Development and Evaluation of a Test Method for Assessing the Performance of American Football Helmets.
As more is learned about injury mechanisms of concussion and scenarios under which injuries are sustained in football games, methods used to evaluate protective equipment must adapt. A combination of video review, videogrammetry, and laboratory reconstructions was used to characterize concussive impacts from National Football League games during the 2015-2017 seasons. Test conditions were generated based upon impact locations and speeds from this data set, and a method for scoring overall helmet performance was created. Head kinematics generated using a linear impactor and sliding table fixture were comparable to those from laboratory reconstructions of concussive impacts at similar impact conditions. Impact tests were performed on 36 football helmet models at two laboratories to evaluate the reproducibility of results from the resulting test protocol. Head acceleration response metric, a head impact severity metric, varied 2.9-5.6% for helmet impacts in the same lab, and 3.8-6.0% for tests performed in a separate lab when averaged by location for the models tested. Overall inter-lab helmet performance varied by 1.1 ± 0.9%, while the standard deviation in helmet performance score was 7.0%. The worst helmet performance score was 33% greater than the score of the best-performing helmet evaluated by this study.
Bailey, AM; Sanchez, EJ; Park, G; Gabler, LF; Funk, JR; Crandall, JR; Wonnacott, M; Withnall, C; Myers, BS; Arbogast, KB
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