The aerospace and defenceindustry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the uptake of advanced technology, and growing importance of technologies such as hypersonics and advanced materials. 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 Innovation in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Glass fiber cellular foam. Buy the report here.

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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.

Glass fibre cellular foam is a key innovation area in advanced materials

Cellular glass insulation carries glass properties and constitutes an insulation material that is impervious to moisture and inert, as well as reasonably well insulating.

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 glass fibre cellular foam.

Key players in glass fibre cellular foam – 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 glass fibre cellular foam

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Airbus 29 Unlock Company Profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 28 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 21 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 18 Unlock Company Profile
COSCO Shipping Holdings 17 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 12 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Composite Structures 10 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 9 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Lite Structures 7 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 7 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 6 Unlock Company Profile
Gurit Holding 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
Lamart 6 Unlock Company Profile
3M 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

For aircraft, glass fibre cellular foam is primarily used for insulating the cabin of an aircraft, innovation here can provide cost savings in terms of heating the aircraft whilst ensuring onboard safety. The leading company in this sector is Airbus, which is investing in the technology to provide the above benefits. Innovation here can have overall cost saving benefits especially if cheaper materials can be manufactured. Other leading companies include Ford, Boeing, CEA, Advanced Composite Structures, and Safran.

In terms of application diversity, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a leader, followed by Airbus and Safran. By geographic reach, 3M is one of the largest companies, followed by CEA.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Thematic Research: Advanced Materials in Aerospace and Defense.

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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.