The study of helmet safety is said to have started after T.E. Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia) died after a motorcycle accident. One of the doctors attending him, Hugh Cairns, felt the loss of life was unnecessary and began a long study of motorcycle rider deaths related to head injuries. Helmet technology has progressed through the years, and modern designs are constructed from plastics. Premium helmet models can be found with fiberglass reinforced with Kevlar or carbon fiber. All current helmets generally have a fabric and foam interior to provide both comfort and protect for the rider, and are designed to distort in a crash to absorb impact that would normally be felt by the wearer’s skull.
First created in 1958, carbon fiber technology developed rapidly from its inefficient beginnings. Now, carbon fiber is a material consisting of 5-micrometers diameter fibers composed mostly of carbon atoms. These atoms are bonded together in a crystal alignment that more or less run parallel to the long axis of the fiber. This alignment makes the fiber extremely strong for its size. The combination of several thousand of these fibers bundled together can be woven into a fabric. When this carbon-based fabric is combined with a plastic resin, the composite formed is a carbon fiber reinforced polymer – also known as carbon fiber.
The inclusion of carbon fiber technology in motorcycle helmet construction has led to numerous benefits for riders. In addition to the tough, scale-like look, carbon fiber motorcycle helmets are lighter, stronger, and more durable than their basic-plastic counterpart. Investing in the purchase of a carbon fiber helmet will give you a protection device that is resistant to fatigue, is structurally solid, and does not easily dent, scratch or break. If you haven’t seen the videos of these helmets getting tested by being run over by a truck, you should check them out online. Even with this great strength, many of these helmets are still designed to conform to Snell m2010 standards or be DOT approved helmets.
The purchase of a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet should be considered an investment. Although you are going to initially spend more to procure this helmet than you would a traditional plastic or fiberglass version, the benefits you receive during your rides will quickly make up for that upfront expense. Beyond the previously mentioned strength – always a major consideration when talking about motorcycle safety equipment designed to protect your life – these helmets are comfortable! They are so light that you won’t experience the same neck fatigue and stress that you may have endured on your longer rides before. After awhile, you might even forget you’re wearing a helmet at all. The quality is so great that these helmets are not going to change their shape after repeated use, meaning that you’ll still be wearing a properly fitting helmet well into the future.
The benefits of a carbon fiber motorcycle helmet are numerous. From the strength and weight, to the design and durability, these are helmets that you can trust without fail. If NASA and the US military can trust carbon fiber technology for their applications, we should feel safe that our helmets can withstand all we can through at them.