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Can a Card Board Bicycle Helmet Protect Better Than A Conventional Helmet?

Posted in Blog on May 24, 2013

An innovative new bicycle helmet design makes use of cardboard in place of the conventional material that makes up the inner lining of a bicycle helmet.  This cardboard helmet design has been found to meet or exceed the standards of European bicycle helmet safety laws.  The helmet will soon be produced in Europe, and will likely make its appearance in the United States next year.

The helmet is the brainchild of a London-based design student, who suffered a bicycle accident a while ago.  He suffered a head injury, and after his recovery, turned his design talents to designing a more effective and safe helmet.  The results of his design is a helmet that uses cardboard in the place of  expanded polystyrene, which is the material that is typically used to line a helmet.

Tests have found that this cardboard lining is much more effective at absorbing impact, than a conventional helmet.  In fact, the designer claims that the cardboard helmet absorbs 3 times the impact as the polystyrene lining.

The helmet design is based on the cartilage cushioning in a woodpecker’s head that protects the bird’s head from brain injury.  A woodpecker suffers extreme impact to the head, which is comparable to the kind of injury that a bicyclist sustains during an accident.  Nature has given the woodpecker corrugated cartilage to act a buffer between the beak and skull.  This reduces the risk of brain injury to the bird.

The cardboard helmet works on a similar principle using a network of corrugated cells to absorb impact.  About 90% of the liner consists of air, helping absorb impact much better