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: Ceramic composite hollow blades.
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.
Ceramic composite hollow blades is a key innovation area in advanced materials
Many aircraft turbine blades constructed from ceramic composites include hollow blades to allow for air circulation, cooling the engine and allowing it to run optimally.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of ceramic composite hollow blades.
Key players in ceramic composite hollow blades – 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 ceramic composite hollow blades
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|General Electric||1832||Unlock company profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||1310||Unlock company profile|
|Safran||1059||Unlock company profile|
|Rolls-Royce Holdings||890||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||612||Unlock company profile|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||187||Unlock company profile|
|IHI||158||Unlock company profile|
|Honeywell International||88||Unlock company profile|
|Doosan||69||Unlock company profile|
|CDP Equity||49||Unlock company profile|
|Alstom||46||Unlock company profile|
|Kawasaki Heavy Industries||27||Unlock company profile|
|JGC Holdings||26||Unlock company profile|
|Applied Materials||25||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi||25||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba||21||Unlock company profile|
|OC Oerlikon||15||Unlock company profile|
|Textron||12||Unlock company profile|
|CEA||11||Unlock company profile|
|Mecachrome France||10||Unlock company profile|
|Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich||9||Unlock company profile|
|Howmet Aerospace||9||Unlock company profile|
|TOCALO||8||Unlock company profile|
|LG||8||Unlock company profile|
|Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt||8||Unlock company profile|
|Deutsche Lufthansa||8||Unlock company profile|
|Plansee Holding||7||Unlock company profile|
|Lockheed Martin||7||Unlock company profile|
|Mitsubishi Electric||7||Unlock company profile|
|UT-Battelle||6||Unlock company profile|
|Intelligent Power Generation||6||Unlock company profile|
|Shimadzu||6||Unlock company profile|
|Office National d'Etudes et Aerospace Research||6||Unlock company profile|
|Porsche Automobil Holding||5||Unlock company profile|
|Theoration For Penn State||5||Unlock company profile|
|Kratos Defense & Security Solutions||5||Unlock company profile|
|Reaction Engines||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Among aerospace and defence companies, General Electric is one of the leading patent filers in ceramic matrix composites for turbines. The company is a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines. It produces the GE9X, which is installed on Boeing’s widebody 777X and is one of the most powerful jet engines in the world. The lining of the GE9X’s combustor and turbine shroud is made of ceramic matrix composites, which can withstand much higher temperatures than most metals, allowing for the engine to safely deliver massive thrust. Other key patent filers include industry-leading engine manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies, Rolls-Royce, and Safran.
In terms of application diversity, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft leads the pack, followed by Howmet Aerospace and Safran. By geographic reach, Mecachrome France holds the top position, followed by Textron and Howmet Aerospace.
Composite materials are being considered as an option to reinforce the missile bodies and airframes, which undergo high degrees of aerodynamic stress and heating. These materials can endure the stresses of manoeuvring at very high, even hypersonic, speeds. Composites comprised of filaments of materials, such as glass, boron, graphite, Kevlar, or SiC, set in resin may prove to be an option for high-strength reinforcing materials, improving the longevity of turbines.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.