Metal Expansion and the Uses of Corrugated Metal Sheets

Published: 25th January 2011
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Expansion or perforation is the process of shearing a metal plate in a press to create voids that are surrounded by interlinked bars as it stretches to a sheet. This process is done to achieve a corrugated surface on the metal sheet without reducing the uniformity of strength which is possible if done manually. Corrugated metal sheets have various special uses.

There are lots of metals that can be corrugated. Some popular metals include stainless steel, plain steel, galvanized iron, brass, copper, phosphor bronze and aluminum. The most important property that a metal should posses to successfully undergo perforation is malleability. This is the property of metal to be formed to thin sheets without breaking.

During perforation, shearing causes metal sheets to have voids that can be of different shapes, uniform at every sheet. Shapes of holes can be circular, diamond, oblong, cloverleaf, chain link and more, depending on the material or metal to be used and the use of the finished corrugated product. Today, digital perforated machines have been invented to draw desired shapes and sizes of voids.

A Perforated metal sheet can be used as a sunscreen or ceiling panel, air diffuser, sound baffle and the like. Proper corrugation helps in shaping good sounds on speaker and environment-friendly screens for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Other products from perforated metal sheets include oil filters, decorative stair sheets, environmental tables and chairs and some kitchen utensils.

Aluminium is the most widely used metal in forming perforated metal sheets. Aside from its natural high resistance to corrosion, this metal possesses several properties that are required for many uses. Its low thermal expansion, for example, makes it the best material for heat sinks for electronic appliances. This is why perforated aluminium has various uses compared with other metals.

Metal perforation requires determination of proper metal to be used. A perforated metal sheet used for the wrong purpose is dangerous. For example, a perforated metal with high melting property like silver and copper must not be used for combustion engines. This is the reason manufacturers determine the purposes of the corrugated metal sheet before proceeding to the design and expansion.

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