October 19, 2021 2 min read
Manufacturing a ballistic helmet is relatively simple in theory. However in actuality it's much more complex than say body armor. Doing it consistently and at scale becomes increasingly complex as well. To ensure a helmet performs as advertised we use a multi-faceted approach consisting of quality control checks and batch testing!
The start of any great product starts with raw materials. We only trust suppliers that carry numerous accreditations such as ISO 9001:2015 for our ballistic fibers. These suppliers such as DuPont, Teijin, Honeywell, and DSM all have their own batch testing and QC checks in addition to our own.
These checks may include randomized ballistic flat-panel testing, visual and weight inspections, chemical, viscosity, and density checks on fabrics that are pre-impregnated with resin. Furthermore, some such as Honeywell provide defect templates (shown below) for us to double-check if we see anything questionable on the fibers once it gets to our cutting machines.
Using a reputable fiber supplier that has its own strict standards is our key ingredient to helmet production.
Throughout the production process of a ballistic helmet, we implement several checks. These include, but are not limited to
The above or just a few examples with each stage of production having its own unique set of checks with even a final cosmetic visual inspection by our shipping team.
Utilizing match-made molds for our production helps ensure consistency in our helmet shell's even at a glance. If something is amiss, it manifests itself in downstream processes with parts not fitting and weights being off.
Ensures performance with each production run. We like to test the batched rolls received from the fiber suppliers. This ensures consistency in performance across the entire rolls used for that production run. We also will accommodate large contract customers' specific batch testing specifications if they vary from our own. In-person witnesses to these tests are always encouraged for our contract customers.
A lot goes into helmet testing and we conduct both in-house and 3rd party verification tests. If you are curious about the details of each test, check out this page! https://www.hardheadveterans.com/pages/ate-ballistic-helmet-testing
In-House testing allows us to expedite our production and R&D efforts. The ability to quickly assess the performance of a helmet is priceless during both these processes.
Third-Party or independent labs allow us to compare our in-house testing and also provide a non-biased verification of our helmet's performance. These are typically required by our contract customers, in addition, we always perform them for our main product lines.