The world of architectural products has come a long way over the years. We've evolved considerably in terms of why we use certain products, how we produce them and how they interact with other materials that come into play.
"Perforated metal is a versatile product that can help in a wide range of scenarios."
One fine example of this evolution is the use of perforated metal. If you look back at the history of perforated metal starting with its origins, you'll find that the product wasn't always produced the same way or used for the same applications that it is now. This evolution has been fascinating, and we've reached the point today where perforated metal is considered a versatile product that can help architects and builders in a wide range of scenarios.
The background on perforated metal
Perforated metal is used today for a wide range of applications, but that wasn't always the case. According to Strategicia, the material was originally intended for a rather narrow use – it was to be used almost exclusively in the mining industry.
The idea was that the perforation of sheets and panels was a way of manufacturing durable filters. In the late 1800s, miners could used these filters to separate coal from its natural environment. Previous filters used for this purpose had been made from canvas or wire, which would tear and break easily. Perforated metal didn't have this problem.
That was then, and this is now. Today, perforated metal is used in architecture for all sorts of applications. Designers of residential and commercial buildings can use it for everything from decorative lighting fixtures to industrial uses like filtration screens and acoustic panels.
The perforating process has changed as well. The original process was a crude one that relied upon manufacturers punching individual holes in the metal, one at a time. Today, there are specialised techniques for making perforated metal sheets with sophisticated patterns in a quick and efficient manner.
How perf metal is used today
Nowadays, there are many more uses for perforated metal beyond the original intended ones. Some architects are using the material to create sleek, modern designs that never would have been possible without it.
According to Metal Architecture, one excellent real-world example of this phenomenon is the Chandler City Hall in Chandler, Arizona in the United States. The design for the municipal building uses 2,500 perforated metal panels each on two different sides of the building. The panels are so close that they seem connected, the news source explained – almost like pixels on a monitor.
Chandler City Hall is a gorgeous green center for the city of Chandler, Arizona! http://t.co/Ag90K5Qm
— inhabitat (@inhabitat) September 27, 2012
Visually, the building is stunning, but the panels also have a practical use, as architect Mark Roddy explained to Metal Architecture.
"It's amazing that an art piece can provide shading and reduce heat gain, making a high impact statement about the community's commitment to sustainability with a tangible connection to the environment," Roddy said.
Not every city puts the same effort into sophisticated building design that Chandler did, but for those that do, the effects are both easy on the eyes and practical.
Numerous products are now available
If your organisation is ready to get to work and begin using perforated metal today, you're in luck. There are many different types of the product you can choose from, making it easy to customise whatever building you're working on.
Locker Group has the ability to perforate almost any metal you can name. This includes but is not limited to stainless steel, aluminium, mild steel, corten, titanium, copper, brass, alloys and polypropylene. With this wide range of options available, it shouldn't be difficult to find the perfect product for meeting your specific architecture needs, whatever they may be.