Perforated metal is a highly versatile material used in design and architecture, with applications as diverse as facades, screens and balustrades to filters, grilles and ventilation.

Perforated metal was first developed over 150 years ago as a filtering mechanism for coal miners. Manufacturing the material was a lengthy and exhaustive process with the original perforation method requiring labourers to manually punch individual holes into a metal sheet. However, with the advancement of technology and techniques, more efficient manufacturing processes have been developed.

Manufacturing perforated metal

Perforated metal is manufactured at Locker Group using a range of methodologies depending on the end product and application. However, for standard products, the manufacturing process begins with a coil of sheet metal in the desired gauge. After the coil is fed into the machine, rollers pull the metal through, and holes are punched by needles mounted on a rotating cylinder as the sheet metal moves through the machine.

When it comes to more specialised products such as Pic Perf, the whole sheet is loaded into a turret punch where the pattern is programmed in, enabling the machine to punch the right configuration of different sized holes to produce the larger image. The turret punch allows multiple needle profiles and sizes to be swapped into the punching position, making it ideal for projects requiring unconventional patterns or greater detail.

Customising perforated metal

Locker Group provides tailored solutions for perforated metal to their customers. The manufacturing setup allows flexibility in delivering specific or one-off products in custom jobs, which would occasionally require the company to create new tooling.

Locker Group’s engineering team is focussed on innovation, constantly looking for ways to improve the range, including through experimentation with tensile strengths and folding/ trimming techniques to get the best possible product from the design and manufacturing teams. This dedication to flexible solutions and experimentation with materials and processes help Locker Group stay ahead of the market.

Access a complete range of pre-made perforated and expanded metals, woven and welded wires, and metal planking and railing products at Meshstore, backed by Locker Group.