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Old 11-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
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New Helmet Technology

Saw this article and it makes sense that this could be a step forward.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
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Pretty neat
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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Fluid channels? How much is the thing gonna weigh?
Originally Posted by BigComfy View Post
Will set a google news filter immediately: coat hanger probing.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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[cliff's notes] The video got many points wrong and this tech is not transferable to football or motorcycles at this point. [/cliff's notes]


Sensationalism of research sucks. This is cool tech looking at blast damage reduction, but most of what the "reporter" was focusing on was impact (even the demonstration) which will be harder to use the concept. Then as she was talking about expanded polystyrene they were showing the interior of a football helmet which are not polystyrene and don't take permanent sets on impact. Go figure.

From what I've seen bicycle and motorcycle helmets are among the few that use permanent deformation of polystyrene to absorb the impact energy. Mil helmets used to have just a web based suspension rig and no cushion and now have small memory foam like pads. Hockey, lacrosse, football, rugby, etc. need to take multiple hits over and over to be affective.

Fluid channels would increase the weight and either decrease the available foam area or increase the size of the helmet. Plus any space that your head cannot pass through inside your helmet is that much less deceleration distance (see below).

I don't think this concept is transferable to impact with the concept design in the video. In a blast the head has zero kinetic energy at the start of the event and the blast wave has a small amount of mass. Contrary to what you see in the movies a blast that can give you permanent mental issues or kill you will not necessarily throw you across the room. Blast propagation imparts a very high load for a very short period of time (shock wave). If you can absorb the energy of the blast into the helmet lining and change the energy transfer into a blunt force instead of a shock wave the tissue damage will be dramatically reduced.

However, when my precious (and expensive) noggin hits the pavement/stop sign/texting minivan drivers hood/etc. there is a significant difference between the velocity of my head and the object. In this case my head must experience energy transfer in order to accelerate to match the speed of the object. The helmets job in this case is to transfer the impact to a larger area (to avoid fracture) and to gently accelerate (longer impulse time) my skooshy (technical term) brain. As the engineer stated these are two totally different scenarios. In this case her tech may help the hard shell spread the impact better, but I think this is unlikely to work just my not so humble opinion.

Energy dissipation /transfer is fun stuff.
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