Kranium cardboard helmet

Outperforms traditional helmets in almost every way

Here is a student project that has some serious potential. Anirudha Surabhi‘s cardboard Kranium helmet ticks all the boxes when it comes to protection… and then goes even further.

Being made from cardboard, it is rigid and lightweight. The impact resistance is an impressive four times greater than conventional polystyrene shells, and unlike the helmets we are used to that get damaged upon impact, Kranium continues to perform to a high level even after experiencing a collision.

Wired reports that one Kranium was smashed five times in a row and still passed the British Standard (EN 1078) test.

Click through watch an arduino-powered DIY test rig prove that the numbers add up (Anirudha had the good sense not to try this out on his own noggin).

The cardboard shell is treated with a waterproof acrylic compound and the cosmetic outer casing rounds things off – from the outside, you’d never know that it is the same material protecting your grey matter as the boxes from your friendly local fruiterer.

There is one final aspect that makes the Kranium cardboard helmet noteworthy – because it relies on digital manufacturing technologies, each unit can be custom fitted by scanning the user’s head and then adjusting the structure to suit. Safer, more comfortable, longer lasting… sounds like a good ride to me.

Thanks to Monogocoro via Wired

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This is totally cool for a fresh helmet in a crash… but how does it hold up after it’s been sweated in and rained on for a year?

    Guy Blashki

    A good question, Andy…
    As well as having a standard polycarbonate (or ABS?) outer shell, the proposal is for the cardboard to be either coated or impregnated with some kind of water repellant substance – so that should take care of the sweat or rain. However, there is also the way in which cardboard fatigues to consider. It may be that over time the helmet structure does deteriorate as cardboard flutes collapse and compress.
    Perhaps having a low price-point will compensate for a shorter lifespan? We’ll have to wait and see. Rumours are floating about that there were some major manufacturers interested in taking this concept further.

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