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Cone-Head - the new innovation in helmets!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Was watching the ABC tonight when 'New Inventors' came on, and they featured a new invention called "Cone-Head". It was a new style of lining for our bike helmets that uses cone shaped foam which the inventor, Don Morgan, proclaims is a much safer and more absorbant/cushioning method for impacts. It was very impressive and also the winning invention for this weeks show. Congratulations to Don Morgan and his Cone Head.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s2006698.htm has all the details and pics on the product at the ABC's website. I really feel that this is a great product and hopefully we'll see it in our helmets sooner rather than later!

    Please also make sure you visit http://www2b.abc.net.au/votecentral/Client/Login.aspx?E=23 and submit a vote for Cone-Head for this week's "People's Choice" award!

    You can watch a video of the Cone-Head segment at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinvento...ogram=newinventors&pres=20070822_2000&story=1
  2. Yes.... I totally trust a backyard inventor over multi million dollar R&D teams...
  3. if that were true, SONY could have solved all the worlds problems by now, including water based batteries that weigh 5 grammes and can run 500 houses for 3 years, all major diseases, music that isn't piratable and a method to grow enough rice on one square kilometre to feed the whole world for the next millenium.

    An idea is just that - an idea. It takes lots and lots of further work to put something in to practice that works, is cheap and durable, but it all has to start with an idea. And ideas come from people, just like you and me, regardless of who we work for.

    I'm not saying this invention is worth a shit, but I am saying that you are a twit if you believe that einstein or edison could have achieved less as they did rather than working for the IBM of their day.
  4. thanks for the link mouth

    PS, to those who didn't actually read the article and believe he is a backyard crackpot, perhaps you'd like a little snippet of his background:

    "Don worked on a research project in the 80s into the effectiveness of Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets where the findings were that the liners of helmets were too hard and too stiff and did not effectively absorb an impact. Don went out with the traffic investigation squad to understand the accidents and to retrieve the helmets. What he discovered was bone fragments, fluid and teeth embedded into the foam but the liners showed little or no evidence of damage. This is where Don’s interest in foam liners started. Don Morgan is a Physicist from Brisbane."

    Funnily enough, the results are exactly what more modern studies tell us about the SNELL2000 standards amongst others.
  5. I stand by my statement, and believe it or not I don't believe that he's a crackpot. He is exactly what i said, a backyard inventor- atleast compared to the resources and facilities available to his competitors.

    I'm sure hes a very smart man, but you must realise that this is not one of those "epiphany/creative inventions" like the post-it notes, this is a continuation of an already invented idea, where 'further research' is necessary. As we know, the more you delve into a topic, the more complex it gets. I've read about computer programs and other such aids that draw and experiment with patterns and shapes required for the most efficient 'impact absorption' in a material (i'll try to find details for this- but it is besides the point), it is not just a simple matter of having cones in a helmet. His idea is not original, it is common knowledge that helmets should have the maximum impact absorption possible.

    Since helmets themselves are not an 'original idea', just like batteries and the light bulb, the fact remains that whoever 'solves the worlds problems' - in their respective fields is most probably going to be a very well funded, technology utilising, research orientated TEAM of specialists, not a backyard inventor. He might come up with an original idea like the post it notes though, and i wish him all the best in it!

    Lastly, his so-called credibility is mainly mere observations.

    PS: Just because I trust the expertise of ..experts.. above his doesn't mean i'm totally writing him off: I'd love if he proves to be an exception and has infact made a landmark discovery that'll make my noggin safer in an accident.
  6. not quite - it's all about minimum peak acceleration and minimum average acceleration. The difficulties lie in what someone in an office somewhere said the energy absorbtion should be - ie the 50J impacts that we see now. Energy changes with mass and velocity, but somehow, helmets for big heads and small heads end up the same - often a manufacturer will have only 2 or 3 shell sizes across the entire size range.

    So was Harry Hurt's. The observational scientist is worthless? One might also point out that when the inventor has not only come up with an idea (or a progression of an idea - it doesn't matter as pretty much every research project in the world has to define where it fits in the existing framework of ideas) and then builds prototypes and has them tested against an international standard you have something with more worth than a half baked 'original' idea that is untested. My original comment still stands - it doesn't matter how much money is behind the person involved. What you mean in terms of being very well funded often begins like this bloke - he has an idea, tests it, refines it and then tries to find funding or align himself with people who do. It doesn't always work the way you'd like with big teams of chaps already wearing white lab coats to come up with something that works.

    As for computer analysis of what is usually called 'load path optimisation', you have to remember that all stress analysis software is limited by the chap who came up with the original algorithm, and also the moduli limitations of the material. It is no good saying that you can achieve xyz from a simulation if no material exists to give you the stress, strain, mass and density properties required to achieve it in reality. On top of all of that you have mass production costs to worry about, minimum number of operations, part count, so on and so forth. Just because no-one big has done it, doesn't mean that the idea is worthless - it may just be too expensive when the current design satisfies the regulations.

    As for unoriginal ideas - when was the last time you looked at a progressive furniture spring? The helmet idea is exactly the same as the bed you sleep in - does applying it to a different context make it worthless just because it has been used before?
  7. Sorry dude, working in research myself its not as easy as "the biggest team will work it out first". It is usually the independent small teams (or single people) that come up with the ideas, get supported by a company and become a large research squad. Mainly because already large teams work on areas that they can get funded in, which means that whoever is funding them has to believe in the things they are researching. And to the uneducated, things like "Stronger compounds" and "Redesigned hardpoints" are more compelling then "Cone shaped foam that crushes easier initially, but as density is forced to increase, becomes just as hard if not harder then current foam".

    Charles Darwin (evolution theorist) did the majority of his research on his own, and you cannot honestly say that it was insignificant. Alexander Fleming (initially isolated penicillin) was relatively well known, but worked mostly by himself until he discovered (accidentally) that penicillium notatum inhibited bacterial growth.
  8. ....and what does it do to your chances of survival if you don't fasten your helmet like the woman at the end of the video? :roll:
  9. hey, Darwin has been mentioned already ;)
  10. There seems to be a whole heap of logic there! I think he is onto something and if he sells the idea to the right people, we could all be coneheads soon.

    ps - Coneheads was a great movie as well.
  11. Impact absorbtion is about reduction in peak and average acceleration. I'm not a helmet physicist so i used an appropriate generic term (correct me if I'm wrong). Also, i don't think that head sizes vary (.5kg variation) so much that they have a very considerable impact on the energy exerted on impact; further customisation would be a waste in $$ for minor (if any) gain in safety. Ofcourse i'm not saying our current system is perfect, hence the requirement for ongoing R&D.

    You can't compare Harry Hurt's findings with this as Hurt didn't conclude with a drastic change in the physics of motorcycles or roads. His observations were more a guide to different aspects of motorcycling and prioritising preventative measures.

    In regards to computer analysis of impacts- i'm sure there are more than one algorithms utilised for this task and the current level of analysis gives quite an accurate result in testing impact absorption etc - I guess we'll just wait and see if the cone idea has any strength to it (pun?) but I'm not holding my breath or investing in cone head shares just yet; shoei would be a better bet.

    I agree with most of the rest of your post :)
  12. What about the effects of the increase in volume and mass on Aerodynamics and Impact? Etc etc... [EDIT: Upon 2nd look, it seems that he sacrifises on width rather than adds to it - which itself seems worrysome, but the probable reduction in mass is good]

    Considering today's level of technology and the ever increasing funding and resources applied to R&D, there is a higher probability that a better funded and resourced team would be at the cutting edge of technological advancement. Remember, in the olden days, R&D wasn't the most funded faculty and it took a really dedicated genius (or group) to come up with the advancements our society now takes for granted; things have changed since then.

  13. Well done to the inventor, the concept is a good but i think his insperation might have come from these 50`s ladies, I think they ride !!!!!

  14. 2 words: Mike O'Dwyer

  15. [​IMG]

    I would like to see that on a full face helmet :LOL: :p
  16. say_wat - Give the guy a chance. I bet this time next year we'll see Casey Stoner wearing one of these when the patent gets bought by Arai...
  17. A lot of better quality brands use this concept already. Shoei for example uses trapezoidal cross-section ribs to give this effect instead of cones, as well as different densities and strengths of foam. This all reduces the maximum G-forces on the brain which is critical for preventing brain damage. It is possible to use the softer foams because the shell is good quality and prevents penetration by an external object (e.g. a spike or a kerb point).

    A lot of cheap (chinese?) helmets that come to Australia have sacrificed shell strength for price reasons, and a large portion of their anti-spike-penetration strength comes from hard dense styrene foam. This means the helmet is bulkier, heavier, and does not absorb a blow as well (transmitting more g-forces to your brain).

    You gets what you pays for.
  18. He won the award for 2007! :grin:
  19. That's great - just caught it by chance :)
  20. I saw the program and believe the cone head concept has merit .

    Basically head ( brain) injuries are in two catagories

    1- (open head injury) usually occurs when the helmet shell has been comprimised and the scull fractures .

    2- (closed head injury) generally the helmet held up to the impact but jolt to the brain is where the damage occurs, basically the brain has no where to go and hits the inside of the skull so hard it either becomes severly damaged or begins to swell . Severe closed head injuries are generally fatal in most instances and unfortunatly occur regularly in motor cycle accidents .

    The cone head concept provides some cushoning to minimise this type of injury .
    I think the guy has a great invention .