Architectural design aims to balance economy, elegance, and efficiency. Perforated metal paneling and wire mesh certainly apply to all three.
- Perforated metals are solid panels that have holes punched or cut into them.
- Wire mesh is metal wire that’s woven with corrugated wire using a loom much like yarn woven into quilts.
Here's what these non-traditional materials can do for you.
3 Reasons to Use Wire Mesh & Perforated Metals in Architecture
Unique aesthetic - like most metal architecture components, wire mesh and perforated metal have their own feel. The aesthetic is versatile based on specified hole size, hole pattern, and material. They offer a few other natural perks:
1. Acoustic benefits when used with sound absorbing fill
- Industrial soundproofing
- Busy roads
- Meeting places
- Other privacy/quieting needs
2. Ventilation/filtration of light, air, heat, gases
- Drainage of liquids
- Pressure and atmosphere control
- Temperature balance
3. Privacy and security
- Separation by visual “planes” that offer partial privacy and light shading
- Stairway railing infill panels that offer safety
- Full height wall surfaces that allow see-through openness but security of contents
Common Uses for Wire Mesh & Perforated Metal
Playing mix-and-match with these elements changes the feel drastically. The aesthetic can be light, playful, and delicate; or a heavy and impenetrable barrier.
They can be used as a purely functional element, purely decorative, or somewhere in between.
What else can you do to make your perforated metal architecture stand out?
Many perforated metals are manufactured to leave an edge of solid metal. It will be the same height as the rest of the panel, so if you want your edging to stand out, you’ll need a secondary product. Decorative metal mouldings are an attractive way to highlight your perforated metal paneling. They can provide protective edge covering or visually interesting transitions at 90-degree corners, ends, and abutting complimentary materials.
Wire mesh, however, has rough, sharp edges that tend to fray and stick to things. Mesh is difficult to produce and frame at the same time. There are a few solutions - some attempt to manually jerry-rig a frame out of single sized u-channels. It’s effective, but messy and visually unappealing.
Another option is MeshTrim, something we’ve developed specifically to make wire mesh framing more convenient, attractive, and affordable.
As with all manufacturing processes, the way you design your component impacts your overall costs, lead times, and quality consistency. Follow these roll forming design tips to avoid the common pitfalls of custom tooling and forming.