A helmet developed by a
Brisbane physicist was named “Invention of the Year” on the
Australian television show The New Inventors.
Don Morgan’s “Cone-Head”
helmet uses cone structures in the liner to better absorb impact
shocks. He spent 20 years developing and refining the helmet after
studying the effects of crashes on motorcycle helmets.
The helmet incorporates low-density cones and a high-density liner that
work together to reduce the rate of deceleration of the head in an
impact. The liner is built in five sections of varying thickness,
because the human skull is not uniformly thick.
Morgan, 59, decided to
invent a better helmet when he took part in a road safety research
project in the mid-1980s. He went to the scenes of motorcycle and
bicycle accidents and retrieved helmets, which he took back to his
lab and examined, looking for liner damage that could be associated
with the wearer’s injuries.
He concluded that the
liners of helmets were generally too hard and failed to absorb enough
of the impact force.
Now, he hopes to get the Cone-Head helmet manufactured and approved
for use. With his TV prize of thousands of dollars worth of business
advice and other assistance, you might just see the Cone-Head in stores before too long.
Among other winning
inventions in the ABC show, a one-handed potato peeler and a device
that reduces pain when a compression garment is fitted over a limb.
See the Cone-Head on ABC TV.
Turning the cones around wouldn’t work. You want the most possible area against your head to distribute impacts over the greatest possible surface. The inner surface could (should?) be perforated and air could then circulate between the cones to keep the rider cool.
How about turning the cone-shaped protrusions the other way round so they are resting on the head? Might make it cooler in hot weather and protect from the dreaded “helmet hair”!
The marketing ideas boggle the mind. Imagine Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin…. helmets made in “France”…