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.
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.
One of the problems of Polystyrene helmets today is that they never fit the users head. Additional straps and levers are provided to grip the head but they never tend to provide a perfect fit. Therefore during a crash the helmet slides out of its position upon impact and does little to protect the users head. Due to the structural nature of Kranium, bespoke custom made helmets can be manufactured by scanning the users head. Through the generated coordinates, templates are then produced and assembled together, thus making this a completely customizable helmet, where every single element such as shape, fit, colour, etc. can be tailored to the user. Imagine a helmet which gloves your head perfectly giving you optimum fit and comfort. This would also mean that once the users head is scanned, the file remains in the system. Upon damaging the helmet, the user can get a brand new helmet for a fraction of the new price. This encourages the user to change the helmet when it needs to be changed without spending an exorbitant amount.
It is also much lighter at the same time and thus more comfortable. It is a perfect amalgamation of form and function, using cheap and easily available eco-friendly materials. Kranium also has a huge part to play in the future of bike rentals, which are cropping up in various cities around the world. A cheap helmet, which can be dispensed through a vending machine, could be the answer for the future of bike rental safety.