Many people think of perforated metal panels as primarily decorative products, but the industrial applications are just as numerous, if not more so. A wide variety of industries rely on perforated metal sheets and panels in their day-to-day operations, including companies in the fields of petrochemicals, mining, HVAC, lighting, and many more.
Originally invented in the late 19th century for use in mines in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, perforated metal panels and sheets can be found in air filtration systems, water intake facilities, medical equipment, and automotive plants. The flexibility of perforated metal makes them great for commercial and industrial applications alike.
Perforated metal was developed by Eli Hendrick in 1876 while working in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. The coal mines at the time relied on wire or canvas filter presses, which were prone to ripping or tearing and in need of constant replacement. Hendrick saw an opening in the market and the potential for turning a healthy profit. He developed a new filter press made of perforated metal, which he fabricated using a new perforating process utilizing multiple perforating instruments simultaneously. This allowed more efficient fabrication and sturdier filtration systems for the separation of coal and other minerals.
Hendrick founded Hendrick Manufacturing Company, which still perforates and fabricates metal sheets and panels to this day. The company has operations in numerous states across the country and provides solutions for industrial customers as well as architects and designers who find perforated panels attractive and functional in their projects.
The perforating process has come a long way since Eli Hendrick’s day. Modern perforating is defined by the precision and customization available to customers and the many applications which utilize these panels. Everything from lighting fixtures and acoustical panels to signage and grating uses perforated metal products of one kind or another. Architects have found perforated metal materials to be great as light fixtures to illuminate the exterior of buildings, statues, and other structures. They’re also used to manage the amount of natural sunlight entering a building in order to reduce energy costs in the summer.
Perforated metal panels and screens are still used in the mining industry, too. Customized sorters, filtration screens, vibrating plates, and conveyor trays are now used throughout the industry to sort and separate ore and minerals. Custom sheets are available to suit almost any mining need, with the hole size, pattern, and sheet dimensions fully customizable for an industrial company.
When searching for industrial-strength perforated products, make sure your supplier is a trusted name with an established history. Also, check if they offer custom designs and a variety of materials so your perforated panels will perform as they are intended.