D3O has been awarded the funding from the US Army’s acquisition agency to assess the blunt trauma characteristics of the technology in its prototype Shock Absorbing Helmet System.
D3O is committed to creating personal protection equipment which will help to reduce the thousands of very common injuries affecting soldiers each year.
The 12 month-Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program comes under the auspices of PEO Soldier’s program office for Protection and Individual Equipment (SPIE).
Helmet systems comprising an Advance Combat Helmet (ACH) are used by several armies around the world, including the US forces. They have to comply with rigorous safety standards regulating ballistic and blunt force trauma protection. Blunt force trauma is a physical trauma caused by a collision with an object or a surface, which is not penetrating. Classed as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), it is a global problem for armed forces. Between 2006-2013, 31,000 British soldiers on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered mild TBI (mTBI) – a different version of TBI, resulting in long rehabilitation, compensation and re-training costs.
PEO Soldier will undertake a programme to assess the impact performance of the D3O Shock Absorbing Helmet System technology when fitted into combat helmets and impacted at 14ft/s, according to military standards. The test programme is expected to demonstrate that the D3O shock absorbing solution will outperform other devices currently available.
A registered design engineered to provide industry-leading protection and comfort, the D3O Shock Absorbing Helmet System comprises several innovations. It is an assembly of three individual parts: a shock absorbing liner to absorb and dissipate the energy released in the collision; an inflatable system which individually fits the solution to a range of head shapes; and a skull cap to provide additional comfort and help with the sweat management. The shock absorption liner is encapsulated using D3O’s new Smart Skin technology: a wipe-clean TPU which provides durability and an anti-microbial barrier.
D3O is focusing on addressing the blunt trauma challenge because its proprietary material is specifically engineered to absorb impact energy and secondly because of the compelling evidence of the likelihood and severity of the occurrence of blunt trauma in generating head injuries in modern warfare, due to ubiquitous threats such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The Shock Absorbing Helmet System development was initiated due 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 combat helmet liner/pad systems in the market, it features the company’s unique patented technology, to deliver superior impact protection and comfort for soldiers in combat.
Mostyn Thomas, D3O’s General Manager said:
D3O’s team of material scientists and engineers is proud to have been selected by PEO Soldier for funding which will evaluate the impact performance of this new shock absorption protection, in response to intense demand from the global defence sector. No product commercially available combines a good balance of protection, comfort and weight the Shock Absorbing Helmet System aims to offer. D3O has conveyed to this product the R&D expertise it has honed in creating industry-leading protective helmets for the US team sports market, particularly American football and baseball. D3O is committed to creating personal protection equipment which will help to reduce the thousands of very common injuries affecting soldiers each year.