Biodegradable Materials Suitable for Use as Trimmer Wire

Request Number REQ1360344
Due Date December 15, 2017
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Biodegradable Materials Suitable for Use as Trimmer Wire
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global engineering company, invites proposals for materials or a technology to make a fully biodegradable wire for use in string trimmers. The solution should have the same strength as a trimmer line made from Nylon but when during use pieces wear off and drop on the soil, these should degrade completely within 2 years at most.


String trimmers are a widely used tool to maintain those parts of a lawn that a mower cannot easily access (along fences and walls, on steep slopes, around trees…). During use the plastic wire wears off in small mostly unnoticeable pieces. Nylon wires have great mechanical properties for trimming but the pieces that wear off are not biodegradable and will remain on the soil.


NineSigma’s client invites proposals for a technology to produce a fully biodegradable wire having similar properties as Nylon based ones.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept testing

  • Testing of sample in a client specified setting
  • Evaluation of processing characteristics
  • Evaluation of economics


Phase 2 – Commercial development

  • Further development towards commercialization


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement a solution that meets degradation and mechanical strength targets and has an acceptable cost.



Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be a totally biodegradable trimmer wire
    • Leave no visible trace within 2 years in soil under natural conditions
    • Resulting compost has no negative effect on the environment
    • The wire can be made of various materials (polymers, fibers) as long as each material is degradable or environmental neutral (e.g. a cellulose based fiber)
  • Provide sufficient mechanical properties, e.g.
    • Elongation at break of 30 – 100 %
    • Flexural Strength of 150 – 260 N/mm²
    • Elasticity (E-Modulus) of 600 – 900 N/mm²
    • Melting point: as high as possible
  • Processing similar to Nylon
    • Suitable for melt processing
    • Make wires with thickness between 1,6 mm and 4 mm
    • Lengths produced minimal 10 meters
    • Trimmer wire must be flexible to allow winding up on a spool
  • Allow a product shelf life of at least 3 years
    • Preferably only degrades when left on the soil



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • High strength Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polyglycolic Acid (PGA) or Polyhydroxy Alkanoate (PHA) polymers
  • Cellulose esters
  • New additives enhancing hydro- and/or oxy-degradation
  • Composite lines made by co-extrusion a biodegradable polymer with long naturally sourced fibers



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Any material that is toxic or produces a toxic substance 




Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted


Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology including:
    • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized
    • Supporting data when available like
      • Material properties
      • Processing parameters
      • Composting and biodegradation information
    • Estimated costs of the materials
    • Sample availability
    • Probability for successful scale-up
    • Any criteria that you cannot meet and proposed path to solve these
  • Intellectual property situation
  • Preferred business relation with NineSigma’s client
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company that has developed a novel biodegradable material that can meet the criteria of this request

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration of a material that should be suitable but requires further development to reach commercial use


Area of Interest
Request Priority
This page does not have file attachments.
This page does not have file attachments.