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Interior Flush Panels

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The basic flush panel is a 20mm or 50mm thick panel 1000x2400mm. It can be of solid, composite, or joined framed construction. It is mounted within the spaces created by Primary and flush-mounted Secondary frame members or flush within Primary frame members but resting against recessed Secondary frame members.

The simplest attachment method for flush panels is friction, the panels simply pushed into place against battens (20mm) or angle strips on the adjacent profile slot (50mm). With lighter panels, friction alone may be sufficient to support them, the thickness of the panel and a tight fit preventing the panels from pivoting in place and falling out. For 50mm panels this friction fit may be enhanced by the use of a simple flexible friction gasket in a groove around the panel edge that engages the inner frame slots as the panel is pushed into place. This also creates an added draft barrier. Secondary frame members can be left exposed, covered with a ‘U’ channel cosmetic plate, or slot-less or round edge profiles may be used.

For panels that are not fully flush to the front frame edge and made of light flexible materials, they can be equipped with a 10mm upper and lower edge flanges centered over the basic frame profile slot and popped into place with slight flexing. This is generally limited to panels of 10mm or 20mm thickness and not suited to situations where the wall panel must provide some compression against insulation. For partitions these are fashioned as double-sided panels or as single face panels with a thinner 5mm back flange (usually alloy) so that different facing panels can be popped into the same slot. The are then spaced with a decorative spacer/edge/corner post which may feature a groove to overlap the panels and provide vertical reinforcement and which can be locked in place with flush T-nuts. In some arrangements the exposed floor frame may be covered by finishing frame strips which plug into spacers using concealed pins or are friction-fit into the slot with a thin alloy edge tab.

Another simple method for 50mm panels using recessed Secondary framing is a wedge batten system using slotted panels, simple 10mm thick 2420mm vertical wooden battens, short horizontal wedge battens, and a finished bolt-on or snap-in cover plate. Vertical battens are placed in Primary frame slots and a panel slid into place over them. This locks the side and corners of the panel into place. Horizontal battens are then slid into the open side of the panel and positioned with a rod or blade to help reinforce the top and bottom of the panel. The second side batten is then fit into place along with a 20mm square 2400mm high back-spacer resting against the adjacent Secondary frame member. (optionally, this back-spacer and side batten can be combined into one milled piece) The next side batten is placed and the finished cover plate is then fixed into place on the slot of the Secondary frame member, either using T-nuts and bolts or a snap-lock ‘U’ strip attached to the spacer by screws. Using the snap-lock cover plate, a very secure yet demountable panel attachment is achieved with this scheme using no bolts or screws,

20mm panels can be accommodated for this method by the addition of alloy ‘Z’ strips along their back edge, creating a batten slot. These strips are non-continuous and have alternating gaps side to side. This would allow the panels to be sandwiched together to accommodate their use for partitions.

For partition use, panels are reinforced by slide-in battens and finished spacer posts approximating the 50mm square Secondary frame dimensions. Assembly is the same as for wall panels except that the finished spacer is now a self-standing post with two or three slots. (four slots uses a 50mm profile)

The next-simplest attachment method is a through-panel screw or bolt. For thin 20mm panels 6 tapped 10mm thick corner and side stop-blocks are used, with upper corner and side corner blocks held in place by T-nuts beneath them. For 50mm panels, tapped angle braces attached to the adjacent free profile slot are used. This method is well suited to heavy panel materials like stone. But for some interior designs the exposed bolts may be undesirable. To conceal these the panel may be designed with a recessed flange for panel attachment which is hidden by a finished press-fit concealment strip.

Another simple method hold panels in place by clamping them between bolt-in angle strips along an adjacent slot (for 50mm panels) or 10mm press-fit wooden batten strips placed in the inner-edge frame slots (for 20mm panels) and a thin 60-70mm wide finished cover plate bolted in place with counter-sunk screws to the exposed front surface slot of secondary framing or attached to a ‘U’ channel snap-lock strip. The cover strip will slightly overlap the floor and must be fashioned at a length that accounts for the thickness of the floor panels over the floor frame surface -and possibly the thickness of similar cover strips for the ceiling. Corner cover strips matching the other cover strips use thin alloy corner angles that are simply press-fit into the edge of the corner panels. When both corner panels are installed, the cover strips will be immovable.

For partitions using the above method, a single 50mm panel or paired 20 mm panels are employed and clamped between two cover plates on either side of a Secondary frame stud. Exposed partition edges may employ a ‘U’ channel cover strip surrounding a Secondary frame member and forming a resilient finished border.

For a highly concealed and quick mechanical attachment approach a simple mechanism in the form of bowed battens can be used, pre-installed in the inner edges of the slot profiles. These arch-shaped rounded ended and edged 10mm thick strips are made of a somewhat elastic material like wood, spring steel, or plastic and may be fixed to prevent their falling out by stop-pins or a rounded T-flange at their ends. At least two would be used per side and optionally one top and bottom. Pressed inward to recess using a blade when the panel is seated, they pop into slots or a sturdy rail along the panel edges, securing the panel in place. Optionally, these edge slots can be routed to approximate the arc of the batten or may feature in-set alloy channels for easier fitting and reduce wear on frequently changed panels. To remove the panel blades are re-inserted and slid to push the batten recessed again, allowing the panel to be pried out.

This simple mechanism can be used with both 20mm panels with strips for the batten attachment or 50mm slotted panels and can also be employed with the recessed Secondary framing and finished flush cover plate using an added 20mm spacer and bolted cover plate to secure the bowed side battens, the finished cover strip thus becoming simply cosmetic.

Another concealed quick-attachment method relies on ‘U’ channel snap-lock strips to hold panels to a 25mm profile sub-frame surrounding the frame opening and attached to angle strips on the adjacent profile slots. Panels are simply fashioned with the snap-lock strips attached to their back and pushed into the panel space to lock into the profile slots behind them. To be removed, they must be carefully pried out. This is particularly well suited to use of thin panel materials actually employing a 25mm profile support frame. The method also works with recessed Secondary framing to support a flush finished press-fit spacer plate. (this actually aiding panel removal by making an opening to the panel sides) The snap locks can be quite strong and this method is best suited to materials not prone to tearing or deforming when pried out with a blade. Strategically placed gaps in the lock-strips will aid panel removal with deeper pry-blade insertion.

Interior Flush Panel SeriesEdit

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