NineSigma, representing Royal Building Products, invites proposals for technologies that enable the next generation of engineered product solutions. The goal is to find new and novel materials, processes, and other technology innovations that can be adapted to the manufacture and use of external trim boards and/or siding for the construction and building industry.
Engineered products provide numerous advantages over solid wood, including water and mold resistance, reduced weight, strength and durability. Subsequently, options for manufactured products continue to evolve and improve as new materials and processes become available.
Royal Building Products currently makes products out of various types of PVC. Agents such as fibers, foaming agents, and other functional additives are extruded into the PVC matrix to enable performance standards for water resistance/waterproofing, manufacturability, weathering, etc. Engineered product options for siding, trim and moulding are limited; most of these products are made of wood or contain a high wood fraction.
Royal is interested in finding novel technologies and approaches that could improve upon current engineered wood materials, primarily for non-structural or decorative purposes.
Key Success Criteria
The technology must:
Be a new, unique solution based on materials or processes. Solutions from other applications and adjacent industries are of significant interest.
Allow for a final product that meets or exceeds performance standards of current engineered products for exterior trim/exterior siding in terms of maintenance, durability, aesthetics, etc.
Allow for a final product that is compatible with current building and construction practices:
The product can be cut, nailed, finished, etc.
The product is compatible with adhesives, paint, stain, or other decorative elements or is colored in process with weatherable formulation
Be applicable to a mass market in terms of scalability and cost
Have an acceptable environmental, health, and safety (EHS) profile
Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:
Materials solutions, including innovations around foamed and cellular PVC, and other composite materials
Wood plastic composites using novel technologies or materials (such as recycled materials, nanomaterials, composites using other organic or mineral fillers, etc.)
Composite technologies from other industries that can be adapted for construction products
2-part systems such as core/laminate approaches
Novel materials that could be formed into acceptable exterior building materials parts
Forming technologies for structural engineered products
Material or product designs that may increase heat resistance
Approaches not of Interest
The following approaches are not of interest:
Fiber cement products, and matrices thereof
Approaches that have a high wood content (~70% or greater)
Current commercially-available engineered products or technologies that are not new to the construction market
Items to be Submitted
Your response should address the following:
Non-confidential description of proposed technology
Availability of technical data including: material composition, forming technologies (extrusion or other methodology), and material properties (density, manufacturability, water resistance, etc.)
Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
Position on intellectual property including patent references