Story at a glance:

  • Arktura offers anything designers can dream of, from custom to standard perforated panels.
  • Aluminum paneling can come in a variety of colorful finishes, textures, and shapes.
  • Vapor Graphic Perf is an adaptable panel system that offers customization plus with ease of installation.

What makes the perfect perforated metal panel?

The answer varies based on a myriad of factors—including intended audience, purpose, location, impact, and more.

When selecting the right panel for the job, architects and designers must consider a potential project’s entire scope. More than just a slab of steel or aluminum, these panels have become more versatile since they became a modern staple of the built environment so many decades ago.

Advantages of Aluminum Paneling

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Ceilings can take on new shapes and forms with the multi-faceted, geometric structure of Delta Drop panels, seen here at Securian St. Paul in Minnesota, designed by BWBR Architects. Photo by Farm Kid Studios

Perforated aluminum panels add a distinctive creative element to commercial projects.

Panels can add different effects to any project, from various colorful finishes to other materials, textures, and shapes. Today’s aluminum panels are precisely perforated through calibrated machinery, state-of-the-art software, and, most importantly, creative minds designing these artistic patterning. You can tailor your design by including corporate branding—from brand colors to perforated logos—for a personal touch to the overall design.

Perforated panel advantages do not stop at the design, though. Finish off panels with optional accessories that bring function to your decor, with options like integrated lighting options and acoustic backers. Patterned options from Arktura feature a continuous pattern between panels, allowing for an extended installation in long hallways or large-scale feature walls.

Beyond aesthetics, aluminum panels can be a more environmentally conscious building material than some alternatives. This versatile building material is infinitely recyclable, allowing it to be reused again and again. Utilizing aluminum over wood prevents deforestation and requires less maintenance than wood.

As more commercial developments, both new builds and retrofits, begin to look at sustainable building materials to qualify for specific green accreditations, perforated aluminum panels make for a responsible specification.

Custom Paneling with Vapor Graphic Perf

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Custom imagery from scenic landscapes to company logos can be perforated into panels of Vapor Graphic Perf. Seen here at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, a dominant perforated line was overlaid onto the base image to resemble the railroad that can be seen on a map of Kirkwood, Missouri. Photo courtesy of Thomas McConnell

When it comes to the world of perforated panels, the marquee system from Arktura, Vapor Graphic Perf®, gives designers the power to bring any design to life. As versatile as it is customizable, Vapor Graphic Perf turns wall and ceiling tiles into limitless canvases, combining the best aspects of two of Arktura’s most popular offerings—Vapor® and Graphic Perf—into one definitive system.

Vapor Graphic Perf from Arktura is an adaptable panel system, offering the customization of Graphic Perf Solutions, with the compatibility and ease of installation from our standard Vapor system. Utilizing proprietary technology, algorithmic software, and manufacturing, our Solutions Studio team designs custom creations.

“When we collaborate on a project with a custom pattern, we work with the design team to preview initial renderings, sketches, or inspiration images that guide us when creating a preliminary design presentation,” says Guido Sauer, Arktura’s Solutions Studio estimating manager. “Our designers will collaborate with our engineers to utilize a set of parameters to produce cost effective and unique pattern designs that can be presented to the designers and their clients. This ensures we provide a solution that meets their expectations. Upon order placement, we collaborate on designer feedback to ultimately provide a formal coordination set that meets the approvals of all parties in the construction phase.”

Thanks to two distinct design methods, Photoreal and Scripted, Arktura can transfer an image or pattern into perforated metal torsion spring panels.

Photoreal vs Scripted

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Designers can create branded experiences with the custom imagery of Vapor Graphic Perf, seen here paired with Vapor Syntax panels at the Virginia Tech Jamerson Athletic Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, designed by Hanbury. Photo courtesy of Arktura

Photoreal transfers an existing image, graphic, or brand logo into a panel design via precise perforations. These designs can span multiple panels, seamlessly tiled, allowing designers to create large-scale continuous designs.

Scripted patterns take a more abstract algorithmic approach to design. From an initial sketch or plan for inspiration, our design programming software produces a multitude of options to individually design each shape, perforation, and opening of your artwork. These computer-generated drawings are then perforated through the panels of Vapor Graphic Perf to create unique, aesthetically pleasing panels for each project.

With each design path for Vapor Graphic Perf, the entire process from initial sketch to completed project is a collaborative endeavor, starting with detailed design and shop drawings created for your review, input, and final approval.

“The preliminary design process for custom project takes one to three weeks depending on current workloads and project complexity,” Sauer says.

The Solutions Studio team is constantly in contact with the firm/contractor to ensure every step of the process is up to standard. For more ambitious projects, panels can even wrap around corners, taking your image from flat to three-dimensional effortlessly.

The Versatility of Preconfigured Systems

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Vapor Cluster Dense panels upgrade a standard grid into an eye-catching design thanks to optional integrated lighting accessories, seen here at Gatestone in Montreal, designed by Sensyst. Photo by David Perry

For a premium personalized yet cost effective option Arktura also carries numerous standard panel designs that offer preconfigured patterns and shorter lead times. From the intersecting linear design of Trace® panels providing subtle visual interest to the multifaceted dimensionality of Delta Drop® or Particle’s® micro perforated design, designers are able to tailor their designs.

Vapor wall and ceiling panels feature diverse types of perforated patterns that flow continuously from one panel to the next, making it a perfect fit for compact or large spaces. These versatile panels are also field trimmable, ensuring the perfect fit on your next project.

All Vapor products can easily be installed in wall applications through our Vertika® Wall Channel system and quick torsion spring attachment across standard ceiling grid systems. For ease of installation, panels are compatible with standard ceiling grid systems, including those from our parent company Armstrong.

Vapor® panels can seamlessly transition from wall to ceiling, creating a dynamic waterfall effect in your final design. It can be easy to get lost in all available design choices, so let us break down some of your options below.

Perforated Panel Styles

Organic. Inspired by the natural world around us, organic patterns like the ones found in Vapor Bloom bring a biophilic touch to your next project. Bloom features biomorphic patterning that subtly evokes images of scattered foliage or blossoming petals.

Geometric. For an algorithmic influenced pattern, like in Vapor Cora, geometric cubes make up this complex design. Scattered solid and blank figures in an arrayed diamond grid offer a modern take on a classic look.

Linear. Particle Code offers a tech-focused aesthetic to your space with linear micro-perforations.

Minimal. Bring a straightforward minimal design to your next project with the circular perforations of Vapor Gradients. Gradients allow designers to create one-of-a-kind layouts that fade in and out as desired.

Abstract. Stand out from the crowd with an abstract pattern that is sure to turn heads. Vapor Cumula torsion spring panels take inspiration from a beautiful spring day, giving your design the fleeting feeling of a cloudy sky.

Multi-Dimensional. Who said ceilings had to be flat? With Delta Drop, add topography to your ceiling scape with these multi-faceted angled designs.

Custom. When the perfect perforated panel cannot be found on our website or catalog, our Solutions Studio is here to bring your design to life. Arktura can turn any image or pattern into a beautifully crafted aluminum panel through meticulous collaboration.

Optional Accessories

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Vapor Element panels can be paired with Arktura’s integrated backlighting for an illuminated look or with the Soft Sound backer for acoustic benefits. Rendering courtesy of Arktura

Once designers and architects have specified the best pattern for the job, the customization continues. Arktura has a full line of accessories to add optional functionality to our panel systems. All aluminum panels come in a wide variety of powder coat finishes to truly express your design intent. If your panels are in a high-trafficked area where noise control is a concern, add optional acoustic backers made of our proprietary Soft Sound material.

Make your perforations pop with optional finish options for your Soft Sound acoustical backer. Other backer options include our non-woven mesh backer for a translucent aesthetic.

To truly make these panels shine, Arktura also offers various lighting options, adding seamless illumination. Most lines, including Vapor, provide lighting effects for your projects through integrated Arktura InLine and Arktura Backlighting options. Take these lighting effects from wall to ceiling for a truly enveloping aesthetic. Arktura also offers RGB backlighting for additional impact, giving your panels a colorful shine.

The Future of Perforated Panels

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Aluminum panels, like VaporHue Stitch, are constantly evolving, combining new patterns, materials, and functionality. Rendering courtesy of Arktura

Innovation keeps driving Arktura forward. This principle also extends to our pattern and design results. New patterns are constantly under development, usually based on a specific theme, like foliage, technology, or movement.

“The entire development process can vary from project to project due to many factors, but usually takes about nine to 12 months for a new product launch,” says Eric Lopez, systems development coordinator at Arktura. “Usually a few designers working in tandem start with initial sketches, mock-up drawings, or another form of inspiration. They then create a series of patterns for that particular theme or product line, narrow their ideas, and finally adjust until the final results are approved.”

With inventive designs and patterns continually launched from the architectural specialists at Arktura, it has never been easier to find the right panel for your next project. Fully express your design intent, whether your inspiration comes from the natural world, linear design, or geometric patterns. Our Solutions Studio team is here to carefully bring your imagination into the built environment for the ultimate in customizable decor.

Learn more about Arktura


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