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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kranium Project: Effective Cycling Protection with CARDBOARD!



Expanded polystyrene has been used in creating bike helmets for the past few decades and they have advanced very little in terms of safety. Helmets protect your head only 16% of the times during a crash and have been giving us the false implication of safety. Emphasis this day is given to styling and aerodynamics. However, polystyrene does little to absorb impact energy but distributes it over the head. Since the past twenty years improvements have been made in the fields of aerodynamics and styling. However while cycling through a busy city at an average speed of 12mph, safety is more important than aerodynamics.

Why is this unsustainable, largely focused on aesthetics being pushed into our lives to promote safety?

Kranium looks at creating an innovative, lightweight outdoor sports activity helmet that will revolutionize the helmet market through improved safety, recyclability and breakthrough design.
The structure of Kranium has been developed to absorb the impact energy. The ribs of the structure have been designed to accommodate movement in some places where as it remains perfectly rigid in some areas. Thus during a crash the force peak of the impact is absorbed by the ribs tending to flex and de-flex. The remaining amount of energy is then absorbed by the crumpling nature of the corrugated ribs. When tested against the British Standards (EN 1078) at the Imperial College, Kranium absorbs 4 times the amount of impact energy when compared to regular cycling helmets. This means that during a crash, lesser amounts of energy go into your head thus making it safer than regular cycling helmets.
Kranium has also proven to last more than one impact. During the testing phase the same helmet has been tested 5 times consecutively and it still proved to pass the standard. Polystyrene helmets however are rendered useless after a single impact. It has also been impregnated with a compound to make the cardboard water-proof.

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