Building a Safer Helmet for Football Players
Baytech Products’ HitGard Helmet has been specifically designed from the ground-up for football players in both pro leagues as well as those aspiring to be. The innovative HitGard Helmet has been designed with the player’s brain and neck musculature in mind and an emphasis on creating healthier playing situations.
The brain floats within the skull. Impacts to the head may cause the brain to move/accelerate and bump against the sides of the skull. Repeated sub-concussive blows to the head, and/or a single major impact, may result in concussion and other head injuries such as MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury).
Two types of brain acceleration, linear and rotational, are believed to cause most head and brain injuries. Current helmets do a good job of mitigating catastrophic injuries such as skull fractures and lacerations. They have been designed to help reduce the linear acceleration of the brain within the skull due to “straight-on” hits.
But conventional helmets do not fully address the other major factor…rotational acceleration of the brain due to oblique hits. This is the first helmet specifically designed to address rotational acceleration. our unique patent-pending design consists of a groundbreaking two-piece design, an upper shell and a lower shell. The upper portion is a “soft” (semi-rigid) shell; the bottom section is made from a traditional hard plastic.
To reduce the force of an impact and the resultant acceleration of the brain within the skull, two unique force-reduction technologies have been employed:
1. The entire top section is built from a semi-soft energy-absorbing material with an outer impact-resistant coating that can slightly flex inwardly in response to an impact. This results in a reduction of the force that would ultimately be transmitted to the head and brain.
2. To further mitigate the force of an impact, the entire top section can also move/flex laterally in any direction, and/or in a downward direction, and return to its original position. Thus, any movement of the top section cannot be fully transmitted to the lower section.
Our unique patent-pending design consists of a groundbreaking two-piece design, an upper shell and a lower shell. The upper portion is a “soft” (semi-rigid) shell; the bottom section is made from a traditional hard plastic.
The upper shell is constructed of a pliable impact-absorbing material. The outer surface is covered with an impact-resistant coating. The resulting structure is semi-rigid, but will still “give” upon sufficient impact force. This deformation serves to absorb the energy of linear and rotational hits, but the upper shell will return to its original position.
Utilizing a unique head harness system, the wearer’s head is “anchored” inside the lower section by a breakthrough material that has been tested to absorb up to 90% of energy when impacted at high strain rates.
The upper section is attached to the lower section by flexible struts that can move in any direction and return to their original position after impact. The upper section can move independently of the head. The result is that impacts to the upper section will not be fully transmitted to the head since there is an air void surrounding the head.
The HitGard helmet absorbs energy better than conventional hard shell helmet
In the Pipeline…
THE HITGARD® HEADER (Soccer Heading Protector)
Utilizing the HitGard football helmet technology. Patent pending.
7.5 oz. Headband with flexible flap in heading zone to help absorb and disperse energy.
Working Prototype. Future refinement will place the outside connectors inside frame, etc. In addition to the ½ Dome shown, may also be available in a full dome model.
Contact Baytech Products to learn more about HitGard:
No helmet can prevent all head or any neck injuries a player might receive while participating in football. Helmets cannot prevent concussion/brain injury. Researchers have not reached agreement on the relationship of impact absorption tests to concussions and other head injuries. No conclusions regarding risk reduction should be drawn from laboratory impact tests.