The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the pressing need for modernization, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), unmanned systems, 3D printing, and composite materials technology. 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: anti-ballistic garments. 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.
Anti-ballistic garments is a key innovation area in advanced materials
Anti-ballistic garments are specifically designed clothing or protective gear that provides protection against ballistic threats, such as bullets or projectiles. These garments are often made using multilayered structures or composite materials that offer high strength and resistance to penetration. They are commonly used by military personnel, law enforcement officers, and individuals in high-risk occupations to minimize the risk of injury or fatality from ballistic threats.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of anti-ballistic garments.
Key players in anti-ballistic garments – 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 anti-ballistic garments
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Honeywell is one of the leading patent filers in anti-ballistic garments. The company filed patents related to multi-panel ballistic resistant articles made of a plurality of woven and non-woven multilayer composite panels for wearable armor applications. Having equal or varying thickness and density of composite layers, each panel is configured to prevent ballistic penetration and mitigate the stress propagation into the adjacent panel. The woven panels include multiple layers of woven fabric of polarized ballistic fibers, with a metal salt, oxide, hydroxide, or hydride polar bonded on the surface of these fibers.
Spectra Shield® is a high-performance anti-ballistic armor solution provided by the company. Honeywell’s Spectra® ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber and ballistic composite materials are widely used to meet specific performance requirements in soft and hard armor applications, including bullet-resistant helmets, vests, and fragment protection plates.
Rocky Research, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell, is developing a new blast mitigation material called Coordinative Molecular Bond Armor Material (COMBAM), which can be charged with refrigerant and programmed at the molecular level to release the refrigerant at a certain rate to provide thermal protection against unintended high temperature conditions. COMBAM can be integrated with traditional armor to protect against fire and heat-induced self-ignitions.
Some other key patent filers in this space include DuPont, Royal DSM, and Teijin.
In terms of application diversity, Honeywell, Teijin, and Kolon Industries are some of the leading innovators. By means of geographic reach, some of the leading patent filers include Hardwire, Albany International, and Elbit Systems.
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.