0
Review Article

A Review of Impact Testing Methods for Headgear in Sports: Considerations for Improved Prevention of Head Injury Through Research and Standards

[+] Author and Article Information
T. Whyte, C. A. Stuart

Orthopaedic and Injury Biomechanics Group,
Departments of Mechanical
Engineering and Orthopaedics,
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;
International Collaboration on
Repair Discoveries (ICORD),
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada

A. Mallory

Transportation Research Center Inc.,
East Liberty, OH 43319;
The Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH 43210

M. Ghajari

Dyson School of Design Engineering,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington Campus,
London SW7 2AZ, UK

D. J. Plant

Rheon Labs Ltd.,
11S Hewlett House,
Havelock Terrace,
London SW8 4AS, UK

G. P. Siegmund

MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists,
11-11151 Horseshoe Way,
Richmond, BC V7A 4S5, Canada;
School of Kinesiology,
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada

P. A. Cripton

Orthopaedic and Injury Biomechanics Group,
Departments of Mechanical
Engineering and Orthopaedics and the
School of Biomedical Engineering,
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada;
International Collaboration on
Repair Discoveries (ICORD),
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada
e-mail: cripton@mech.ubc.ca

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 11, 2018; final manuscript received February 21, 2019; published online May 23, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Beth A. Winkelstein.

J Biomech Eng 141(7), 070803 (May 23, 2019) (29 pages) Paper No: BIO-18-1490; doi: 10.1115/1.4043140 History: Received November 11, 2018; Revised February 21, 2019

Standards for sports headgear were introduced as far back as the 1960s and many have remained substantially unchanged to present day. Since this time, headgear has virtually eliminated catastrophic head injuries such as skull fractures and changed the landscape of head injuries in sports. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is now a prevalent concern and the effectiveness of headgear in mitigating mTBI is inconclusive for most sports. Given that most current headgear standards are confined to attenuating linear head mechanics and recent brain injury studies have underscored the importance of angular mechanics in the genesis of mTBI, new or expanded standards are needed to foster headgear development and assess headgear performance that addresses all types of sport-related head and brain injuries. The aim of this review was to provide a basis for developing new sports headgear impact tests for standards by summarizing and critiquing the following: (1) impact testing procedures currently codified in published headgear standards for sports and (2) new or proposed headgear impact test procedures in published literature and/or relevant conferences. Research areas identified as needing further knowledge to support standards test development include defining sports-specific head impact conditions, establishing injury and age appropriate headgear assessment criteria, and the development of headgear specific head and neck surrogates for at-risk populations.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Guided drop test apparatus used in ASTM, CSA, CPSC, ANSI, and Snell standards (reproduced with permission from ASTM [88], copyright 2015 by ASTM International)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Falling headform with guided carrier test apparatus used in CEN and ISO standards [55]. (1) Steel base; (2) anvil; (3) guides; (4) support dolly; and (5) headform with helmet (copied with permission of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) on behalf of ISO).

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