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How to Pick a Perforated Metal Profile Guide

With so many patterns and metal choices, how can you be sure that you are choosing the right perforated metal profile for your project?

In this easy reference guide, we will take you through all the key considerations, so that your finished perforated metal profile meets all project requirements, from visual aesthetics and light flow to privacy, performance and durability.

Our expert manufacturing and design team are always on hand to advise on pattern or metal choice that suits your needs, including creating a custom perforated metal design.

Step 1: Usage: Decide what your perforated metal profile needs to do 

The most important consideration is what you need the perforated metal profile to achieve once it is installed, as this influences everything about your panel design, including the hole shape, pitch, open area percentage, panel thickness, base metal, and finish.

For instance, a profile selected for only aesthetic reasons can be made with a much wider range of patterns and metals than a profile that will be load-bearing or installed in a marine environment.

Many perforated metal profiles that we manufacture need to be multi-taskers and serve several functions at once. Such as panels for facades and balcony screens, which often require visual impact, privacy, light and airflow, acoustic absorption, strength, and durability, all in one design.

Click on photos to enlarge

Whilst this sounds complex, it is easy for us to achieve. Most elements of our pattern designs can be adapted to meet exact project requirements. We also have a customisable architectural collection ideal for multi-panel, high-end project needs, and our unique PixelPerf bespoke perforation service, that produces your own design in metal.

Step 2: Understand the perforated metal profile details

Let’s look at pattern basics and explain what some of the terms mean when you are browsing our range of perforated metal profiles.

At Arrow Metal, all our profile PDFs include the following information:


The basic hole style – such as round, square, slot, or hexagon. Which should you choose? Round is the most widely used hole shape as it is versatile for all kinds of designs, particularly when replicating images and graphics in perforated metal. Round is also the strongest hole style, offering high strength even for open, airy patterns.

Hexagonal holes are ideal when you need a high open area percentage (so more light and airflow), whilst slotted holes are great for visibility.

For example, take a look at the 3mm aluminium panels that we manufactured for Sydney Motorsport Park, in pattern P378A with a 60% open area. The goal of this project was a metal barrier for spectators, without obstructing visibility. By using horizontal slots, the racetrack is easily seen, whilst still separating and protecting racegoers. If on the other hand, you want to limit visibility horizontally, the slots can be punched vertically instead. 

Click on photos to enlarge


These are the metal types that we can perforate in that pattern. When deciding which metal to choose, think about the installation location. Inside or outside? Marine or inland environment?

The conditions your panels will need to withstand day after day will dictate your metal choice. Metals like stainless steel and aluminium for example are ideal for coastal and marine environments because of their corrosion resistance.

However, other metals such as brass – valued for its decorative appeal and aesthetics with other materials – can also be used outside. But remember that brass will naturally oxidise over time, resulting in a weathered look.

You can compare different metals in our quick-reference table below (or click here to see it), that covers key factors such as location suitability, weight, and more, with useful comments from our expert team to help you narrow your choices.

Hole dimensions

Hole sizes, in combination with open area percentage, affect the visibility, light, acoustics, and airflow properties of your panels. Remember that in most designs, we can punch the holes larger or smaller, to meet your specifications. 


Whether the holes are in a staggered format (diagonal) or straight when perforated into metal. The pitch determines the aesthetics of your panel and can also influence panel strength. We can customise the pitch to suit your needs, and punch holes in any direction for visual impact. 

Open area

Shown as a percentage, the open area is how much of the panel is made up of holes, and how much is solid metal. The higher the open area percentage, the more light and airflow; the lower the open area percentage, the better for privacy and shade – so striking the right balance is vital. 

Step 3: Get expert help to choose the right perforated metal profile

So now you know what to consider, and the many different factors that affect profile suitability, we will help you to place the right order.

We have extensive expertise in metal perforation and can advise which patterns, metals, open area percentages, panel thickness, and hole sizes match your project requirements, saving you time and the worry of making costly metal mistakes.

Simply contact us on (02) 9748 2200 or email for a no-obligation project discussion.

You can also download our brochure here to learn more about our perforated metal capabilities, pattern range, custom PixelPerf perforation service, and finish choices including colours, effects, and durable coatings.

As perforated metal manufacturers with almost 30 years in the industry, our panels are used for major projects across Australia, trusted by household brands, shopping complexes, education, transport, and leisure sectors, and more.

Browse or download our Perforated Metal Catalogue , Brass Woven Wire Mesh Catalogue  or  Project Look Book for more perforated metal inspiration.

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Posted: February 23, 2023

4 responses to “How to Pick a Perforated Metal Profile Guide”

  1. Ian McIntyre says:

    I am looking for a 910 X 600 perforated panel to go on top of two 2 Pac end panels either side of a fridge. One end panel is fixed to the wall, the other is not.

  2. Jo LETHBRIDGE says:

    Just looking into this great product, do you have outlets/ distributors in Qld ??

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