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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8030354

Application of Auxetic Foam in Sports Helmets

1
Centre for Sports Engineering Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
2
Adidas Futures Team, Portland, OR 97217, USA
3
School of Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
4
Materials and Engineering Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Materials)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2838 KB, uploaded 1 March 2018]   |  

Abstract

This investigation explored the viability of using open cell polyurethane auxetic foams to augment the conformable layer in a sports helmet and improve its linear impact acceleration attenuation. Foam types were compared by examining the impact severity on an instrumented anthropomorphic headform within a helmet consisting of three layers: a rigid shell, a stiff closed cell foam, and an open cell foam as a conformable layer. Auxetic and conventional foams were interchanged to act as the helmet’s conformable component. Attenuation of linear acceleration was examined by dropping the combined helmet and headform on the front and the side. The helmet with auxetic foam reduced peak linear accelerations (p < 0.05) relative to its conventional counterpart at the highest impact energy in both orientations. Gadd Severity Index reduced by 11% for frontal impacts (38.9 J) and 44% for side impacts (24.3 J). The conformable layer within a helmet can influence the overall impact attenuating properties. The helmet fitted with auxetic foam can attenuate impact severity more than when fitted with conventional foam, and warrants further investigation for its potential to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries in sport specific impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: auxetic foam; helmet; concussion; sport; protection; impact attenuation auxetic foam; helmet; concussion; sport; protection; impact attenuation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Foster, L.; Peketi, P.; Allen, T.; Senior, T.; Duncan, O.; Alderson, A. Application of Auxetic Foam in Sports Helmets. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 354.

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