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 composites. Buy the report here.
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
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.
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.