A Ballistic Helmet’s Pads Are Essential To Safeguard Against Traumatic Brain Injury

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A penetrating head injury (PHI) or blow to the head that causes a disruption in the functioning of the brain is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The TBI’s severity is determined at the moment of the damage and can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. 

TBIs on battlegrounds are mostly brought on by shock waves from explosions and missile hits.

Military personnel and civilians have recently experienced increased blast traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to using high-explosive explosives.

 Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the military is on the rise, and similar injuries are also common among civilians in conflict areas or terrorist attacks. Mild TBI caused by blasts has been dubbed the “signature injury” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blast injuries in civilians have occurred frequently, less frequently than blast exposure in conflict. Before buying a bulletproof helmet online, you need to understand the importance of ballistic helmet padding to know what helmet to buy. After all, it would protect your head. 

 The energy from an explosive source is propagated into the environment through blast processes, which then interact with, load, and harm various materials, systems, and structures. Due to the strains caused by the quickly varying positive and negative pressures, the dramatic blast wave shifts over the positive pressure. In contrast, the negative pressure of explosions causes significant cellular disturbance in biological systems.

 In blast traumatic brain injury cases, the blast wave that hits the head reflects and refracts, causing a very transitory and spatially irregular loading over the skull. Strongly reflected pressures are on the surface closest to the incident wave. The interaction of head size, skull thickness, and elasticity may exacerbate the biomechanical reactions to blast-wave loading.

 An effectively handled mTBI patient has an excellent prognosis and typically makes a full recovery.

 Understanding the effects of ballistic helmets and padding solutions on the biomechanical responsiveness of the brain amid dynamic ballistics and blast loads requires insights into the processes of TBI and brain damage thresholds.

A portion of the penetrating bullet’s kinetic energy will be used up during helmet fracture in a ballistic impact. A sizable percentage of this impact energy will be dispersed by the huge deformations of the pads. When the blast waves reach the head, some are reflected while others pass through the skull and brain.

These ballistic impacts cause pressure, motion, and stress waves in the helmet, the skull, and the brain, which can harm the brain’s tissues. Any ballistic helmet’s padding system is an essential part of the design. Helmet pads of materials that absorb energy can greatly lessen the transferred load.

The well-known energy-absorbing substance known as foam is widely utilized in helmet padding. Foam materials have a significant compressive deformation range and a high energy absorption capacity. The cell bends, buckles, or cracks, reducing the energy. On the other hand, the material’s composition, form, geometry, and configuration of the padding system all significantly impact padding efficiency.

A helmet system must meet several conditions to be certified for military usage. Some of these requirements must be tested per the relevant standards and are particular to the helmet shell or other components.

The padding system must meet the following essential structural requirements:

  • For the wearer to tailor the pad system for comfort, it must be available in various components and simple to attach to and detach from the helmet.
  • Four oval pads, two trapezoidal pads, and one circular pad are the most common shapes utilized, and they are normally made in two thicknesses: 3/4 and 1 inch.
  • The three roles that pads must perform are an inner fabric layer that directly contacts the wearer’s head and wicks away moisture, a padded layer that offers comfort and protection, and an outside fabric layer that secures the pad to the helmet.
  • Padding systems are meant to offer “standoff, comfort, safety, and stability.”
  • To provide a surface for the outer fabric layer to stick to, hook discs have adhered to the helmet’s interior with adhesive.
  • A minimum of half of the interior of the helmet shell must be covered with hook discs to allow pad movement and customization of pad position.
  • Every padding system must have a permanent label with the pad thickness and other production information.

The padding system also needs to perform according to the following standards:

  • The outer fabric layer should be made of a material with a specific peel strength and 3.5 lbs/inch of breadth that may be fastened to the inside of the helmet shell.
  • The padding material must be vibration-resistant and able to be compressed repeatedly without failing.
  • The Hook discs must have a sufficient tear strength (3.5 lbs/inch width) and be strong enough to resist being removed from the interior of the helmet shell.
  • The pads shouldn’t come loose while performing a buoyancy test.  
  • The inner and outer padding layers’ colorfastness should meet the requirements.
  • In addition to pressures at sea level and 15,000 feet, the pads should preserve structural integrity and show no structural deterioration at degrees ranging from -60°F to 130°F.

Battlefield ballistic helmets can save lives and you want to live life to the fullest. Remember that there is only one life to live, so make sure the ballistic helmet you purchase is the proper size, fit, and kind.