At PI we believe that design innovation has the power to solve today’s tough problems and make the world a better place. That’s why we have partnered with Helmetek to develop innovative personal safety solutions that target the issue of persistent head injury in sports.
The Helmetek Flex Shell concept is designed provide superior impact protection by absorbing and redistributing energy in ways current helmets do not.
Instead of a continuous single piece, the outer shell is separated into multiple individual panels. These panels are compliantly interconnected to each other and to an underlying structural frame. Shock-absorbing polymer springs fill the spaces between the rigid panels, allowing the panels to move independently in any direction while keeping them in place.
When an individual panel moves, it transmits force to the interstitial polymer material, some of which is then passed along to adjacent panels and so on across the helmet structure, distributing impact forces around the perimeter of the head instead of concentrating them. An internal air bladder works in concert with the external panels to redistribute force. During impact, some energy is absorbed by foam inside the cell while air is forced into surrounding cells via a series of channels. Like an airbag, this action dampens without rebounding or reverberation.
A flexible, breathable protective fabric wraps the outside of the helmet providing unique decorative and branding opportunities.
The Helmetek Flex Shell is now a 2019 iF Design Award winner!