Architectural Design with Expanded and Perforated Metal

Achieve attractive design and utility for interior and exterior construction.

Expanded and perforated metals are engineered metal products that can be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional additions to the internal and external architecture of any building.

Perforated metal. (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

Perforated metal. (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

Expanded and perforated metal products, in addition to a range of safety grating styles, can be applied to building facades, perimeter security, walking surfaces and sunshades. From the lightest gauge material needed for vertical cladding to robust heavy gauge walkways, there is an engineered metal product perfect for any application.

Perforated metal is converted from solid sheets or coils of metal into a material with an array of punched holes.  The size and arrangement of holes is widely variable, as small as .5mm and up.

While round holes are most common, a specialty manufacturer such as Metalex can offer pattern options including squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons, slots or other decorative shapes. The pattern and size vary depending on the application as well as the type and thickness of the base metal. These perforated metal products can be used for building facades, interior light diffusion and baluster infill panels.

Expanded Metal Ceiling (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

Expanded Metal Ceiling (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

Expanded metal is manufactured by a process of simultaneous slitting and stretching that converts solid coils of metal into a material with uniform diamond-shaped openings.  The expanded metal process can be applied over a great range of sizes, from .055” SWD to 1.50” SWD, and in myriad materials.  

Expanded metal is often used for security fencing and lightweight exterior facades. Additionally, it is commonly used for office or room dividers and ceiling panels in commercial buildings.

Metal safety grating products can provide non-slip walking surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Metalex offers four variations of grating patterns, including the ultra-abrasive Deck Span and self-draining Open Grip. These products can be applied to balconies, entry ramps, and walkways among other unique applications.

Open Grip Walkway (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

Open Grip Walkway (Image courtesy of Metalex.)

There’s no reason structural and code elements, both interior and exterior, need to be strictly utilitarian.  In many cases, these installations can be made of a perforated or expanded metal product that offers a unique pattern to suit your design.

Metalex is a manufacturer with the engineering expertise to work with you to develop and implement architectural products to suit many needs.

For more information on expanded and perforated metal products or safety grating for architectural design, visit the Metalex website.


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Metalex has sponsored this post. It has no editorial input to this post. All opinions are mine. –James Anderton

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.