Frequently Asked Questions

What is the smallest hole size that you can perforate?

The smallest hole size that can be perforated in metal is typically equal to the material thickness.  The physical and chemical properties of certain materials like brass, aluminum and steel may allow smaller hole sizes than the material thickness to be perforated.

What standard hole patterns are available?

The Perforating Industry has defined a number of standard hole patterns, they can be found here: Standard patterns

Can I get the exact pattern that I am looking for?

Ferguson Perforating’s standard tooling allows over a thousand different perforation patterns to be produced.  Often we can come very close to what you are looking for by programming the perforating press accordingly.  We can also manufacture specific special perforation tooling to meet your needs if so desired.  This is very economical when you have a larger need for a certain perf pattern that we do not already have available.

What is the thinnest material you can perforate?

We can perforate stainless foil down to a thickness of 0.008″.

What materials can be perforated?

Numerous metals and plastics can be perforated.  Commonly perforated materials can be found under Material Info.

What open areas can be achieved?

The open area of a perforated sheet is dependent on the hole pattern and can be calculated using the open area formulas.

What factors determine the cost of a perforated part?

The main factors influencing the perforated part cost are: Material cost, Perforated pattern’s level of difficulty (Hole size versus Material thickness, Side & End Margins, Perforation end patterns), Tolerances, and the Quantity ordered.  More on this subject can be found under Design Considerations.

Quality, cost, and delivery of perforated products

The following insights are offered on each of the factors that affect the quality, cost, and delivery of perforated product.  In order to manufacture a high quality, low cost product that is deliverable within acceptable lead times, it is important to acknowledge these factors when designing and/or specifying perforated material. They are:

Material type

It is important to utilize the right material that meets the stresses and demands of the application.  At Ferguson Perforating, we will help in choosing one that is commonly perforated, and is likely to be more readily available. We are always willing to specify material origin (i.e. Domestic, NAFTA, or other) and/or CERTS needed when requesting a quote.  If this is important, please let us know at time of quoting.  Failure to do so at the RFQ stage may result in Ferguson Perforating having to re-quote the requirement due to increased lead times and/or price.

Material thickness

Varying thicknesses can be perforated using our perforating technology.  Our perforating presses are designed to handle materials that range between .004″ to .500″ thick.  Feel free to call 1-800-341-9800 for a quote based on material type and thickness.

Hole size

A seemingly endless range of hole sizes can be perforated.  The ability to perforate them is dependent on the thickness of the material.  Usually a greater than 1 to 1 ratio should be maintained (i.e. 1/8″ holes in 1/16″ thick material). Punches may break resulting in either imperfect or missing holes in the material if this tolerance is not held to standard.  There are exceptions to this rule based on varying qualities in material, etc.   For this reason, where applications require the 1 to 1 ratio to be either pushed or exceeded, it is best to discuss with a Customer Service Representative the tolerance allowance for imperfect or missing holes and the cost associated with meeting that tolerance.

Hole shape and configuration

At Ferguson Perforating we will help you to choose the best hole shape and configuration that can be produced with existing tooling so you can minimize costs and enable faster delivery.

Open area

While choosing a perforation pattern that offers the required percent open area is of great importance, perf patterns with extreme open area proportions (i.e. 60% and higher) increase material distortion and can adversely affect quality and/or increase costs resulting from efforts to minimize the distortion.  This is especially true when the perforated area is surrounded with margins on all four sides.


Margins can increase the difficulty in getting material within a desired flatness tolerance and can cause camber (bow).  This is especially true when:

      • margins are wide (i.e. 3″ or more)
      • margins are unequal
      • margins are on all four sides
      • the material type is hard (i.e.
        Stainless Steel 300 series, 1/2, 3/4,
        and full hard aluminum)
      • material is thick (i.e. 11ga or more)
      • the perf pattern is of a high open area (i.e. 40% and higher)

To minimize the amount of work and the associated cost required to get the material flat and without camber, either reduce or change one or more of these factors.  If unable to do so, consideration may have to be given to allow for less stringent tolerances.

Margin End Pattern

– Unfinished and Finished

Unfinished End Patterns are standard in the perforating industry.  Finished ends can also be produced.  In many cases, perforating finished ends requires special production techniques and for this reason, finished ends may increase costs.  To find out if a desired pattern can be produced with finished ends, contact one of our Customer Service Representatives.  Unless otherwise specified, unfinished ends are quoted and produced.

Blank areas and/or Locator holes

Blank areas and/or locator holes can be made in any pattern.  The ability to do this is dependent on the versatility of the tool (i.e. center spacing).  If you can provide us with a drawing of the part a member of our Sales Representative staff will advise you if we have a tool available to accomplish this, or if we would need to make a new tool.  The difference in this decision process would be reflected in the cost.


At Ferguson Perforating, we aim to meet your specific tolerance standards if at all possible.  We currently meet some of the strictest of standards in the world with some of the highly sensitive products that we perforate.

Surface Finish

While measures are taken to keep surface blemishes to a minimum, imperfections resulting from perforating, roll leveling, and shearing do occur and are therefore considered standard and acceptable.  If material surface finish is critical, then it should be indicated on the request for quote so additional precautions (i.e. use of vinyl coated material, paper interleaving, etc.) are planned for and the cost is adjusted to consider the additional detail.

Degrease, Fabricate and Finish

At Ferguson Perforating, we regularly supply degreased, fabricated pieces.  Please request these secondary operations so we know to quote as they will affect pricing.  Secondary operations add value to your perforated product, while they increase the cost per part;  by having Ferguson Perforating perform these operations it is easier and often costs less than if done by the customer.

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