Metal has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional interior applications. Once used only for roofing and facade siding, new metal materials, applications and attitudes are moving it into interiors to produce creative, sophisticated designs. Metal offers an almost limitless range of interior design options in terms of thickness, material, colour, texture and finish to complement any visual design and style at a price point that everyone will find attractive.
Perforated metal is a product made from sheet steel that is fed through a punch or other designed machine. Perforated metal is a versatile material solution for interiors to create surfaces, separate spaces, enhance privacy or diffuse light, air and sound. Perforated metal projects use solid aluminium, which provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, to capture bold colours with polished material quality.
Perforated aluminium panels are often used in ceilings to help diffuse overhead lighting to reduce its harshness and glare on computer screens. They are used to attenuate sound to make office areas quieter in open areas. They are used to decorate walls, including adding pixelated images to convey specific messages, scenes or people to enhance focus, or to enhance the visual interest and aesthetics of a space. Even when used indoors as shading devices, they produce pixelated images that come to life in different ways as the daylight moves through the day. Perforated aluminium panels can be used to separate spaces or add an element of privacy without having to completely enclose the space, which can also improve airflow and reduce HVAC costs."
Interior applications, including signage, ceilings, wall panels, divider/privacy screens, office furniture, aesthetically pleasing trim, radiator covers, stair railings, infill panels, lighting components, acoustic elements, column panels, wall wraps and backlit perforations. You can control the level of privacy by using the percentage of open areas in the perforation pattern. This method can be applied to dividers, light diffusers, ceilings and other applications. Perforated metal is not limited to standard patterns, but can also be used to create custom graphic images by using different perforation sizes. You can use perforated metal and a variety of finishes to achieve any design look.
Expanded metal can be specified in a wide range of materials and can be custom cut using traditional shears, laser, plasma or waterjet to customise geometry and traditional panel sizes.
The unlimited pattern options of expanded metal offer a wider range of opening area options and opening holes. Again, metal mesh is not just a 2-D product. In its 3-D (raised) form, the drawings offer four views depending on your viewing style. These 3-D patterns offer a unique and innovative method of filtering light while providing an eye-catching visual appearance. Colour can be added to expanded metal using anodised coatings, as well as in original mill finishes, powder coatings and polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) finishes.
Manuel E. Menchaca, senior marketing manager for Wallner Expac Inc. in Manchester, California, says he has seen a surge in demand for the use of metal mesh as ceiling and wall panels, in part because of its ability to be manufactured to order. "Architects and designers do so because we are able to fine-tune all specifications, especially openings and strands, to effectively hide elements, provide privacy and minimise sound, or allow light and air to flow freely," says. "They also support their high recycling rate, which, combined with little or no waste in the manufacturing process, can earn LEED points for their use."
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