Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Blast/Impact Mitigation for Helmets and Armor

Technology #6029

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Categories
Researchers
Michael Thouless
Managed By
Bryce Pilz
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new protective technology designed to mitigate damage from blasts and impacts. While blasts and impacts may not penetrate existing protective gear and armor, the resulting energy can still cause significant tissue or hardware damage, such as concussions suffered by helmet-wearing athletes or military personnel. Only some of that energy can be dissipated by existing protective layers such as foam.

Frequency tuning allows significant reduction of impact energy

By using a combination of material layers with particular ratios of material properties, the new technology can adjust the vibration of the impacting force to specific frequencies that achieve maximum dissipation. In standard configurations for military helmets, simulations have demonstrated up to 100% mitigation of impacting forces. This technology could help to greatly reduce the incidence of concussions and soft tissue damage suffered by athletes and soldiers.

Applications

  • Athletic helmets and padding
  • Military helmets and armor
  • Vehicle armor for sensitive equipment

Advantages

  • Provides up to complete mitigation of impacting forces
  • Accounts for geometric constraints of the application
  • Can be adapted for light weight and mobility