Design of a Ski Mountaineering Helmet
Abstract: This is a master thesis project in Industrial Design Engineering at Luleå University of Technology performed during the spring semester 2019 and with the goal to design a helmet for POC specialized for ski mountaineering. To cope with new rules in ski mountaineering competitions, to widen the product catalogue of POC and to make ski mountaineering safer and more enjoyable, a double certified helmet was to be designed, meaning certified for both mountaineering and downhill skiing. The end goal with the project was a product concept fully ready to be prototyped and tested for both EN 12492 – mountaineering helmets and EN 1077 – ski helmets standards. Theories relevant to the project has been researched, they include head injuries, manufacturing methods, anthropometry, and safety certifications. Some takeaways from these were that head injuries in ski mountaineering can be severe or deadly, but can be mitigated by using a helmet, helmets are usually produced by expanding plastic beads into a shock absorbing material, by expanding the beads more, the shock absorbing material gets a lower density, and by expanding them less the material gets a higher density, an easy way to design a helmet that fits well on most people’s heads is to use headforms, and that an easy way to design a helmet that can be EN1077 and EN12492 certified is to use similar dimensions as existing helmets with the same certifications. Methods used in the project has been: a survey asking users for insight and opinions; analysis of the brand POC; competition research; observations; idea generation - including 6-3-5 and body storming; and creation and evaluation of prototypes. The project has resulted in information about user’s experiences of SKIMO helmets, users wants and needs, an analysis of POC products, ideas, prototypes for testing functionality, clay models for exploring shape, a concept decision and last but not least, a CAD model and a prototype of the final concept. The survey results together with some observations could be summarized as three problems to solve and six features the helmet should have. 1. Temperature Change. 2. Ventilation holes makes goggle foggy when worn on the on the forehead. 3. The third problem is created as a combination of the EN 1077 standard penetration test for ski helmets and the users need for “extremely good ventilation”. Requested features were: 1. The users want to be able to where sun glasses in a passive position on top of the helmet. 2. They want head lamp attachment. 3. It should look good. 4. Side straps for goggles are requested. 5. It should be colourful so that it’s easy to detect in the mountain terrain. 6. And of course, it needs to be lightweight. The result is a SKIMO helmet I chose to call POC Ibex. It’s a helmet with a double layer EPS liner with multiple functions. It allows for ventilation to the forehead without fogging up the goggles and helps withstanding penetration tests while still having big ventilation holes. It has Magnetic removable ear pads, that can be attached without removing the helmet. It’s made from EPS and PC and on the top, it has an extra thick layer of PC for extra protection against rock fall.
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