Volume 6, Issue 4 (April 2009)
Analysis of the Impact Performance of Ice Hockey Helmets Using Two Different Test Methodologies
This paper reports on the results of a study to determine the protective characteristics of ice hockey helmets when tested using two different methodologies. The first methodology involved a traditional monorail drop impact test commonly used in North American ice hockey helmet standards (i.e., ASTM F1045, CSA Z262.1). This involves a guided freefall test onto a flat anvil using an ISO headform fitted with a uniaxial accelerometer at its center of gravity. The second methodology involved striking a Hybrid III head and neck mounted to a linear bearing track with a pendulum impactor. The use of a linear bearing track permitted the Hybrid III headform to move freely following the initial impact. At the distal end of the pendulum, a flat steel anvil was used to represent the impacting object. This configuration was felt to represent a head check from an opposing player, believed to be one of the mechanisms of head injury in ice hockey. Linear and angular acceleration measurements were recorded for all pendulum tests. High speed video was used to capture all headform motion. A total of six different helmet models were evaluated using both test methodologies. Peak linear headform accelerations were compared between helmet models tested using the monorail drop system and the identical helmet model tested using the impact pendulum. The results showed significant differences between helmet models as well as between the two different test methodologies. The implications of these results relative to current ice hockey standards and relative to head injury in ice hockey are discussed.