What are Motorcycle Helmets Made of to Ensure Maximum Protection?

what are motorcycle helmets made of

Every product gains worth because of the unique building material. Your body is made of cells, walls made of bricks, surrounding furniture from wood, etc. Likewise, motorcycle helmets have different building materials for their construction. Its material is critical in ensuring motorcycle helmet safety standards.

Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer considers deciding the best material for the helmet. While riding, a motorcycle helmet acts as a barrier against any encounter. It offers you the utmost protection against any facial injury. Therefore, its building material must possess some significant features to make it solid and durable. 

Motorcycle helmet basic anatomy

Just like a human body, helmets also consist of different layers. Predominantly, helmets constitute three distinct layers: the outermost layer, the inner foam, and the innermost with comfort padding. Each layer has different functions and building materials.

The outermost layer act as a shield against the impact. It helps to minimize the force by distributing it evenly across the helmet. The inner foam layer reduces the force of the blow by absorbing the shock. The next innermost layer adds comfort to the journey by incorporating padding. 

Manufacturers wisely select materials for each layer to make them function. Hence, listed below are some recommended building materials by experts:

Composite 

It includes a combination of different materials. Primarily, it is a blend of fibers intermixed with epoxy resins. This composite material offers excellent strength to the helmet due to carbon or glass fiber. Essentially, the material is arranged in a criss-cross pattern to enhance its durability. Later on, these layers are fixed in their place by poring in epoxy resin. 

Composite fiberglass helmets have gained immense popularity. They offer strong resistance against any impact. Moreover, it is light in weight, so motorcycle riders can easily wear it. The helmet comprises different layers to make it strong yet lightweight. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Multi-layered structure exhibiting durability
  • Blend of different material
Cons
  • Tend to be costly
  • Cannot efficiently reduce noise

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another preferred building material for motorcycle helmets. Although inexpensive, the material can be molded into any shape and design. This way, it imparts durability to any motorcycle helmet. This high-strength material offers high flexibility, which potential customers usually appreciate. 

Epoxy resin serves as a binding material for fiberglass helmets. It is a lightweight helmet but can sustain a high blow of any magnitude. As a result, many experts recommend it for off-road traveling. Many leading brands incorporate fiberglass as the main constituent for helmet construction.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Styrofoam layer for shock absorption
  • Affordable and lightweight helmet
  • Flexible
Cons
  • Inefficient in distributing energy across the helmet in an impact

 Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber, a sub-class of composite, is a strong and durable material for helmet construction. Carbon is known as a building block of the world’s most solid material, which is diamond. Similarly, carbon exerts its strength practically in a helmet. In a helmet, the carbon fiber acquires a crystalline pattern. This organized structure contains long carbon chains interconnected with each other. Hence, deliver strength and ability to sustain high pressure to any helmet. 

Another material, called plastic resins, interlinks these high strengths bonds. It is a durable and inexpensive material. However, if carbon fiber includes Kevlar, it can become quite expensive. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Thousands of interlinked high-strength fibers
  • Extremely strong and lightweight
  • A high level of shock absorption
Cons
  • Resistant to flexing

Synthetic Reinforced Shell

Many of you have heard this term while buying a helmet. A heat-curve thermoplastic resin forms the primary constituent material. However, it is not the only building block. Synthetic Reinforced Shell includes other materials, such as glass and organic fibers. Its standard material facilitates flexibility. As a result, the helmet becomes solid and easy to wear for oval-shaped heads.

This material is not a standard construction material for helmets. However, it has certain characteristics that can make it a desirable material. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Waterproof material
  • Flexible
  • Moisture resistant
Cons
  • Prone to melting by high heat
  • Poor insulator

Kevlar

An ordinary person barely knows anything about Kevlar. However, it is one of the most robust materials ever known. It is capable of delivering protection of any type. Therefore, experts usually recommend kevlar as the main building block. A durable plastic compound is another material used for its bonding. 

Moreover, the material possesses high tensile strength. Possibly, it happens due to parallel arrangements of multiple layers that deliver high resistance against external pressure. Many motorcycle helmets are denser due to multiple layers. However, the material itself is a multi-layered structure. Therefore, manufacturers don’t have to make it denser. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Increased tensile strength
  • Possess high safety levels
  • Bullet-proof material

Cons

  • Sensitive to environmental factors

Plastic

Plastic is another option for manufacturing motorcycle helmets. It is further divided into two major categories; thermoplastics and thermoset resins. It is easy to mold thermoplastics. However, thermoset needs different materials for their hardening. Plastic helmets are easy to design; however, they can be bulky. 

Manufacturers have to incorporate different materials to make them durable and strong. In doing so, it can become heavy and hard to wear. However, it can be the best helmet for those looking for inexpensive helmets. Hence, manufacturers can easily mold it into any design. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easily mold into any shape.
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Bulky and large
  • Sensitive to heat

Conclusion

The primary determiner for choosing a motorcycle helmet is its building material. Before choosing a helmet, always look for its material’s durability and strength. Additionally, you may choose a lightweight and easy material to wear. This feature will reduce the level of strain on your neck and shoulder. Comfortable helmets are a necessity for riders.

A helmet is a safeguarding material. However, opting for a low-quality helmet can risk your life. Therefore, always select a good-quality helmet that offers you good safety.