Typical applications for DuFLEX panels include marine hulls, decks, superstructures and bulkheads; road and rail  floors, walls, roof and body panels, front end and side skirts; automotive floors and truck bodies; and long span roofing and partitions.
Typical applications for DuFLEX panels include marine hulls, decks, superstructures and bulkheads; road and rail floors, walls, roof and body panels, front end and side skirts; automotive floors and truck bodies; and long span roofing and partitions.

The new company is called vdL Composites.

DuFLEX panel technology was developed in Australia by ATL Composites. The panels are manufactured from a choice of core materials, laminated with a specially formulated epoxy resin and reinforced with multiaxial E-glass or carbon fibre.

The panels have been widely used in the construction of leisure and commercial boats in Australia. They are suitable for hull shells, decks, superstructures and bulkheads for one-off construction, prototypes and running plugs, and they can also be used to extend hulls or modify superstructures of existing boats.

"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," says Lorraine Murray, a director of ATL.

"We aim to address these issues through the establishment of the joint venture to manufacture in Germany."

DuFLEX panels produced by vdL Composites at von der Linden's site in Wesel, Germany, 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 has been sent over to train its German counterparts. Production is underway and European orders are already being fulfilled.

The new factory will produce standard panels, as well as CNC routed components, and complete boat kits.

As well as boat construction, the joint venture company will also be targeting transportation and architectural applications for the product.