No doubt anyone who has watched any of the Winter Olympics will have noticed that many of the athletes are wearing some pretty stylish headgear, especially the helmets. There is however much more to the designs than meets the eye.
The helmets being used in Sochi are now lighter and stronger than their predecessors. To put this in context a luger will travel at speeds of around 140kph, Michael Schumacher was travelling at an assumed 20kph when he had his accident.
Each helmet understandably goes through stringent tests to each part, from chin strap to visor in order to meet international safety standards for durability. For an impact test the helmet is kept in a temperature controlled environment from 28 degrees Celcius going up to 38 degrees, this is to ensure that the materials perform adequately.
Another impact test will see a 3kg hammer drop 0.75m onto the helmet.
The most stylish helmets on display would have to have been Canadian John Fairbairn’s brain-like one, Janine Flock’s of Austria’s mirror like luge start image and Sarah Reid of Canada’s ghoulish one.