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: Polyamide-carbon fiber laminate. Buy the report here.

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

Polyamide-carbon fibre laminate is a key innovation area in aerospace and defence

Polyamide-carbon fibre laminate is a lightweight, extremely durable, strong, and hardwearing material, which is also resistant to corrosion. It consists of layers of woven carbon fibres hardened by the introduction of polymers.

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 polyamide-carbon fibre laminate.

Key players in polyamide-carbon fibre laminate – 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 polyamide-carbon fibre laminate

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Modern Meadow 44 Unlock company profile
Boeing 30 Unlock company profile
Airbus 20 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 19 Unlock company profile
Teijin 14 Unlock company profile
Hexcel 14 Unlock company profile
Hardwire 13 Unlock company profile
Toray Industries 13 Unlock company profile
Diehl Aviation Laupheim 11 Unlock company profile
Yupo 10 Unlock company profile
Safran 10 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 9 Unlock company profile
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 8 Unlock company profile
Trespa International 8 Unlock company profile
Gurit Holding 6 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 6 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Boeing is one of the leading patent filers in polyamide-carbon fibre laminate. The company has been submitting patents related to its research on using the material as lightning protection for aircraft based on the electrical conductivity of polyamide-carbon fibre laminates. Some other key patent filers include Airbus, Ford Motor and Hexcel.

Regarding geographic reach, Trespa International leads the pack. Gurit and Teijin stand in the second and third positions, respectively. In terms of application diversity, Gurit holds the top position, followed by Mitsubishi Chemical Group, Boeing, and Airbus.

Polyamide-carbon fibre laminate has applications across both commercial and military domains. However, aerospace and defence companies are filing the greatest number of patents related to the technology, with Boeing being the largest patent filer overall and within the aerospace and defence industries.

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

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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.