New helmet combines military and car technology

20 March 2017 | By James Kenny

Military technology used in the car industry has been added to safety helmets for the first time to create a helmet that is claimed to offer high level protection from all angles.

Highways engineering provider A-one+, a joint venture between CH2M, Colas and Costain, has teamed up with industry experts after failing to find a helmet on the market that offered the level of protection the company wanted for its workforce.

Working with Eurox (part of the Future Garments Manufacturing Group), the Manta SAR helmet has been fitted with bespoke modifications that provide additional face and head protection, no matter what task is being carried out.

The modified helmet has been fitted with a polycarbonate side plate, the material used to make car bumpers, to provide protection to the side of the head and the ears – the first time the material has been used in safety helmets in Europe.

Other improvements suggested by A-one+ include:

  • enclosing the tightening mechanism within the helmet structure to ensure it can’t cause injury to the wearer on impact;
  • resizing the tightening mechanism to make it easier for larger fingers to adjust;
  • using a photo-luminescent compound moulded into vent covers that absorb UV light during the day and glow in the dark at night;
  • fitting the helmet with a built-in drop down visor to provide extra face and neck protection;
  • adding strips of marine safety equipment standard retro-reflective tape to the sides, top and rear that takes light source and reflects back at the same level it absorbs light.

The helmet has a high density outer shell which absorbs energy without transferring it to the wearer, linked to an expanded polystyrene liner for additional protection. The high performance and lateral rigidity means it is suitable and tested to the mountaineering and search and rescue marine standards.