Reducing Acceleration in Three Dimensions using a Force Redirection Helmet

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. The high intensity action attracts fans from around the world.  This type of play comes with risks however. With the NFL trying to reduce the chance of injury by satirizing the game with rules, many are feared that the integrity of the game is being affected. The goal of this research was to design a new helmet that redirects the force on a collision in order to reduce acceleration in three dimensions. This will allow football to stay a contact sport while providing improved protection to the players.  This helmet was comprised of a two layered design that was connected with rubber stoppers. In order to test the effectiveness, a standard helmet was constructed. A nerf ball was cut open and an accelerometer was put inside. This was to simulate a head. The ball was then placed on a rod in order to maintain a stationary placement. Each helmet was hit from three sides, these being the front, back and right sides of the helmet. A pendulum was then constructed and a 500 gram weight was attached to it via a string. The weight was pulled back to one meter and released to collide with the helmet. This allowed a constant striking mechanic between trials.

After trials were concluded, all the data received was analyzed using a two sample T-test. After the tests were ran for each side, it was determined that the force redirection helmet was more effective in reducing acceleration than the normal helmet. This was proved by the P-value in each stat test to be under the alpha level of 0.05. This information can then be used in the further advancement of sport equipment to ensure a safe future for the sport of football.

Research Conducted By:

Brendan Oles
Cousino High School

Lucas Serraiocco
Cousino High School