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Biomechanical performances of old-fashioned leather and modern football helmets
Date:5/7/2013

; 1 star, marginal; and no star, not recommended). Each modern helmet was subjected to all 20 drop tests (4 impact locations at 5 drop heights). Each vintage leather helmet was subjected to 12 drop tests; the 48- and 60-inch drop tests were not undertaken because it was feared that accelerations from those heights might damage the head form when covered by vintage helmets. Drop testing of modern helmets was conducted during an earlier study, at which time the modern helmets were assigned star ratings. Drop testing of vintage helmets was undertaken for the present investigation.

The ten modern helmets were split into two groups: six helmets with a four- or five-star rating in the first group and four helmets with a three-star or lower rating in the second group. The two vintage helmets constituted a third helmet group. Based on the results of the drop tests, the researchers calculated each helmet group's average peak accelerations for each head form position and each drop height.

Rowson and colleagues found that vintage leather helmets were associated with substantially greater peak accelerations for each drop height than all modern helmets. In addition, the researchers found modern helmets reduced the concussion risk by 45% for the 24-inch drop height and 96% for the 36-inch drop height. Modern helmets with lower star ratings had greater peak accelerations for each drop height than modern helmets with higher star ratings, and the differences in peak accelerations between the two modern helmet groups increased with each increase in drop height. All comparisons were statistically significant at a level of p < 0.001.

The authors state that the purpose of the technical note is to provide insight as to how a previous study (Bartsch A et al. Impact test comparisons of 20th and 21st century American football helmets. Laboratory investigation. J Neurosurg 116:222, 2012) could find little difference between older and modern helmets with re
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Contact: Jo Ann M. Eliason
jaeliason@thejns.org
434-982-1209
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group
Source:Eurekalert

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