Safety wear is needed for a variety of applications during sporting and leisure activities and in the workplace. The materials used may not be considered, as the functionality of the object is the priority. Here we have focused on safety equipment designed to protect the head and face.
The Giro Ionos Road cycle helmet (1) is designed to protect the wearer during a fall and also provide good aerodynamics when riding. The in-mould construction means the helmet’s polycarbonate (PC) outer shell can be fused with the impact-absorbing expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner reinforcing both materials. The Vans Pro-Tec skate helmet (2) is designed for use on skateboards and BMX bikes and has an expanded polypropylene (EPP) liner. This can withstand multiple impacts unlike EPS, which needs to be replaced after a single impact. In these sports, there is a higher likelihood of falling in different directions so a greater area of the head needs to be protected. The AGV AX8 Dual Evo Carbon helmet (3) covers an even greater area of the head including the face as it is made for motorcycle sports. The carbon fibre composite provides a robust and lightweight helmet, whilst the liner is made of EPS with four different densities to provide optimum protection across the head.
The PV50 Peakview Helmet (4) has a high impact PC shell. It is a form of workplace personal protective equipment or PPE, and its translucency allows the user to have a clear view of their surroundings. They can look upwards without having to tip their head back, which would cause discomfort in the neck over a prolonged period. Some construction workers have reported their reluctance to wear protective clothing due its styling. The AirPro Baseball bump cap (5) overcomes this by looking like a ‘normal’ baseball cap. Concealed within the hat is a removeable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) liner which offers some protection to the head if bumped against scaffolding or low roofs. The Uvex Bionic Faceshield (6) has a clear fog free polycarbonate (PC) visor designed to protect the face from impact, chemical splash and airborne debris in a hospital or other medical setting. It has been approved for use with Ebola cases where it is recommended to be worn with a respirator and goggles.