The impact response of motorcycle helmets at different impact severities

Journal Article

Helmets reduce the frequency and severity of head and brain injuries over a range of impact severities broader than those covered by the impact attenuation standards. Our goal was to document the impact attenuation performance of common helmet types over a wide range of impact speeds. Sixty-five drop tests were performed against the side of 10 different helmets onto a flat anvil at impact speeds of 0.9-10.1 m/s (energy-2-260J; equivalent drop heights of 0.04-5.2m). Three non-approved beanie helmets performed poorly, with the worst helmet reaching a peak headform acceleration of 852g at 29J. Three full-face and one open-face helmet responded similarly from about 100g at 30J to between 292g and 344g at 256-260J. Three shorty style helmets responded like the full-face helmets up to 150J, above which varying degrees of foam densification appeared to occur. Impact restitution values varied from 0.19 to 0.46. A three-parameter model successfully captured the plateau and densification responses exhibited by the various helmets (R2 =0.95-0.99). Helmet responses varied with foam thickness, foam material and possibly shell material, with the largest response differences consistent with either the presence/absence of a foam liner or the densification of the foam liner. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DeMarco, AL; Chimich, DD; Gardiner, JC; Nightingale, RW; Siegmund, GP

Published Date

  • 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1778 - 1784

PubMed ID

  • 20728629

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20728629

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-4575

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.019