Laboratory Evaluation of Shell Add-On Products for American Football Helmets for Professional Linemen.
The Guardian Cap NXT (GC NXT) and the ProTech Helmet Cap (ProTech) are commercially available aftermarket products designed to augment the energy attenuation characteristics of American football helmets. The ability of these helmet shell add-on products to mitigate the severity of impacts typically experienced by professional offensive and defensive linemen was evaluated for seven helmet models using two test series. In linear impactor tests, the GC NXT reduced head impact severity as measured by the head acceleration response metric (HARM) by 9% relative to the helmets only, while the ProTech reduced HARM by 5%. While both products significantly improved the performance of the football helmets tested overall, effects varied by impact condition and helmet model with the add-ons worsening helmet performance in some conditions. The GC NXT had a strong effect size (Cohen's d = 0.8) whereas the ProTech had a medium effect (Cohen's d = 0.5). A second study investigated add-on performance for helmet-to-helmet impacts with eccentric impact vectors and resulted in a mixture of increased and decreased HARM when either add-on was placed on one or both helmets. Estimated risk for serious neck injury with add-ons and without differed by less than 4% for these eccentric impacts.
Bailey, AM; Funk, JR; Crandall, JR; Myers, BS; Arbogast, KB
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