Tubing That Is Bendable At Room Temperature

Request Number REQ3127029
Due Date September 12, 2014
Author Nick Kacsandi
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Tubing That Is Bendable At Room Temperature
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a Global Manufacturer of Engineered Products, invites proposals for materials or processes for engineered hollow plastic parts that can be bent at room temperature conditions 20C.


A variety of engineered materials (metals, plastics and polymers) are used in structural and functional applications where the thermal insulating property of the parts is also important. These materials are frequently formed into honeycombed or foamed structures to reduce thermal conductivity. The final parts include a hollow through portion for introduction of additional components. Mass production techniques favor forming or bending to achieve the large variations in finished part sizes and geometries. Although metals are rapidly and easily manipulated, they are poor insulators owing to high thermal conductivity.


Plastics offer a viable alternative due to relatively low thermal conductivity compared to metals. However, they are also more prone to distortion and defects during forming processes. This deficiency is overcome by cutting and welding at joints or by heating the plastic before processing to allow easy deformation. However, such practices reduce the overall integrity of the finished piece, as well as negatively impact the cost and productivity of the manufacturing process.

The client seeks partners to supply or develop materials or material processing technologies for room temperature bendable plastic or composite parts that will maintain their overall structure at service conditions up to 80oC. Annual manufacturing volumes ranging from 10 to >100 million meters of tubing are anticipated.



Key Success Criteria

The successful material or process technology will:

  • Bend without the need for external heating or pre-conditioning of the material
  • Be compatible with existing forming equipment
  • Be compatible with – or adaptable to – the following specifications:
    • Low coefficient of thermal expansion
    • Thermal conductivity comparable to non-metallic materials
    • Maintain rigidity up to 80oC
    • Cross-sectional area: >2.5cm2



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Plastics engineering solutions
  • Materials science solutions (composites, infused plastics, etc.)
  • Process technologies:
    • Co-extrusion
    • Flow induced complex multi-layer extrusion
  • Computer simulation design solutions

Composites of plastics with minimal metal content may be considered if overall part geometries can meet requirements for low thermal conductivity



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Materials with high thermal conductivity
  • Materials that cannot be mechanically bent/formed without breakage



Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

To respond, use the Response options at the bottom of the page, which are only available when registered and logged into the NineSights Innovation Community.


Appropriate responses will use the response template or response form and address the following:

  • Maturity fo the proposed solution
  • Compatibility with given specifications
  • Cost information (if available)
  • Manufacturing capabilities (if any)
  • Team experience


Other Request information includes:



Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Develop concpets and prototypes and assess commercialization paths

Phase 2 – Commercial scale-up



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


  • You represent a company who supplies engineered plastics products with a product that should provide a solution.
  • You represent an organization with a materials science solution that meets the specified requirements and which should provide a solution.
  • You represent a company or institute that specializes in extrusion or plastic-forming technologies and processes.
  • You represent a company or institute with modeling or analytical software that has applications for optimizing the combination of material and design and forming process.


Area of Interest
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