The aerospace and defence industry 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: Polymeric resin lamintes.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

180+ innovations will shape the aerospace and defence industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry using innovation intensity models built on over 262,000 patents, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, bonded fibre laminates, thermoplastic elastomer laminates, and vibration supression devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Centrifugal fan impellers, ceramic composite laminates, and gas turbine engine testing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are protective blade coatings and blade alloy welding, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry 

Polymeric resin laminates is a key innovation area in aerospace and defence 

Polymeric resin laminates, including fibreglass resin, are materials that begin in liquid form and harden into a solid material. They can be very lightweight and exceptionally hard wearing. 

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 polymeric resin laminates. 

Key players in polymeric resin laminates – 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’.

Sekisui Chemical is one of the leading patent filers in polymeric resin laminates. Sekisui Chemical specialises in high-performance resins that can be used for several different purposes. Some other key patent filers include 3M , Boeing, and Toray Industries.

In terms of geographic reach, Trespa International leads the pack, followed by W. L. Gore & Associates and Solvay in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of application diversity, Nitto Denko Corp holds the top position, followed by Solvay , Corteva , Goodyear Tire & Rubber, and DuPont de Nemours .

Polymeric resin laminates have both commercial and military applications. Boeing, the largest aerospace and defence filer of the technology, has registered patents related to the use of polymeric resin laminates in electric charge dissipation systems for aircraft.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.

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.