MIPS has announced a new Finite Element Analysis tool that it claims to be the future of helmet development.
Finite Element Analysis is a computer simulation that is often used to analyze the strength of complex structures in real-world conditions. Finite Element Analysis can help a designer investigate potential changes in cost, weight or manufacturing to allow brands to be more confident in a design before undertaking any expensive or destructive test methods.
For helmet testing, MIPS has created a computer model of the human head and brain that will feature upwards of 50,000 elements
that can have acceleration pulses applied tocthem to document the strain in each one. MIPS will use this to predict the helmet's response to both standards testing and real-world impacts.
The new tool from MIPS should allow brands to cut down on the cost and duration of testing as they can virtually trial designs using CAD files rather than physically creating prototype helmets. Finite Element Analysis should also help cut back on product waste as there will be fewer design iterations, re-tooling and consumed materials.
FEA's use for helmets isn't necessarily new for MIPS, with the foundations of the brand's' slip-plane technology forming after Hans von Holst, met with Peter Halldin and Svein Kleiven at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, who had access to one of six Finite Element Analysis models of the human brain at the time.
MIPS will be offering brands its virtual testing service where helmets can be compared and tested in accordance with a wide range of standards. The first testing standard to utilize the FEA testing method will be ECE 22.06, which includes testing for rotational motion.
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