Need recommendation: malleable material that does not weaken

Hi all - long time reader, first time poster.

I am currently working on a project that I cannot be too forthcoming with, but I was hoping that you all could advise me on a material that is critical to the project’s success.


  • Be light to medium weight
  • Be malleable with bare hands
  • Will retain shape under light pressure; it does not need to withstand much, about the pressure it takes to push a key on a conventional computer keyboard, or a button on a telephone
  • Will not lost rigidity and integrity after being repeatedly bent and re-bent
  • Price is a non-issue for now

It does not have to be a metal per se, and I am actually looking for recommendations on something other than a pure metal (if such a thing exists).

Thank you in advance for your help - I will reveal more project details as I move forward.

Best regards!

There are some very good low temperature thermoplastics that might fit the bill. These are often used by occupational therapists to make simple splints. It comes in sheets, rod or pellets. By dipping the material in warm water (some can be worked just by the heat of bare hands), the plastic can be formed to whatever shape you want. It can be heated/shaped/reheated again and again.

In it’s hardened state, it will more than withstand the pressure you describe without issue.

Try Thermoplastic Foam/Eva Archives - JMS Plastics Supply


Much thanks for the response - I should have clarified an important point though…

…it needs to be malleable while cold.

So, to define this better - think of a pipe cleaner that is more rigid but still malleable while cold by human hands. Of course, I need something that won’t degrade over the course of many bendings.

I hope that helps focus the question more. Thank you!

…it needs to be malleable while cold.

I see… I don’t know of any plastics that can be cold formed without the use of a hardening agent. Some reactive metals have great cold forming properties, like niobium. It’s relatively inexpensive, highly corrosion resistant and extremely maliable… but it is a metal, sorry… hope you find what you need!

For niobium, try for small quantities.

You also might try contacting the Inventibles guys -


Again I must have offered a misleading description - it CAN be a metal as long as it doesn’t have a molecular layout that would lead to weakening and breaking over the course of many bendings.

not high-tech, and not _especially_light, but highly malleable … copper

depending upon length and cross-section dimension of course;
i.e. you will probably be able to bend a .062" dia. x 1.0" piece of round stock with your fingers. A .125" dia. x 1.0" piece of round stock; probably going to need to use pliers.

some dimensional information would help out the decision making process a great deal.