What is Perforated Metal? Manufacturing, Types, Features and Uses

What is Perforated Metal

Nowadays, building materials are becoming more and more abundant and novel, and a single material has long since failed to meet the needs of increasingly creative architectural designs. When we talk about building materials, we have habitually thought of marble, aluminum, paint and so on. Are you eager to have some new and innovative materials? In fact, the ordinary materials with some creativity will have unexpected surprises, such as perforated metal.

It is actually a perforated ordinary metal plate, through a different processing process, under the hands of designers can be used in a variety of ways. And create a different rhythm and architectural texture. Bring a surprise to our living or working environment.

What is Perforated Metal?

Just like its name, it is a special metal sheet with holes punched in the surface by machine stamping and CNC technology, also known as perforated plate, perforated screen or perforated sheet. There are perforated aluminum sheets, perforated stainless steel sheets and perforated copper sheets. Its material is relatively thin and light, and the surface holes are variable, so it is often used as a building skin, which can play a role in reducing noise and avoiding direct.

Interesting History:

Perforated sheet metal was invented 150 years ago, when it was used primarily as a filter and screening tool in the mining industry, first for coal filtration. As technology developed its use quickly proved to expand beyond its original function. To date, it has been widely used in architecture, landscape, and interior design. And it is also common in some household products and electrical equipment.

What are Its Types?


Technically speaking, there can be many different materials used to make perforated metal sheets, including aluminum, cold rolled steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel, brass, red copper, titanium, Monel alloy, Inconel alloy, etc. Currently on the market, most of what you see is perforated aluminum sheet. Aluminum panels are light, chemically stable, beautiful, colorful and elegant, with a strong sense of three-dimensional decorative effect, and easy to assemble.

Hole shape and pattern:

The hole size and pattern of perforated panels can be carefully processed as needed. Designing holes of different sizes, densities and shapes can create various styles of translucent sight effects.

The specifications of the holes can be designed as round, square, triangular, hexagonal and long strip holes according to preference. The density of the holes can also be adjusted and changed, and after being arranged and combined, patterns can be formed to present a rich façade effect. Even engraving and drawing on the metal plate can be realized by modern technology.

Perforated Metal with Multiple Hole Styles
Perforated Metal with Multiple Hole Styles

How is Perforated Metal Made?

The very laborious perforating process in the past has been mechanized and automated with modern technology and has greatly improved the manufacturing process and perforating accuracy.  The two popular modern perforation manufacturing methods are CNC punching machine perforation and laser machine perforation.

Punching Machine Perforation:

Punching Perforation
Punching Perforation

CNC punching is the more common approach to punching holes in metal surfaces using machine tool stamping. The punching process is capable of quickly punching holes in a large surface area of a metal panel, which has the characteristics of speed and low cost. However, more complex hole designs cannot be achieved.

Laser Machine Perforation:

Laser Perforated
Laser Perforated

Laser punching is the most advanced punching process, but it is also a more expensive and complex technology. Its processing accuracy can reach about 0.01mm, and laser processing can produce complex geometries with precise dimensions, including lettering and drawing as mentioned above.

Comparison of the Two:

Punching Perforation.

  1. The most common manufacturing method for common hole shapes.
  2. General accuracy, simple and fast.
  3. Fast processing speed and low cost.
  4. There is a possibility of deformation of thin metal plates with high flexibility.

Laser Perforation.

  1. Cope with complex designs of perforation processes.
  2. High precision, complex technology.
  3. Slow processing speed and high cost.
  4. No limitation for plate thickness will not cause deformation.

Functions and Features

Decorative Effect.

The primary reason people use perforated metal as a building material is for its decorative appearance. Designers can use different combinations of colors, shapes, and hole patterns to meet various architectural design needs.


The most direct feature of perforated metal panels is their porosity. Porosity means that the two parts of the space separated by the building skin are permeable to each other, breaking the inherent boundaries between inside and outside. Formally, it creates a more open public space that provides the city and its users with the desired intuition, truly permeating the internal space with the external space.

Porous Nature Allows Interpenetration Between Interior and Exterior
Porous Nature Allows Interpenetration Between Interior and Exterior


When a building needs improved ventilation, it uses a perforated metal sunscreen to improve airflow and increase shading. This method of protecting the building can reduce energy costs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Statistically speaking, perforated panels can save about 30 to 45 percent.

Dappled Light and Shadow Effect.

Perforated panels will produce rich light and shadow variations under the sunlight or lighting, and this effect will give the building a unique and dynamic visual effect. This light and shadow effect makes the relationship between the main body of the building and the outer skin more hazy, with a more integral and layered sense. And with the change of hole type size and hole diameter and perforation rate, it will also produce different light and shadow change effects.

Different Light and Shadow Effects Produced by Different Hole Types
Different Light and Shadow Effects Produced by Different Hole Types

Different Forms of Panel Combinations.

Perforated metal panels can be made in different shapes and sizes and in different combinations of connections according to the architect’s needs. The combinations are rich and varied.

Different Panel Combination Forms
Different Panel Combination Forms

Sound Absorption, Noise Reduction.

In the field of acoustics, sound absorption is one of the most important measures to control noise and improve indoor sound quality. And perforated panels possess exactly this advantage. Studies have shown that perforated metal helps to reduce sound levels and its acoustical properties can help people reduce the health effects of noise. Buildings that use perforated metal panels in front of their façades can result in energy savings of up to 29%.

Principle: A sound-absorbing structure behind a perforated thin plate with an air layer or porous material and fixed to a rigid wall can be seen as a resonant system composed of masses and springs. When the frequency of the incident sound wave and the resonant frequency of the system agree, the air in the perforated plate vibrates and rubs fiercely, strengthening the absorption effect and forming an absorption peak that significantly attenuates the sound energy. When far from the resonant frequency, the absorption effect is smaller. If the porous material is placed after the perforated plate to increase the acoustic resistance, the absorption band of the structure will be widened.

Sound Absorption Structure
Sound Absorption Structure

In the design process of concert halls, cinemas, multi-purpose halls and other places, perforated metal plate acoustic structure has gained very wide application as the main technical means of sound quality design and noise control.

Privacy Protection.

One of the unique features of perforated panels is their ability to give the impression of privacy without creating a sense of closure. Enclosures in walls and panels tend to cut off and isolate sections of the work area. By installing perforated panels, it is possible to separate the work area but still ensure airflow and visibility. Normal noise and echoes are deflected and absorbed by the panels, thus creating a soothing and pleasant atmosphere.

Environmentally Friendly.

With growing concerns about sustainability and environmental protection, designers and architects are always looking for materials that reduce environmental impact. The metal used for perforated panels is recyclable and reduces the need to produce new metal for the project. Perforated panels require little maintenance or wear and tear due to their long life span. These factors lead to sustainability and extend the life of the metal.

What is Perforated Metal Used For?

The most popular application area for perforated metal is its use as a building material, which contributes to creativity and unique design. Applications in the architectural field include:

  • Building Ceilings
  • Stair Treads & Risers
  • Stair Balustrades
  • Walkway
  • Balconies
  • Internal Screen Partitions
  • Exterior Screen & Balustrades
  • Exterior Facade
  • Infill Panels for Fence
  • Environmentally Friendly Tables and Chairs
  • Sound-absorbing Material
  • Exterior Wall Cladding
  • Metal Vents

Other industries that use perforated metal are:

  • Food and beverage: For sewer dryers, brewing barrels, fish farms, sorters, fruit and vegetable presses and baking trays.
  • Chemical and energy: For filters, gas purifiers, lightning protection boxes, coal washing, battery separators and centrifuges.
  • Automotive: For oil filters, radiator grilles, pedals, engine ventilation and motorcycle silencers.
  • Material development: For blast furnace screens, textile printers and felt mills, cement slurry screens and glass reinforcements.
Picture of Rina Song

Rina Song

Rina is the general manager of Dongfu Wire Mesh and a salesperson who has been in the wire mesh foreign trade industry for over ten years. She has in-depth knowledge and rich market experience in all kinds of wire mesh products. She is best at solving various complex designs and applications for her customers. She can quickly recommend the most suitable choice for you according to your needs.

About Dongfu Wire Mesh

Dongfu Wire Mesh provides customized manufacturing services for various wire mesh and metal products. We have been engaged in this industry for more than 10 years. We are committed to providing high-quality products, technologies and services to large and small customers all over the world.
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