What are perforated metal panels?
Perforated panels are metal panels that have a predetermined series of perforations (or holes). The holes can be of various sizes across the entire panel or only within the major panel ribs. Common substrates for perforated metal panels include Galvalume® and aluminum. There are three basic types of perforations: round holes, square holes, and slots.
Perforated panels are most commonly used to increase light and ventilation, and they are an excellent source of sound absorption. Consequently, typical uses for perforated metal panels include soffits, gymnasiums, equipment screens, and structures like parking garages.
The photo above is of a project in Austin, TX., that utilized three different colors of gray perforated panels. This application allowed light to filter into the parking deck and car fumes to exit the structure while providing enhanced protection from weather elements.
- Lead time: Some larger manufacturers stock perforated material for some of their most common panel profiles. When that is the case, lead-time is usually the same as a non-perforated panel. But when manufacturers don’t stock the requested material in perforated, contractors should expect longer lead times and minimum quantities since they are considered special orders. For example, at McElroy Metal, we stock perforated material for our Max-Rib, Multi-Rib, and R-Panel but have completed projects like the parking garage photo above with many of our other profiles.
- Price: Perforated panels involve an extra step in the production process, so the cost is higher than non-perforated panels. Coils for non-perforated panels are produced at a steel mill and then sent to a coating company to apply the appropriate finish. Once the finish is applied, they are sent to the panel manufacturer for production into the desired profile. Conversely, the coil used to make perforated panels makes an extra stop along the way because it is sent to a third-party perforator after the coating is applied and before being sent to the panel manufacturer. This extra step involves additional production, transportation, and packaging costs, so the end product is naturally more expensive.
- Load Carrying Capability: Perforating panels impacts their load-carrying capability. However, since these panels rarely perform in a structural capacity, this fact is often irrelevant. If you have concerns about the structural impact of perforating panels, please contact us to chat with a member of our engineering staff.
- Warranty Considerations: Since the coating process occurs before the perforating process, there is typically no warranty at the perforated areas. While this sounds alarming, it’s important to remember that there’s no exposure to mother nature with interior application use. Consequently, the benefit of the perforated panel tends to outweigh the warranty loss.
In summary, perforated metal panels can be an incredibly cost-effective way to address sound, lighting, and ventilation challenges on projects of all scopes and sizes. Contact us today to discuss your project specifics.
About McElroy Metal
Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.