Silicone generally has a poor environmental footprint while certain grades of silicone are highly prone to degradation under extreme conditions. This limits the utility of silicone in high-performance applications. Recent silicone industry trends are reducing its environmental impact while diversifying its use cases.
This article focuses on modern silicone technologies like silicone 3D printing, advanced adhesives, functional coatings, and more. Further, novel silicone formulations enhance resistance to extreme temperatures and pressures, expanding their potential in demanding high-performance materials. Read more to explore all trends and how you can integrate novel silicone products.
Top 9 Trends in the Silicone Industry in 2024
- Advanced Adhesives & Sealants
- Additive Manufacturing
- High-performance Polymers
- Flexible Medical Dressing
- Functional Coatings
- Tailored Silicone
- Thermal Management
- Biocompatible Products
- Implant Imaging
Innovation Map outlines the Top Silicone Industry Trends & 20 Promising Startups
For this in-depth research on the Top Silicone Trends & Startups, we analyzed a sample of 568 global startups & scaleups. This data-driven research provides innovation intelligence that helps you improve strategic decision-making by giving you an overview of emerging technologies in the silicone industry. In the Silicone Industry Innovation Map, you get a comprehensive overview of the innovation trends & startups that impact your company.
These insights are derived by working with our Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally. As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant technologies and industry trends quickly & exhaustively.
Tree Map reveals the Impact of the Top 9 Trends in the Silicone Industry in 2024
Based on the Silicone Innovation Map, the Tree Map below illustrates the impact of the Top 9 Silicone Industry Trends in 2024. Silicone-based advanced adhesives and sealants provide better bonding, and physical, chemical, and electrical properties, replacing conventional silicone formulations that fail in extreme environments. Additive manufacturing is leveraging silicone’s adaptability to enable intricate designs and rapid prototyping. High-performance polymers are also enhancing silicone’s robustness, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. In the medical industry, silicone is used in flexible medical dressing and biocompatible products to increase patient safety and comfort.
Implant imaging provides clarity and precision to diagnose the status of implants and identify health complications such as rejection, rupture, and more. Functional coatings augment surface properties and add additional benefits, like extra resistance and specialized finishes, to silicone base materials. Tailored silicone solutions cater to specific industry needs and ensure optimal performance. Furthermore, silicone-based thermal management solutions are optimizing heat energy dissipation, which is crucial in applications such as electronics and automotive.
Global Startup Heat Map covers 568 Silicone Startups & Scaleups
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the global distribution of the 568 exemplary startups & scaleups that we analyzed for this research. Created through the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, the Heat Map reveals high startup activity in the US and the UK, followed by India.
Below, you get to meet 20 out of these 568 promising startups & scaleups as well as the solutions they develop. These silicone startups are hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised & more. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Interested to explore all 560+ silicone startups & companies?
Top 9 Silicone Industry Trends in 2024
1. Advanced Adhesives & Sealants
Most conventional adhesives and sealants are highly susceptible to failing adhesion, temperature resistance, and flexibility when exposed to extreme conditions. Therefore, startups are developing silicone-based adhesives and sealants to improve the performance of these materials.
They offer enhanced bonding capabilities, increased resistance to high and low temperatures, and the ability to flex without losing adhesion. This makes them an effective solution for high-performance and critical applications in the renewable energy, aerospace, and aviation industries.
DeepMaterial creates Silicone Optical Adhesives
DeepMaterial is a Chinese startup that focuses on the bonding and protection of high-end materials for semiconductors and electronic products. Its silicone optical adhesive features properties like flexibility, optical transparency, and strong adhesion to diverse substrates. It also ensures minimal distortion and accurate color reproduction as well as adheres to materials like polyethylene terephthalate or indium tin oxide.
Further, its resilience against environmental factors and mechanical stresses makes it effective for durable, high-quality flexible screens. The startup also offers a range of adhesive and film application materials tailored for various sectors, including communication terminals and semiconductor packaging.
Medicud develops a Medical-grade Silicone Adhesive
Italian startup Medicud manufactures a mechanically powered device for incisional negative pressure wound therapy – Dryum. It is a single-use and ultraportable solution that utilizes silicone adhesives for dressing changes and advanced dressing materials to enhance fluid drainage.
Besides, Dryum consistently delivers negative pressure to enhance the healing of surgical wounds. It provides a cost-effective and adaptable approach to the treatment of various wound sizes and shapes. For patients, Dryum ensures silent and comfortable treatment while reducing infection risks.
NanoRial Technologies creates a Carbon Nanotube (CNT)-based Additive
Canadian startup Nanorial specializes in exfoliation technology for effective CNT dispersion at a large scale. Its ANTIS-SIL carbon nanotube-based additive enhances antistatic and conductivity properties in various silicone compounds. This additive ensures ultra-low carbon dosage in products, supports various colors and eliminates hotspots through uniform filler dispersion.
The startup’s additive also enhances mechanical strength without significantly altering viscosity or density. In the silicone industry, it finds applications in conductive inks, coatings, adhesives, and silicone electrode materials.
2. Additive Manufacturing
Silicone-based additive manufacturing is challenging due to its inherently slow production speed and complications that arise from gravity affecting material deposition. To tackle this, the silicone industry leverages hybrid manufacturing, vat photopolymerization, direct ink writing (DIW), and freeform reversible embedding. They improve the printability of silicone for mass production.
Besides, such advanced printing techniques utilize optimized material formulations and real-time monitoring and control systems. They enhance production speeds, improve shape fidelity, and ensure consistent material deposition. These benefits pave the way for more reliable and efficient silicone-based additive manufacturing.
3Deus Dynamics develops a Cloud Warehousing Platform
French startup 3Deus Dynamics advances 3D printing through its additive manufacturing process – Dynamic Molding. This approach fuses 3D printing with injection molding to process injectable materials without chemical reformulation. The granular medium used in Dynamic Molding imparts functional properties to the final product, allowing for the creation of composite materials.
Further, Dynamic Molding achieves rapid manufacturing speeds, reaching up to 100mm/sec in developing parts. The startup’s printing method addresses issues like structure collapse during printing, enabling the use of various injectable silicones without reformulation.
Lynxter advances Multi-Material 3D Printing
Lynxter is a French startup that offers thermoplastic, ceramic, and silicone 3D printing. It integrates into various processes to provide connectivity and adaptability. The startup’s products include the S600D modular 3D printer that features interchangeable tool heads that support an extensive range of materials.
Lynxter S300X is the company’s silicone and polyurethane 3D printer that finds use in the medical and industrial sectors. It also prints silicone elastomers with diverse shore hardness levels and viscosities. Its approach to 3D printing reduces the number of manual interventions in the production of orthoses and prostheses.
Prayasta 3D Inventions provides an Implant-Grade Silicone Printer
Indian startup Prayasta 3D Inventions creates soft tissue implants and prostheses using advanced manufacturing techniques. The startup’s Silimac P250 3D printer prints implant-grade elastomers, like silicone, to ensure reliable and continuous production. The industrial-grade 3D printer operates continuously for extended production hours, holding up to 14,000 mL of silicone per refill.
Moreover, the printer maintains a sterile environment to create high-quality products suitable for medical applications. The startup’s implant-grade elastomer additive manufacturing (iEAM) technology is tailored for implant-grade silicone and promotes personalized medical solutions by adapting to the requirements of each patient.
3. High-performance Polymers
Many silicone-based materials and polymers suffer from poor physical or chemical stability, as well as degrade over time. To address this, innovations like active silicone multi-esters and branched silicones are seeing increased adoption. This also ensures that the polymers retain their properties and functionality even when exposed to oxidative environments.
Such enhancements extend the life of silicone-based products and broaden their application range in industries where oxidative conditions are prevalent. This synergy enables new potentials for silicone in sectors like aerospace, chemical processing, and more where materials need to withstand mechanical stresses and harsh environmental conditions.
Siloxene develops Polysiloxane Resin Technology
Swiss startup Siloxene makes Q-T polysiloxane-based dendrimer resins tailored for coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Its proprietary Q-T polysiloxane resin technology serves as the foundation for high-performance materials and creates hydrophobic and amphiphilic compounds for sustainable products.
The Q-T polysiloxane platform boosts performance by leveraging intricate chemical interactions at specific material interfaces. Moreover, Siloxene’s Q-T polysiloxane-derived raw materials and additives improve the cohesive strength of the adhesive resin matrix and the bond between resin and fibers.
TRAFOLO Magnetics delivers Component Simulations
Polish startup TRAFOLO Magnetics specializes in simulation software for designing magnetic components, emphasizing high-performance silicone-based components. The startup’s software is a 3D finite element method (FEM) simulation tool tailored for power electronics that integrates coupled electromagnetic and heat-transfer solvers. For example, the software performs simulations of soft magnetic core inductors that feature bounding compounds like silicone.
Besides, the software features a user-friendly interface with templates and examples. This facilitates the simulation of low-frequency electromagnetic behavior in transformers and inductors. TRAFOLO Magnetics’ solution enables engineers to utilize this technology to test transformer models in various configurations, geometries, and scenarios digitally.
SiLIM Technologies manufactures an Amino Silicone Emulsion
Chinese startup SiLIM Technologies creates innovative silicone materials for high-performance applications in various industries. Its amino silicone emulsion is a polysiloxane material with a super-large molecular structure that undergoes emulsion polymerization to incorporate the amino group. This results in a product with increased smoothness, softness, and washing durability.
The introduction of hydroxyl further strengthens the product’s membrane and reduces its oil content. The main applications of this emulsion include leather conditioners, fabric, fiber softeners, and shampoo additives. SiLIM Technologies offerings, including the amino silicone emulsion, find use in sectors like automotive, electronics, healthcare, and construction.
4. Flexible Medical Dressing
Silicone, while known for its biocompatibility and softness, sometimes causes skin irritation or discomfort when used in prolonged medical applications, especially in patients with delicate skin conditions. By integrating silicone with novel materials and technologies, startups create dressings that optimize silicone’s inherent properties while minimizing potential irritants.
Such dressings offer enhanced breathability, moisture management, and adaptability to skin contours. This also ensures better patient comfort and promotes faster healing without the drawbacks traditionally associated with silicone-based dressings.
Brella Health makes Flexible Silicone Bandages
US-based startup Brella Health offers a bandage that addresses the challenges of wound-packing in clinical environments. Its product, Bubble, is a dome-shaped flexible silicone bandage for packing wounds in hospitals.
Bubble bandage addresses concerns of typical medical dressings such as insufficient adhesive integrity and skin breakdown, serving as an effective alternative. The startup’s approach to wound care reduces product waste by reducing the need to change dressings and subsequently reduces the risk of infections.
Pharmadome creates a Wound Spacer-Shield
Pharmadome is an Italian startup that manufactures a silicone medical dressing that serves as a wound spacer shield crafted from hypoallergenic medical-grade TPE. The pierced cup-shaped shield, SIMOPOD, uses a modular design that allows sections to be removed to accommodate various wound sizes. Unlike traditional dressings, it acts as a protective barrier between wounds and conventional medical dressings, ensuring the wound remains untouched.
SIMOPOD’s semi-rigid structure with special holes fosters a sterile environment that promotes natural drying and rapid healing. The design also facilitates adequate ventilation and easy application of creams or ointments. Moreover, its modularity makes it suitable for use on wide or irregular injuries.
5. Functional Coatings
Silicone coatings pose problems in terms of their curing mechanisms and ability to provide sustainable, long-lasting protection, especially in demanding environments. This is addressed through innovations such as UV-curable silicone release systems. They are based on silicone acrylates that offer a more efficient curing process through a free-radical mechanism.
Additionally, the development of nano silicone wax coatings presents a protective, transparent, and reversible solution. This is beneficial for the conservation of delicate materials. These coatings ensure a durable and consistent finish and also offer additional functionalities like antimicrobial properties or enhanced UV resistance.
YUKA Performance Chemicals creates Silicone-based Surface Agents
Turkish startup YUKA Performance Chemicals provides a specialized surface modifier, primarily for water-based coatings. Its product, DENSURF SM 102, enhances the wetting and spreading capabilities of paint by reducing the coating’s surface tension. As a result, it prevents surface defects and ensures a smoother finish.
DENSURF SM 102’s chemical structure consists of a polyether-modified polydimethylsiloxane that offers unique properties to coatings. It finds applications in architectural coatings, printing inks, and wood coatings.
Excellence Coatings makes Easy-to-clean Coatings and Additives
Excellence Coatings is a German startup that specializes in anti-adhesion coatings. Its silicone-based surface additive for EB coatings – Aversil 936 – offers a long-lasting easy-to-clean and tape-release effect. The startup’s other products, Aversil 824 & 412, are silicone-based additives for UV coatings to reduce surface tension and offer a permanent easy-to-clean effect.
The startup’s products differ in their polymer structure and viscosity, allowing for cost-effective coating modifications. Its coatings and additives thus find a range of applications such as keeping surfaces clean from graffiti and tape marks.
6. Tailored Silicone
General silicone formulations offer a broad spectrum of properties that might not cater to specific needs, leading to suboptimal performance in specialized applications. This is why startups are customizing silicone by introducing specific functional groups or modifying its polymer chains to achieve desired characteristics.
Whether it is enhancing biocompatibility for medical implants, electrical conductivity, or UV stability, these tailored silicones ensure optimal performance in specialized environments and applications.
ROMAKK Chemicals provides Silicone-based Derivatives
ROMAKK Chemicals is an Indian startup that makes tailored silicone solutions. Its silicone-based derivatives enhance fabric softness and elasticity in textiles. They also serve as effective water repellents in construction and protect surfaces from environmental factors.
Further, the startup’s antifoams prevent foam formation, crucial for industries like water treatment and textiles. The antifoam products come in diverse forms such as aqueous-based for water treatment, oil-based for refineries, and powder-based for detergents. The company’s tailored silicone solutions address different industry requirements through their multifunctional applications.
UNIQ Chemicals manufactures Silicone Oils
Turkish startup UNIQ Chemicals produces silicone oils that are essential for emulsifying and creating products for a range of industries. Its AKSILOX RAF 210 is a reactive amino-functional silicone oil designed for polyester (PES) fabrics. Another variant AKSILOX RAF 440 is a non-hydrophobic silicone oil suitable for all fiber types.
Besides these products, the startup’s oils have varying amine values and compositions that cater to various requirements to ensure optimal performance. They serve as base materials or imparting materials with properties such as hydrophobicity.
7. Thermal Management
A major challenge in all electrical systems is the lack of efficient and rapid heat dissipation. Silicone-based materials handle such thermal challenges by incorporating innovations like thermally conductive fillers or refining the matrix structure of the silicone.
Such silicone products for thermal management efficiently dissipate heat, ensuring that devices maintain optimal operating temperatures. As a result, the longevity of these components is extended, and the risk of heat-related malfunctions is significantly reduced.
ElastaPro provides Solid Silicone Sheets
ElastaPro is a US-based startup that manufactures sheets with high-temperature grade silicone. The sheeting features higher temperature resistance through advanced heat stabilizer technology. It also has improved electrical insulation and is suitable for seals and gaskets. The material’s other characteristics include UV and ozone resistance, non-toxic, and chemically inert.
Moreover, after being subject to high temperatures for several hours, the sheeting retains very high tensile strength, elongation, and tear strength. In this way, ElastaPro’s sheets are effective in applications like heat shields, exhaust systems, and food processing that require higher temperature resistance than general-purpose silicone.
Aarkay develops Silicone-based Encapsulants
Indian startup Aarkay produces encapsulants for electronic devices. These encapsulants possess a medium shore A hardness that facilitates potential rework in case of failures. Besides this, the startup’s silicon potting products exhibit medium viscosity, ensuring easy flow, and are available in varied ratios.
The potting’s high thermal conductivity ensures optimal performance, whether in LED lighting or electronic power supplies. Moreover, both the silicon potting and encapsulating compounds provide protection against water, chemicals, shock, voltage discharge, vibration, physical damage, and flame.
8. Biocompatible Products
Certain formulations of silicon result in adverse immune responses or cause complications when implanted in the body for extended periods. Startups are addressing this concern by refining the synthesis process and introducing bio-friendly additives.
Biocompatible silicone variants exhibit enhanced compatibility with biological systems, minimize adverse reactions, and ensure safer and more effective use in products. This includes medical devices, implants, and other healthcare devices.
NK TECH provides Flexible Prosthetics
NK TECH is a Polish startup that produces orthopedic sockets, focusing on post-amputation needs. The startup’s product, Silint, serves as an internal soft prosthesis socket, which works in tandem with an external hard socket. It also creates a secure fit for the amputee’s remaining limb to offer comfort and safety.
NK TECH’s other product, PneumoSilint, allows for precise adjustments to the socket dimensions, accommodating stump volume fluctuations. This is achieved through air chambers in the silicone walls, which are adjusted using a pump. The medical silicone ensures biocompatibility as well as prevents allergies and skin irritations. PneumoSilint’s design also aids in prosthesis stabilization, enhancing movement control and safety.
Functional Restorations provides Custom Breast Prostheses
US-based startup Functional Restorations specializes in custom silicone and 3D-printed prosthetic restorations for individuals with anatomical loss or deficiency. The startup creates breast prostheses to mirror the specific shape and skin texture of the woman to provide both comfort and authenticity. An in-person coloring session allows for the prosthesis to be hand-painted, achieving a match with the individual’s skin tone.
The startup’s prosthetics production process includes pre-surgery digital scans that capture an accurate digital portrayal of the breast anatomy prior to surgical procedures. Moreover, Functional Restorations’ digital-assisted manufacturing aids in creating a personalized prosthetic sculpture.
9. Implant Imaging
Medical implants sometimes create artifacts or obscure surrounding tissues in imaging diagnostics, such as MRI or ultrasound. To tackle this issue, innovations in implant imaging incorporate specific markers or use advanced detectors for higher-resolution images.
Besides, startups are developing implants that are more compatible with imaging technologies. These advances ensure clearer and more accurate imaging results. They allow healthcare professionals to monitor, diagnose, and plan treatments more effectively, without the interference traditionally associated with silicone-based implants.
AB-CT advances Diagnostic Breast Imaging
German startup AB-CT provides diagnostic breast imaging through its product, nu:view. It is a breast CT scanner that leverages spiral CT and photon-counting technology. The product also performs non-compressive scans for women with implants.
Unlike conventional scintillation, nu:view utilizes direct converting detectors made of cadmium telluride (CdTe). This technology offers high image resolution, low radiation doses, and swift scan durations compared to current mammography screening.
Discover all Silicone Trends, Technologies & Startups
The development of eco-friendly silicone derivatives reduces the environmental footprint of production and disposal. These green alternatives also maintain the high-quality standards expected of traditional silicone. Additionally, innovations in silicone recycling and repurposing advance the circular economy.
Further, the integration of nanotechnology with silicone enhances material properties, from improved conductivity to heightened strength. The silicone industry trends and startups outlined in this report only scratch the surface of trends that we identified during our data-driven innovation & startup scouting process. Identifying new opportunities & emerging technologies to implement into your business goes a long way in gaining a competitive advantage.