Marine. Architectural. Industrial. Transportation.
The DuFLEX Building System minimizes weght, maximises mechanical properties,
simplifies quotations, and reduces VOC emissions
Composite materials have been supplied into numerous industries where design flexibility, performance and durability are critical. DuFLEX Composite Panels offer excellent acoustic insulation properties and high chemical resistance, making them an ideal alternative to steel, iron and concrete for industrial applications to reduce maintenance.
The marine sector is no stranger to composite materials which are a key factor in achieving lightweight construction. Over the years, DuFLEX Composite Panels have become an industry standard and have been incorporated into hundreds of projects, in Australia and Internationally, to minimise weight, maximise mechanical properties, simplfy quotations and reduce VOC emissions.
Architects and building professionals are continuously searching for alternatives to traditional materials used in construction. DuFLEX panels provide structural lightweight and stiffness, and continuity of mechanical properties that allow for design freedom and flexibility. Complex forms can be created easily, offering rapid processing and construction to significantly lower fabrication costs.
Composite materials provide strength, lower vehicle weight and improved energy efficiency in transportation applications. They allow for design flexibility and deliver the optimum combination of weight, performance, reduction in operating costs and safety.
The DuFLEX panel configuration of lightweight core materials and high-performance epoxy laminates can be tailored for multiple applications, ranging from structural floors, truck beds and walls, to non-structural rail interiors applications such as ceiling liners and cabinetry.
ATL Composites was initially established in 1977, manufacturing epoxy systems to service the professional boat construction market in the Asia Pacific region. In 1980, ATL Composites expanded by opening a facility in Sydney and in 1989, re-located to the current location on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
DuFLEX® Composite Panels were developed in the early 1990’s, as a value-added product range that would reduce boat construction time and optimise structural weight.
ATL Composites performance over the past 40 years has established them as a leading supplier of advanced composite materials and engineering, for the construction of high performance, composite structures in Australia and internationally.
High Performance Composites
DuFLEX Composite Panels were specifically developed to reduce construction time and optimise structural weight in the production of light weight composite structures. Time-consuming laminating, coring and vacuum bagging steps normally required to fabricate high performance composites are avoided and material waste, labour and tooling costs are greatly reduced.
A project that explores the boundaries between a high performance cruiser and a lightweight racer, the R42 deploys a fine main hull with just enough concession to creature comforts below decks to ensure that planning a long term cruise, is as equally realistic as mixing with the action at the front end of the fleet in a major race series.
The R42 is custom designed to a well thought through design brief from an experienced Australian trimaran owner.
Engineered by Composites Consulting Group (CCG) to Category A Offshore, the R42 designed by Tony Grainger, is the latest high performance trimaran under construction at Australian Custom Multihull Yachts at The Boatworks on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The mould frames and strongbacks are made from 16mm MDF that were CNC machined by ATL Composites from electronic cutting files. The cutting files provide slots for fast assembly and the building forms are stabilised by locking the joints with epoxy fillets. The beams are symmetrical about the athwartships axis, so one set of female tools can be used to build all of the beams. The primary beam is a box structure that sits inside the fairings. The fairings are non-structural, so the laminates are quite light.
The main hull planking material is made with DuFLEX Composite Panels with a 15mm Divinycell H80 structural IPN foam core with 200grm carbon unidirectional laminate on each face. The DuFLEX panels are manufactured under heat and positive pressure by ATL Composites to ensure a consistent laminate with a high fibre ratio. The panels were supplied in 1200mm x 2400mm sheets with the proprietary DuFLEX Z-joint on each 1200mm end.
The panels are bonded with Techniglue R60 structural adhesive, supplied in cartridge packs, using ATL’s Z-Press which applies pressure and heat to the join, allowing the epoxy to cure in just a few minutes. The panels are progressively moved along until a panel of the full length of the hull is created. The full length panels were then ripped into strips of varying widths and planked over the temporary frames to make the hull shell.
The planking has been reinforced with a combination of carbon fibre double bias reinforcements laminated with the high performance KINETIX R246TX Thixotropic Laminating epoxy under vacuum to achieve a high fibre to resin content to optimise the construction for weight and stiffness.
In the more compound sections of the main hull, Divinycell H80 foam in a variety of thicknesses has been used to create the shapes, while H100 and H200 was used intermittently in specific high load areas, and then laminated in-situ with R246TX and a combination of KINETIX H160 Medium and H126 Super Fast Laminating hardeners
The hull has been faired with Technifill XP R1160, a lightweight, pre-thickened compound that is easy to sand with no shrinkage.
More photos of this project can be viewed on https://www.graingerdesigns.net/trimaran-designs/r42-trimaran/r42-build-gallery/
The name Barcoo Drift describes the quiet, laid back way of fishing on the Barcoo River in the North Queensland interior where the owners live and farm, many kilometers from the nearest salt water. With fishing being very high on the preferred activity, the back of the boat and cockpiit is specifically set up to optimise that activity.
The custom designed 14m sports fishing catamaran was constructed with a combination of DuFLEX Composite Panels cored with DIAB’s Divinycell H80 and HM100 structural foam cores with some panels laminated with unidirectional laminates so they could be strip-planked to conform to the more compound sections of the outer topsides and wing-deck areas. ATL Composites engineered the HM100 into the hull bottoms and lower topsides to provide extra toughness to absorb high dynamic impacts and slamming loads while ensuring a light, yet strong structure.
Designed to keep weight to a minimum and to provide a very comfortable stylish vessel for cruising the North Queensland coastline, all other structural sections including bulkheads, hull soles, cabin sides, side decks, etc, were supplied in CNC-routed Component Packs cored with Divinycell H80 in a variety of thicknesses and E-fibreglass reinforcements to meet design and engineering requirements. Divinycell H has been widely used worldwide and has a proven track record in marine sandwich composite construction.
The interior fit-out on Barcoo Drift was also supplied as a CNC-routed Component Pack in FEATHERLIGHT FF1015X6 Marine Grade panels from ATL. Cored with 15mm Divinycell H60, a low density unique combination of polyuren and PVC core, the Featherlight panels will provide good thermal/acoustic insulation and will provide superior stiffness and ultra-light weight to increase overall performance.
Noosa Marine used Techniglue R60 adhesive, in conjunction with the proprietary DuFLEX Z-Press, for the panel joining. Packed in convenient, self-mixing cartidge packs, the R60 makes mixing and application quick and mess free. A thin bead of epoxy can be applied quickly to the scarf joins on the panels and using the heated Z-Press allows the joint to be cured in approximately 12 minutes.
KINETIX R246TX / H160 epoxy systems are being used throughout the vessel for bonding, taping and additional laminating of the strip planked sections. WEST SYSTEM epoxy and powder modifiers were used fo bonding, filleting and fairing.
DuFLEX and Featherlight Component packs ensure weight consistency and build time is highly efficient. To compiment the system, ATL’s FRP Bonding Angles provide a quick and effective means for making right angle joints between the panels. These pre-cured angles reduce wet lay-up in tight corners and over-head applications, and also assist to speed up assembly.
The G-Force Series from Schionning Designs has continued to grow from the very first G-Force 1400 over ten years ago. Now, in 2017, another bigger sister joins the ranks.
Commissioned by an experienced G-Force owner Tony Longhurst, the 2000 Speciale is a specialised version that has some small changes and added waterline length. Overall measures are being taken to reduce weight and produce one of the lightest and fastest cruising multihulls on the water and 2000 Speciale is sure to make a splash!
With a 19.50 metre waterline length, the 2000 Speciale is the largest in the Schionning Designs G-Force range. The goal was to keep KATO as light as possible, to produce one of the lightest and fastest cruising multihulls on the water. Schionning Designs specified all structural sections of the boat in a combination of DuraKore Strip Planks and DuFLEX Composite Panels, manufactured by ATL Composites in Queensland.
Hull construction was planked with DuraKore Strip Planks, which has been the standard choice for the G-Force designs since they were first designed, however, the hulls have been reinforced with double bias carbon-fibre , rather than standard E-fibreglass, to provide extra stiffness and a reduction in weight for increased performance. All other structural components for the catamaran were supplied as CNC-routed DuFLEX Component Packs with various core thicknesses and carbon- fibre laminate specifications to meet design and engineering requirements.
Both the DuraKore Planks and the DuFLEX Composite Panels were cored with ProBalsa 150kg/m3 end grain balsa, produced by the DIAB Group, which is used extensively in the marine industry worldwide to provide exceptional compressive strength, high thermal and sound insulation and low FST (Fire, Smoke & Toxicity) properties.
The interior fit-out on KATO was also supplied as a CNC-routed Component Pack in FEATHERLIGHT Marine Grade panels from ATL. Cored with 15mm Divinycell H60, a low density unique combination of polyuren and pvc core, the Featherlight panels will provide good thermal/acoustic insulation, and being laminated with carbon fibre reinforcements, these custom panels will provide superior stiffness and ultra-lightweight in the G-Force 2000.
By specifying Components Packs for the project, weight consistency of parts was ensured, and the computer generated nesting allowed for maximum efficiency in positioning of the parts on the panels. The majority of parts were supplied with complete reinforcements applied, so the labour savings normally associated with standard wet-laminate construction, was also significant.
High performance KINETIX R246TX epoxy resin, manufactured by ATL, was specified to provide outstanding mechanical properties and stiffness when combined with the carbon fibre reinforcements in all additional laminating and taping on the cat, which will reduce fatigue and increase the overall durability and performance of the vessel. All structural bonding, filleting and fairing on the boat was completed with WEST SYSTEM 105 epoxy Resin and 206 Slow Hardener, and combined with the appropriate WEST SYSTEM powder modifier.
With those goals in mind, it was clear to Roger that a semi-displacement hull form would meet the type of boating and performance the clients were looking for. Live aboard ability was critical so fuel capacity, water-making ability, power generation, and storage were priorities in the design.
Launched December 14 2015, the 18.7 metre Bajaca designed by Roger Hill Yacht Design, New Zealand, was commissioned by a Sunshine Coast businessman with a brief for up-to-date styling above the waterline, self-contained facilities for extended cruising in remote areas, and the ability to run at 25 knots if required.
Because of previous project experience and construction successes, Roger based the design for construction with ATL Composites DuFLEX composite panels with structural DIAB Divinycell foam cores.
The hull bottoms, lower topsides, chines and engine bearers were cored with 30mm Divinycell H130 and laminated with 2 layers of 850grm E-fibreglass quadraxial. Divinycell H has a proven track record, and its unique IPN chemical structure, yields impressive mechanical performance making it ideal for applications subject to fatigue, slamming or impact loads.
DuFLEX panels, cored with Divinycell H80 and laminated with a variety of fibreglass orientations, were manufactured for all other structural areas, predominantly in flat panel form, but in some cases, with unidirectional laminates for strip planking curved sections, to optimise the engineering and performance in specific areas.
ATL’s Featherlight panels have been supplied for the non-structural interior parts, and are cored with lower density Divinycell H60 and H35 cores laminated with a 600grm quadraxial E-Fibreglass to ensure uniform stiffness, stability and lightweight. The interior panels will be finished with a combination of timber veneers, decorative fabrics and some painted sections.
Roger commented “Construction with DuFLEX will ensure the required weight, stiffness and stability is achieved to optimise the performance and fuel consumption without sacrificing comfort or performance. Using the DIAB foam- cored DuFLEX option has saved approximately 2,000 kgs over more conventional building methods”
To take full advantage of the DuFLEX Building System, Roger worked with ATL engineers to supply the design as a CNC-routed kit to reduce labour and keep wastage to a minimum, and a DuFLEX Z-Press was supplied to Noosa Marine to join the panels and further speed up the build process.
The design layout was developed closely with the owners keeping the cabins as large as possible with full head room. The main cabin/saloon area is open plan with the doors and windows sliding away to allow entry to the cockpit with no step-over sills, and the large dining space is easily served from the galley or the BBQ on the aft platform.
The owner’s cabin is forward, featuring a large ensuite bathroom, and takes the full width of the starboard hull. The prime guest cabin also has its own ensuite and the other two secondary guest cabins share a large, mid-ship bathroom that includes a full-size domestic washing machine and separate dryer.
The design does not have a conventional flybridge, but does have a sun-bathing area on the cabin top where the tender is stored with a davit crane and a surfboard/paddleboard rack. This cabin top area is also fitted with large sliding hatches to maximise ventilations and light into the forward area of the saloon.
The boat will comfortably house family and friends, and the modern design, extensive entertaining both inside and out, luxurious interior, and a cruising speed of 16 knots will make it perfect for long range cruising and living.
“The G-Force 1800 is the ultimate in high performance cruising catamarans and is the flagship of the G-Force range. One of the main benefits of these easily driven hulls, with excellent power to weight ratio and a good WL beam to length ratio, is that you don’t need much wind to get up and go.” Jeff Schionning
Launched in May 2014, KATO, a custom Schionning G-Force 1800 is set to turn heads with stunning goods looks and outstanding sailing performance
Designed by Jeff Schionning, Schionning Designs, KATO was commissioned by a Queensland businessman, with previous catamaran experience, who wanted a performance oriented cruising catamaran with a generous pay-load, that was easy-to-handle for short-handed sailing. The design brief also called for plenty of room for storing kite surfing equipment in the cockpit and a clear area for kite launching and retrieval from the back of the boat.
Jeff specified DuraKore Strip Planking for the hulls and a DuFLEX Composite Component Pack , Techniglue epoxy adhesives and KINETIX laminating systems, for KATO’s construction, with S-Fibreglass and carbon reinforcements, where appropriate, to control weight and achieve the desired strength . The DuFLEX Panels were CNC routed into kit form and cored with a rigid end-grain balsa to optimise the engineering and performance in specific areas. The DuraKore / DuFLEX construction significantly reduced the build time while addressing the need to keep the boat as light as possible without sacrificing comfort or performance.
Built by Julian Griffiths and his experienced team at Noosa Marine, Queensland, KATO was constructed in 14 months. On her maiden voyage, in light 8 knot winds, she hit 9.8 knots of boat speed. A following outing logged 22.3 knots surfing in 2m swells with three reefs in the main and the jib, in winds ranging from 25 – 30 knots. The owner has reported that he could not be happier with the boat, and after an initial cruise to Lizard Island in the Whitsundays they are planning a world sailing adventure.
The goal of the Storm Trysail Club and Transpacific Yacht Club was to create a boat that could compete as a Box Rule and as an IRC or ORR performer. The benefit of a Box Rule – one that limits factors such as length, minimum displacement, draft, sail area etc. – is that it maximizes performance. The STP 65 rule promotes a high-performance boat for both inshore and offshore sailing, with tight enough parameters to minimize obsolescence. The “box” sets an LOA of 20 meters (65.6ft), displacement range of 13,000Kg to 13,400 Kg, beam range 4.5m to 4.8m, a lifting keel that allows a generous racing draft of 4.8m (15’ 9”); and a healthy sail plan. The lifting keel will reduce draft to 3.3 m (10’ 10”). Displacement/length and sail area/displacement ratios are between the TP 52’s and Volvo 70’s giving promise that the boat will deliver lively performance in long distance and buoy events.
Farr Yacht Design developed the first design of the new Storm Trysail-Transpac 65 for Rosebud owner, Roger Sturgeon. The Storm Trysail-Transpac 65 (STP 65) is a high performance, light displacement, fixed keel box-rule class announced in August 2005.
In the months that followed, Farr Yacht Design worked closely with Bill Lee and others to assemble this new Box Rule. Roger Sturgeon and his project manager, Malcolm Park, were also an integral part of the rule creation and commissioned Farr Yacht Design to design their first boat of this class. Westerly Marine of Santa Ana, California, was commissioned to build Rosebud.
Rosebud, an all carbon fibre pre-preg construction, was built to strict STP-65 box rule specs. ATL Composites manufactured custom DuFLEX interior furniture components and floors that were constructed with aramid honeycomb and AIREX structural cores, laminated with carbon fibre skins. All components were QA’d to meet tight tolerances in weight and strength for the box rule spec.
The team at McConaghy’s has done it again with the innovative technology that was incorporated into the construction of the 80ft Mediterranean Debutante. This yacht is a sailing vessel that is setting new records at the European yacht racing events. The newly developed Lutra 80 Singularity is beautiful, sleek and incredibly fast. The whole team that was involved in the design of this magnificent sailing vessel has used cutting edge technology once only available to NASA to incorporate strength and hull integrity into their racing yach
The Lutra 80 Singularity design makes this sailing superyacht one of the finest true performance cruisers on the racing scene. An international team of experts were pulled together to create this amazing yacht. Given the fact that there are very strict guidelines that must be adhered to in the races, this craft had to be designed to not only be fast but lightweight as well. The internal fit out weight is just one and a half tons, while the overall weight is twenty four and a half tons.
The Lutra 80ft superyacht design is a very high level fit out for a racer. The full teak interior fit out is super lightweight on panels made of carbon Nomex. The canting keel is like none other this company has designed.
Sydney businessman, Denis O’Neill wanted a super fast 50′ harbour racer, making full use of today’s technology, while paying tribute, aesthetically, to the current America’s Cup Class yachts.
Atomic was designed by Andy Dovell (Murray Burns & Dovell) with aggressive styling that incorporates the advances made in hull design in the AC Class. Atomic’s canting keel design (patent pending) has resulted in a boat that is significantly more powerful for its weight than an equivalent yacht without a canting keel. And with the addition of America’s Cup type wings on the keel bulb, it solves the need for an additional leeway- resisting surface automatically, as the keel is canted – thus introducing automatic transmission to turbo-charged yachting!
Designed to be super fast, Atomic needed to be lightweight, and also had to look super sleek. Black and red being the colour combination of choice, posed questions in choice of structural and finishing materials to obtain the optimum results. Builders, Azzura Yachts on the Gold Coast, and Andy Dovell worked with ATL Composites for the best materials for this project
DuFLEX® Composite Strips, cored with BALTEK® SB.50 80kg/m3 end grain balsa and laminated with a unidirectional E-fibreglass on either side, were manufactured by ATL Composites, and used to strip plank the hull of this custom project.
BALTEK SB.50 is genetically selected at BALTEK plantations, processed and graded to produce tightly controlled cellular density throughout. The end-grain core has consistent design properties including extremely high strength and stiffness to weight ratio. BALTEK SB.50 is the ideal core material for sandwich structures where extreme performance and weight savings are critical.
The Palm Beach Motor Yacht range was inspired by leading edge yacht racing technology. Since production began in 1995, every model has been constructed using high performance structural materials to produce extremely strong, lightweight hulls that deliver superb performance and outstanding fuel consumption.
Over the years, ATL Composites has worked with Palm Beach Motor Yachts to develop and produce CNC-routed DuFLEX® bulkhead and floor components, cored with BALTEK® SB.100 end grain balsa and laminated with a high performance epoxy resin and reinforcements to the designers specifications to optimise the weight in their various models including the Palm Beach 65.
The Palm Beach 65 is the natural progression following the popularity of the Palm Beach 50, and shares the same high quality build finishes. Smooth and easy to handle, this luxurious motor launch can be handled by family and friends without the need for extra crew.
ATL Composites have supplied DuFLEX Component Packs for the bulkheads and floors, and additional Packs have been incorporated for soles, longitudinals and selected internal fit-out pieces. Fitouts are either fibreglass-taped in place in curved areas, or bonded into position with ATL’s FRP Bonding Angles for right-angle joins.
The DuFLEX components and other fixed furniture are structurally bonded to the hull and deck with Techniglue® R15 epoxy adhesive, providing strength and stiffness to the superstructure. The R15 is a toughened system with high compressive and tensile strengths, and has been formulated to produce a high strength bond with exceptional peel properties, making it ideal for the most critical applications.
Designed by Noah Thompson, Noah Thompson Design, New Zealand, and built by Wayne Jones at Streamline Catamarans in Hervey Bay, the 24m EC160 Spirit of Hervey Bay was specifically designed for Glen Dorn to charter as a Whale Watching Vessel.
3 stories high, the EC160 was engineered by ATL Composites to meet Australian Standard USL 1C/1, to carry 245 passengers on her 3 decks, and to cruise at 22 knots.
“This is the way of the future,” declared Noah. “In a world where fuel economy is now king, this boat proves that composite construction is becoming the alternative to aluminium. The combination of an efficient design, the use of ATL Composites materials and engineering services, and a superb build, has led to the creation of a commercial vessel that has exceeded all expectations.”
pirit of Hervey Bay took only 15 months to build. The hulls were strip planked in DuraKore over male frames while the remainder of the vessel was manufactured and supplied by ATL as a DuFLEX Component Pack, including hull topsides, tunnel, transom, bulkheads, soles, decks and superstructure. ATL Composites also manufactured and supplied lightweight non-structural Featherlight panels for the ceilings and supplied the fibreglass reinforcements throughout. Their high performance KINETIX Professional Epoxies were used for additional laminating applications and WEST SYSTEM resins/hardeners and powder modifiers were used for structural bonding, filleting and fairing on the project.
“ Compared to traditional boat-building where you so often see a major cost over-run, this ATL product proved to be exceptional with the ease of assembly; the CNC routed DuFLEX has every part numbered, so when it arrived at the Streamline factory, each piece could be easily identified and fitted into place during the assembly process.”
DuFLEX structural panels require fewer frames and ring frames to form the structure of the composite vessel, in comparison to a similar size aluminium vessel. The reduction in frames and also the light weight properties of the Duflex Panels, adds up to a significant weight savings overall. This allows the vessel to run with smaller engines and less fuel capacity, to also help with weight reduction.
The design specification for Spirit of Hervey Bay required a service speed of between 18 and 20 knots with 245 passengers on board. Currently she is achieving 21 knots at 1800rpm, and there is ample evidence of a massive saving in fuel costs compared to other similar sized boats. Incredibly, the vessel is performing equally well at light-ship as it does at full displacement, with only a slight change in speed or rpm.
In endorsing the DuFLEX system, Noah Thompson said: ‘My personal view is that ATL Composites creates a superior boatbuilding product. ‘
Designed by Noah Thompson of Noah Thompson Designs in New Zealand, the boat was commissioned by a local Perth gentleman with a passion for fishing. The design brief called for a fuel efficient vessel of the same size and weight of his current monohull. A lengthy study of hull shapes with POD drive engine packages was conducted and a custom design, with planing hull and the Volvo IPS-400 inboard Performance System was decided on to tick all the required boxes.
The latest Noah Thompson Design power cat, built by Lloyd Powell and Kate Tarrant of The Cat Factory in Fremantle, the luxury 14m sport fishing cat, Affinity II was built from a DuFLEX / AIREX Structural Foam Kit over a 20 month period with an “out of shed” weight of 11 tonnes which, even when loaded with fuel, water, payload and passengers, was well under the original design weight.
Because of previous experience and construction success, Noah based the design for construction with ATL Composites lightweight DuFLEX panels with a structural foam core. The design was transformed into a DuFLEX Kitset and the panels were manufactured by ATL, CNC routed into kit form, including all structural and interior parts cored with a variety of densities to optimise the engineering and performance in specific areas, and shipped to The Cat Factory for construction.
DuFLEX construction significantly reduced the weight of the vessel, addressing the need to reduce fuel consumption without sacrificing comfort or performance.
Because of previous experience and construction success, Noah based the design for construction with ATL Composites lightweight DuFLEX® panels with a structural foam core. The design was transformed into a DuFLEX Kitset and the panels were manufactured by ATL, CNC routed into kit form, including all structural and interior parts cored with a variety of densities to optimise the engineering and performance in specific areas, and shipped to The Cat Factory for construction.
DuFLEX construction significantly reduced the weight of the vessel, addressing the need to reduce fuel consumption without sacrificing comfort or performance.
Additional reinforcements and taping were laminated with ATL’s high performance KINETIX® Laminating resins and all bonding, filleting and fairing were completed with WEST SYSTEM® resin and hardeners with a combination of WEST SYSTEM powder modifiers as required.
WEST SYSTEM 410 Microlight fairing compound is 30% lighter and less porous than other fairing compounds on the market and 30% easier to fair than phenolic microballoons.
“It’s not often you see a vessel with a paint job so finely detailed that you can see the ocean reflection in it. For anyone who has bogged and faired a boat will tell you it is a labour of love to get perfection.” Noah Thompson – Designer
The design layout was developed closely with the owners who had owned large boats in the past. The idea was to keep the cabins as large as possible with full head room, large doors, plenty of light, and stowage under the floor. The main cabin is open plan with the galley opening onto the aft deck for ease of cooking and serving. The lounge and adjoining seat offer a relaxing space. The owner requested that the flybridge is accessed from inside the cabin, and works well for security. Interior components were supplied as a DuFLEX / AIREX® C70.75 Kit with a 10mm foam core reinforced with a 600grm quadraxial laminate.
The brief for this project called for a new level extension to the existing penthouse on 110 Elizabeth Bay Drive, which would add a lounge and deck to the apartment below. The client wanted to drastically improve the carbon footprint and sustainable qualities of this 60’s building. They also wanted the work to be transformative as art or sculpture. The design metaphor I chose was that of the fruit bat flying over the Baobab tree in the Botanical Gardens. I was able to work with Iain Murray, of America’s Cup fame, and my engineer Harry Partridge to complete a fibre-glass/carbon fibre and steel roof. It was built like a yacht and delivered in 3 pieces to the site.
The final roof collects and uses all roof water via basement tanks. Working with the yacht manufacturers led to a breakthrough in the finished surface of the roof drastically reducing UV damage. As a work of sculpture the folding plates of the wing also reach down into the action of the roof deck or outside area. A shard of wing actually imposes itself into the action of the deck as a wall-like giant animal wanting to be patted. The result speaks for itself. The separate parasite is a shared public art piece which forms a synthesis with its building of origin. It radically transforms the existing structure without destroying the host.
Azzura Marine, Queensland is accomplished at manufacturing vessels up to 74 meters in length in timber, composite, aluminium and steel. AM also provides technological advances and ultra-fine craftsmanship to deliver premium quality interiors, for five star hotels and other architectural and commercial applications.
Azzura’s latest architectural project incorporating DuFLEX® Composite Panels manufactured by ATL Composites, is a cantilevered roof for a 6 story building in Sydney, Australia.
Designed by architect Richard Goodwin, the spectacular roof shape, with a cantilvered section, was modeled on the angular shapes of an F117 jet. Wind ratings, weight, strength and stiffness had to be considered in the design, and in the choice of fabrication materials. ATL engineers did the composite engineering including finite element analysis for the project.
The need to reduce the overall thickness required a combination of materials to be used, as it could not be achieved with normal steel fabrication. ATL’s DuFLEX® panels cored with BALTEK® SB.100 end grain balsa, were used as they contributed structurally, while still meeting the weight and stiffness requirements.
ATL Composites manufactured the DuFLEX® panels and CNC-routed the roof parts from electronic files. The panels were delivered and joined on site at Azzura Marine by ATL, so the full sized parts could be assembled directly onto the steel support structure.
John Briggs, Project Manager for the job, said “The functionality of the DuFLEX / balsa panels was perfect for the project from a weight and strength perspective, and having them joined to the full size parts on site for assembly was fantastic.”
The roof was disassembled into 4 components, and shipped to the building site in Sydney. The parts, the largest piece being 3.6m x 17.5m, were lifted and positioned using a 140 tonne crane with an 87m boom.
Composite Glazed Wall, Window-Box Frames and Roof for Waterfront House – Sydney
Architect Wendy Lewin designed multilevel framing for doors and window boxes that could incorporate both standard and unique glazing systems manufactured by Vitrocsa Australia, and an 11.5m long span roof for a new waterfront house in Birchgrove, Sydney.
Wendy Lewin Architect – Mosman, NSW, 2088
As for many of her past projects, Wendy’s original intention was to use Mild Steel Plate for these expressed frames which are conceived as “structural joinery” units. However, unlike past projects, the tendering process identified the cost for the manufacture, delivery, handling and placement of these steel plate elements for this project, was well beyond the scope of the building budget.
Site access from the street was difficult, and too narrow for a crane, making delivery, handling and placement of the welded steel plate assemblies more complex and expensive.Good site access from the harbour was available but the cost of barge-cranes, and the on-site placement by an additional crane, also brought complexity and significantly greater handling costs.
The north facing harbour-side location, exposure to high winds, wind-driven pollutants and the harsh maritime environment, also meant there was greater potential for corrosion and a reduction in long time material durability.
The glazed wall, door and window box frames are various sizes and shapes, and the roof has a free span distance of 6.5m from the outer support column to the bedroom on the other side. DuFLEX composite panels offered a stable, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, cost effective and high performance option, that could be used in the same way as the steel plate, without compromises having to be made in the design for high wind loads.
Designed by Grahame Parker Design, Sydney, the Brisbane City Council’s CityCats are lightweight, power-efficient, low wash vessels designed for rapid boarding and discharging of 162 passengers to meet the City of Brisbane’s growing transportation needs.
The Brisbane City Council, in conjunction with Grahame Parker, chose composites to reduce weight and maintenance, and also to allow for the inclusion of compound shapes to the vessels.
Built by Norman Wright and Sons, Bulimba, Queensland, second and third generation models of the CityCats have incorporated DuFLEX panels that were CNC kitted to reduce the build time for the manufacture of the bulkheads and centre support girders. A combination of cores – structural foam and end grain balsa – were used in the panels, each chosen for the mechanical properties required in the specific areas of the structure.
Super lightweight Featherlight panels, with ply inserts included to provide a pre-finished edge, were supplied as routed kits for the internal fit-out to maintain control over finished weight to increase overall performance while providing superior levels of stiffness, and thermal and acoustical insulating properties.
ATL’s FRP Bonding Angels were also used extensively for 900 bonding applications, in place of standard wet fibreglass lamination.
The 26m CityCats styling and construction are testament to designer Grahame Parker and the skilled team at Norman R. Wright and Sons, and if you are looking for ways to beat the traffic, or simply looking for ways to explore the Brisbane River, the Brisbane CityCats are the perfect way to do both.
CityCat Gootcha # 16 bears an indigenous name and features artwork by acclaimed local artist Judy Watson.
Brisbane boat builder Ian Wright’s dream home may be small in size but it is huge in vision for the future of composites in the construction and housing marketplace.
The house marks the launch of a ‘green’ composite building material and assembly method developed by Ian’s company Norman R. Wright and Sons in conjunction with Gold Coast supplier ATL Composites.
Originally looking for a sustainable product to add “green” boats to his range of high performance commercial and plaesure craft, Ian had the idea that the material would also be ideal for use in the housing industry.
Eighteen months in development, drawing on the expertise of the composite engineering and chemical professionals in both companies, the revolutionary building panel material and frameless assembly system went through a long process of engineering analysis and certification before the plans for Ian’s dream home were approved.
A boat builder constructed the two sections (the 2m x 4m stairwell and the 18m x 4m house) and installed all fittings in the Norman R Wright factory.
“After earth works and the foundation posts and stairwell were in place we transported the house to the site on a boat trailer and then a crane lifted it into place,” says Ian.
The whole house weighs less than nine tonnes and is so stiff it only needed two slings for the lift.
Perched on top of a windswept hill in Wynnum North overlooking the ocean, “Eco Casa” is fitted out with the same meticulous attention to detail and finish as Ian’s boats, using sustainable, renewable or recycled materials throughout.
At less than eight squares it is small by many people’s standards but Ian says the open plan design is spacious for his needs especially compared to living on a boat! He has big plans for the new building material Eco Casa showcases.
Our professional team is dedicated to the continual development of advanced composite technology, and technical assistance is available over the telephone or by email, or we can provide on-site construction and process support, structural engineering expertise and CNC routing services, to enable our customers to produce durable, high quality products.
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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- fiberglass or carbon fiber. The product has become the industry standard for composite boat construction for leisure and commercial marine craft in Australia. ATL Composites is now in partnership with European manufacturers.Get in touch