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Friday, December 28,2012

Lighter, tougher bike helmet — made from cardboard

A new bike helmet aims to increase riders' safety by mimicking nature — and by using one of the cheapest materials around.

The helmet, based on the design of woodpeckers' heads, is made mostly of cardboard. Called the Kranium, it was designed by Ani Surabhi after he fell off his bicycle in his final year at the Royal College of Art in London.

Convinced he could design a better helmet than the one that cracked in his fall, Surabhi looked to nature, where he found woodpeckers' heads could withstand incredible force over and over every day. The reason, Surabhi discovered, was the corrugated cartilage between the beak and skull, which absorbed the impact.

From there, Surabhi found cardboard could be used to replicate the woodpeckers' structure.

As of now, however, the helmet is only available in Europe.

See the story at Core77.

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Seems to me that guy might go one step further in the cardboard design by using a flexible open structure synthetic rubber like material to more accurately mimic the flexible cartilage in the woodpecker's head.  The cardboard looks reasonably good but not being "bouncy", sounds as though it would work once or twice before having to be replaced.  I very much like his intent.  The styrofoam usually found in those things is no more bouncy than cardboard.    


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