Metal is one of the hardest materials known to man. It boasts of exceptional durability and can’t easily crack, become brittle or shatter into pieces.
It just doesn’t take damages easily, no matter how many times its gets dropped or how hard it gets hit.
That sounds like the perfect material for making a motorcycle helmet that lasts a lifetime, right?
If so, why don’t they use metal to come up with motorcycle helmets?
Read on to find out…
Why Metal Is Unsuitable for Making Helmets?
If you want to understand why metal doesn’t make the perfect material for motorcycle helmets, then you should start by learning how the helmet works.
Read more: Safetyline
A typical helmet is designed to absorb the impact in a crash by deforming and crushing. Or in other words, it takes in the impact that would have been remitted to your head, shielding you from potential brain damaged and severe head injuries.
To effectively absorb the crash impact, the helmet comes fitted with Styrofoam material which sits between the outer shell and the interior cloth lining.
If they were to make a metal helmet, it won’t offer you protection. Why? Because the material is hard. And like all the other metals, it’ll take all the impact from a crash and transfer ALL of it to your head—drastically increasing the risk of your skull getting fractured.
Moreover, metal is a heavy material and might your helmet feel like a burden (uncomfortable) on your head.
So, What’s The Perfect Material for Helmets?
If metal doesn’t make a good material for helmets, which materials are suitable for helmets then?
The good news is that there are several materials that can be used to come up with highly effective helmets. The type of material to use is a decision made by the helmet manufacturer.
The material used directly determines the cost of a given helmet as well as its durability.
Read more: How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet
The most common materials for making helmets include:
- Thermoplastic/polycarbonate: This is the most popular type of material used to make motorcycle helmets. It’s quite easy to form and inexpensive to produce. This explains why all helmets made using this material are highly affordable, some even have a price tag under 100. That said, materials don’t make the strongest helmets. Polycarbonate helmets also tend to be larger and heavier than other materials.
- Fiberglass: this material is also inexpensive and is easily molded into a form that makes it feel light and durable. This material combines flexibility and hardness, which explains why it’s able to excellently disperse the force of impact across the helmet during a collision. Due to its brittleness, however, the greater flexibility causes the helmet shell to crack on impact. You can get a decent fiberglass helmet for under 200.
- Carbon fiber: carbon fiber is incredibly durable but feather light. It boasts of high tensile strength plus excellent compression strength. These two properties position it as one of the most suitable materials for making motorcycle helmets. Helmets made using carbon fiber exhibit great impact absorption characteristics and doesn’t break easily. If you’re looking for the best modular helmet, getting one made from this material will give you the best bang of your buck.
- Kevlar: the material used to make Kevlar usually undergoes the same weaving method as fiberglass. It then gets mixed with a super-strong plastic compound for maximum durability. Kevlar is usually used in carbon fiber helmets to boost their overall tensile strength.
- Composite helmets: as the name suggests, these helmets are usually made by combining several materials like fiberglass plus Kevlar plus carbon fiber. These materials are usually mixed with epoxy resin to come up with a new material for creating helmets’ outer shell. The cost of composite helmets varies depending on the composition of the materials used.
Metal might seem like the perfect material for making motorcycle helmets, but it’s not suitable for helmet design. this is because it’s a hard surface that take all the impact force and directly sends to your head. This means it’ll increase the fatality of injuries instead of protecting you during a crash.
As you can easily see, all the materials used to make motorcycle helmets have the ability to excellently take in the impact resulting from a collision to ensure your head remains protected from several injuries.