Wall systems manufacturer secures funding for new materials and technology

A joint collaboration between Swinburne University of Technology, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) and Speedpanel Holding will lead to the production of new fire and acoustic wall systems.

The partnership aims to create new materials that can produce a cost-effective and sustainable wall system that replaces Speedpanel’s current cement core.

The aim is to produce a lightweight, environmentally friendly material that will improve processing time and agility.

The partnership will run for three years, during which, researchers will test the structural, acoustic and fire performance of the new material.

PrefabAUS will provide consulting support for the current and future application of the new material to the wider modular building industry.

This project provides a great opportunity for our team to go beyond the laboratories and use our ground-breaking research to develop new materials and technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the construction industry,” said professor Sanjayan, director of Swinburne’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure.

The total research spend is more than $4.4 million and will involve industry partners including Independent Cement Limited, Redox and Speedfoam.

Applying advanced manufacturing techniques to the building and construction sector could lead to opportunities for further innovation, according to David Chuter, CEO and managing director of IMCRC.

“As part of its commitment to business transformation and continuous improvement, Speedpanel has recognised the need to further develop and evolve production processes, components and systems used to increase efficiency, productivity and respond to market demands,” said Chuter.

It is hoped that innovations in building materials will help to enable to Australian construction sector to stay ahead of technological advances and environmental pressures, and Peter Bernhardt, innovation and technology manager at Speedpanel can see future improvements from the collaboration.

“Speedpanel 2.0 will be a game changer for the building and construction market. New methods of manufacturing, combined with exciting, new, innovative and sustainable materials, are set to enhance our versatile range and further reduce our carbon footprint,” said Bernhardt.