View Full Version : Summary of responses RE: Safety Helmets

Kenneth Bryden
08-29-1994, 04:45 PM
August 30, 1994

Here is a summary of responses to my request of
August 10, 1994. I have attached a copy of the
original request.

Thank you to all those who responded!
Kenneth Bryden


I am initiating a project to examine the function of the
inner lining (foam padding) of safety helmets used in sports.
I am looking for studies that integrate the mechanical properties
of the lining with its function in the helmet. Our intention is
to apply current theories from Biology, on the mechanical design
of natural shock absorbing systems, to improve on the usefulness
of the inner lining.

Kenneth Bryden
Biology Department
St. Francis Xavier University
P.O. Box 5000
Antigonish, N.S.
B2G 2W5

E-mail: x93nle@essex.stfx.ca

From: MX%"terrysmi@scf.usc.edu" 10-AUG-1994 16:13:58.00

Hi Kenneth...
You have certainly taken on a formidable project... I have just
finished research on the effect of polystyrene liner density on
the impact characteristics of bicycle helmets ... sounds like it
is very similar to what you are going to be working on... I'll be
very interested in learning about your appplication of current
theories on natural shock absorbing systems ... (sort of the
woodpecker theory of head protection!) ... I have also done some
theoretical modelling using simple spring-dashpot systems to look
at the effect of altering the characteristics of the liners...
I hope things go well.. let me know if I can be of any
assistance... in the meantime, you might want to look at these
two papers.. I found them most useful for my work:

1. Gale, A., Mills, N.J. Effect of polystyrene foam liner density
on motorcycle helmet shock absorption. Plastics and Rubber
Processing and Applications, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 101-108, 1985.

2. Mills, N.J., Gilchrist, A. The Effectiveness of Foams in
Bicycle and Motorcycle Helmets. Accident Analysis & Prevention,
Vol. 23, nos. 2/3. pp. 153-163, 1991.

Good Luck!

Terry Smith
USC Head Protection Research Lab
Los Angeles, California
(Terrysmi@aludra.usc.edu) ...... another Canadian a long way from

From: MX%"elaine@mote.Berkeley.EDU" 10-AUG-1994 16:39:47.53
Subject: Re: Safety Helmets in Sports


I would be very curious to get a copy of what you receive from
your posting. I am studying the mechanical properties of soft
tissue in compression, statically and dynamically loaded. But of
course there is little literature on the subject. Seeing what
has been done on other materials, biologic or otherwise, can
be very helpful.

Have you contacted Werner Goldsmith at UC Berkeley regarding
helmets? He has done a lot of work in that area. Unfortunately,
I do not have his email address available to me right now.


From: MX%"KIHEISE@LSUVM.SNCC.LSU.EDU" 10-AUG-1994 16:56:36.08

I did some work in graduate school with a different kind of
helmet protection - a ProCap. It is a polyurethane cap attached
to the OUTSIDE of a football helmet (that's US & Canadian rules
football - the one with the funny shaped ball). We never
published an article on the work, but I did present a paper at
ASB, 1991. If you would like any more info or a copy of the
2-page abstract, let me know.

Gary D. Heise, Asst. Prof., LSU, Dept. of Kinesiology


I remember a couple of articles about the energy absorbing
effects of the linings of bicycle helmets, I cannot recall where
I saw the figures but it was something like a reduction in
effective g force from 100 to 5.

There is an article in the Australian magazine "Choice" October
1992 comparing bicycle helmets using Australian Standard 2063.2 -
1990. Let me know if you can't get it and I could send it to

Chris Kelman
Chief Medical Advisor
Therapeutic Devices Branch

From: MX%"ecr4@columbia.edu" 11-AUG-1994 09:20:13.32

Dear Kenneth,

I appologize for not knowing his Internet address, but I
recommend you contact Harold Alexander. He is an expert in the
area of helmet injuries and has done alot of work similar to that
which you discribed in your posting. He would be a great resource
for you.

You can reach him at:

Harold Alexander, Ph.D.
Department of Bioengineering
Hospital for Joint Diseases
301 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003

voice (212) 598-6567
FAX (212) 598-6096

Best of luck,

-Ellen Ross, Ph.D.
From: mhendley@fox.nstn.ca (Mike Hendley)


I am with a company whose expertise is in prevention of, and the
mechanisms relating to, head and neck injury. We have
approxiamtely 19 years experience in the development of
standards, test procedures and product development in the area of
head protection (namely helmets). We have also done some
interesting work on crash test dummy development and other
vehicle safety areas.

Your email message is a little vague as to the area you are going
to be focussing on. Could you please elaborate.

Whatever your focus may be in head and neck protection, we can
offer you some support with reference materials and related


Mike Hendley (mhendley@fox.nstn.ca)
Biokinetics and Associates Ltd.
2470 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 8P5
(613) 736-0384
(613) 736-0990