The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by demand for air travel solutions, environmental concerns, and the growing importance of technologies such as additive manufacturing, alternative propulsion methods and advanced composite materials. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced materials in defense: flame barrier compositesBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Flame barrier composites is a key innovation area in advanced materials

Flame barrier composites are materials designed to prevent the spread of fire and protect against heat in construction and aerostructures. These composites are often made with multiple layers, each with specific properties that add to the overall fire resistance of the material. Flame barrier composites are widespread today in the aerospace and defense industry, where preventing fire damage from spreading to critical components is a core safety requirement. A well-known example of a flame barrier composite design is DuPont’s Nomex, which was specifically designed to meet the fuel efficiency and safety needs of the commercial airline industry.

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 defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of flame barrier composites.

Key players in flame barrier composites – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to flame barrier composites

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Faurecia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sekisui Chemical 6 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 3 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Unifrax I 38 Unlock Company Profile
Lamart 9 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 15 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Ten Cate 1 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 2 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 3 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 3 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 5 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 12 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hanwha 7 Unlock Company Profile
Teijin 6 Unlock Company Profile
Resonac 12 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 45 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 7 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt 5 Unlock Company Profile
Covestro 2 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 12 Unlock Company Profile
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics 14 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 6 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 2 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 1 Unlock Company Profile
ArianeGroup 10 Unlock Company Profile
Anderson, Robert A. 1 Unlock Company Profile
Cocoon 1 Unlock Company Profile
Continuous Composites 22 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Lite Structures 5 Unlock Company Profile
Centro De Inovacoes CSEM Brasil 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nagoya Oilchemical 4 Unlock Company Profile
Helicoid Industries 2 Unlock Company Profile
BeDimensional 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing maintains a lead in overall patent volume for fire barrier composites, as it is a key safety requirement for its commercial airliner business, which is also relying on driving down costs via greater fuel efficiency to remain competitive. In this regard, future developments in the fire barrier composites space will likely continue to focus on further weight and fuel efficiency savings. Boeing  registered 45 patents in this area from 2015 to 2023, compared to 10 patents filed by France’s ArianeGroup joint venture and seven by Airbus.

In terms of application diversity, Northrop Grumman is the leading filer of patents with the widest use cases, while Boeing leads in geographic coverage.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Advanced Materials (AdMs) in Defense.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.