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High Performance Thermoplastic Composites

Due Date July 14, 2017 Author Seh-Rin Sung Request for Proposal Details

Program Manager:

Jos Cenens, Ph.D.



Licensing, supplier agreement, joint development, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing



Phase 1: Proof of Concept (12 months)

Phase 2: Commercial Technology Development (1 to 2 years)



All financials are to be negotiated


Solution Provider Help Desk:


Phone: +1-216-283-3901

RFP Title High Performance Thermoplastic Composites RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global automotive parts producer, invites proposals for technologies to improve the production process and quality of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic products.


Of interest are novel methods to make long fiber reinforced thermoplastics, novel approaches to use short fibers, technologies that allow localized use of short or long fibers, use of different fiber types in one part, or methods for better defined orientation of fibers in parts. Even when still in development, proposals aimed at boosting the mechanical performance of thermoplastic composites and their cost-efficient production are welcome. 


Demands for engineering plastics that replace metal parts are increasing in recent years in order to reduce the weight without reducing mechanical properties. NineSigma’s client, a leading automotive parts manufacturer develops high-performance plastic composites, with a particular focus on glass and carbon fiber reinforced polyamide and polypropylene based composite materials. Shorter production times for high stressed components are key to realize the goal of minimizing metal usage.


The client has issued this open request to get in contact with innovators in this area. They currently make use of glass mat thermoplastic compression molding (using glass fiber or carbon fiber mats) and injection molding with direct feeding of long glass fiber (>20 mm) in the extrusion screw.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

·       Preparation of series of test composite parts. Full testing by client

·       Technical and commercial evaluation of process


Phase 2 – Commercial technology development

·       Scaling up the process for the delivery of up to 1 million parts per annum


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Successful testing of a series of test parts. Positive evaluation of engineering and manufacturing costs.



Key Success Criteria

The successful thermoplastic based technology will:

  • Allow to make parts with following mechanical properties (e.g. for PA6 with high fiber content)
    • Flexural strength of 70MPa  
    • Tensile strength of 400MPa
    • Elastic modulus of 22GPa
    • Allow services temperatures of at least 80°C (up to 200°C welcome)
  • Make parts that are resistant to oil, fuel, glycol/water coolant
  • Be able to produce large complex three dimensional parts
    • Size up to 1800mm x 1400 mm
    • Demonstrate the potential to reach repeatable dimensional accuracies of 0,1% of the original dimension
  • Demonstrate the potential of fabricating single parts within 70-100 seconds
  • Allow weight reductions of 25% compared to aluminum
  • Allow high fiber loadings (>30%)
  • Have no negative impact on plastic-metal bonding process
    • Allow all bonding processes (glue, welding…)
    • Allow incorporation of metallic components in the process
  • Be able to produce at least 50,000 parts per year
    • Average expected parts are 300,000 per year

    • Up to 1 million parts per year are possible

    • 5 years production period per part anticipated


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to novel developments in:

  • Glass-mat thermoplastic compression molding
  • Long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics
  • Inline compounding systems
  • Direct long-fiber thermoplastic process
  • Direct fiber feeding in extruder
  • Molding process optimization of fiber reinforced composites
  • Fiber orientation control in the composite
  • Bond improvements between the fiber and the thermoplastic



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Thermoset based approaches like PU, epoxy.







Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Overview of the technology
    • Principle
    • Features and uniqueness
    • Physical properties that can be improved (stiffness, strength, toughness)
    • Development stage (concept level / performance verified on lab level / already implemented for practical use)
  • Current performance
  • Challenges and development plans to achieve the required performance
  • Sample provision possibilities and conditions (NDA yes/no, cost, lead time)
  • Cost projection of the composite material fulfilling the requirements (only if possible)
  • Brief overview of organization behind the proposal

Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. 

For example:


You represent a company that are developing a processing technique that can meet all or most of the requirements

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration of a novel composite technology but need more funding to reach commercial scale 

Area of Interest
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» Reference: REQ7345197

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609203].

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