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Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Livermore National Lab’

JIEDDO Helmet Pad Report

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Earlier this year Lawrence Livermore National Lab issued a report on the issue helmet pad’s performance in mitigating impact injuries to the head commissioned by the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) and funded partially by the US Army. The main stream media made much of the researcher’s investigation of NFL helmet pads.

According to LLNL, “Five types of pad systems were studied-those currently and previously used by the Army, two used in NFL helmets, and one used in other protective sports equipment. The two Army systems consist of bilayer (hard-soft) foam pads within a water-resistant airtight wrapper or coating. One NFL system consists of a thin foam pad and a hollow air-filled cylinder that buckles under load, and the other is a bilayer foam pad surrounded by a covering with air-relief channels that connect to adjacent pads in the helmet. The fifth pad consists of uniform dense foam.

Researchers Mike King’s and Willy Moss’s conclusion? None of the other pads out perform the current issue pad. In fact, NFL pads are not as soft as military pads, allowing larger forces to be transferred to the head.

Ultimately, the two scientists found that by increasing the thickness of current pads by just 1/8″ would significantly decrease the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury. While this answer sounds simple enough, it raises a serious issue. That extra 1/8″ of padding would require most everyone to go up one helmet size.

Unfortunately, the research was accomplished in support of ACH standards rather than against the energy levels associated with the new Enhanced Combat Helmet (.30) threat. Until this issue can be dealt with the ECH is ultimately just an expensive ACH. As lead service for the ECH program, the USMC has yet to unveil any plans at all on how to deal with the increased kinetic energy associated with the higher caliber threat.

Read the full report here:

LLNL Helmet Pad Report