Perforated Metal: How Patterns and Hole Shapes can Influence its Use

The world of metals, fabrication, and manufacturing can make appearances almost as important as the substance itself. Perforating is an art in certain respects. Perforating presses have been making it for over 100 years. Metal perforating changes with the times. While some of the basic principles of perforating are still valid, they have been and will continue to be. Others have evolved in tandem with technological advances in metallurgy. Non-traditional patterns are now possible thanks to computer-aided design and CNC programming. This opens up the possibility of perforated images and logos that can resemble almost any object. The perforated patterns are changing, the quality and efficiency of metals and alloys have improved and the process of perforating metal is much more efficient. Let us talk about perforating patterns.

Each perforated pattern begins with the shape of a hole. There are many shapes of holes, including square, rectangular and hexagonal. A custom perforating tool can also be designed to create unique hole shapes. Each hole shape has its unique aesthetic characteristics. The strength of perforated materials can be affected by the layout of the holes. You can perforate holes in a straight line, with every hole being in the same horizontal and vertical position on the metal sheet. To maintain strength, rows of holes can be staggered. Both straight and staggered patterns give off completely different looks. Round holes are easier and more economical than other shapes of holes because they require fewer dies and punches. Round hole tooling is also more durable and easier to maintain. For these reasons, the most common commercially perforated patterns are those with a round hole and a staggered design.

A perforated sheet of standard metal mass production has a hole pattern. A perforated sheet with a pattern that is staggered will show you that the stagger is usually on the shorter dimension. The straight rows of holes will be parallel to the longer dimension. The one-to-one rule should be applied to hole sizes. 


Paul Petersen