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Welcome to the first post on our new company blog. We’ll work to keep everything here topical to 6D and relevant to information that you need to know.
First, some history. We have been working on our Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology for about five and a half years now. In January of 2011 we set out to develop a superior design solution for motorcycle helmets. The concept was to suspend an inner eps liner from a second outer liner to thereby reduce the transfer of angular acceleration during any crash event. Our design gave us so much more than we expected!
6D coined the phrase “low-threshold energy”. No one even talked about that before 6D showed up in the market. “Low-threshold energy” compliance is equally as important as reducing angular acceleration during any given impact. Why, you ask? Because both contribute to concussive events! Helmets in general are too stiff to be effective in the energy ranges necessary to reduce concussions (onset above 60 G’s in an adult Male) and brain injury. Our ODS technology with its suspended liner system is active from the moment the helmet comes in contact with any other object or force, thereby working to manage energy at much lower demands than the traditional, and emerging, helmet designs. ODS accomplishes this without sacrificing the high-energy requirements of the various certification standards that we must also comply to. Standards that were established many years ago with the strategy of preventing skull fractures… Nobody was thinking about the brain!
The most common real-world crash scenarios are in the impact velocities we qualify as “low-threshold impacts”; those 3, 4, or 5 m/sec (equivalent velocity) impacts that are well below the velocities of the certification testing required in any given country. What this means to you is that your 6D helmet with ODS technology is more compliant, more forgiving, and better suited to protect you from concussive level impacts when compared to traditional designs. With that said, we make no claim to prevent concussion or worse.
If you stop and really think about what is happening during a crash event, you will quickly deduce that helmet volume (interior space) is good; as you want to come to a stop (the impact event) over the greatest amount of time and distance possible within the helmet’s interior. ODS compresses and shears (in any direction necessary) at the moment of impact, effectively increasing the time of the impact event, and reducing the severity. This exclusive capability of our ODS system provides a progressive deceleration of the head as it travels to a stop independently of the helmet’s outer shell. Traditional helmet designs cannot replicate this excellent capability.
For about a year now we have been working with the brain trust (yes, pun intended) at Dynamic Research Inc. in Torrance, CA. to further develop our ODS technology for multi-impact helmets inside the envelope of the NFL’s Head Heath Challenge III. We are proud to be a part of this exceptional program where only 5 out of 125 original applicants were selected to participate in the grant-funded trial. The Head Health Challenge is just that, a challenge to develop the best possible energy management solution for use in various applications such as military and sporting goods. We intend to utilize the knowledge gained from these advanced material studies surrounding our ODS technology in future 6D helmets. As one of the 5 selected finalists, 6D is the only helmet manufacturer within the group! I think that speaks to the performance value of our ODS technology. Head Health Challenge III
By now, 5-plus years into our company’s history, we have managed to bring to market 5 different ODS equipped helmets. Our flagship off-road motorcycle helmet, the ATR-1 was the first and most successful so far. We quickly added a youth version of the same model, the ATR-1Y, and then another derivative, the ATB-1 MTB DH/BMX helmet. Most recently we launched the exceptional ATS-1 full-face street bike helmet, and the equally revolutionary ATB-1T MTB trail helmet. There are more in the works.
6D has inspired change in the thinking, design, and technology from some of the other brands out there. This is important, and good for the market and the consumer. I encourage you to take some time and educate yourself on our ODS technology, its benefits, differences, and capabilities compared to other emerging technologies in the market. My guess is that you will see the value of its simplicity, the benefits of its design, and its capabilities as a superior energy management system.
Thanks for reading, and keep an eye on our blog for information and news about 6D, helmets, helmet testing, and everything related to brain protection and rider safety in the future.