ATL Composites (Queensland, Australia) and MuH von der Linden (Wesel, Germany) have announced the formation of a joint venture company, vdL Composites GmbH to produce DuFLEX composite panels for the European market.
The DuFLEX panel technology was developed in Australia by ATL Composites. The panels consist of a choice of lightweight, high-strength core materials, laminated with a high-performance, specially formulated, epoxy resin and reinforced with multi-axial E- fibreglass or carbon fiber. The product reportedly has become the industry standard for composite boat construction for leisure and commercial marine craft in Australia.
Von der Linden and ATL Composites are both well known and respected in the marine industry and both represent leading international brands of marine products in their home markets. “It was the relationship that we shared through products such as WEST SYSTEM epoxy and BALTEK end grain balsa that first brought us together in 1987,” says Lorraine Murray, a director of ATL. “When we were originally looking for a distributor for DuFLEX panels in Europe, von der Linden were a natural choice” she said. “The product has been well accepted, however, the lead time to supply from Australia and the high cost of shipping have been limiting factors to its overall potential. We aim to address these issues through the establishment of the joint venture to manufacture in Germany.”
DuFLEX panels produced by vdL Composites will be manufactured using ATL’s proprietary sealing and laminating epoxies, and the production techniques will be the same as those used in Australia. A team from the Australian plant have been sent over to train their German counterparts. Production is underway and European orders are already being fulfilled.
“We are excited about the opportunity to manufacture DuFLEX here in Germany,” says Helge von der Linden, president of von der Linden. “We see this as the key to unlocking the potential for the product in Europe and we will be actively talking to leading designers and boat builders over the next few months to make them aware of this important new development.” Mr von der Linden said that the new factory will produce standard panels, as well as CNC-routed components, and complete boat kits. “We will be targeting transportation and architectural applications for the product as well,” he says.