METS yields Global Rewards

Posted on December 18, 2019

ATL Composites is pleased to announce agreements with new European distributors as a result of exhibiting at this year’s METSTRADE Amsterdam in November, the company’s seventh show with joint venture partners vdL Composites GmbH.

“We have established Distributors for our DuFLEX and Featherlight composite panels in France, Turkey and Italy,” confirmed Inga von der Linden, Director at vdL Composites, based in Wesel, Germany.

“They are the WEST SYSTEM distributors for those countries, and consequently, we have had relationships with their companies through the WEST SYSTEM network. But it was through exhibiting at METS that we met face to face and decided to work together.”

The new DuFlex and Featherlight distributors are Etap Marine, Istanbul, Directeck in Aubiere, France and WS Marine S.r.L. in Genova, Italy. “They are extremely well placed in key markets to supply some of the world’s premium boat builders,” added Lorraine Murray, Director at ATL Composites. “We are looking forward to more vessels coming on to the global market with the quality DuFlex/Foam and Featherlight panel systems for light-weight, strength and durability.”

The new distributors will stock a mixture of DuFLEX/Foam and Featherlight panels in various thicknesses and with single and double layers of e-fibreglass skins to service their local customers. They will also be in a position to offer custom panels including full sized component packs, for one-off projects and/or for their local production builders, produced to specifications by vdL Composites GmbH, which is based in Germany.

“These custom panels could also include panels with high density inserts for hardware installations which were of great interest to many of the professional boat builders who visited our stand at METS,” added Lorraine.

METS 2019 was an extremely successful show for ATL Composites.

“This was our seventh consecutive year exhibiting with vdL Composites GmbH and the most fruitful,” said Lorraine. “Australian brands and businesses enjoy great respect for our ingenuity, quality and proactive approach to tailoring solutions to every customer’s unique requirements.”

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ATL Composites’ Expertise & Experience Underlie The Whiskey Project

Posted on November 27, 2019

The highlight of the recent Pacific 2019 Expo at Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the intriguingly named “Whiskey Project”, stole the spotlight with the launch of its first boat – WHISKEY ALPHA eight five – and won a legion of fans for its aggressive profile, versatility and performance capabilities.

Built by Van Munster Boats, located on Lake Macquarie in NSW, Whiskey Alpha eight five is the first “Next Generation Tactical Watercraft”, the product of collaboration among exmilitary operators, world-class maritime architects, engineers and innovators.

The “Whiskey” nomenclature is derived from the NATO phonetic alphabet where “W” denotes the military water operators and “Whiskey” is their callsign. Whiskey Alpha eight five is 8.5m long but is scalable from 6 to 12-metres.

Featuring a new-technology hull that boat builder Brett Van Munster describes as ‘disruptive’, the high-performance powerboat hull is made from advanced carbon fibre composite materials which provide a greater strength to weight than traditional aluminium or FRP hulls.

The revolutionary Sea Blade hull form is the product of a decade of research and development to design the ultimate foundation for mixed sea states and offshore applications providing greater stability and seakeeping whilst achieves a higher average speed than a comparable deep-V hull.

As Brett Van Munster explains “The co-founders of The Whiskey Project commissioned the design based on their 20 years’ Defence experience as tactical maritime operators, and they intimately understood what the capability gaps were in the existing craft being used globally.

“They knew the current boats were simply not fit for purpose. Whether they are from military or police or other state agencies or even support boats or tenders, operators need watercraft that offered a higher level of seakeeping and safety but also high-speed offshore capability in all sea states as well as low speed manoeuvring for the boarding, recovery or disembarking of ships.

“These vessels needed to offer an unprecedented level of stability and high-end performance!”

The Whiskey co-founders, Darren Schuback and Ryan Carmichael assembled a formidable design and build team which included the lead architect from Farr Yacht Design; marine composites engineer and America’s Cup winner Brett Ellis, as well as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) system and hull specialists from Navatek Hawaii, a research institute funded by the US Government to build military craft.

“Darren and Ryan were really motivated. They had the financial backing and a clear conceptual design brief when they approached us.”

With a similar ethos, Van Munster boats, established in 1988, is a second-generation familyowned and run business that has earned a reputation for innovative custom builds. Their “bread and butter” is 18 and 16-foot skiffs, for which they’ve been the international Class\ builder for the past 14 years.

“The reason we established the business was that we couldn’t find what we wanted in the market. We were seeking better technical construction in our boats, and that’s what we strive to achieve in our boats every time.”
Specialists in custom composite construction, Van Munster Boats had a clear build and test deadline for The Whiskey Project boat of the 2019 Pacific Maritime Expo.

“The timelines are never as long as you’d like them to be,” says Brett. “But we specialise in race boats, so we’re used to the environment of high performance and high expectations. That’s the culture of our business and how we operate. But it was a good challenge. There was no fallback, no wiggle room. The whole thing had an end date. It was a like a race from the start to the finish and we delivered.

“One of the key challenges that always arise on tight time frames is material procurement. Fortunately, we have good suppliers such as ATL that we can rely on to deliver. You can’t do this kind of project by yourself.”

Nicholas Cossich, Director at ATL Composites said the smooth process from brief to completion on the Whiskey Project was testament to the strong relationship between ATL and Van Munster Boats.

“It’s an immense privilege for us to work with such a dynamic and supremely talented group of people operating at the highest echelons of the marine industry. Brett and his team really demonstrated true ingenuity and focus in delivering the WA85 and we are very proud that he chose to use our Australian technology to deliver such a ground-breaking vessel.”

For two decades, Van Munster Boats has worked with ATL Composites on numerous projects ranging from classic timber construction in the early days, through to the high performance, advanced composite boats they’re renowned for now.

For The Whiskey Project, ATL Composites supplied Divinycell foam core to deliver the high strength structure required in such extreme operating conditions, and fast speeds, and custom DuFLEX panels for deck, cockpit and internal framing. ATL CNC machined components to the uniquely engineered requirements “and we just dropped them into the
boat” added Brett.

The Whiskey Project lead engineer Brett Ellis has been a friend and colleague of Brett Van Munster for decades and proved an invaluable part of the team, bringing his depth of experience as a structural engineer specialising in composites for Gurit, as well as Prada, Alinghi and Artemis.

The effort paid off and Whiskey Alpha eight five was the centre of attention at Pacific 2019, the biennial international maritime expo that attracts 22,000 visitors over three days, representing Defence, Government and Scientific industries from 48 nations.

“It was awesome for us to see the reception,” said Brett. “The Whiskey Project was the star of Pacific 19 and the Australian Defence Force all know about this vessel now!

“It was a whole new world and a real eye-opener for us as a niche business. We were very proud to demonstrate that we have the skillset, capabilities and craftsmanship that create a world-class product.

“There has been huge interest following the event from both domestic and international defence delegations as well as other government agencies and we are looking forward to the next phase of The Whiskey Project.”


MEET THE TEAM BEHIND THE WHISKEY PROJECT | Next up is Brett Van Munster, our Boat Builder

MEET THE TEAM BEHIND THE WHISKEY PROJECT | Next up is Brett Van Munster, our Boat Builder.

Posted by The Whiskey Project on Sunday, November 3, 2019

DuFLEX: Aussie ingenuity on show at METS

Posted on October 14, 2019

ATL Composites and their European joint venture company, vdL Composites will attend this year’s METSTRADE Show in Amsterdam, 19 to 21 November, exhibiting the DuFLEX panel building system, developed in Australia and now industry standard for boat builders the world-over.

“METS is the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems,” said Lorraine Murray, Director at ATL Composites, based on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“It’s important to connect with our customers and our partners in Europe and show them the innovative ways DuFLEX can be used in boat building, saving production time and delivering lighter weight, stronger boats.”

Inga von der Linden at vdL Composites said “We attend METS because we meet the international industry there and we can show them the DuFLEX products in reality.

“Existing customers can also visit our stand and see new developments, network with colleagues and experience innovations from the global marine market.”

Developed in Australia by ATL Composites, DuFLEX panels are available with a range of lightweight, high-strength core materials that are laminated with a high-performance, specially formulated, epoxy resin and can be reinforced with multi-axial E-fibreglass or carbon fibre.

DuFLEX panels have become an industry standard for composite boat construction and the system is specified by leading designers around the world for the construction of pleasure, performance and commercial craft.

In 2012, ATL Composites and MuH von der Linden GmbH of Wesel, Germany, formed a joint venture company, known as vdL Composites GmbH to produce DuFLEX® composite panels for the European market.

Since then, the DuFLEX range has been available to professional boat-builders and designers throughout Europe, with local supply and experienced technical support provided by the Technical Team at vdL Composites.

Growing demand for the DuFLEX panels has led to an ever-increasing European customer base and the further development of options for customers.

Business secured directly from last year’s METS includes supplying DuFLEX for interior fitouts for ITA Catamarans and projects for Gunboat, Baltic Yachts and Nautor’s Swan.

As Inga explained “The Gunboat 68 used DuFLEX for interior panels for ceilings and cladding. Delivered as full-sized parts, the DuFLEX panels were cored with DIAB Divinycell H80 foam, and reinforced with several orientations of E-Fibreglass and/or Carbon Fibre to provide a combination of stiffness and strength.  Vdl Composites also supplied 42mm and 84mm FRP Bonding Angles to provide a quick and effective way to make right angle joints between the panels.

“Iconic builder, Nautor’s Swan contacted us as a result of the referral from their neighbours, Baltic Yachts, who demonstrated the panels,” Inga continued.

Jan Vidjeskog at Baltic yachts said “DuFLEX panels are cured to our demands and have a good and even quality which make them easy and cost-effective to use.”

The vdL Technical Team will be available at METS to introduce you to The DuFLEX Building System, and to discuss your specific design and fabrication requirements.

vdL Composites will exhibit at booth CMP.25.EL in the Construction Material Pavilion.

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DuFLEX Composite Panels Saved Time and Weight

Posted on July 27, 2018

In terms of quality and innovation the new flagship of the shipping company Luzern (SGV) MS 2017 sets a new milestone in Swiss shipping. 

March 21st 2017

In autumn 2013, the Board of Directors of the SGV decided on construction of the new, large passenger ship with space for 1,000 passengers.

The well-known yachting design office Judel / Vrolijk & Co from Bremerhaven were commissioned to do the design,  and the planning and construction is being carried out  by Shiptec AG, one of the largest shipyards in Switzerland.

A new sundeck floor was specified for the upper section of the vessel and vdL Composites GmbH were approached to supply a composite alternative to provide strength, stiffness and durability.  DuFLEX Composite Panels were specified as the best option for the large 275m2 area.

DuFLEX – Optimised Kit Technology –  109 Custom DuFLEX panels ranging from 1.3m to 2.4m in length were manufactured at the vdL Composites facility in Wesel, Germany. The panels were cored with 60mm Divinycell H80 and reinforced with multiple layers of multiaxial E-fibreglass,  laminated with a custom-blend, high performance epoxy resin.  Divinycell H80 is widely used, and has a proven track record,  in the marine industry for  leisure, military and commercial applications. Combined with epoxy laminates, the DuFLEX H80 panels provide excellent mechanical properties at low weight, a consistent high quality finish, excellent chemical resistance, low water absorption and good thermal/acoustic insulation.

The panel edges were machined with the DuFLEX Z-Joint and CNC-routed from electronic design files, enabling the panels to be joined and the full-sized parts to be released.  The panels were delivered, along with the proprietary DuFLEX Z-Press, to Shiptec to be joined and fitted on site.  The Z-Press was set-up on the deck of the vessel, and vdL staff were present to assist with joining and to offer technical support during the process.

On installation, the full-sized parts fitted perfectly into the specified areas eliminating the need for time- consuming trimming and fitting. The large sections were lifted into position with a vacuum lifter and Pro-Set Epoxy adhesive was used to fill and bond non-scarffed edges. Multiaxial E-fibreglass tapes were applied to complete the structural requirements on those joins.

A driving factor in the choice of materials for this project was the installation time-frame. DuFLEX offered the perfect solution to meet a tight deadline for project completion.
The first contact was made to vdL on February 2 2016, with the first delivery on March 11.  The first panels were joined on March 21 and 3 days later, one third of the deck was joined and mounted on the steel frame. 166 parts were installed to complete the 275m2 deck. Compared to conventional methods of hand-lamination, this saved hours in labour, wastage and tooling costs.

MS 2017’s maiden voyage is scheduled for May 2017. The ship will be officially named at this time and will be scheduled for trips on the Lucerne-Flüelen-Luzern and Lake Lucerne.

Visit Us at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2018

Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2018

Posted on May 29, 2018

ATL Composites will be exhibiting at Booth #314 IN THE SUPERYACHT & MARINE PAVILION at this year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show from Thursday May 24th thru Sunday May 27th.

“We are really looking forward to this year’s 30th Anniversary Show,” says Lorraine Murray, Director at ATL. “As a leading supplier of advanced composite materials and engineering to the marine industry for 38 years, we continue to look for ways to improve our products and services, and enjoy the opportunity to discuss and suggest solutions for specific projects with customers at the show.”

This year ATL will be displaying products specifically developed for the Marine Industry including the Six10 Structural Adhesive from the internationally recognised WEST SYSTEM epoxy range and DIAB’s Divinycell Structural Cores which have a proven industry history and are the choice for naval architects and manufacturers worldwide.

We are also show-casing two outstanding projects that were built with our DuFLEX and Featherlight composite panels – Kato the G-Force 2000 Speciale and Barcoo Drift, the 14m Roger Hill Power Catamaran.

Please visit our stand to meet our experienced Technical Team and to discuss how our products can work for you.