Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the materials sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising lightweighting startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Emerging Lightweighting Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovation in the field of materials. For this research, we identified 433 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing innovative lightweighting solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 433 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Blackwave – Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is a lightweight material that has multiple applications in various industries. In the automotive sector, it is a lightweight option that improves the performance and efficiency of vehicles, for example. The high strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fiber opens up multiple applications in the aerospace industry as well. Because of these benefits, startups are experimenting with carbon fiber to further advance and improve efficiency at low weights.
German startup Blackwave utilizes the carbon sheet molding compound (Carbon-SMC) process to achieve a considerable reduction in the density of the resultant material. The automated Carbon-SMC process enables the startup to increase the stiffness and strength of the fiber-reinforced parts at lower weights. Because it is compression molding, the process allows the startup to manufacture different lot sizes with varied strength parameters.
United Aircraft Technologies (UAT) – Thermoplastic Clamps
Aluminum alloys enable aerospace companies to increase fuel efficiency and thereby reduce costs. Aircrafts enabled with the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and advanced analytical algorithms allow a reduction in the weight of the material components, thus reducing the overall weight and improving operational efficiency. Startups develop IoT sensor solutions to manage aircraft maintenance and improve their overall operational capabilities.
The US-based startup United Aircraft Technologies produces an IoT-enabled thermoplastic clamp that enables embedding sensors in aircraft wiring for maintenance purposes. With the help of the Interconnecting Clamp (ICC), a modular sensor network, the solution empowers aircraft maintenance teams to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot aircraft electrical systems. The solution creates a three-dimensional map of the entire electrical system and operates without the need for a battery. Moreover, the ICC uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform diagnostics and data analytics to identify electrical faults, reducing costs further.
AJE Powertrain – Automotive Components
Countries are increasingly becoming stricter with vehicular emission and safety norms. This pushes automotive manufacturers to find innovative ways to achieve regulatory standards. Aluminum alloys, carbon fiber, and titanium are lighter than steel with comparable performance. Startups are working on composites that incorporate these materials in component manufacturing, mainly for their lighter weight and improved stress management capabilities.
British startup AJE Powertrain develops the British Engineered Sintering Technology (BEST) to process titanium powder into automotive components. The startup uses material waste from the aerospace industry and a two-step process to manufacture lightweight titanium components for the automotive industry. This lightweight material finds applications in the construction and the medical sector.
Swift Solar – Lightweight Photovoltaics
Amongst renewable energy sources, solar energy has grown considerably over the past years. One innovation in the field includes perovskite structures that are further advancing the industry. The ultra-thin structure of perovskite-coated solar panels makes it useful for applications ranging from windows on buildings to lightweight aircraft frames.
The US-based startup Swift Solar builds lightweight solar panels. Through ultra-thin perovskite films, the startup increases the efficiency of light absorption in the solar cell. The solution allows the modification of perovskite to absorb any range of spectrum from light.
CeraCarbon – Carbon Ceramic Materials
Wear and tear occurs when moving parts are involved, especially in the automotive industry. However, advancements in the materials industry are paving the way for novel material composites that combine and customize various materials’ characteristics. Materials startups are working on solutions that are both lightweight and durable, and reduce wear and tear in automotive components.
Dutch startup CeraCarbon manufactures an industrial-grade material that combines the wear-resistant properties of ceramics and lightweight carbon fiber. The resulting material is significantly stronger and more durable than carbon fiber. CeraCarbon’s products have applications in wear-resistant helicopter blades, aviation landing gears, and fast-moving machine parts. Additionally, the startup produces lightweight front forks for high-performance racing.
What About The Other 428 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence and enable you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 lightweighting startups showcased above are promising examples out of 433 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.