Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better fitting and more comfortable head protection systems

09.02.2015

3D head study leads to ground-breaking research findings

In the course of our lives, almost all of us will have to address the question of head protection, sooner or later. Whether it is during our leisure activities or at work, a helmet helps to reduce or prevent head injuries. However, only a helmet that is perfectly fitted to the individual shape and size of its wearer's head can provide maximum protection.


On the basis of over 40 measuring points per head, the characteristic dimensions can be measured consistently to produce better-fitting helmets.

©Hohenstein Institute

Helmet manufacturers know this, too, but they have had to work with the limited information about head measurements that was previously available. Above all, there was a shortage of information about head shapes. The problem is that where the circumference of two volunteers' heads is the same, the width of the head can vary by up to 4 cm. This significant difference cannot be catered for by a single size or shape of helmet. Now, thanks to a research project carried out at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim and called "Textile-based head protection systems" (AiF No. 16976 N), detailed data about head shapes is available for the first time.

Head size and head shape

The researchers spent about two years measuring the heads of 6000 men, women and children, and thoroughly examining their shapes and dimensions. With the help of more than 40 defined measuring points, they analysed the circumference, width and length of the head and many other important dimensions, and evaluated them statistically. This enabled them to develop a new sizing chart specifically for heads, to identify typical 3D head shapes for the first time and then work out the typical market share of each actual head shape among the population of Germany.

"Since people only wear head protection systems consistently if they are comfortable, getting the best possible fit is very important," says Simone Morlock, who was in charge of the project at the Hohenstein Institute. How well a helmet fits is closely related to the shape of the head. With her team, Simone Morlock has defined five main head types: These range from "extremely round" and "round" through "normal" and "oval" to "extremely oval".

To demonstrate these types, 3D models were developed which cover the whole spectrum of different head shapes of people living in Germany. Another new element is that the head dimensions are shown in terms of sizes, rather than in the unit normally used in the standards, the percentile. A percentile only indicates the percentages among specific groups of people, but gives no indication of the actual dimensions of the head for each head size. By using the sizing chart produced by the researchers for head sizes 48 to 64, which describes the dimensions of the head and face for the five head types, manufacturers can now offer a better range of sizes and product types.

The size-based presentation of head dimensions is a big help in industrial product development, because the sizing charts now show the actual dimensions for each size. The experts have also identified and described differences in the dimensions between age groups and between the genders.

Wearing characteristics and hygiene requirements

As well as the fit, physiological aspects such as moisture transport also have an effect on people's feeling of well-being. "To make sure that helmets not only fit as well as possible but also feel great to wear, we have studied the wearing comfort and hygiene requirements of textile-based head protection systems. This is because the materials that are used affect the climatic conditions under the helmet," says Martin Harnisch.

"For the first time, we also included the lining of the helmet in our examination." In the project, the textile lining of ski helmets was studied as an example. By using laboratory tests, it is easy to characterise the different helmet linings in terms of their heat and moisture management and how they feel on the skin (skin sensory functions). For example, nearly all the lining materials took a long time to dry. Any potential ways of improving this were indicated. Unlike in previous studies, the scientists also took account of the hygienic properties of the head protection systems.

"Increased sweating inside the head protection generates a warm and humid climate which reduces wearing comfort while also creating ideal conditions for the growth of microorganisms. This can result in undesirable odour formation and possible scalp diseases like various kinds of dermatosis such as tinea capitis," reports Dr. Mucha. To prevent these unpleasant consequences that result from the materials being used, different factors were studied and optimised by the researchers.

Research findings help improve all head protection systems

In future it will be possible for manufacturers to use the new dimensions and data about shapes and market share to develop helmets that are specifically designed for different customer groups. In the long term, the standards which play such an important role in the field of head protection systems will be able to be updated in line with the latest findings: from personal protective equipment (PPE) in the construction industry to the police, firefighters and the armed forces, and the leisure industry. The additional anthropomorphic data that has been collected will also help to make mouthguards, face masks and ear protectors fit better, especially where they are combined with a helmet.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.hohenstein.de/en/inline/pressrelease_80385.xhtml

Rose-Marie Riedl | Hohenstein Institute

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>