The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the pressing need for modernisation and the growing importance of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and unmanned systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced Materials in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Blade alloy welding.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 262,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the aerospace and defence industry, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Blade alloy welding is a key innovation area in advanced materials
The materials and techniques used to manufacture aircraft components, such as engine blades, can bring aerodynamic benefits, while decreasing maintenance and fabrication time and costs.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of blade alloy welding.
Key players in blade alloy welding – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to blade alloy welding
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|General Electric||212||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||90||Unlock company profile|
|Rolls-Royce Holdings||59||Unlock company profile|
|Safran||57||Unlock company profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||39||Unlock company profile|
|CDP Equity||22||Unlock company profile|
|Sulzer||22||Unlock company profile|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||21||Unlock company profile|
|Alstom||16||Unlock company profile|
|Honeywell International||9||Unlock company profile|
|Deutsche Lufthansa||9||Unlock company profile|
|SLM Solutions Group||8||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba||6||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
General Electric is one of the leading patent filers among aerospace and defence companies in blade alloy welding. The company is heavily invested in the development and manufacture of aircraft engines through its GE Aviation business unit, and through CFM International, a joint venture with Safran. The firm holds patents regarding fusion welding for use in aircraft airframes. Other leading patent filers in the aerospace and defence industry include leading engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce and Safran.
In terms of application diversity, Raytheon Technologies holds the most widely applicable patents in blade alloy welding. The company is also involved in engine production through its subsidiaries, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace. Safran and General Electric took the second and third positions, respectively. By geographic reach, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries leads the way, followed by General Electric and Safran.
Blade alloy welding can offer engine manufacturers an avenue to improve the performance of their products. For example, techniques such as linear friction welding (LFW), which is established in the industry, allow manufacturers to reduce manufacture time and costs, while not compromising on performance.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.