Helmet Add-Ons Do Not Lower Concussion Risks
About the Helmet/Concussion Research
In-helmet add-ons have become popular because many have feared the long-term effects of brain injuries. According to experts, few add-ons have gone through rudimentary biomechanical evaluation. Because of this, Dr Lloyd, a research director of BRAINS Inc, and his team are doing an impact testing of protective headgear to measure the linear and angular kinematics.
They tested four football helmet add-ons:
- Guardian Cap (a soft shell layer that fits over the helmet)
- UnEqual Technologies' Concussion Reduction Technology (CRT) (inserts made of a strong thin and flexible composite material)
- Shockstrips (strips of adhesive foam-like material attached to the outside of the helmet)
- Helmet Glide (fluid applied to the outside of the helmet designed to disperse kinetic energy and reduce surface tension)
Method and Findings of the Helmet Study
Researchers put the Riddell Revolution Speed and a Xenith X1 helmets on each of the add-ons and tested them five times from three different heights (1 m, 1.5 m, and 2 m) while using a crash test dummy.
The purpose of the test was to measure the bounce, linear, and angular motion. The result showed that for Guardian Cap, CRT, and Shockstrips the linear acceleration decreased 11% compared with a standard helmet that had no add-ons.
Researchers believe that helmet designer should be measuring angular acceleration, not just linear acceleration when testing helmets. If this happen, helmets will be safer in the future.