Challenge III Grand Prize Winner
The NFL, GE, Under Armour and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) have announced that a collaborative team of materials designers led by Dynamic Research Inc. was selected as the grand prize winner of Head Health Challenge III. The third and final challenge in the series was designed to spur the discovery, design, and development of advanced materials to better absorb or mitigate force within helmets, pads and other sports, and consumer products that protect against traumatic brain injury.
The winning research team was awarded $500,000 for its new material system of protective gear for athletes, first responders, military personnel, and others who face potential impact injuries.
The stories behind the five Round 1 winning entries — each awarded $250,000 — and their pioneering efforts in research and innovation are highlighted below:
Challenge III Round 1 Award Winners and their areas of research and innovation:
Alba Technic, LLC (Winthrop, ME) has developed a patented, shock-absorbent honeycomb material with an outer layer that diverts the energy from a fall or hit. The material is normally soft and compliant, but upon impact, the outer layer changes into a hard shell to spread the energy and protect the user from injury.
Charles Owen Inc (Lincolnton, GA) made cellular structures that use a stacked, origami-like design to optimize energy absorption. The essential building block of this winning material is a double corrugated sheet of the material, whose ability to fold efficiently was originally developed for applications in areas such as solar array packing in the space industry.
Corsair Innovations (Plymouth, MA) has developed a textile that uses tiny, spring-like fibers to repel rotational and linear impacts, thereby reducing potential damage. Unlike foam materials, this textile is washable, breathable, wicks sweat and can be easily engineered to meet impact performance requirements.
Dynamic Research Inc. (Torrance, CA) and 6D Helmets LLC are collaborating to evolve 6D’s single-impact suspension technology for use in repeated impact conditions. The suspension technology consists of a multi-layer, suspended internal liner system that allows the outer layer to move independently of the inner layer in order to reduce the effect of both angular and linear impact forces.
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) researchers designed a lightweight, multi-layered composite that includes a viscoelastic material. This material can be uniquely utilized to help limit the force and impulse of multiple and repeated impact events.