Testing a Motorcycle Helmet’s Durability

Couple Wearing Motorcycle HelmetMotorcycle helmets are a product of great engineering, and it has been saving many riders from fatal accidents over the years. To ensure they don’t fail during the most crucial of times, though, helmets have to go through some rigorous tests before it can leave the factory.

A lot of product type testing involves Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS), which a HASS corporation performs. Testing a helmet’s durability this way entails a series of controlled impacts on different surfaces to measure the possible damage it takes from a type of crash. Here are some tests a motorcycle helmet has to endure before getting a manufacturer’s seal of approval.

Impact Test

An impact test involves different controlled impacts where the tester positions the helmet on a metal head form and drops it on different steel test anvils, such as a roll bar, edge, or horseshoe type.

Dynamic Retention Test

This test starts by placing the helmet on a head form with the chin strap attached to a device. The tester loads a 23kg weight on the jaw piece for a minute. They then remove the 23kg weight and apply a 38 kg mass on an abrupt fall. The helmet fails if it is unable to support the mechanical loads.

Shell Penetration Test

The tester fixes the helmet to a rigid base and then drops a 3kg sharp striker in a directed fall on it from a recommended height. The striker must not pierce through the helmet, or even have a brief contact with the head form or it fails the test.

Flame Resistance Test

This is a special application test for racing helmets, and it includes torching the shell, chin strap, trim, and face shield at 790 degrees for a few seconds. The flame must go out within a specific amount of time to pass the test.

In order to do their job, helmets must go through a rigorous set of tests. When purchasing a helmet, opt for an ASTM/SEI- certified one to ensure they underwent and passed the proper assessments.