OMNI-DIRECTIONAL SUSPENSION TECHNOLOGY – EXCLUSIVE IN 6D HELMETS
6D’s revolutionary patented Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) embodies a fully active, in-helmet suspension and kinetic energy management system. The goal was simple; design a helmet that reduced energy transfer to the brain over a much broader range of energy demands, including LOW, MID, and HIGH-VELOCITY impacts for both LINEAR and ANGULAR ACCELERATIONS.
6D’s suspended dual-liner assembly will displace and shear omni-directionally when subjected to impact. This capability provides significantly improved performance against both linear and angular accelerations. There is simply no other helmet technology that can provide these combined energy management benefits.
Elastomeric Isolation Damper
This damper is the heart and soul of 6D’s exclusive ODS technology. An array of dampers work in unison with the dual EPS liners to isolate impact energy from your brain. The elastic properties of the dampers, combined with their unique ‘hourglass’ shape provide a progressive spring rate that manages low and mid-threshold accelerations, while simultaneously allowing the inner EPS liner to displace and shear in 3-dimensional space within itself. This omni-directional suspension capability provides ‘six degrees of freedom’, which became the inspiration for our company name; ‘6D Helmets.’
ANGULAR ACCELERATION ENERGY
Angular acceleration is defined as the rate of change of angular velocity over time. Angular acceleration is generated from oblique angle impacts to the helmet’s surface and is particularly concerning to one’s health and long-term well-being. The medical community agrees that angular acceleration is a primary cause of concussion (a mild-traumatic brain injury (MTBI)), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). These types of injuries occur from oblique impacts to the helmet and are serious. The result of this type of impact, and subsequent energy transfer to the brain, is shearing, tearing, compression, and rotations of the brain within the skull.
Experiments conducted by David C. Viano, PhD. M.D. at the Bio-Engineering Center at Wayne State University confirmed that a helmeted head sustained the same degree of angular acceleration as the un-helmeted head when subjected to identical impacts. So, if angular acceleration is a major cause of concussion (or worse), how is the brain protected by traditional helmet design? Unfortunately, in respect to angular acceleration, it is not.
The graphs shown here identify how 6D’s proprietary Omni-Directional Suspension technology dramatically reduces the transfer of angular acceleration to the head form during both a high-velocity and low-velocity impact. When thinking in terms of “less is more”, this significant reduction in energy transfer most certainly has to be to the benefit of the athlete during a crash event.
*(Low-Velocity) Peak Angular Accelerations during incline anvil testing at 3m/sec, Front.
**(High-Velocity) Peak Angular Accelerations during incline anvil testing at 6m/sec, Left Forward.
LOW-THRESHOLD ENERGY (LOW-VELOCITY IMPACTS)
Recent medical research has provided alarming conclusions surrounding the causes, severity, and long-term effects of concussions. We now know that even seemingly minor concussions (‘I’m fine, I just rang my bell’) may have much more serious effects on the long-term health and well-being of one’s brain. It’s well documented that concussions can occur from impacts in the lower range of 60 G’s** in adult males and may be location dependent. This value is even less in women and children.
To meet high certification test velocities, conventional helmets are simply too stiff to effectively absorb energy from impacts at lower impact velocities. The vast majority of impacts in ‘real world’ crashes are what we qualify as ‘low-threshold energy’ impacts well below the pass/fail certification velocities, but at or above the velocity necessary to sustain a concussion or brain injury. In this critical area of energy management the 6D helmet pays huge benefits when compared to traditional helmet designs. 6D’s proprietary ODS starts working the instant any force is applied to the shell, making the helmet much more compliant and progressive on the highest percentage of ‘real world’ crash impacts.
**Research on football player impacts has shown that concussions may occur at 60 G’s. Guskiewicz KM, Mihalik JP, Shankar V, et al. Measurement of head impacts in collegiate football players: relationship between head impact biomechanics and acute clinical outcome after collision. Neurosurgery 2007;61: 1244 –1253.
SUPERIOR HIGH-SPEED IMPACT PERFORMANCE
Across the entire range of impact velocities the ODS technology consistently outperforms the competition. 6D engineers meticulously evaluate the shell design, shell layup, damper array, damper durometer, and EPS densities to provide the best possible matrix of the materials for superior impact management performance. No other system or technology is more technically advanced or capable of reducing energy transfer to the brain.
IT’S ALL ABOUT TIME
Time to peak (TTP) is the measurement of time (in milliseconds) it takes the energy of an impact to reach the maximum (peak) G force. Deceleration time is the single most beneficial component of reducing the severity and magnitude of any impact. The more time, the less severe the energy transfer will become. 6D’s proprietary ODS technology buys time, in fact more than doubles the TTP in most impacts below 6 m/sec! The really cool news here is the significant reduction in energy transfer that comes simply with time.
INDEPENDENT LABORATORY TESTING
The exceptional test results in this catalog are the actual test data generated from hours of testing the 6D ATR-1 helmet against current model SNELL, ECE and DOT certified helmets in a fully-independent, third-party laboratory testing facility;
Dynamic Research, located in Torrance, California. Dynamic Research is recognized as the leader in helmet testing, evaluation and is a pioneer in measuring and evaluating angular acceleration energy.
ODS COMPARED TO COMPETING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Manufactures have scrambled since the introduction of the 6D helmet to address the need for improved helmet performance. Some have done better than others. The challenge for each of them is the natural shape of the human head. It’s oval shape restricts the helmet from shearing in relation to the skull in two of the three primary axis X, Y and Z. This is because the inner surface of the helmet’s liner binds under rotation with the 4 corners of the skull in one direction, and the cheek bones and jaw in the other direction.
MIPS: is a simplistic shear-plane mated to the helmet liner’s inner surface and is designed to improve the amount of slip that your head naturally has within the helmet. If your head cannot move within the helmet very far because it’s fit properly (snug), and the shape of the skull (as mentioned above) naturally constraining its movement, then these types of systems cannot do much work (unless you’re crushing the EPS liner in a high energy crash at the same time). Additionally, a shear-plane has no ability to mitigate linear accelerations.
6D’s ODS technology is designed with its shearable suspension system sandwiched between two EPS foam liners which are shaped more spherical, like a ball and socket. This superior design position allows for 6 degrees (6D) of free-motion displacement during an impact, regardless of your head shape, angle of impact, or how tight your helmet fits!
• ODS uncouples the outer surface of the helmet from the wearer’s head.
• The ODS system’s isolation dampers activate long before the EPS. This capability allows ODS to mitigate impact forces at varying impact velocities, from all impact angles, for both linear and angular acceleration
• ODS by its design has 6 degrees (6D) of free-motion displacement capability of the inner liner in relation to the outer liner and is less restricted by the shape of the human head.
• ODS is not compromised by the impact angle to the helmet’s outer surface. Simple shear-plane technologies are less effective as the impact angle moves closer to 90 degrees.
Helmet Shell Size: When it comes to the argument of helmet size and the overall protection that is provided to the brain, one thing is for sure. You need both time and distance to increase protection and reduce impact severity.
• A larger shell and softer EPS combination provides more time and distance to stop than a smaller more compact shell with harder EPS.
• The more time we have to stop a body in motion the lower the transfer forces will be. Time and motion are related; i.e. the shorter a distance you have to stop the higher the forces generated. The opposite is also true. The more distance you have to stop the lower the force generated for objects of equal mass.
• Think about the often referenced engineering project where you build a box to house an egg with some sort of energy management material inside and then drop it off the roof to see if the egg survives! The small boxes never worked no matter what magic material you had inside!
6D HELMETS’ OMNI-DIRECTIONAL SUSPENSION AND THE NFL
We are proud to announce that 6D Helmets and Dynamic Research Inc. have been selected the grand prize winner of the NFL’s Head Health Challenge III advanced materials development competition. Head Health Challenge III was designed to spur the discovery, design, and development of advanced materials to better absorb or mitigate impact force within helmets, and help protect against traumatic brain injury. The competition was sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) as well as The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), GE, and Under Armour.
As a team, 6D Helmets and Dynamic Research were selected out of more than 125 diverse companies and academic institutions that entered the competition. Our innovative Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) was the genesis of our work performing excellent in the initial testing. NIST utilized an independent panel of expert judges who narrowed the field down to five finalists with the best performing materials. Each finalist was awarded $250,000 and a year of development time to enhance their materials further.
Our winning material is a derivative of our proprietary ODS technology designed to function in the multi-impact category of helmets. This material solution is suitable for many applications including helmets for football, hockey, military, equestrian, action sports, industrial applications and others. Working closely with Dynamic Research, we were able modify and analyze various configurations of the ODS technology utilizing FEA analysis of many different materials and material formations. Significant improvements in energy management and force reductions were achieved throughout the challenge.
What does this mean for our current helmets?
We have already begun implementing some of the innovations explored and learned within the Head Health Challenge III into our helmets. In fact, the new ATB-1T Evo benefits from refinements that came directly from our work within the Head Health Challenge III. Our mission here at 6D is simple, improving helmet design for better brain protection. We will continue to innovate as we move forward with each and every new product offering.