Not too soft & Not too Hard; Ballistic Helmet Pads

October 15, 2017

Searching for the most comfortable helmet pads, especially for ballistic helmets becomes vital typically after that first donning of a ballistic helmet for more than 5 minutes. Standard pads in most helmets are designed poorly and sometimes even dangerously. Aside from the normal hot spots, headaches, and fatigue associated with uncomfortable helmet pads, pads that are too hard, too thin, or even too soft can increase the risk of brain damage from an impact. (Li 2015).

Another issue is that "Currently, the padding systems for (most) combat helmets are designed based on low-velocity impacts representing falling or motor vehicle accidents (e.g., McEntire and Whitley, 2005 [66]; Freitas etal., 2014 [5]; Moss et al., 2014 [27])

Looking at the figure provided by this study we see that pads that are stiffer greatly increase brain strain, pressure, and stresses. We also see that no further benefit can be derived by making the foam pad softer than 0.1 times that of the baseline pad used (Team Wendy ZAP Pads).

Effects of the foam pad hardness

Enter the new generation of ballistic helmet pads. By combining layers of foam pads with different hardness and density companies are now able to to find the "Goldilocks solution" pads that are not too soft, but not too hard.

HHV Comfort PLUS™ Helmet Pads

Comfort Plus Ballistic Helmet Pads

Li, Xiaogai & Gao, X.-L & Kleiven, Svein. (2015). Behind helmet blunt trauma induced by ballistic impact: A computational model. International Journal of Impact Engineering. 91. . 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2015.12.010. • Developed a finite element model for evaluating behind helmet blunt trauma (BHBT) arising from helmet's back face deformation under ballistic impact