Textile applications for motorcycle helmets

Kanesalingam, S 2010, Textile applications for motorcycle helmets, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Kanesalingam.pdf Thesis application/pdf 4.60MB
Title Textile applications for motorcycle helmets
Author(s) Kanesalingam, S
Year 2010
Abstract This research has investigated the novel application of innovative fabrics in the design of an interlayer between the scalp and the helmet lining of a motorcycle helmet to control the temperature inside the helmet. Fibre microstructure configurations and fibre treatments have been examined for their ability to assist in the dissipation of heat from the scalp. The application of this research will be of considerable benefit to motorcyclists in South East Asia and other tropical regions.
The results of this research have provided a fundamental understanding of textile cooling techniques for helmets and produced a prototype proof of concept of a textile liner for a motorcycle helmet. Existing research has concentrated on ventilation techniques for bicycle helmets, rather than motorcycle helmets. The problem with motorcycle helmets is that, in order to comply with safety standards, few holes, if any, can be placed into the shell of a motorcycle helmet.
This research will enable the development of new safety standard compliant helmets to be designed that are comfortable in regions of high heat and humidity. At present there are no mechanisms to achieve this, other than to increase ventilation (by having holes), resulting in less safety and thereby lowering the safety standard. The research presents data and a mechanism to enable the computer-aided design of cool helmets, which is now possible.
The research has achieved the desired results without altering the motorcycle helmet or its standards compliance. The textile liner produced consists of a hood with replaceable inserts made from Polymeric Water Absorbent Textile (PWAT) materials or from paraffinic Phase Change Materials (PCM). The textile liner covers the part of the head that is covered by the helmet. The materials used are non-toxic, low cost, lightweight and easy to use.
The preliminary research was conducted at simulated low velocities of 0, 15 and 35 kph and the final experimental research was conducted at road velocities of 55 and 75 kph in the RMIT industrial wind tunnel. The drop in temperature achieved depends on the speed and the type of material used in the textile liner. The PWAT materials produced a drop in temperature of 3–9 Deg.C, whereas the paraffinic PCM materials gave a drop in temperature of 3–4 Deg.C. The anticipated community benefit will be a significant reduction in road trauma in South East Asia and other tropical regions. The development of a cool motorcycle helmet liner will encourage more motorcyclists to wear safety standard approved motorcycle helmets.
Further benefits from this research are that it can be applied to helmets used in other fields of work such as fire fighting, forestry, building construction, the military and police.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Fashion and Textiles
Keyword(s) Motorcycle helmet
Textile liner
Heat stress
Wind tunnel
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Created: Thu, 06 Oct 2016, 12:07:47 EST by Keely Chapman
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