Scientists develop stronger and safe helmet for cyclists
25 Jul 2021
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, pose with the new helmets during the unveiling ceremony.
Gulf Today Report
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in collaboration with French specialty materials leader Arkema, have developed a tougher, safer bicycle helmet using a combination of materials including Elium, a new thermoplastic resin.
The new helmet prototype has higher energy absorption, reducing the amount of energy transferred to a cyclist's head in the event of an accident and lowering the chances of serious injury.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report in 2020, more than 60 per cent of the reported bicycle-related deaths and long-term disabilities are a result of accidents with head injuries.
"Our partnership with Arkema is driven by the desire to develop a new type of helmet that is stronger and safer for cyclists," said Associcate Professor Leong. Our prototype helmet has been subjected to a barrage of internationally benchmarked tests and has demonstrated the ability to provide greater protection for cyclists compared to conventional helmets,” said Associate Professor Leong Kah Fai.
Bicycle helmets are made up of two components. The first is an outer shell, usually made from a mass-produced plastic like polycarbonate. Beneath it is a layer of expanded polystyrene foam — the same material used in product packaging and takeaway boxes.
The outer shell is designed to crack on impact in order to dissipate energy across the entire surface of the helmet. The foam layer then compresses and absorbs the bulk of impact energy so that less energy is transferred to the head.