The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to increase the life expectancy of an engine, the high-performance standards of any vehicle, and growing importance of technologies such as sulphur-free lubricant-additive solutions. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced materials in automotive: anti-wear lubricantsBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Anti-wear lubricants is a key innovation area in advanced materials

The anti-wear additives in a lubricant system work to stop abrasion. These additives function by creating a sacrificial coating on a metal surface when the lubricating oil is no longer able to produce the required film thickness thereby preventing asperities on the metal surfaces from coming into direct contact.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of anti-wear lubricants.

Key players in anti-wear lubricants – a disruptive innovation in the automotive 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-wear lubricants

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NOK 25 Unlock Company Profile
Isuzu Motors 13 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical 19 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 91 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Oil 13 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 157 Unlock Company Profile
Harmonic Drive Systems 12 Unlock Company Profile
NSK 90 Unlock Company Profile
Infineum International 41 Unlock Company Profile
Idemitsu Kosan 112 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 62 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries 46 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 15 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 67 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 13 Unlock Company Profile
SKF 31 Unlock Company Profile
Adeka 23 Unlock Company Profile
Tsubakimoto Chain 14 Unlock Company Profile
NTN 69 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 30 Unlock Company Profile
NewMarket 18 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 15 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 12 Unlock Company Profile
Nabtesco 17 Unlock Company Profile
ENEOS 34 Unlock Company Profile
Taiho Kogyo 120 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 74 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 38 Unlock Company Profile
RAG-Stiftung 28 Unlock Company Profile
Oiles 16 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 32 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 35 Unlock Company Profile
Kyodo Yushi 87 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 29 Unlock Company Profile
Cerion 15 Unlock Company Profile
Graphene Platform 172 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 38 Unlock Company Profile
JX Nippon Oil and Energy 27 Unlock Company Profile
Klueber Lubrication Muenchen 15 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Taiho Kogyo is one of the leading patent filers in anti-wear lubricants. The company has used the contact Lamba Ratio to come up with a method for accurately assessing mixed/boundary friction in a lubricated contact when both ZDDP anti-wear additives and extreme-pressure (EP) additives are used in vehicles. Some other key patent filers in the innovation area include Graphene Platform, Toyota Motor, Idemitsu, and NTT.

In terms of application diversity, Daikin Industries held the top position, while Cerion and Graphene Platform stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Graphene Platform leads the pack, followed by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

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

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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.