bicyclecommuter.net


Cone-head helmet not a bonehead idea

Visiting fatal accident scenes involving motorcycles and bicycles helped a Brisbane physicist develop a revolutionary helmet that has the potential to reduce brain injury or death.

The invention, known as Cone-Head, took out the Invention of the Year award last night on ABC TV’s The New Inventors.

Don Morgan, from Yeronga, said he was “greatly honoured” to win the top prize for an invention he has been working on since the mid-1980s.

 

The unique helmet has a cone-shaped lining that allows greater absorption of the impact in an accident.

“It’s in five segments, and the reason for that is to take into account the different strengths or thicknesses of the skull,” Mr Morgan said.

“For example, softer foam needs to be around vital areas of the skull like the temple region, and the outer layer adds strength to the helmet liner itself.”

The 59-year-old inventor said the idea was first spawned after he participated in a research project on road safety more than 20 years ago.

“We looked at helmet design, tested different helmets, carried out crash simulations and even tested cadavers with helmets on.

“I would go out with the traffic accident investigation squad to fatal or serious motorcycle and bicycle accidents to understand the force involved and hopefully retrieve the helmet.

“I would then take the helmet back to the laboratory, pull it apart and look for damage that could relate back to the injury sustained.”

It became clear to Mr Morgan that the standard foam liner in helmets was too hard and did not effectively absorb the force of an impact.

His interest in helmets continued long after the research project wrapped up, and during the 1990s his interest in foam liners was piqued again.

“My daughter was riding a bicycle and when I picked up her helmet and pushed my thumb against it, I was amazed at the hardness of it.

“I started to wonder how I could soften the liner.”

After pondering different types of foam strips and utilising shapes from cylinders to square-based pyramids, Mr Morgan eventually decided on a cone-shaped lining.

Independent testing of the Cone-Head liner in New Zealand compared Mr Morgan’s design with standard helmet liners.

“The results showed that the foam samples we tested with cones in them were far superior to the single density harm foam.

“I thought it would be all downhill from there, with all of this wonderful scientific data, but I found it very difficult to find an Australian manufacturer.

 

link to original article 

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sounds like a good idea but until he changes the name from “cone-head” to something else it’s not going to get off the ground.

Comment by brkeyes7

London Olympics 2012 for bike heads visit the all new London Velodrome, For mountain biking Hedleigh Farm Essex, For Road Race see it for free in central London

Comment by Arun




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