ways in which this useful and unique approach to perforated metal can be deployed. Dividers and walls are two examples. Pic Perf can serve as a floor-to-ceiling privacy screen in front of a glass partition or by itself, obscuring sensitive work that takes place behind it without totally blocking the flow of light into an area. It can also divide sections of an open floor plan area without stretching the entire vertical length of the room.

This can be an opportunity to add a unique visual to a practical component, making for a more interesting and engaging space while also improving privacy.


Securing the perimeter of a building or screening a walkway doesn't have to be a purely utilitarian pursuit. Using Pic Perf as the fence itself or in addition to an existing containment structure can turn something that often isn't regarded as particularly eye-catching or appealing with a visually engaging appearance. This tactic can be used within a large campus or on the edges of property surrounded by public streets and walkways with equal effectiveness.


Similar to fencing applications, Pic Perf can add a new dimension to railings and the balusters that support them. Adding a Pic Perf screen to an existing or new balustrade can enhance its appearance and help protect the underlying functional structure. This is another example of how Pic Perf strikes a balance between important architectural and design concepts through the use of perforated metal.

Taking the next step toward your own Pic Perf installation

Locker has the industry expertise, knowledge and ability to help you make the most of your own custom Pic Perf project. We can assist you throughout the process, from diving into the details of the installation to select the best materials and perforation pattern to ensuring a high degree of quality throughout the production timeline.

Having a dependable partner is critical for high-value – and highly visible – projects like Pic Perfect facades and other installations of this versatile approach to perforated metal. To learn more about Locker  and Pic Perf, get in touch with us today.

Perforated metal allows for good flow of natural light and air.

Customising perforated metal with Locker: a guide

Perforated metal is a common design feature of buildings around the world. It is a cost-effective and flexible way to bring unusual and exciting architectural ideas to life.

In this post we explore some of the features and benefits of custom perforated metal and share some of the ways Locker uses perforated metal products to create striking, innovative designs that fit the customer's specific requirements.

What is custom perforated metal?

Custom perforated metal consists of a metal base with a series of holes or perforations to achieve a particular look and feel.

Custom perforated metal can be added to otherwise uninspiring structures to add some creative flare. It is often the perforated metal that gives a building its visual identity. When people think about that building, it is the perforated metal that jumps out as the defining feature.

Perforated metal design can use a range of bases with custom perforations made to fit the particular architectural design requirements.

Perforated metal is cost effective and flexible for architects.Perforated metal is cost effective and flexible for architects.

How is perforated metal made?

Perforated metal starts as sheet metal. The perforations are then punched through the metal in line with a predetermined design.

Locker offers a wide range of tools to fully customise this process. That means customers are able to create truly unique designs in the shape, size and arrangement of the perforations. The metal itself can also be manipulated in various ways, with borders, folds and notches.

Most projects use perforated aluminium or perforated stainless steel. But the perforation process can be applied to a wide range of different materials.

What are the benefits of using custom perforated metal?

Drive through any city and the popular appeal of perforated metal is there to see. Here are some of the reasons why so many architectural designs use custom perforated metal.

  • Flexibility: custom perforated metal is usually just a facade that sits on top of or wraps around a building. Designing, constructing and modifying perforated metal can be done without affecting the underlying structure. This makes it easier and cheaper to achieve particular visual effects.
  • Creative flair: custom perforated metal allows you to bring real creative flair to a building project without breaking the bank. This could be a new project or remodelling and upgrading of an existing structure. Custom perforated metal has so many different options that each design can be unique.
  • Natural light and air: the combination of sheet metal and patterned perforations allow for maximum flow of light and air. At the same time, these facades provide shelter from the elements for the structure and its occupants.
  • Noise reduction: perforated metal can play a useful role in reducing noise. This can be particularly helpful in environments with a lot of noise pollution or concern about the ill effects of noise on residents or workers. Perforated metal allows designs to combine a practical benefit with strong visual appeal.

How does Locker customise perforated metal?

Locker is a leading provider of perforated metal, offering a wide range of fully customisable solutions.

The vast library of tools we use to perforate sheet metal allows customers to make one-of-kind creations that will give a unique look and feel to their buildings or spaces. We also have extensive experience and a large collection of case studies to show the quality of our work and help to inspire our customers for their own projects.

As well as working with a range of materials, Locker also offers different options for finishing perforated metal, including anodising, powder coating and electroplating. Our experts can advise you on the best material and finish for your project's needs.

3 examples of custom perforated metal design

Working with Locker you benefit from our experience and proven track record. Here are just three examples of how our perforated metal designs have brought a unique, creative edge to famous and well-loved buildings.

Brisbane Services Union

In 2018, Locker teamed up with Architectus, an architecture and design studio, to create the facade for the Brisbane Services Union building.

Brisbane Services Union with perforated metal.Brisbane Services Union featuring perforated metal.

A priority in this project was temperature control, as the building is west-facing and therefore takes the full heat of Brisbane's afternoon sun.

Locker used a specially designed perforated metal system called Atmosphere to help protect the structure, reducing the running costs while also contributing to the aesthetic appeal.

Keep reading about Locker's Brisbane Services Union project.

Latrobe University (Dining Hall)

Locker worked with Melbourne-based architects, Billard Leece, to create a perforated metal facade for the dining hall at Latrobe University's Bendigo campus.

Perforated metal was chosen because it offered good flow of light and air. The project presented a number of design challenges, requiring Locker and Billard Leece to come up with some innovative solutions to achieve the desired look and feel.

Keep reading about Locker's Latrobe University (Dining Hall) project.

Perth Arena (Feature Wall)

As well as external facades, custom perforated metal can also be used to create signature internal design features.

A good example is this project at the Perth Arena. The Perth Arena is a futuristic structure that has become a landmark in the city since it opened in 2012.

Locker used its Pic Perf product as a textural element of a feature wall inside the venue. The wall has perforations designed to look like the folds of a quilt and used anodised aluminium to contrast with the surrounding timber paneling.

Keep reading about Locker's Perth Arena (Feature Wall) project.

Learn more about custom perforated metal

Locker can help you use custom perforated metal to give your next design project a striking, one-of-kind look. Tap into the knowledge of our experts, browse our library of case studies and learn more about how we customise perforated metal here.

Anodised aluminium grating is used in a range of commercial and industrial environments.

What is anodised aluminium and what is its role in grating products?

Aluminium is a popular material for grating products. It is lightweight, durable and aesthetically appealing.

In this post we will look at the features of anodised aluminium, the anodising process and the role anodised aluminium plays in grating products.

What is anodised aluminium?

Anodised aluminium is aluminium that has been reinforced with a layer of aluminium oxide. This process increases the durability of the material, giving it greater resistance to scratches and other signs of wear or damage. Products made with anodised aluminium will as a result often last longer before needing to be repaired or replaced.

How is anodised aluminium made?

Anodised aluminium is made using an electrochemical process. The aluminium is treated in a chemical bath and then an electrical current is applied to it. This creates a coating of aluminium oxide that is fully integrated with the underlying aluminium substrate. This is what gives anodised aluminium its enhanced durability.

"Products made with anodised aluminium will as a result often last longer before needing to be repaired."

Why use anodised aluminium in grating products?

Aluminium is a widely used material for grating products such as walkways, bridges, drain covers, washbays and commercial catwalks. While there are stronger materials available, such as stainless steel, aluminium is often chosen when weight is a primary consideration. Aluminium also looks a lot better than alternatives, such as plastic grating, so it is popular with architects.

The process of anodising aluminium makes it harder wearing and aluminium doesn't rust. This makes it a viable option in harsh environments where it might be exposed to wind, rain and sea water. Anodised aluminum has a porous structure, which means it is also highly resistant to fading or chipping after being coloured and sealed.

How do you colour anodised aluminium?

The colouring of anodised aluminium is a secondary process. Anodising turns the top layer of the aluminium to aluminium oxide. The porous nature of this top layer means it is ideal for receiving a coloured dye followed by a sealant. Thicker anodised layers can absorb more dye making the colour more durable.

What is chromic acid anodised aluminium?

The chemicals used in the process of creating anodised aluminium can vary. Chromic acid is one option. It is used to apply a thin anodised layer to the aluminium that is resistant to corrosion but very responsive to adhesives.

What is sulphuric acid anodised aluminium?

Sulphuric acid is an alternative to chromic acid in the anodising process. Sulphuric acid anodising is also called clear anodising. This is because it doesn't discolour the aluminium when the aluminium oxide layer is created. As a result this process is used when the aluminium is to be dyed and sealed afterwards.

What is powder finished aluminium?

Powder finished aluminium is an alternative to wet paint for colouring aluminium products. Aluminium grating products with a powder finish offer a particular visual appeal. The process is also more environmentally-friendly.

How long does anodised aluminium last?

Anodised aluminium can last 20 to 50 years depending on the treatment and the thickness of the coating. This makes it an ideal material for grating products that are used in commercial and industrial environments.

How do you clean anodised aluminium?

One of the benefits of using anodised aluminium in commercial and industrial grating products is that it lasts longer. But it will still need to be cleaned and maintained. Anodised aluminium doesn't scratch easily, but it can be damaged by particularly harsh cleaning chemicals. If aluminium grating does get badly damaged the anodised layer can be completely removed and reapplied.

"Anodised aluminium can last 20 to 50 years depending on the treatment and the thickness of the coating."

Can you engrave anodised aluminium?

Laser processing can be used to mark and engrave anodised aluminium. Laser engraving is effective and long-lasting on anodised aluminium surfaces making it a viable option if aluminium grating products need to be marked or adorned with important information.

Learn more about aluminium grating products

Webforge provides a range of trusted aluminium grating products, for environments where weight, durability and appearance are top considerations.

A range of finishes are available. As well as anodised aluminium grating, Webforge can supply a powder coated, painted or mill finish. Visit our Aluminium Grating page for load tables, patterns and product specifications.

Pic Perf facades offer a striking mix of visual and practical benefits.

What’s it like to work with Locker on a facade project?

A facade is critical for many building projects for both aesthetic and practical reasons.

Facades have the power to transform a standard building, whether one under construction or an existing facility, with a unique front-facing appearance that sets it apart from the many other structures in the area. With a variety of materials and designs to choose from, each facade can combine many different elements to stand on its own and make a noticeable impact on those who walk past and interact with the underlying building.

These additions to buildings also play a key role in regulating temperature and creating a more comfortable environment for those inside. By screening out some, but not all, sunlight from reaching the windows of the structure, facades help to cut down on HVAC costs without keeping staff and visitors in unpleasant, windowless spaces. With sunlight filtered as it strikes windows, employees and guests have more consistent visibility and don't have to lose focus or face distractions that come with shifting natural light.

Let's look at how a facade project can add a distinct, eye-catching element to your building, and how working with Locker on such an effort gives your organisation a dependable and proven partner.

The many options available for building facades

One factor unifying the majority of facades on modern buildings is their basic composition. Some form of stamped, perforated or expanded metal is frequently used to ensure the aesthetic and thermal qualities of the facade last for many years to come. This is the point where facades begin to diverge. Depending on the specific needs of a project, you can choose from many different options that take those requirements into account. The options offered by Locker include:

Atmosphere facades

This type of building facade emphasises visibility while also ensuring the temperature regulation aspects of facades aren't ignored. By allowing those within a building to look outside and work or visit without being blinded during the brightest parts of the day, everyone can enjoy the view.

Atmosphere facade projects were created with speed and efficiency in mind, allowing for a quick addition to an existing or new structure. The panels are often installed on tensioned stainless steel cables, which makes the process that much easier. Ridged panels can also be used in situations where cables don't align with the design vision for the structure.

With a streamlined approach to adding panels, whether across an entire building or in key areas to maximise visual impact, Atmosphere building facades can bring a variety of benefits to structures ranging from car parks to office buildings, medical facilities and much more.

Expanded metal facades

Expanded metal offers an overall industrial visual quality when workers, visitors and passers-by are close to the structure, but have a light, open appearance when viewed from a distance. Designed to protect against the harsh glare of the sun, these facades are equally at home providing security, plant and privacy screening, among many other applications.

Pic Perf facades

Pic Perf facades highlight the range of visual options that come with these valuable additions to buildings. An existing facade can have a graphic design added to it by utilising the holes punched in the material. The overall appearance is that of an exceptionally large graphic, whether an abstract concept, logo or visual representation of the work performed by the company and those inside the building.

Pic Perf can be used both inside and outside, and this valuable addition doesn't compromise the heat regulation qualities that are so important when it comes to building facades.

What you can expect when you partner with Locker 

Adding a facade to a building, whether when designing blueprints or as a new addition to an existing structure, can be a complicated and time-consuming effort without the right support and guidance from a trusted partner. Locker's 60-plus years of experience working on a variety of architectural projects gives your organisation the guidance that is so valuable when it comes to everything from selecting the perfect material to safely and securely installing the facade.

When you decide to partner with Locker, you can expect knowledgeable, targeted and consistent support from the start of every project to its end. We're ready to provide guidance, answer questions and help you see your building facade efforts through to completion. With a wide range of facade products, we're sure we can find the best possible material, design and application to align with the visual and practical needs of your building.

To learn more about how Locker can make your building facade project a success, get in touch with the experts at of our eight offices today.

Perforated metal has an incredibly wide variety of applications.

Innovative uses of perforated metal in construction projects

Perforated metal is an incredibly broad category in terms of construction materials. With so many base materials and options for perforating, coating and adding borders, folds and notches, perforated metal can be a welcome addition to the aesthetics of a wide variety of structures while also offering practical benefits.

Perforated metal is most frequently thought of in the context of a facade for a building, helping to regulate temperature and exposure to sunlight. There are many different unique and impressive uses specifically in this application, but there are so many more potential applications to consider. This valuable, versatile material is equally at home within and outside of a variety of structures. It can emphasise aesthetics, practical benefits or an efficient combination of the two.

A look at some innovative uses of perforated metal can help you decide on how to best incorporate this design feature into your next project, whether it's designing a building from the ground up or adding key elements to an existing structure.

What do I need to know about perforated metal?

One of the key qualities of perforated metal is how easily it can be used to transform the visual appearance of part or all of a building. By creating a superstructure surrounding the more practical building underneath, perforated metal can solve a variety of design challenges that may otherwise require costly, time-consuming processes to achieve.

An incredible variety of shapes are possible with perforated metal, from rounded edges and sloping curves that evoke clouds and waves to sharp angles and flat surfaces that combine to create complex yet pleasing geometric designs. Whether limited to windows, applied to the front of a structure or surrounding much or all of the building,

Perforated metal also has a number of functional qualities that can be difficult to achieve with other materials, including:

  • Heat regulation: Perforated metal can, in many applications, limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the underlying structure or specific areas where this material is installed. That helps protect against excess heat, lowering cooling costs and maintaining a more stable temperature, and reduces the potential for the long-term affects of sun exposure.
  • Sound absorption: Excess noise can be a distraction or even a safety concern, depending on the setting. The right screen can effectively dampen these unwanted noises, as a research paper published by IOP Science explained.
  • Improved visibility: The perforations in metal make it easy for those within a structure to see outside while keeping their eyes shaded from the sun.

What are some innovative uses of perforated metal?

While no longer on the cutting edge of perforated metal applications, uses within a building – as opposed to as part of a facade or other exterior screen – have only begun to be tapped. There are a number of possible benefits to be had from a targeted installation within a structure. They can be installed along interior walls and below ceilings to help address issues with excessive noise as well as diffuse the sometimes harsh effects of lighting, as Metal Architecture explained.

There are a number of other uses to consider within a building, ranging from the purely aesthetic to offering increased privacy without completely walling off a space. They can also be deployed on skylights and some interior windows for a light filtering effect.

Imagery is another growing application when it comes to perforated metal. Along with the visual impression created by the perforations, form and structure of this material, there are also options for deploying graphics on perforated metal for increased individuality and a unique image.

Our own Pic Perf process uses a detailed approach to perforation that provides an end product with an array of visually distinct graphics. Options range from company logos and word marks to many abstract and more concrete designs. With a robust process for reproducing imagery, there are many avenues to explore.

Exterior corridors and walkway covers are another innovative application worth considering, especially in sunny, hot climates. With the right perforated metal, you can keep guests and staff members alike protected from direct sunlight as they travel between nearby buildings or within a large campus. Perforated metal can also serve as a privacy or security screen on the sides of walkways and corridors, paired with a full roof to protect workers and sensitive materials from the elements as well as prying eyes.

Finding the right partner for a perforated metal project is critical for realising success, from the design phase through the long-term stability and performance of the material. Get in touch with Locker Group today to learn how our wide range of materials and expertise in deploying them can help make your perforated metal vision a reality.

Aluminium floor grating is often chosen as a lightweight option.

Floor grating types and what they’re used for

Floor grating is often seen as a superior alternative to flat surfaces for flooring, walkways, raised platforms and various other industrial applications.

Grating is lightweight, affordable and low maintenance. It is aesthetically appealing, offering good ventilation and slip resistance. It can be stored and installed relatively easily. And often the material can be reused or recycled, which makes grating more environmentally friendly.

In addition to walkways and raised platforms, floor grating is used on bridges; commercial-grade catwalks; drain and gully covers; jetties; steps, stair treads and ramps; track crossings; and wash bays.

But there are a number of different options when it comes to choosing your industrial floor grating. In this article we'll take a look at three popular choices: steel floor grating, aluminium floor grating and fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) floor grating.

In each case we've highlighted the main characteristics and benefits of each material and provided links to further information, technical specs and downloads.

Aluminium has a multitude of uses, including in floor grating.Aluminium has a multitude of uses, including in floor grating.

Steel Floor Grating

Steel is the most popular material for floor grating. It is manufactured using a combination of vertical load bars and horizontal cross rods.

Steel as a material offers excellent durability and resistance to corrosion. It also has great yield and tensile strength.

Webforge offers five steel grating patterns. The most popular two feature a 30mm load bar pitch with either a 100mm or 50mm cross rod pitch.

Common uses of these two patterns include:

  • Power stations
  • Refineries
  • Sewerage treatment plants
  • Grain silos
  • Chemical plants
  • Trafficable drain grates
  • Stair treads

Webforge offers the option of a serrated steel grating finish, which enhances the non-slip characteristics of all of our steel grating products.

If you want more information about these products, including load bearing tables and downloadable content, please visit our steel grating product page.

In situations where corrosion and rust are of particular concern, stainless steel floor grating products can sometimes be the best option.

The chromium content of stainless steel means it combines the strength of steel with the corrosion resistance of chromium. As the name suggests it is also resistant to staining, making it particularly low maintenance.

It can easily worked and welded despite its strength. And a lot of people like the aesthetics and the durability of stainless steel and stainless steel products.

More information about stainless steel floor grating is available here.

Aluminium Floor Grating

Aluminium floor grating is often chosen as a lightweight option. As a material, aluminium is not as strong as steel but it is lighter.

As a result, aluminium floor grating is popular in industrial environments where weight is a primary consideration.

Aluminium is also sometimes regarded as having greater aesthetic appeal than other materials. It is one of the reasons Steve Jobs chose it to make all those iPhones and why it has so many architectural applications.

Similar to our steel floor grating products, Webforge offers a number of load bar and cross rod combinations in aluminium, as well as a serrated finish for superior slip resistance.

You can find more information about aluminium floor grating here.

FRP Floor Grating

Fibreglass reinforced plastic or FRP floor grating is replacing traditional floor grating materials in a number of different industrial applications.

As the name suggests it is not made from metal. Instead FRP grating is manufactured using either a mould or a method called pultrusion.

Moulded FRP is a mesh of vertical and horizontal layers of fibre rovings and liquid resin combined in a mould. Pultruded FRP takes resin and glass fibre strands and pulls them through a series of steps to create a new composite material

Both methods for manufacturing FRP grating rely on the combined characteristics of glass fibres and polymer resin. The glass fibres provide the final product with its strength and durability, while the polymer resins are resistant to corrosive substances.

What makes FRP particularly appealing in certain situations are its unique properties. Here are some examples:

  • FRP floor grating won't spark if metal objects are accidentally dropped on it. This is an important consideration when working around highly flammable liquids and gases.
  • Because it is made from reinforced plastic rather than metal it doesn't conduct electricity, making it a safer option for electrically-hazardous installations.
  • It is easier to cut than metal grating. This makes FRP grating more flexible, allowing for cut-outs for pipework or reshaping for new or complex floor layouts.
  • Finally, FRP floor grating is non-magnetic, which makes it safer in situations that are sensitive to magnetic fields.

Webforge manufactures moulded fibreglass grating in both standard and custom sizes.

Our moulded grating has a high resin-to-glass ratio giving it a particularly strong resistance to corrosion. This makes it a popular choice for environments with a lot of hazardous chemicals and a high risk for leaks and spills.

To aid low maintenance, 70 per cent of the surface area is open and the vertical surfaces are resin-rich, allowing debris to fall through.

If you'd like to know more about Webforge's FRP floor grating products, please visit our FRP grating page, which includes various downloads, load bearing tables and technical specifications.

FRP grating has a multitude of applications.

What is FRP and when should you use it?

Fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) grating is a type of industrial flooring used across a broad range of industries. Typically it is found in walkways and overhead platforms.

FRP grating is extremely durable, non-corrosive and doesn't conduct electricity, which often makes it a safer alternative to other flooring materials traditionally used in harsh and high-risk environments.

In this article we look at how FRP grating is made, some of the benefits of using it and the common places where you might find it.

How is FRP grating made?

FRP grating is made by combining fibreglass and resin. The fibreglass gives the finished product its strength, while the resin makes it resistant to corrosive substances.

What is the difference between moulded and pultruded FRP grating?

Moulded FRP grating is a mesh of horizontal and vertical layers of liquid resin and continuous fibreglass rovings. As the name suggests, it is made in a large metal mould.

The multi-directional strength of moulded FRP grating means cut-outs to make room for pipework or to navigate complex flooring layouts don't need extra reinforcement. Another advantage of moulded FRP is that it comes in standard sizes, which can be ordered in bulk and stored until needed.

Pultruded FRP grating uses a different manufacturing process. It takes the resin and glass fibres and pulls them through a series of steps to combine them into a new composite material.

It doesn't use a mould so there is more flexibility when creating different shapes and sizes. And often less waste. Pultruded FRP grating has a higher glass to resin ratio, increasing its strength and span capability.

Where is FRP grating used?

FRP grating is usually found in hazardous or harsh environments where it may be subject to the elements or come into contact with dangerous and corrosive chemicals. Here are some examples of situations where FRP grating is used:

  1. On ships and offshore installations: the tough, durable nature of FRP grating makes it ideal for ships and oil rigs or other offshore installations. It can be exposed to wind, rain and extremes of temperature and it can be submerged in water. It is also lightweight and relatively easy to transport.
  2. Working with flammable materials: FRP grating doesn't give off any sparks, so it is often seen as a safer alternative to steel or other metals around flammable materials. For example, dropping metal objects on it would not create sparks, potentially causing atmospheric gases around it to ignite.
  3. In electrically hazardous environments: FRP grating is often used in electrically hazardous environments because it is non-conductive. It therefore reduces the risk of electric shock or other injuries in the event of an accident involving electricity.
  4. In chemical plants: FRP grating is non-corrosive. This can make it the ideal material for walkways, platforms and other surfaces in chemical plants where there is a risk of corrosive materials leaking or being spilled.
  5. On complex construction sites: the ease of transporting, storing and cutting FRP grating makes it a flexible and cost-effective solution for site work. Construction firms are able to use standard cutting tools to make FRP grating fit complicated and fluid site layouts.
Construction sites need durable, flexible flooring solutions.Construction sites need durable, flexible flooring solutions.

Other uses of FRP grating include:

  • Bridges
  • Commercial-grade catwalks
  • Drain covers
  • General commercial flooring
  • Gully covers
  • Jetties
  • Ladders
  • Machinery housing
  • Platforms and raised walkways
  • Pool decks
  • Ramps
  • Screens and protective shielding
  • Steps and stairs
  • Track crossings
  • Wash bays

What are the benefits of FRP grating?

FRP grating has a number of benefits, some of which we covered in the previous section. Here are the main reasons it is chosen over metal and other grating alternatives:

  1. Durable: FRP grating is able to withstand harsh environments for extended periods of time without being damaged or degraded. It is low maintenance and easy to clean. And the moulded-through colour means it won't need to be repainted.
  2. Fire resistant: while specific fire ratings will depend on the individual product, generally speaking FRP grating offers a high level of resistance to heat and fire.
  3. Flexible: it is easily cut to fit particular flooring layouts and can be adjusted as layouts change, which reduces waste and saves on extra costs.
  4. Lightweight: FRP grating is easier to transport and store than other grating alternatives, which reduces costs and avoids stoppages and delays to projects.
  5. Non-conductive: it doesn't conduct electricity, so it is safer in electrically hazardous environments.
FRP grating is a safer solution in electrically hazardous environments.FRP grating is a safer solution in electrically hazardous environments.
  1. Non-corrosive: FRP grating doesn't corrode, so it can be used around dangerous chemicals where spills and leaks are a potential risk.
  2. Non-magnetic: unlike steel and some other grating alternatives, FRP grating is non-magnetic, which makes it is safer in situations that are sensitive to magnetic fields.
  3. Non-slip: a grit-top surface can be added to FRP grating that helps reduce the chances of slipping.
  4. Non-sparking: it doesn't spark, so it reduces the risk of fire when working with or around highly flammable liquids or gases.
  5. Strong: FRP grating has a good strength to weight ratio meaning it can handle substantial loads. Again, precise load ratings vary from product to product.

Learn more about FRP grating

Locker offers a wide range of industrial flooring products and solutions, including fibreglass reinforced plastic grating. This product brochure provides in=depth information about Locker's FRP grating, including a load table and a chemical resistance table.

Mesh facades are visually impressive as well as a practical tool for limiting sunlight exposure.

Great uses of expanded metal mesh facades from around the world

When thoughtfully designed and properly installed, an expanded metal mesh facade makes a building visually distinct and memorable while offering a variety of practical benefits as well.

Headquarters and major facilities are a crucial part of an organisation's identity. With the right facade included in the design, your new or existing building can become a valuable element of overall brand recognition.

Let's review exactly what an expanded metal mesh facade is, then review some especially impressive examples of their use in structures built across the globe.

What is an expanded metal mesh facade?

In the world of architecture, a facade is simply an external side of a building. It often, but not always, refers to the front of the structure. The distinguishing feature of the facade is its importance in establishing the overall style and identity of the overall structure. While a well-designed facade often includes design flourishes usually aren't as prevalent throughout the rest of the building, it is the most memorable.

Expanded metal mesh is a piece, or many pieces, of metal cut and stretched to form a distinct design. A variety of base materials can be used to reach a final product that displays a wide range of patterns. It can additionally be treated with a variety of paints and lacquers to display many different colours, and graphics can be printed on the mesh as well. Certain varieties of plants can also grow on the mesh, adding another visually impressive option.

The visually distinct appearance of expanded metal mesh isn't the only benefit it provides. A key element of this metal mesh is its ability to filter some, but not all, light from reaching a building. This helps regulate building temperature, reducing the amount of sunlight that comes into contact with the underlying structure while still allowing for air to circulate.

Additionally, metal mesh can maintain visibility into the outside world for staff and guests while reducing the amount of direct sunlight shining directly into meeting and working spaces. Depending on a building's orientation, this benefit can help employees and others avoid this type of unwelcome distraction.

3 buildings with especially impressive expanded metal mesh facades

1. Maison Folie de Wazemmes, Lille, France

The Maison Folie de Wazemmes is an excellent example of how a building facade can breathe new life into an existing structure. By applying modern design principles and benefits to an existing textile factory, this multi-use arts facility enjoys an incredibly eye-catching design that aligns with the facility's overall intent and purpose.

The aesthetic benefits are increased through the use of multicoloured lights that can transform the steel grey facade exterior at night, displaying a range of vibrant hues. This benefit is another example of the versatility of mesh facades from a design perspective. Of course, the facade also shields visitors, volunteers, performers and staff from the harshest effects of sunlight entering the building during the day as well.

This example of an expanded metal mesh demonstrates how a wide range of buildings, both old and new, can create a distinct atmosphere with the carefully designed and applied facade.

2. Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic, Kuwait

The facade of the Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic in Kuwait is another instance of facades combining practical and visual benefits. Designed by firm AGi architects, which has offices in Madrid and Kuwait, the clinic emphasises privacy – a core need in healthcare settings – while featuring a truly impressive outside appearance.

The overall building design places its courtyards and similar interior spaces within the facade, which plays a critical role in filtering and deflecting light. In a consistently hot, dry climate, offering access to outdoor spaces while reducing potential issues like heat exposure is critical.

This expanded metal mesh facade also makes an incredible first impression. While not a traditional design for a healthcare building, it's both memorable and easily distinguished from a distance. The ease with which visitors and locals can identify the structure is a significant advantage in terms of branding and recognition.

3. Deloitte Bygget, Oslo

We featured the Deloitte Bygget building when highlighting notable commercial building facades, and its distinctive appearance means its worth a second look. Located in an area of Oslo full of skyscrapers and other impressive structures, this building needed to stand out as its own structure.

The visual approach to the facade is based on a breaking glacier, which offers a unique appearance as well as a strong connection to Norway's cultural history and physical location. The practical benefits are similar to many other facades: Limiting the ability of sunlight to directly contact the underlying structure, helping to reduce heating costs and provide shade for those inside the building.

This facade is also notable for allowing the Deloitte Bygget to conform to Oslo's strict building codes while creating a strong visual identity. That's something worth keeping in mind for every project where a facade may be used.

Moving forward with your own facade

Expanded metal mesh facades allow businesses to add their own twist on common building designs, repurpose existing structures with a new, attractive visual element and stand out in areas where building codes limit other forms of individuality. Of course, they also provide practical benefits that help to address issues with direct sun exposure and HVAC management, as well as offer valuable shade and a more consistent environment for staff and visitors.

To find out how Locker Group can help turn your own facade idea into a reality, get in touch with us today.

Spiderman maybe down, but he's certainly not out. Here's how Locker can help.

Woven vs. welded wire mesh: Which would Spiderman prefer?

It's been a rough month for Spiderman.

His unceremonious expulsion from the Marvel Comic Universe has meant that the web-throwing wonder finds himself out of a job, and seemingly with no one left to care about him.

However, at Locker we have a long history of celebrating success, and refuse to forget the countless occasions on which Spidey saved the day when all looked lost. Therefore, we're reaching out to you, Spiderman. Get back on the horse, rediscover your mojo, and remember what it was that carried you to those dizzying heights – your love of climbing.

In this article, we'll be looking at woven and welded wire mesh to determine which provides the better option as a training ground for Spiderman to dust of the cobwebs (get it?) and regain his form.

Cue theme music.

Locker can provide welded and woven wire mesh for architectural projects in Australia.Locker is here to help Spiderman get back to his best, protecting the streets of New York.

Woven vs. welded wire mesh: Which is stronger?

According to Marvel's directory, Peter Parker clocks in at just shy of 75 kilograms. So, first things first – will both wire mesh and welded mesh support him?

The quick answer is yes. Both of these products are strong enough to be used in load intensive applications such as flooring, meaning that they should more than stand up to the test of supporting his weight as he learns to climb again.

However, we know our friendly neighbourhood. Spiderman's confidence isn't what it once was, so in order to give him absolute piece of mind regarding his safety, we'd have to go with welded over woven when it comes to strength. 

This is because the intersections of the wire in a welded panel are, as the name suggests, welded together. This results in additional support, due to the the ability to create uniform, and large, opening sizes that remain rigid even under high strain. By comparison, woven wire mesh derives its strength simply from weaving the strands over and under each other to create an interlocking sheet, with no welding to provide back up.

Woven vs. welded wire mesh: Which has more give?

Spiderman is used to throwing himself from skyscraper to skyscraper at great velocity, and making these epic leaps with ease and style.

However, given that we're going back to basics, it makes sense to provide him with as much cushion as possible, giving his joints a break from those high impact landings. This is why we're interested in determining whether woven or welded wire mesh has more flexibility.

This time, it's woven wire that comes out on top. This type of mesh is frequently used in applications such as aviary enclosures and animal flooring, where a bit of give is important to avoid injuries to livestock. As such, Spiderman can work through those first few mis-jumps without the risk of hurting himself in the process.

Mesh is great for both industrial and architectural applications.Both woven and welded wire mesh are capable of high load bearing.

Woven vs. welded wire mesh: Which will provide the best grip?

Answering this is as easy as a walk in the park, or a climb up a building.

The reinforced nature of welded wire mesh means that it will provide our high flying friend with that extra grip he needs as he sits up high and watches over the citizens of New York. 

Woven vs. welded wire mesh: Which is more cost effective?

The life of a superhero is a selfless one. While Spiderman may receive fame and adulation, his escapades are fuelled by a sense of duty, not an income. 

As a result, when building his training gym, Peter will be looking for the most cost effective materials out there. When it comes to a savings showdown, because less work goes into making woven wire mesh, it is usually a little cheaper than its welded counterpart.

Locker can tailor its mesh to suit different client requirements.Locker can provide different types of mesh to challenge Spiderman as he regains his strength.

The verdict

While there are benefits of both woven and welded wire mesh from Spiderman's point of view, if the Green Goblin had a pumpkin bomb to our head, we'd have to recommend welded as the most suitable to Spidey's needs.

Its superior strength and grip win out over the flexibility and cost-saving that woven wire offers, providing the perfect training ground to get this beleaguered hero back into the big leagues. What's more, our team of experts would be on hand to tailor our products to meet his specific needs, and we would be honoured to work with the legend himself.

So wherever you are, Spiderman, don't give up hope. Pick up the phone, or swing by for a personal meeting – whatever happens, Locker will always be here for you.