Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Solutions for Predictive Coating Failure Detection

Request Number
Due Date
May 10
Program Manager


Licensing, technology acquisition, supplier agreement, R&D contract, joint-development


Phase 1 – Discussions with selected organizations to assess the concept and design pilot testing (phase 2)

Phase 2 – Pilot testing to demonstrate the technology (start Q4 2019)

Phase 3a – Solution is applied in field tests


Phase 3b – 12-24 months period during which the technology is further optimized before entering field testing


The protective coating will be distributed on a global market.

Any reasonable business relationship will be considered with qualified partner(s) selected on the ability to address the issues described in this project.

Solution Provider Help:

You may email the Program Manager, Dr. Tom Vranken, for questions regarding the project or for help with your submission: 

RFP was closed on
May 2019

RFP Title


Solutions for Predictive Coating Failure Detection
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global manufacturer of composites and coatings, is seeking solutions that can be mixed with or embedded in their commercialized epoxy, polyurethane, and polyurea-based protective coatings that would allow the coatings to ‘sense’ and report the first signs of deficiencies.


NineSigma’s client is a leading composite and coating manufacturer who supplies coatings for metal surfaces to protect them against corrosion, wear and/or to maintain the structural integrity. The oil and gas, chemical, power, and mining industries are typical fields where these coatings have demonstrated their effectiveness.

Our client is seeking additives or technologies that can be embedded in, or added to, their commercialized polyurea, epoxy and polyurethane based coatings to allow the coating to report if it is deteriorating.

Damage assessment would help prevent products leaking into the environment or loosening the structural integrity which leads to the risk of an entire shutdown.

In order to meet to this need, we are looking for solutions that enable the coating to ‘sense’ when its quality is decreasing and is not protecting the structure sufficiently. Two particular approaches of interest are:

  • Adding/mixing up new materials, particles or molecules with the protective product before applying it as a coating (Integrated solution)
  • Applying a nano / micro scale layer or device to the surface of interest followed by the protective coating (Embedded solution)


The objective of this RFP is to find solutions that can be embedded in or added to the epoxy, polyurethane or polyurea-based coatings that allow the coating to sense and report when it is suffering from deficiencies.

Key Success Criteria

The successful solution must:

  • Detect one or more signs of general deficiencies:
    • leakage
    • delamination
    • stress / strain
    • corrosion beneath the coating
    • changes in coating thickness
    • impact
    • cracks
    • torque
  • Be combinable with an epoxy, polyurethane or polyurea based coating
  • Be embeddable/integrable into a coating with a thickness of 500µm or less
  • Resistant to operating temperatures between -50°C and 100°C, preferably up to 150°C
  • Be resistant to UV exposure and humidity (if integrated)

The client is especially interested in solutions which are:

  • Wireless (ideally) on short or long distance (> 3m)
  • Smaller than 200µm
  • Able to detect more than 1 type of deficiency
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Micro or nano scale sensors (MES)
  • Micro or nano scale additives
  • Electro conductive sensors or additives
  • Electro mechanical interacting sensors or additives
  • Microwave or radio frequency-based technology
  • Optical sensors or additives
  • Ultrasound based technology
  • Piezoelectric powder / filler
  • Piezoelectric paint
Approaches not of Interest
  • External (state-of the art) sensors like  temperature, acoustics  or vibration sensors
  • Large scale sensors (mm size)
  • Camera / imaging systems
Items to be Submitted

Responses must use the response form and address the following:

  • High level, non-confidential, description of proposed technology including:
    • Working principle or knowledge base to support your approach
    • Availability of technical data (Application area, size, wireless/non-wireless, read out module)
    • Technology maturity (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Pathway to industrial scale including timing and, if possible, an estimated budget
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with solution seeker
  • Team description and related experience


Only non-confidential information will be accepted.

Please contact Dr. Tom Vranken,, if you are interested in submitting a proposal or if you need assistance with submitting your proposal.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest