Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Generating Durable Thermal Barrier Coatings to Prevent Contact Burns

Request Number
Due Date
Feb 20, 2015
Program Manager


Nick Kacsandi



Depending on the nature of the proposed solution this RFP could result in one or more of the following: licensing, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing, joint development.



Phase 1 – Proof of concept and testing to be completed by March 2015

Phase 2 – Commercial Feasibility Analysis and plan for scale-up by July 2015



Phase 1 – Support for sample preparation, test if required

Phase 2 – Terms are subject to negotiation at the client’s discretion pending the outcomes of Phase 1




Phone: +1-216-283-3901


RFP was closed on

RFP Title


Generating Durable Thermal Barrier Coatings to Prevent Contact Burns
RFP Description
NineSigma, representing a leading supplier of consumer and industrial fixtures invites proposals for technologies to generate a durable surface coating that can prevent contact burns to exposed human skin from low-grade heat.

Exposure of human skin to 130⁰F (54 C) results in burns. A wide variety of household and industrial surfaces have the potential to expose people to such temperatures through unintentional or unavoidable contact. Local heat from heating elements, hot water in plumbing, and mechanical wear are just some of the areas where the threat of burns is present. Conventional solutions include shrouding or other protective coverings installed over the surface. However, these are typically applied as a retrofit to the existing infrastructure and often may contain sharp edges or rough, abrasive surface finishes.


A preferred alternative would involve wholesale incorporation of a thermal insulator onto the contact surface (plastic and/or metal) during manufacture. NineSigma’s client has investigated a variety of options in this area, but have encountered limitations due to brittleness, inconsistencies in surface regularity, and overall limits to the thermal isolation threshold. Collaborative partners are sought from around the globe to overcome these limitations. Ideal solutions will also be compatible with automated coating systems.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Application of coating to test pieces provided by client.  Evaluation for suitability against thermal barrier properties and other performance requirements specific to environment of the fixture being tested.


Phase 2 – Commercial Feasibility, Demonstration of ability to scale production.


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Coating technologies must show outstanding thermal barrier properties and demonstrate appropriate other characteristics.



Key Success Criteria

The successful coating technology must:

  • Limit external contact surface temperature to less than 110⁰F from an internal applied temperature of 212⁰F for periods of up 15 minutes
  • Generate a non-abrasive surface finish
  • Have the mechanical / structural stability to withstand impacts, scratching and denting at forces comparable to standard manufacturing or installation operations.


Furthermore, proposals should also address one of more of the following:

  • Be compatible with operations involving contact with hot water, household chemicals, vibration, wear and impact
  • Be applicable across flat, round and / or irregular surfaces
  • Be compatible with or adaptable to metal and / or plastic surfaces
    • Metals may include brass, copper, cast iron or stainless steel
    • Plastics may include PVC, CPVC, Nylon, or acetal
  • Finished coating surface should be available in white, in colors, or be receptive to color treatments



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Cross-industrial solutions from coatings, insulation and related areas.
  • Solutions incorporating novel in-line coating systems
    • Spray coating
    • Dip Coating
    • Roller Coating
  • Novel thermal barrier materials or insulators



Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Coating systems not easily automated
  • Coatings that do not meet the stated requirements for durability, insulation and non-abrasiveness.
  • Coatings that degrade on contact with common household or industrial cleaners and chemicals including chlorine bleach, vinegar, acetone, drain cleaner, furniture polish



Items to be Submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the Response Form and address the following:

  • Evidence of thermal insulation effect and required thickness to achieve skin protection
  • Method of application of coating
  • Evidence for coating durability
  • Appearance of coating
  • Treatment cost per unit area
  • Type of surface treated (metal, plastic)
  • Type of commercial engagement sought
  • Intellectual Property protection


Other Request information includes:



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


You represent a manufacturer of thermal barrier coatings or materials for extreme service applications who can adapt their technologies and cost points to a lower intensity application.




You represent an organization specializing in coating systems with a durable solution that provides the necessary insulating properties and has appropriate aesthetic qualities.



Area of Interest