Replicating Real-World Friction of Motorcycle Helmet Impacts and its Effects on Head Injury Metrics

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1433

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to determine the frictional properties between the exterior surface of a motorcycle helmet and ‘typical’ roadway surfaces. These values were compared to abrasive papers currently recommended by government helmet safety standards and widely used by researchers in the field of oblique motorcycle helmet impacts. A guided freefall test fixture was utilized to obtain nominal impact velocities of 5, 7 and 9 m/s. The impacting surfaces were mounted to an angled anvil to simulate off-centered oblique collision. Head accelerations and impact forces were measured for each test. Analysis of the normal and tangential forces imparted to the contact surface indicated that the frictional properties of abrasive papers differ from asphalt and cement in magnitude, duration and onset. Reduction in head acceleration, both linear and angular, were observed when asphalt and cement were used as the impacting surface. Roofing shingle was determined to be a more suitable material to simulate ‘typical’ roadway surfaces however, this may not be ideal for use in a controlled laboratory setting. In a laboratory setting, cement is recommended as a best-fit material to simulate roadway surface for use in oblique motorcycle helmet impacts since this material displayed characteristics that closely resemble asphalt and is currently used as a roadway construction material.
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