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Updated: Sep 21, 2023




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.


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.


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.


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.



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Notwithstanding the above, we want to emphasize that the information we provide in our blog posts is intended to be informative only. While we strive to be as precise and accurate as possible, we cannot guarantee that the information we provide will be applicable to your specific situation. We strongly advise that you contact us directly for bespoke advice tailored to your unique circumstances. Our team of experienced professionals will work with you face to face, analyze your specific needs, and provide you with professional, contractually bound solutions that are customized to your project. At Bytnar, we are committed to providing the highest level of service to our clients, and we believe that personalized attention and customized solutions are key to achieving successful outcomes. So, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for expert guidance and support throughout your AEC journey.

Please be advised that as a reader of these articles, you are not a party to any contract, either directly or inferred, with Bytnar Ltd, its directors, or any person writing the post, hereafter referred to as "We". We would like to clarify that we do not assume any legal liability, either directly or indirectly, for any losses that may arise as a result of the information provided in these articles or the misuse of said information by you or any third party. We would like to reiterate that the information provided in our blog posts is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or establish any contractual relationship. Therefore, we strongly advise our readers to seek personalised and professional advice from our team of experts before relying on any information provided in these articles. In summary, by reading these articles, you acknowledge that you are not entering into any contractual agreement with Bytnar Ltd or its directors and that you assume full responsibility for any decisions made or actions taken based on the information provided in these articles.

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