There’s a helmet for just about every activity you can think of. There are baseball helmets, football helmets, bicycle helmets, climbing helmets, kayaking helmets, and on and on. But they’re all made from some form of plastic, and regardless of what color you choose, they all look somewhat similar in construction. Except for these.
Coyle Design has been hard at work making helmets made from wood. Yes, wood.
Coyle has produced 20 prototypes of wooden sports helmets, and is currently working with the Oregon State University Wood Science and Engineering program to do impact studies on them. While it may seem counter-intuitive to protect your brain with a chunk of wood, because these are the first of their kind, it may turn out that the helmets could actually be more effective in terms of damping the energy of impact than other materials currently used.
The helmets are first machined from a block of wood with a CNC machine, and then painstakingly finished by hand, during which the helmets are customized – the size of the brim, the size of vent holes, and the shape of the helmet. The type of activity will determine the type of wood used to make the helmets, either a softer wood for more energy absorption, or a harder wood, for repeated hard knocks.
[Via Kinetic Shift]