Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the materials sector. As there are many 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 hydrophobic coating startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Hydrophobic Coatings Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 205 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Flite – Laser Fabrication
Hydrophobic coatings usually contain synthetic toxic chemicals, have low adhesion, and limit ice growth. These factors restrict their use in industries where these properties may interfere with the production. Solutions that make surfaces hydrophobic without changing their chemical properties open up ways to take advantage of hydrophobic surfaces in these industries.
The Canadian startup FLITE uses femtosecond lasers to alter the way surfaces interact with liquids. Their technology modifies metals, semiconductors, glass, and various polymers to repel or attract water or oil, as required. The process eliminates the need for a chemical coating and, therefore, the costs and added weight that comes with it.
Entropy Labs – Aerogels
Aerogels stand for gels where most of the liquid is replaced with air, giving them unique properties, such as very low density and high hydrophobicity. However, their exorbitantly high price, costlier than gold, limits wider adoption. Cheaper and newer methods of aerogels synthesis open them up for experimentation in different industries and use cases.
Entropy Labs is a Canadian startup that synthesizes aerogels for specific applications. Their method creates aerogels inexpensively and with a carbon-neutral footprint. Their hydrophobic aerogels water-proof almost any surface and also span into composite manufacturing applications.
Funzionano – Hybrid Polymers
Hydrophobic coatings applied on top of paints in vehicles and houses make them easier to maintain. These coatings survive weather fluctuations but are not long-lasting. However, solutions where the hydrophobic nature comes from an additive in the paint itself address this precise issue.
Funzionano is a Norway-based startup that develops hybrid polymer coatings with properties such as hydrophobicity and flame retardancy. Their patented technology involves the use of nanopolymers as additives that confer these properties to materials. This allows them to replace environmentally hazardous chemicals with more sustainable options while keeping the desired qualities.
Dropel Fabrics – Hydrophobic Fabrics
Water-proof fabrics are usually composed of synthetic fibers, such as nylon, that have an extremely negative impact on the environment. The water-proof coating applied isn’t sustainable either. In contrast, solutions that impart hydrophobicity to natural fabrics are more sustainable alternatives. They reduce water and energy usage by minimizing the need to wash them.
The US-based startup Dropel Fabrics builds hydrophobic solutions for natural fabrics such as cotton. The company leverages nanotechnology to add a hydrophobic coating to the fabric at a molecular level. As a result, their fabrics repel both water and stains. Besides, they feel like regular natural fibers and dry fast.
Grox – Graphene
An important application of hydrophobic coatings is condensation – a crucial step in energy generation. Thin, hydrophobic coatings on a metal condenser allow better heat transfer and reduce wasted energy. Graphene is an allotrope of carbon that possesses hydrophobic properties.
Grox, a US-based startup, uses its patent-pending technology to develop graphene-based solutions that address this challenge. The technology improves the native coating and modifies its insulation, tensile strength, hydrophobicity, and reflectivity. Grox’ surface coatings thereby enhance thermal performance and conserve energy.
What About The Other 200 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 for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 hydrophobic coating startups showcased above are promising examples out of 205 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.