Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and materials specialist Arkema have developed a bicycle helmet made of reinforced thermoplastic.
The helmet’s outer shell is made from Arkema’s Elium thermoplastic resin reinforced with carbon fiber using a molding process especially designed for the material. According to the company, the reinforcement makes the outer shell tougher, stiffer, and less brittle than a polycarbonate equivalent. It also increases the helmet’s contact time, which is the total time of impact in which the helmet experiences impact load.
To test their helmets, the team put them into contact metal anvils with enough force to crack open a durian fruit, according to Arkema. The helmet’s composite outer shell was able to absorb the bulk of the impact, reportedly providing better results than current mass-produced helmets.
This story uses material from NTU, with editorial changes made by Materials Today.