Collaboration Opportunity for Helmet Technology that Increases Shock Absorption by 145%
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have found that adding in an air-bubble cushioning liner substantially improves a helmet’s shock absorption performance at high impact forces. Helmets are used to protect against traumatic brain injury and are an extremely important safety feature in construction. When helmets experience multiple impacts, their shock absorption capabilities begin to decrease.
The current standard used in construction helmets are the Type 1 “top impact” model. The CDC/NIOSH tested the shock absorption performance of these Type 1 off-the-shelf construction helmets and found that they can only stand repeated impacts with a magnitude of less than 22 Joules (J), or a drop height of 2 feet, without compromising its shock absorption performance. If the same helmet is equipped with an air-bubble cushioning liner, it can than withstand repeated impacts of up to 54 J, with a drop height of 5 feet, without compromising its shock absorption performance. This study found an increase in the helmet’s shock absorption endurance limit by 145%.
The potential commercial applications of this technology are improved shock absorption performance of construction and industrial helmets as well as helmets used for other activities. The competitive advantages include:
- Substantially increased shock absorption performance at high impact forces provides better protection and helps pass more stringent test standards.
- Lightweight, low cost, and unique mechanical performance versus other conventional shock absorption materials, such as rubbers and polymers.
- May increase helmet endurance limit for large and repeated impacts.
The CDC/NIOSH found that incorporating air bubble cushioning into industrial helmets increases shock absorption performance, which reduces TBIs. For more information on this study and how to collaborate with the CDC/NIOSH on this technology, please visit here.