Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

High-performance Materials as Alternative to Copper

Request Number
Due Date
Jan 15
Program Manager

Material supply, technology licensing,
contract development


Verification of test pieces in 2020 as the first step


Details to be negotiated based on proposed technologies


How to  Apply
  • Click "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.


If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at:
RFP was closed on
Feb 2020

RFP Title


High-performance Materials as Alternative to Copper
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global machine manufacturer (“Client”), seeks an alternative material that can replace copper material used in a heat exchanger. Any type of material, including aluminum, stainless steel, and resin, is acceptable if it can potentially meet the Client's requirements. Academic proposals in a research stage are similarly welcome to those from material manufacturers if their cost will potentially be reduced in principle.

Key Success Criteria

Technical requirements for high-performance material

  • Thermal conductivity: ≥100 W/mK
  • Tensile strength: ≥150 N/mm2
  • Corrosion-resistant: No pitting corrosion, erosion corrosion (for example, at a water speed of 3 m/s), or general corrosion caused by water

As the above material requirements are very challenging, the proposal does not have to meet the requirements at present. It will be acceptable if test pieces can be examined in 2020 as the first step.

Possible Approaches

Possible Approach

Technical approaches such as the following are anticipated but is open to other base materials that can meet the above technical requirements in the future by additional development.

  • Aluminum base material with improved corrosion resistance or treatment technology that can increase corrosion resistance
  • Stainless steel base material with improved thermal conductivity or treatment technology that can increase thermal conductivity
  • Proposals of resin or composite material that can demonstrate similar-to-copper thermal conductivity and/or tensile strength


Anticipated Proposer

  • Manufacturer that already developed materials close to those of which are sought by the Client, or can develop them through additional development
  • Academia with lab-level ideas and knowledge for materials required by the Client. However, the cost of target material can be reduced in principle.
Approaches not of Interest

Approaches Not of Interest

  • Proposals currently at the concept stage without actual materials
Items to be Submitted


Heat exchangers are included in products developed and distributed by the Client. Although copper pipes are currently used in these heat exchangers, the Client is considering material replacement because of rising copper prices.

Despite research efforts, the Client has not identified a material that combines thermal conductivity, strength, and corrosion resistance the same as copper. There are problems: for example, low thermal conductivity in stainless steel material and inferior corrosion resistance in aluminum material.

The Client has therefore decided to recruit materials to solve these technological challenges and put them to practical use as quickly as possible.


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.


Response Evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences


Anticipated Project Process

After the submission due date, the client will review all submitted proposals. NineSigma will send the review results to each proposer 6-8 weeks after the due date. The client possibly asks clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Area of Interest