ATL Composites (ATL) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of advanced composite materials, engineering and technical services for the construction of high performance, lightweight structures. The company was originally founded on the transformative use of liquid epoxy formulations for timber boats and, subsequently,for a wide range of liquid and filled systems used in multiple industries including high performance marine applications. And at the tiller of this remarkable Australian company is the remarkable Lorraine Duckworth.
Having been bitten by the sailing bug early in her working life, Lorraine found herself sailing on the sparkling and chaotic waters Sydney Harbour out of the prestigious Cruising Yacht Club – the home of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. An accomplished sailor, she quickly became immersed in the boat building techniques and materials that were leading the industry at that time. In its early years ATL was, and still is, the licensed manufacturer of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy products. The company established its corporate home in South East Queensland from which it has grown into a global business specialising in high performance yacht racing, commercial ferries, road and rail transportation, architectural, sporting equipment, mining, and automotive sectors.
Since 2000, Lorraine and Nicolas Cossich, Managing Director, have continued to lead the company, “We’ve always had a market driven approach to product development. Early products include DuFLEX® Composite Panels that quickly became an industry-standard, once introduced into the marine market, and is now specified for RV campers and specific architectural applications that require lightweight, but structurally effective solutions. Our move into sporting equipment has also been very successful with our KINETIX 110X, developed to provide ultra-white and high UV resistance, and now a leading product internationally for the manufacture of epoxy surfboards”, said Lorraine.
Over the decades, ATL has developed an extensive distributor network and clients across Australia and Asia, with specific niche markets for DuFLEX panels in Europe and the USA. “ATL’s global family is one of our major achievements.” said Lorraine. “Since 2012, we’ve enjoyed a fruitful joint venture partnership with MuH von der Linden of Wesel, Germany to manufacture DuFLEX® panels for the European market. We also have enduring partnerships with DIAB Group Sweden, Hawkeye Industries USA, Airtech Inc USA, and of course our legacy relationship with WEST SYSTEM® Inc, USA. All have played a role in strengthening our position in existing markets, and our expansion into emerging composite industries.”
High profile international achievements include developing a unique epoxy system with extremely high compressive strength for the construction of James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenger, a 7.3-metre deep diving submersible that made a record breaking 11 kilometre descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Ellen Macarthur’s trimaran B & Q, gained the record for the fastest single-handed passage around the globe built with ATL’s R240 Wet-Preg epoxy combined with carbon fibre for hulls and decks. The list of monohulls and multihulls of all sizes built in Australia and overseas with ATL products and technical input is now too long to count.
Lorraine gives due credit to the talented ATL team. “Sailing performance relies on many things, including a skilled crew and a good boat. I’m proud of ATL’s team of industrial chemists and engineers who are dedicated to developing, analysing and specifying products to meet the challenging, and ever changing, conditions that ocean-going boats encounter.”
Today, as ATL Composites, the company boasts a workforce of 32, and holds International Certifications for Manufacturing and Quality standards including ISO2001-2015 Certification and DNVGL-CP-0421 and it is still operating from their Molendinar facility at the northern end of the Gold Coast.