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Article Title

A COMPARISON OF FOAMED FABRIC USED IN FOOTBALL HELMETS FOR THE PREVENTION OF CONCUSSIONS

Abstract

N. Mironov, C. Book, P. Roback, E. Voldal, N. Peterson, & S. Crouser
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Recent studies have tested the effectiveness of football helmets on preventing injury due to linear impacts, however concussions occur most frequently as a result of impact during angular motion. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a variety of composite foam materials on decreasing head acceleration after a rotational impact, since head acceleration has been found to be indicative of the incidence of concussions. Vinyl nitrile foam, polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene foam, and expanded polypropylene foam were tested for their ability to absorb energy and decrease the acceleration of the head after impact. A lever system with the pivot on one end and a 10-pound dummy head on the other was used to simulate impact. The head was initially held at a 90-degree angle from the floor before being released and allowed to hit the material resting on the ground. Head acceleration and position before, during, and after each impact was recorded and graphed for comparison using an accelerometer attached to the head. Each material sample consisted of a five-by-five inch square with a thickness of one inch. Ten trials were done for each material and thickness.

NACSM Professional Sponsor: Dr. Cynthia Book

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