Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The “thinking” safety helmet

05.06.2008
If something hits you on the head while you are wearing this safety helmet, its soft flexible inner layer will instantly turn into a rock-hard shock-absorbent material.

Industrial designer Tore Christian Bjørsvik Storholmen at SINTEF Health Research felt that workers in the building and construction industry deserved a helmet that is smarter than current models - in more than one sense.


The helmet is lined on the inside with a material that is soft and flexible under normal conditions, but which “locks” instantaneously, becoming hard and shock-absorbent, if the helmet is subjected to impact or blows.

Now, the 27-year-old designer has won an award from the Norwegian Design Council for his “ProActive” helmet.

Talent competition award

The helmet took third prize in “Young talents – open class” at this year’s
design awards ceremony in Oslo on March 12.
More than one hundred candidates had submitted their contributions to this class, which covers designs ranging from clothing to furniture.

New shape

“As far as appearance is concerned, safety helmets have not altered much in the course of the past 30 years. The shape of my concept was inspired by the baseball cap which has long been popular headgear in the construction industry”, explains Storholmen.

He chose this design because he was well aware that workers are more likely to wear protective equipment that they feel comfortable wearing. However, the “smart” concept refers to more than the appearance of the new helmet.

Smart material

The helmet is lined on the inside with a material that is soft and flexible under normal conditions, but which “locks” instantaneously, becoming hard and shock-absorbent, if the helmet is subjected to impact or blows.

“The material on the inside makes my helmet more comfortable in everyday use, and at the same time, safer than traditional models”, says the prize-winner.

And in line with the spirit of the times, Storholmen has made parts of the outer shell transparent, so that the shock-absorbent material is visible from the outside.

Smart ear protection

SINTEF’s new employee has also used smart materials in the ear-protectors that form part of the helmet. Both the ear-protectors themselves and the “loop” that is used to charge up instruments in the helmet are made of textiles that can conduct electricity.

“This means that communication systems can be incorporated in the helmet without the need for cables that could become caught up in other things,” says Storholmen.

Radio or intercom links or gas detectors can all be mounted on the helmet according to the requirements of the individual user.

A combination of pressure-sensitive textiles and Bluetooth technology means that the user can answer a mobile phone call without having to remove his gloves, ear protectors and helmet.

Student project

Tore Christian Bjørsvik Storholmen graduated last year as M.Sc. (Eng.) from NTNU’s industrial design course. The ProActive helmet is the result of a student project that formed part of the course.

“We chose our topics ourselves. Since I have a brother in the construction industry I realised that a lot of people are uncomfortable wearing traditional safety helmets,” says the young prize-winner.

Multidisciplinary group effort

Storholmen is now with SINTEF Health Research’s Work Physiology section, where he works on SmartWear, which is one of six areas of special effort in the SINTEF Group. The aim here is to develop two types of smart clothing:

• Clothing with integrated instrumentation, i.e. with inbuilt sensors and communication equipment.

• Clothing made of functional materials, i.e. materials that give clothes new properties when the temperature changes or when there are other alterations in the user’s environment .

SmartWear is a multidisciplinary effort, in which SINTEF scientists in ICT, materials science, physiology and product design cooperate across the boundaries of their own particular disciplines.

by Svein Tønseth

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.com

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Six German-Russian Research Groups Receive Three Years of Funding
12.09.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren

nachricht IVAM Marketing Prize recognizes convincing technology marketing for the tenth time
22.08.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>