How Fabricators Minimise Distortion in Perforated Sheet Metal

Posted on: 1 June 2017

Some homeowners may be discouraged from using perforated sheet metal as a fencing material because they fear that the fencing materials will be distorted and weakened by the process of perforating them. Such people may not know that fabricators now have various approaches to minimise distortion and material weakening during the punching process. This article discusses some of the techniques that preserve material integrity during the punching process.

Clustering the Pins

The punching die exerts the same amount of force on the material regardless of how many holes are being punched into a material. The material can therefore weaken if it is repeatedly pounded by the punching machine. Fabricators reduce this problem by clustering the pins on the punch in order to reduce the overall number of times that the sheet metal is pounded. Thus, the sheet metal will be subjected to less stress during the punching process. The fencing material will therefore be nearly as strong as it was before it was perforated.

Applying Coatings on Tools

Metal sheets often weaken because the punching tool must be pulled roughly from the sheet metal after the metal clings onto the tips that punched holes into it. This clinging causes distortion of the sheet metal. Fabricators have started using coatings in order to lubricate the tips that punch holes into sheet metal. This lubrication also absorbs some of the heat that is generated by the massive pressure that is exerted by the punching tool on the sheet metal. Heat dispersal is particularly helpful for metals, such as steel, with high heat conductivity because heat stress can weaken those metals.

Offsetting the Punching Tips

Another technique that is used to reduce the likelihood of distortion is offsetting the punching tips. This technique involves arranging rows of punching tips while leaving gaps between them. These gaps allow the material to dissipate the heat that is generated by the clustered pins. Subsequent punching sessions can then attend to those gaps, as the previously punched segments absorb the heat generated in this mop-up punching session.

Staggering Pin Height

Metal stress can also be reduced by making the punching pins hit the sheet metal at different times. This staggered way of punching the metal enables the metal to stay cooler because its surface isn't subjected to the immense pressure caused by many pins penetrating it at the same time. Less distortion can result from this technique.

As you can see, the steel sheets that are used for fencing can remain as strong as those that aren't perforated if the right steps are taken to prevent distortion. Ask the steel fabricator for the specific techniques that he or she will use to prevent distortion before you contract that person to make your fencing materials.