New helmet technology - MIPS

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New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:52 am

I have been reading more and more about this new technology coming soon. Called MIPS, for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, it reduces rotational brain injury.

When a helmet hits the ground at any kind of speed, it is rarely a direct impact - instead, it is a "glancing" impact, where the helmet hits while moving. This can cause the helmet to violently rotate on impact. Existing helmets absorb that impact energy, but transmit the rotational force directly to your skull. Your brain lags behind as your head rotates, tearing blood vessels and connective tissue and causing tremendous damage. Existing helmet designs try to mitigate this by making the outside of the helmet smooth and slippery, and by having any protrusions (i.e. vents) easily sheared off.

Incidentally, this is why it is SO dangerous to mount so-called "action cameras" to your helmet. The cameras must be mounted very securely to the helmet in order to stay in place, yet they then provide an actual LEVER, which MAGNIFIES this rotational injury upon impact. An impact that could be easily absorbed without injury on a standard helmet, could in fact be lethal if the camera hits the ground and violently wrenches the helmet around. Helmets are safety devices, not camera mounts.

Brain injury with and without MIPS
Brain injury with and without MIPS

Several attempts at making helmets absorb rotational impacts have been made, including putting a second layer of EPS in the helmet, separating the two with elastomeric nodes, as was done in the "6D" helmet released a couple of years ago. This allows the inner liner to move and rotate relative to the outer layer:

6D helmet with elastomeric nodes
6D helmet with elastomeric nodes

But the technology which has seemed to have won out is the MIPS standard. This employs a slippery layer inside the helmet that allows the outer shell to rotate relative to the inner liner upon impact:

This technology has now been given a tremendous boost: FIM has declared that any company that sponsors a rider competing in MotoGP, Moto 2, or Moto 3 starting with the 2019 season must have their rider wearing a helmet that protects against rotational injury. They have created a standard and testing protocol that helmet manufacturers must meet, and conforming helmets will wear a holographic sticker with a QR barcode:

FIM holographic sticker
FIM holographic sticker

The new FIM standard exceeds Snell, ECE, and JIS protection standards, which means it will also exceed DOT. Helmet manufacturers are expected to carry over the MIPS design from their racing helmets to their consumer helmet lines, so we should be seeing FIM-compliant MIPS helmet start to emerge from the leading helmet manufacturers within the year.

Bell MIPS helmet
Bell MIPS helmet

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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by Andy Cote » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:11 pm

Great news!! Will be pricy at first but like everything, volume of sales and competition will bring price down.
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by Sadanorakman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:59 pm

Excellent article, and fascinating technology. Thank you Wingadmin.
There are two types of people in this world, those that can extrapolate from incomplete data,

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