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Perforated Aluminium Sheet: Useful Things to Know

It was none other than Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the creator of the Barcelona Pavillion, (which is often described as one of the most beautiful 20th century buildings), who coined the phrase ‘less is more’. Van der Rohe could have been talking about perforated aluminium sheet!

What other material simultaneously provides so many design opportunities to combine its inherent strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistant qualities with a widely appreciated aesthetic appeal? By virtue of these outstanding attributes, perforated aluminium sheet is often incorporated into many architectural components as the primary element. These products would include balustrade panels, bar/counter fascias, ceiling panels, column casings, radiator/vent covers, wall cladding and so on.

perforated aluminium sheet
Cambridge – Student Bar: Perforated Aluminium Sheet with Squeeze Frames

It is often desirable to custom make perforated aluminium panels rather than fabricate from stock size sheets. This way the specifier retains much greater design flexibility by being able to incorporate plain borders and other unpunched areas, as well as, cut outs for lighting, vent ducts, etc. With the majority of round hole patterns being arranged on a 60 degree triangular pitch the plain borders are normally lost once pre-punched sheets are cut to size. Unless covered with a safety edge or hidden by some other component the resulting raw edge is a health and safety no no.

Perforated aluminium sheet
Digitas and Modem Media: London – Perforated aluminium ceiling panels with plain borders

The paradox with perforating metal is that it is both relatively straightforward  and at the same time surprisingly complex. Every time a hole is punched a degree of surface tension is created. The downward movement of the punch produces compression at the bottom of the sheet, in a similar way when trying to push a finger through plastic film. A variety of production techniques are therefore employed to negate the arising tension. These methods include balancing the surface stresses by punching alternate parts of the aluminium sheet, rather than whole areas at a time, and roller levelling to counteract surface tension. The effects of roller levelling can be compared with a sports massage easing muscular tightness.

perforated aluminium
Rimmel Cosmetics

As you may appreciate, to ensure a satisfactory level of surface flatness, certain production ratios are to be observed during the perforating procedure. Having selected the preferred hole size and pattern configuration, material thickness, width of plain borders, etc., you can contact us to check the proposed panel designs meet the required production criteria.

The many advantageous characteristics of perforated aluminium sheet are available for enhancing your architectural designs in many different and ingenious ways.


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