The 6D ATR 1 helmets are revolutions in the field of advanced helmet technologies. Co-founded by Bob Weber, CEO of 6D and long-time biker along and Robert Reisinger, its second founder and the director of engineering for 6D helmets have brought this product into the motorcycle gear market. These helmets have been designed to control high energy strikes and provided combined energy management benefits.
Regular helmets can handle almost all neck and spine injuries. However, the single layer technology and linear behavior of most conventional helmets fail to consider extreme scenarios. The 6D helmets ‘outer coverings are made up of Kevlar which is strong and super lightweight. However, its real strength lies in the two-layered EPS technology within. Unlike conventional helmets, 6D helmets come with two layers of EPS: one attached to the outer Kevlar/plastic shell and the other to the inner padding. There is a gap of 7 millimeters between the two layers and the two layers are interconnected using circular rubberized dampers embedded within the EPS. This 7 mm air gap allows the two layers to suspend over each other with the help of the isolation dampers. The 6D ATR 1 contains 54 of these dampers throughout.
This two-layered EPS technology serves two major purposes. Firstly, it acts as a low threshold energy dissipater. This means that if the fall is from a lower height, instead of the head absorbing the entire impact, the two layers of EPS slide together for progressive suspension and to slow down the force. For high-speed crashes, both the layers of EPS come together and the rider gets the desired impact as in normal helmets. Hence, two layered EPS serves both the causes.
Another major safety feature is its control of angular acceleration. If the accident takes place at an oblique angle, the head rotates inside the helmet, causing the rotational energy to be transferred into the brain. When your head rotates inside the two-layered EPS, a shearing force is developed. The dampers will allow the head to slow down as they move against each other, independently, due to the dampers. This is what exhibits the omnidirectional suspension which is the reason behind naming this revolution as 6D, or 6 degrees of freedom.
The founders have tried to dissipate the energy from the impact equation due to helmet crashes. Also, they have tried to add a time factor to the impact event equation, that is, impact severity can be reduced by stretching the impact over the time. Another improved feature of these helmets is improved ventilation. Due to all these features, up to 47%impact can be reduced within the helmet.
Thus, the 6D helmets will drive even more manufacturers in the market to consider the impact of angular acceleration and low energy threshold impacts and fuel future research in the area of head protection during motorcycle rides.