Perforated metal is not new to building and design. The perforating process, however, has evolved quite a bit over the years as manufacturers seek more efficient ways to create perfect panels. The tools have changed, and so have the techniques — but at Accurate Perforating Company, the commitment to manufacturing a high-quality end product has remained unchanged, regardless of the perforation tool or machine used.
The history behind perforated metal is quite interesting. Following is a summary look at how it has changed with time, and how continuous advancements are a huge benefit to manufacturers and designers alike.
The Long History of Perforated Metal Manufacturing
The Industrial Revolution saw its fair share of innovation. Perforated metal closely followed the development of steel products. Roughly 150 years ago, as the mining industry was in the midst of its own boom, new techniques were needed to improve efficiency. The industry relied on filtration systems that couldn't keep up with the rigors of constant use. Wire and canvas filters, for example, would buckle and tear far too easily. Thus, metal screens — made using early perforation techniques — were created.
The production process was fairly simplistic compared with today's methods, and also incredibly inefficient. Holes were individually punched into metal panels. However, due to inconsistency and the length of time it took to create a single perforated panel, new perforating tools were created to punch multiple holes with more consistency and options.
Perforated metal was immediately valued for its functionality. As time went on, manufacturers discovered more and more uses — both functional and decorative. Materials were upgraded, as were perforation tools. It didn't take long for this new material to require more innovative and efficient means of production, and bright minds continued to explore how to perforate metal in better ways.
The Modernization of Perforated Metal
Manufacturers have drastically changed their approach for the process of perforating metal. The perforating machine has come a long way, and these wonders have significantly improved the quality of perforated metal panels, allowing for much more creative designs. Here are a few of the most common modern perforating techniques:
Perforation Roller. The rotary pinned perforation roller is perhaps the most common piece of perforating equipment in the industry today. Its ease of use and familiarity among manufacturers make it an incredibly efficient tool. The roller itself is a large cylinder made with punching needles available in different sizes, shapes and configurations. The needles can be heated for more fluid punching.
Laser Perforation. In terms of modern techniques, laser perforation is one of the newest methods. As the name suggests, this method uses lasers to cut holes. The process is very accurate and quick, and the end product is similar in quality to that of the perforation roller. However, as laser perforation equipment is complex, the method can be more cost prohibitive than others.
Die and Punch Perforation. Die and punch is another commonly used method often preferred for its simplicity. This technique involves a sheet of needles pressed against the metal panel in such a manner that chads remain hanging on the other side of the panel. The chads then are sheared off so that the surface can be smoothed. The benefit of this method over others is speed of production.
Manufacturers and engineers are constantly seeking new ways to improve efficiency in metal perforation. We've come a long way from the days of single-punched perforated metal for crude coal filters. It will be exciting to see where the industry takes us next.
As always, Accurate Perforating Company intends to be on the forefront of any new and modern perforating techniques so that we can share the benefits with our customers. Our goals are to achieve efficiency and create quality products from start to finish.
To learn more about the techniques we use at Accurate Perforating Company and to find out how we can provide the perforated metal you need for any application, contact us today.