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Flexible Metal or Plastic

kpan716's Avatar

I am looking for a material that can be bent but will go back to its original shape. If you are familiar with car sun shades, they have a thin metal strip that is easily twisted and folded into a smaller circle, and then pops back to its original shape and size. The problem with the metal in the sunshades is that I need something a little bit stronger. Does anyone know what kind of metal this is and if I could maybe get it a little thicker so it is stronger. Or can anyone recommend another material? I came across a pop up tent that folds up like the sunshades and then pops open into a tent. It felt like it had a plastic tube in it that was pretty strong and flexible. Unfortunately I could not take apart the tent to see what the material was. Any help would be appreciated.



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toolman911965's Avatar

there are many sources for spring steel that might meet your needs. You might look up Mcmaster-carr, just do a google search they have all types of metals from raw materials to treated, spring steel and other metals and they have a great selection of plastics as well. There are many companies that specialize in springs as well. I am not sure what type of metal they use in the sun shades but likely you would find something that would suit your purpose.

Best regards,

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kdc's Avatar

I remember asking this same question a little while back. Here is a link to it…I’m not sure if this is the same kind of material you’re talking about for your prototype. http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics...

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orfan22's Avatar

You may want to consider nickel titanium aka Nitinol wire – Google and Youtube it.

You can buy it from Amazon.com.

Good luck!

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tact_trunk_monkey's Avatar

Polycarbonate plastic is super flexible and incredibly tough , but breaks down over time when exposed to UV light

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sunto's Avatar

I use heat treated stainless steel for the lift mechanism on one of my products unbelievably strong better than spring steel and will not break.

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