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If there is a very sharp turn or detour or bend — in a piece of plastic, for example, — what is the correct word to describe it (hard, sharp, heavy...)?

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Alyazan, you need to explain a bit more. A piece of plastic cannot have a detour ("a roundabout road, especially one that is used temporarily while a main route is blocked"), so it sounds like you used that as just a random example. What is your actual context? Have you looked up the various words you list in the dictionary and thesaurus? What did you find there? –  Marthaª Oct 26 '12 at 14:00
    
A very sharp bend in the road is described by a single word in the novel Perfume by Patrick Süskind, but unfortunately it escapes my memory. –  user30616 Nov 8 '12 at 23:48
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4 Answers

First off, I would call this a "tight bend" in a piece of plastic. Possibly a "sharp bend", but "tight" would be more commonly used.

Secondly, you wouldn't call it a detour or a turn in a piece of plastic. These words refer to a road or path etc.

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What if I am describing the geometry of this tight bending ?? –  alyazan Oct 25 '12 at 23:01
    
You would describe it as a tight bend. The bend is tight. The corner can be sharp if it is very tight. What do you mean? –  Rory Alsop Oct 25 '12 at 23:02
    
I say : tight bending with angles between 90 and 180 are usually observed –  alyazan Oct 25 '12 at 23:07
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"Sharp" could work in context here as well as "tight" –  Rory Alsop Oct 25 '12 at 23:11
    
Yes, but while an angle of 90 degrees might be considered a tight bend, an angle near 180 degrees is nearly straight and therefore not a very tight bend. I think if you are going to use the term "tight bending" you need to refine your quoted angular limits. –  Jim Oct 25 '12 at 23:55
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If the bend is near an edge and folds part of the plastic like a hem, then it is a folded edge. Fold (“A bend or crease”) may also refer to an angled bend elsewhere in a sheet or piece of plastic, whether sharply-bent or not. If the plastic is thin sheet, crease (“A line or mark made by folding or doubling any pliable substance...”) is appropriate.

A tight turn in a road or path may be called a U or might be a switchback (“A hairpin bend” or “A zigzag path, road or railway track; especially a railway track in which the train travels in a reverse direction at each switch”).

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When talking about the geometry of a bend in materials, such as plastic, geometric terms are often used. In carpentry or manufacturing. For example, you could say

a small radius curve
or
a curve of 90 degrees with a 1/2 inch radius
or
a reverse bend (180 degree) with a 10mm radius

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What is the context? Road bends have specific terms in civil engineering, in road traffic authority literature and many different and sometimes colorful terms are used by the general public. Likewise for the piece of plastic you would use appropriate terms as a materials engineer or if you're marketing a product. If I navigated a sharp bend on a road and found it difficult/scary, I might call it a hairy bend or a bend from hell in extreme circumstances. Plastic bends might be there by design or one might have caused the bend by putting stress on the plastic, a material failure bend. Back to the road example, I may simply say the road veers off sharply. The simple descriptor "sharp" would be suitable in casual conversation or writing about a turn, bend and detour.

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