|New Performance Standard for Helmets Worn on the Slopes
F 2040, Standard Specification for Helmets Used for Recreational Snow
Sports, defines performance requirements for helmets worn during
non-motorized alpine snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding,
Published Sept. 00, it was developed by ASTM Subcommittee F08.53
on Headgear and Helmets within Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.
I dont know of any recreational ski environment where helmet
use is required, but when the time comes, a definition of what
constitutes a proper helmet can be found in F 2040, said ASTM
member Jim Sundahl, senior test engineer, Bell Sports Inc., San
Jose, Calif., who developed the specification with members of
F 2040 encompasses requirements for helmets for children, adultsmale
and femaleand helmets with and without face protection. It is
the consumers choice. We helmet manufacturers embrace the widespread
adoption of helmets in skiing of course, and we ASTM members in
general are proud of having put together a good standard for consumers.
We all win.
As stated in the specification, Although a helmet that meets
this specification will help reduce the risk of some types of
injuries to the head at slower speeds ... compliance with the
common sense rules of the sports safety, including any applicable
responsibility codes, is essential to help reduce the risk of
Increased concern for prevention of head injury in sports created
heightened interest in a helmet standard for recreational snow
sports. Nine or 10 years ago the headgear subcommittee had less
than 20 active members, Sundahl said.
Over the course of a decade that number snowballed, and more than
100 diverse professionals lent their expertise to the development
of F 2040, Sundahl estimated. They included helmet manufacturers,
independent test laboratories, consumer advocates, medical experts,
a representative of CPSC, lawyers (primarily defense attorneys),
principles of the Snell Memorial Foundation, committee members
of the Canadian Standards Association, ski resort operators and
others who were simply interested in the subjects that we debated
and discussed in all manner of head injury scenarios.
The standard is light on design restriction. With F 2040 we have
a higher performance requirement than the [European] CE ski helmet
standard but one that is less design restrictive, explained Sundahl.
A manufacturer can make one helmet that can pass both standards
or choose one standard or the other. My company will make two
models from the same basic helmet, one that passes both standards
and one that is optimized for F 2040 only. Now manufacturers and
their designers have a fixed target to focus on and consumers
have more choices.
Helmets tested according to F 2040 are subjected to 32 to 38°C,
to -22 to -28°C temperatures. Four sample helmets are required
for each shell/liner size combination; retention system testing
and dynamic strength retention testing is performed prior to impact
tests done with anvils at specified velocities.
We still dont have a competition standard nor a trick snowboarding
standard, concluded Sundahl. We still have the issue of multiple
impacts (F 2040 is single impact per impact location). We still,
like any good ASTM committee, have ongoing work cut out for us.
For further technical information, contact Jim Sundahl, senior test engineer, Bell Sports Inc., San Jose, Calif. (phone:
831/420-4072). Committee F08 meets May 9-12 in Phoenix, Ariz.
For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9714). //
Copyright 2001, ASTM