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WATCH YOUR HEAD!

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

GLUED-ON STAINLESS STEEL PANELS FALL - CROSS REPORT 1187


STAINLESS STEEL CEILING FACING FAILURE WITH PANELS FALLING TO THE FLOOR.









WHO/WHERE/WHAT

This is the tale between the designer and the contractor.

The contractor designed ceiling panelling for a retail place. The proposal includes thin stainless-steel sheeting attached to MDF via adhesive and concealed mechanical fixings. The contractor’s design has been overwritten by the designer who wished thicker sheet of metal without the mechanical fixings which ultimately failed.


WHY?

It appears as if not enough due consideration has been given to the construction of the panel, apart from the visuals. A bespoke solution has been proposed consisting of dissimilar materials. Such a combination of materials and their position where temperature fluctuation and moisture from all the people visiting the retail have the most impact was ill-conceived. Although the contractor’s proposal of mechanical fixing would certainly delay the process and perhaps allow for intervention before the detachment of the panel, however, the experts conclude that this fixing in the MDF would likely also fail.


HOW TO AVOID

Realise that design does not mean drawing up ideas of pretty things but that behind all long-lasting pretty things lay careful considerations and engineering thought. Material mechanics, the chemistry of adhesives and their interaction form a big part of such consideration and all designers that are not familiar with the depths of the science should rely on well-proven solutions and perhaps proprietary products.


LESSONS LEARNED

Failsafe solutions are always prudent design features and especially such that can withstand the creep or fatigue of the material, especially where two materials work hard against one another.


The design of the elements that have the potential to harm others should they fail ought to be undertaken by professionals who can quantify the behaviour of materials and analyse its differential behaviour’s impact on one another and even more so if such an element is to be used in an unusual way or located in the unusual place it should be tested in resembling conditions to discard any possibilities of failure in use.


If you are embarking on such a design, ask yourself a question, am I out of depth, did I consider the right aspects? If you are not sure of the answer, reach out to more experienced colleagues or subcontract the design to someone who can answer this confidently, or simply use a well-proven solution.


Remember, your decision or ignorance may have fatal consequences.


FIND OUT MORE



 

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