What Are Bike Helmets Made Of?

  • By: Zane
  • Date: August 16, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

You might be asking: What are bike helmets made of? You probably have already heard of Kevlar, Polystyrene foam, and Fiberglass. But what exactly is inside a bike helmet? Here are a few facts to get you started. Listed below are some of the most common materials in bike helmets. The next section will explain what each one is made of, and what it does for the wearer.

Polystyrene Foam

If you were to ask the average consumer about the material used to make bike helmets, they’d probably say polystyrene foam. But what is this material exactly? Essentially, it’s a crushable material used in various applications, from helmet liners to energy management applications. EPS, or expanded polystyrene foam, is a trademarked brand of material that is commonly used in household appliances. It’s not the same as the EPS used in the insulation of refrigerators and air conditioning units, though the material can be up to 40 times its original size.

Polystyrene Foam

Most bicycle helmets use a polystyrene foam liner made from expanded polystyrene. The foam is often shaped to conform to the shape of the head, and it can absorb the impact of an impact. The liner’s construction helps keep the head protected from impact, while the helmet’s lining protects it from impact.

Fiberglass

You may have guessed, but Fiberglass is from which bike helmets are made. These lightweight helmets are made up of a composite material – fiberglass, carbon fiber, kevlar, etc. – that is molded into the proper shape. These materials are relatively inexpensive and can combine strength and flexibility. Fiberglass helmets are a subtype of composite helmets and are typically made up of glass fibers bound together with an epoxy resin. Some helmets also incorporate other materials, like carbon fiber or Kevlar, to increase their strength and safety.

Fiberglass

While many bike helmets are made from fiberglass, a large portion of the market is polycarbonate. However, if you plan to go off-road, you may want to consider an off-road helmet. Off-road helmets provide excellent ventilation and allow you to wear goggles.

Off-road helmets are best for long rides. If you plan on riding for hours, choose an adventure helmet, such as the Shoei Neotec 2 or Schuberth C4 Pro. The Schuberth C4 Pro carbon is another excellent option for a long ride.

Thermoplastics

In motorcycle helmets, the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) material is used as the padding. This material helps to absorb impact energy and convert some of it into heat. As a result, bike helmets can absorb more energy than traditional bike helmets. Researchers say the new technology can provide better results than the current mass-produced helmets. However, several issues need to be considered when choosing a bike helmet.

One of the significant benefits of using thermoplastics in bike helmets is that they are lightweight and easy to recycle. Thermoplastics are a good choice for bike helmets because they can be produced quickly and mass-produced for a lower cost than composite shells.

Additionally, thermoplastics can be manufactured with different paint schemes and additional features compared to ABS and other composite shell materials.

Blue Thermoplastic

Thermoset Resins

When you buy a bike helmet, you might be curious as to what materials are used in the helmet. Most bikes are made of polycarbonate plastic, and these plastics are made from Thermoset resins. These materials are used in bike helmets because they have higher durability and less weight than the cheaper versions. Several types of Thermoset resins are on the market, and you should be familiar with their characteristics before purchasing one.

The inner foam liner is made of polystyrene (EPS) foam. The stiff outer shell is made of thermoplastics. Both layers absorb impact energy and reduce the load transmitted to the cyclist’s head. As a result, bike helmets are more impact resistant than ever. Besides the Thermoset resins, other types of foam are applied in bike helmets.

Other materials

Bike helmets use various raw materials to build the shell and inner shell. One of these materials is PET plastic, also known as polyester. It is made from the breakdown of crude oil or natural gas, ethylene glycol, and terephthalic acid. Ethylene oxide, an oil byproduct, reacts with water in a chemical process. Paraxylene, another petroleum product, is converted into terephthalic acid through a process that uses acetic acid and adipic acids.

Some helmets have liner pads that serve two purposes: impact resistance and wicking away moisture. The liner padding in some bike helmets is removable and can be added or removed depending on the wearer’s preferences. EPS, which stands for Expanded Polystyrene, is used in smaller quantities in standard bike helmets. Manufacturers can alter the foam to be more durable and not require ear-holes or form the shell’s shape.

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