Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Soft Safety Helmet Lining Turns Into Rock Hard Shock Absorber When Hit

Date:
June 18, 2008
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
If something hits you on the head while you are wearing this safety helmet, its soft flexible inner layer will instantly turn into a rock-hard shock-absorbent material. The helmet is lined on the inside with a material that is soft and flexible under normal conditions, but which "locks" instantaneously, becoming hard and shock-absorbent, if the helmet is subjected to impact or blows.

The helmet is lined on the inside with a material that is soft and flexible under normal conditions, but which “locks” instantaneously, becoming hard and shock-absorbent, if the helmet is subjected to impact or blows.
Credit: Image courtesy of SINTEF

If something hits you on the head while you are wearing this safety helmet, its soft flexible inner layer will instantly turn into a rock-hard shock-absorbent material.

Industrial designer Tore Christian Bjørsvik Storholmen at SINTEF Health Research felt that workers in the building and construction industry deserved a helmet that is smarter than current models - in more than one sense.

Now, the 27-year-old designer has won an award from the Norwegian Design Council for his “ProActive” helmet.*

New shape

“As far as appearance is concerned, safety helmets have not altered much in the course of the past 30 years. The shape of my concept was inspired by the baseball cap which has long been popular headgear in the construction industry”, explains Storholmen.

He chose this design because he was well aware that workers are more likely to wear protective equipment that they feel comfortable wearing. However, the “smart” concept refers to more than the appearance of the new helmet.

Smart material

The helmet is lined on the inside with a material that is soft and flexible under normal conditions, but which “locks” instantaneously, becoming hard and shock-absorbent, if the helmet is subjected to impact or blows.

“The material on the inside makes my helmet more comfortable in everyday use, and at the same time, safer than traditional models”, says the prize-winner.

And in line with the spirit of the times, Storholmen has made parts of the outer shell transparent, so that the shock-absorbent material is visible from the outside.

Smart ear protection

SINTEF’s new employee has also used smart materials in the ear-protectors that form part of the helmet. Both the ear-protectors themselves and the “loop” that is used to charge up instruments in the helmet are made of textiles that can conduct electricity.

“This means that communication systems can be incorporated in the helmet without the need for cables that could become caught up in other things,” says Storholmen.

Radio or intercom links or gas detectors can all be mounted on the helmet according to the requirements of the individual user.

A combination of pressure-sensitive textiles and Bluetooth technology means that the user can answer a mobile phone call without having to remove his gloves, ear protectors and helmet.

Student project

Tore Christian Bjørsvik Storholmen graduated last year as M.Sc. (Eng.) from NTNU’s industrial design course. The ProActive helmet is the result of a student project that formed part of the course.

“We chose our topics ourselves. Since I have a brother in the construction industry I realised that a lot of people are uncomfortable wearing traditional safety helmets,” says the young prize-winner.

Multidisciplinary group effort

Storholmen is now with SINTEF Health Research’s Work Physiology section, where he works on SmartWear, which is one of six areas of special effort in the SINTEF Group. The aim here is to develop two types of smart clothing:

  • Clothing with integrated instrumentation, i.e. with inbuilt sensors and communication equipment.
  • Clothing made of functional materials, i.e. materials that give clothes new properties when the temperature changes or when there are other alterations in the user’s environment.

*The helmet took third prize in “Young talents – open class” at this year’s design awards ceremony in Oslo on March 12.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "New Soft Safety Helmet Lining Turns Into Rock Hard Shock Absorber When Hit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611183702.htm>.
SINTEF. (2008, June 18). New Soft Safety Helmet Lining Turns Into Rock Hard Shock Absorber When Hit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611183702.htm
SINTEF. "New Soft Safety Helmet Lining Turns Into Rock Hard Shock Absorber When Hit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611183702.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins