D3O unveils high performance helmet system prototype

D3O presents its TRUST High Performance Shock Absorbing helmet system which will redefine personal protection standards for soldiers.

New D3O helmet protection system will redefine personal protection standards for soldiers
“No product commercially available combines the level of protection, comfort and shock absorption that the Shock Absorbing Helmet System offers.” Dr Floria Antolini,
D3O’s Chief Knowledge Officer

D3O, the British smart materials specialist, has redeployed its world-class impact protection technologies to set new standards in personal protection for soldiers with its prototype TRUST (Trauma Reduction and Unrivalled Shock Technology) Shock Absorbing Helmet System, which is being presented at Eurosatory 2014 on Monday 16 June.

The Shock Absorbing Helmet System is being developed thanks to an award of funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, which has enabled D3O to research and develop the system. Offering the highest level of performance of any helmet systems in the market, it features the company’s unique patented technology, to deliver superior personal protection and comfort for soldiers in combat.

Historically, helmets used by US, UK and Allied forces focus on ballistic protection, but modern warfare and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) generate blunt trauma head injuries. Existing combat helmets have not always been optimised for comfort, impeding combat effectiveness. The resulting Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a global problem for the military. Between 2006-2013, 31,000 British soldiers on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered mild TBI (mTBI) – a lighter version of TBI, resulting in high rehabilitation, compensation and re-training costs.

New D3O helmet protection system will redefine personal protection standards for soldiers

Dr Floria Antolini, D3O’s Chief Knowledge Officer said:
“The time was right to develop this lighter, flexible protection and shock absorption in response to intense demand from the global defence sector. No product commercially available combines the level of protection, comfort and shock absorption that the Shock Absorbing Helmet System offers. D3O has brought to this product the R&D expertise it has honed in creating industry-leading protective helmets for the sports market, particularly American football.”

“D3O is committed to creating equipment which is helping to ensure the UK’s continued pre-eminence in materials and manufacturing innovation which will reduce thousands of preventable injuries and deaths each year.”

It was the understanding that innovative materials can increase protection, reduce costs and crucially reduce avoidable injuries and deaths each year, which led D3O to develop the Shock Absorbing Helmet System.

D3O unveils high performance helmet system prototype

The Shock Absorbing Helmet System is being developed and tested for blunt trauma impact at 14ft/s according to the rigorous conditions of the latest ACH Performance Specification for blunt impact requirements AR/PD 10-02 Rev A Change 4 from 8 May 2012. The prototype has already undertaken an iteration of independent testing at Chesapeake, testing in hot, cold and ambient temperatures. Across these temperatures it has recorded an average impact acceleration of 116G which represents the highest performance levels of a product currently available in today’s market.

After input from serving soldiers, the System has been designed to provide industry-leading protection and comfort. It comprises re-engineered shock absorbing material and new geometry for protection, plus practical features which ensure the helmet fits a range of head sizes and successfully manages sweat – a significant day-to-day issue for soldiers on operational duty.

NEW MATERIAL AND GEOMETRY

The D3O Shock Absorbing Helmet System key features:

• One piece impact protection layer: D3O chose to move away from an individual seven pad system to embrace a complete helmet liner which offers blunt trauma protection superior to known commercially available solutions. The liner uses D3O proprietary technology to create rate sensitive material which is compliant and flexible, but hardens on impact to dissipate the collision energy, leading the transmitted force, providing high shock absorbing performance.

• New pliable structure and design: the embodiment of a rate sensitive material within a concentric radial geometry ensures the adaptability of the liner to the head of a wearer: the pad geometry allows for a good fit avoiding pressure points.

COMFORT FEATURES

• Air bladder: the innovative inflatable system offers a customisable comfort layer, which can be adjusted to suit different head sizes.

• Moisture wicking cap: the high grade fabrics specifically wick moisture away from the head. These breathable materials are shaped to encourage sweat away from the forehead. The spacer fabric also enables airflow and provides an added benefit of comfort.

• Encapsulation using D3O’s new Smart Skin technology: the durable, wipe clean TPU provides durability and an anti-microbial barrier.

The helmet liner system is part of the D3O product range called TRUST – Trauma Reduction and Unrivalled Shock Technology – which offers head-to-toe protective solutions engineered to provide high performance, lightweight and comfortable protection for defence and law enforcement.

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