Metal baskets are important to applications across many industries. Basket lining options available include expanded metal, wire mesh and perforated metal baskets, each with their own pros and cons. Custom perforated metal baskets are one option for your business, and we will go over everything you need to know to make a confident decision about your basket fabrication.
What Are Perforated Baskets?
Perforated metal used in baskets is made from sheet metal that has holes punched in it. These holes are typically round and punched in even rows throughout the surface of the metal. The diameter of the holes in the perforated metal are almost always larger than the material thickness. Three M Tools offers perforated baskets in carbon and 304 stainless steel. There are multiple ways to create custom perforated metal baskets, defined by four attributes.
- Hole pattern: There are two basic patterns. If the holes are arranged in a grid pattern, it’s called straight perforated. If the holes are off-set, it’s called staggered perforated. The staggered hole pattern brings the holes closer together, giving more holes per area and therefore more open space. Because maximum open space is so important in most basket applications, we use staggered perforated metal almost exclusively.
- Hole spacing: Spacing refers to the distance from the center of one perforation to the next in each direction.
- Hole size: Each hole is perfectly round and the same exact size. The size of the holes needs to be smaller than your smallest parts to ensure nothing sticks out or falls through the perforations.
- Sheet thickness: Perforated metal uses standard sheet metal gauges, with higher gauges indicating thinner metal. The most commonly-used steel gauges for baskets are 16 gauge (0.060″ thick), 18 gauge (0.048″ thick) and 20 gauge (0.036″ thick).
Another factor to consider is the open space percentage, which is the proportion of the basket’s surface area that is punched and open to air and liquid flow. A higher open percentage translates to better flow.
You may also want to consider weight per square foot if the baskets will be frequently carried by hand, as perforated metal is much heavier in comparison to wire mesh.
How Is Perforated Metal Made?
There are three common methods for the production of perforated metal. The most common involves a large cylinder with needles called a rotary pinned perforation roller. The roller rotates while the sheet of metal is run over it, and its needles punch holes into the sheet from the outside in.
The “die and punch” method is more efficient, with a sheet covered in needles that get pressed into metal as it passes by, creating holes in the sheet which are sheared off and smoothed afterward.
The newest form of perforation is performed with a laser cutting the holes. While this is the most expensive way to perforate metal, it provides options for very specific or non-standard hole patterns.
How Are Perforated Baskets Used?
Commercial perforated metal baskets are most often used for handling heavy-duty materials. Their limited open space keeps the contents of the basket protected from impacts, and the thickness of the material makes it more resistant to the stress of heavy loads.
While perforated metal baskets are less ideal than wire mesh for cleaning, degreasing or dipping, they are the perfect option for holding and transporting heavy materials or components.
Benefits of Custom Perforated Metal Baskets
What makes custom industrial perforated metal baskets a good choice for businesses? Here are three reasons to look into custom perforated metal basket design services.
1. Strength and Solidity
When parts need to be transported across a factory floor, perforated metal is the material of choice. Whereas a wire mesh basket may incur excess wear from holding heavy parts and collapse when put under enough pressure, a perforated metal basket will stand up better to rough treatment. Since these baskets are made from solid sheets of metal, the weight of the potential load will be more evenly distributed throughout the basket.
Perforated metal baskets have a smooth and flat surface that prevents parts from catching and possibly becoming damaged on the inside of the container. The smooth surface also prevents metal chips and turnings from becoming trapped like they do in metal.
The most commonly used materials for perforated metal baskets are carbon steel (mild steel) and 304 stainless steel, although other materials can be used. This type of steel is strong enough to withstand most types of abuse while remaining budget-friendly.
2. Full Enclosure
When handling large loads of small parts, open space in the surface area of the basket makes it easy for objects in the container to fall out or be damaged by external forces. Perforated metal baskets with lids keep parts safer during transportation, and can be fitted with wire mesh liners to keep no-scratch parts in place when they are being transported back and forth.
3. Flexible Design
Perforated metal basket custom designs are exceptionally flexible and can maximize the functionality you get from your baskets. While you could simply specify quarter-inch holes all over, you can also use different sizes of perforation to change how the basket functions. Incorporating large oval holes into the design at the top to function as handles can make it easier to pick up and carry the basket and its contents, increasing the efficiency of transport.
With a high-quality cutting process, perforations lack the sharps and burrs that could cause injuries along the handhold. Additionally, the handholds may be rubberized for better grip and improved safety.
This is just one example of the ways custom commercial perforated metal baskets can be designed to extract maximum value and function from your investment.
The Three M Tool Advantage
At Three M Tool, we take quality seriously. All of our metal basket frames are fabricated with tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding to ensure the longest possible service life for each product in any environment. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows us to remain leaders in the fabrication of all metal basket types.
Our expertise is backed by more than 70 years in fabrication. Three M Tool has been providing businesses with essential metal components and tools since 1948. In recent years, we have renewed our focus on expanding our staff and equipment to be able to create more complex designs and fabrications.
Our engineers work directly with businesses to assess needs, provide suggestions and create metal basket designs that provide the most value.
Talk to Three M Tool Today
If you are in need of custom perforated metal baskets, there is no better partner than Three M Tool. We invite you to contact us with your questions and ideas at 1-800-955-0868, or via our online contact form.We look forward to designing and fabricating dependable perforated metal baskets for your business.