Perforated plate is an industrial product with numerous practical uses. Its production is simple and complex at the same time, simply to say you punch holes in a raw metal plate just doesn’t do it justice. Metal plate was first perforated or punched back in the 1870’s in Carbondale, Pennsylvania by an inventor and entrepreneur by the name of Eli Hendrick. He conceived the idea to punch multiple holes simultaneously in the raw metal plate as a means of speeding production versus the process of drilling holes individually which was both time consuming, costly, and overall impractical. This idea of punching or perforating the plate revolutionized the production of perforated metal products.
Perforated plate is distinguished from a perforated sheet by nothing more than the thickness of the material, exactly at what thickness is probably no more than a matter of opinion. It is fair to say that once the raw material resists flexibility is considered more of a plate than a sheet. Plate can be perforated using a standard punching process, that is, a punch and die, in material up to 1 inch thickness. Depending on the metal being used, plate of this thickness or larger can also be perforated using a laser, a cutting torch, or a plasma torch.
One of the most popular patterns for standard perforated plate would be a staggered perforation of round holes. This pattern is popular for a few reasons. It provides strength and a large open area which is ideal for sifting and separating particles of different sizes. The round hole on staggered pattern is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well, of course this would only matter in an application where the plate would be visible. Other patterns include a straight layout where the holes are in alignment both vertically and horizontally on the plate. Both the staggered and straight pattern can feature a variety of different hole shapes and sizes. Shapes include the standard square and rectangle as well as a hex shape, oval, and slot. Custom hole shapes can also be produced for various reasons through the use of a specially designed tool.
The raw material is the next variable in the production and use of perforated plate. Although mild steel is one of the most popular choices for perforating, stainless and aluminum are also used. Heat treated steel is also a popular choice. Heat treating can be applied after the perforating process is complete to ease the hole punching process, but it is not completely out of the question to perforate a pre-hardened plate. Another option is a rubber coated plate. These steel plates are adhered with a dense rubber coating on one side of the plate. This rubber coating can provide cushioning for certain applications.
The strength and durability of these perforated plate products make them ideal for use in many harsh industrial environments. A fine example is the mining industry where coal, stone, and other matter need to be separated or screened based on size. These shakers, as they are sometimes called, are good examples of the harsh, abrasive environment that a perforated plate may be subjected to. Some shaker applications require the use of rubber-coated perforated plate to lessen the deterioration of the product. Plate can also serve as an aesthetic product where strength and durability are important. As our world continues to evolve, sometimes for the worse, security becomes a more predominant feature in modern buildings and renovations. An example of this would be a perforated security screen which would be pleasing to the eyes while providing a secure solution to an un-secure window or door. If the plate or screen were to be exposed to outdoor elements, then an aluminum or stainless steel plate would be desirable. As a matter of fact, perforated aluminum and stainless plate continue to grow in popularity in the ever-changing world of building architecture. Overall, perforated plate can provide solutions to a wide variety of complex and simple scenarios.