Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect riders from head injuries in the event of a crash. The materials used to construct these helmets play a crucial role in their ability to do so. In this article, we will discuss the most common materials used in motorcycle helmets and the properties that make them suitable for this application.
The most important component of a motorcycle helmet is the outer shell. This is the part of the helmet that comes into direct contact with the road in the event of a crash. The outer shell is typically made of one of three materials: fiberglass, carbon fiber, or polycarbonate.
Fiberglass is a lightweight and durable material that has been used in motorcycle helmet construction for many years. It is made by weaving together fine glass fibers, and it is often reinforced with a resin that gives it added strength. Fiberglass helmets are relatively affordable and provide good protection in the event of a crash.
Carbon fiber is another popular material used in motorcycle helmet construction. It is even stronger and lighter than fiberglass, and it is also more expensive. Carbon fiber helmets are typically used by professional riders and racing enthusiasts. They are very durable and provide excellent protection. However, they come with a much higher price tag than fiberglass helmets.
Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is lightweight and impact-resistant. It is the most economical material used in motorcycle helmet construction, and it is popular among budget-conscious riders. While it's not as durable or protective as fiberglass or carbon fiber, it will still provide a good protection in most cases.
In addition to the outer shell, motorcycle helmets also have an inner lining made of impact-absorbing foam. This foam is designed to compress and deform upon impact, which helps to dissipate the energy of the crash and reduce the risk of head injuries. The most common type of foam used in motorcycle helmets is EPS (expanded polystyrene).
It is important to note that all motorcycle helmets must meet certain safety standards in order to be sold. The Department of Transportation (DOT) in the USA and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) are two organizations that test and certify helmets to ensure they meet certain safety standards. When purchasing a motorcycle helmet, be sure to look for one that has a DOT or ECE certification, as these have been tested and certified to be safe.
In conclusion, motorcycle helmets are made of a combination of materials that are designed to provide protection in the event of a crash. The most common materials used in the construction of motorcycle helmets are fiberglass, carbon fiber, and polycarbonate for the outer shell, and EPS foam for the inner lining. When choosing a motorcycle helmet, be sure to consider your budget, the level of protection you need, and whether or not the helmet has been certified by a reputable organization.