Matechstone Patents Wood Infill Wall System in China

By: Lance Tao

Communications Manager, Canada Wood Group

The Prefab Building Development 2019 Report released by MOHURD indicates a positive trend for the growth potential for off-site construction and prefabrication in China. Together with the new green building evaluation standard issued on August 1st, 2019, China demonstrates a growing emphasis on sustainable building solutions, where the benefits of prefabrication techniques are well aligned with the policy objectives. The total market for 2019 shows the new construction area for prefabricated buildings represents an area of 418 million square meters. Following these trends, wood infill systems could become one of the preferred choices for prefabricated components of building envelope in the conventional market.

From 2016, Canada Wood China has targeted wood infill walls as a priority for market development, with the goal of promoting wood into a conventional market dominated by concrete and steel. By leveraging the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD)’s recent industrialized construction policies, Canada Wood China has been able to position energy efficient wood infill wall (EEWW) as a prefabricated component to be featured in concrete-wood or steel-wood hybrid structures.

Production of installation of infill walls by Matechstone at the Rugao project in Jiangsu province

Following this target for market development, Canada Wood China has collaborated with the precast concrete (PC) manufacturer Matechstone (formerly known as Truslink / Yantong) to improve the research and development of EEWW for China’s local construction industries. The concept progressed from a test project in Changzhou with the name of EEWW, to the Taixing R&D center with the name of PEC system 1.0, up to the hung wall system named PEC system 2.0 applied in the Rugao Intelligent Manufacturing Center.

With the support of Canada Wood China, Matechstone was able to develop these technologies into new systems that qualified for patent applications. As such, it provides Matechstone with the opportunity to commercialize the product to a larger scale, where it can leverage the ownership of this new IP as an intangible asset that benefits from technical protection, promotion opportunities, and policy incentives supporting new technologies in traditional industries. The patent applications filed in January 2020 by Matechstone for these PEC systems have been approved by the relevant IP authorities in China. In total are 5 separate patents, including 1) PEC system wall panels, 2) connection (wet) for PEC system wall panel to the concrete main frame, 3) connection (dry) for PEC system wall panel to the concrete main frame, 4) connection for PEC system wall panels to wall panels, and 5) connections for PEC system wall panels to energy efficient windows.

This collaboration is a strong demonstration of the possibilities for the market development strategy of Canada Wood China for technical exchanges and expert collaborations. Similar training and technical exchanges are offered to other wood manufacturers in China looking to increase their wood production capacity, with training programs in areas such as industrialized construction, Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) production, wood in manufacturing, and other technical areas. In addition to one on one collaborations with companies to convert their production lines, Canada Wood China runs an online training platform to increase market expertise and offers field guides, training manuals and technical information to help promote the use of wood across China.

Introduction of Matechstone:

Established in January 2015, Matechstone provides a range of services for construction industrialization including design, process control, PC production, assembly, and PC automation equipment. With project experience of producing 12 million square meters (floor area) across China, Matechstone has leveraged its expertise to innovate with new technologies and improve services by developing a complete supply chain.

The firm has become a market leader in industrialized construction in China, having participated in development of 12 building codes and standards. It holds 7 patents related to process manufacturing and prefabrication and its ERP System for PC Production has been awarded with 36 separate patents.