How Thick is Your Helmet?

May 24, 2019

A small study of armor thickness

When it comes to choosing armor, we are all used to rely on numbers. We know that the particular type of steel has certain characteristics of durability and ductility, and there is empirical evidence of what thickness is enough to protect us from the impacts we are going to face.

But the thickness of metal that is provided by manufacturers usually is not the thickness of a final product. What one really gets from a product page is a thickness of steel (or other metals) plate the armor is going to be made of. This plate will be bent, stretched and hammered - and that means properties of steel will change too, its density and thickness particularly. That is true for any armor that has a curved shape, and most of the armor belongs to this class.

To illustrate this phenomenon and to evaluate how crucial this change could be we have done a test. In the short video below we demonstrate a process of making a helmet, which was then cut to pieces. The separate pieces were then measured and we are happy to share the results of our study with you.

Helmet's thickness

Helmet's thickness

Cut helmet

The results speak for themselves, but we have a few words to add.

It is true that there are several ways to create a helmet, and manufacture process may differ from the one we have shown. Nevertheless, bending and stretching are inevitable, which means thickness will change too - in a similar way.

Fortunately, there is no reason to consider this as a definitely negative thing. Firstly, as we have already mentioned hammering also makes steel more dense. Secondly - the requirements for the armor are empirical. In other words, we know from experience that a certain thickness of a steel plate our armor will be made of will lead us to the creation of an armor that will be able to withstand the mechanical damage in the conditions we are making it for. Even though the thickness and durability will be inhomogeneous. Easier to say - the drop is taken into account.

What is the conclusion?

Helmets work. Even though they might be not as thick as you expected.

Be attentive to the rules and requirements of the competition format. Like many other safety rules, these rules are written in blood. Do not underestimate the need for adequate protection.

As for us - we are always happy to provide you with a proper suit of armor. Just let us know what you want and what you are going to use it for!