Florida researchers developing football helmets to reduce concussions
ORLANDO, Florida (REUTERS) - Researchers in Florida believe they have come up with a low-cost way to improve football helmets and better protect players against the glancing blows that experts say contribute to most concussions.
Protective sports helmets on the market today are largely designed to absorb shock from direct linear hits, like head butts, which force the head straight back, says University of Florida (UF) engineering professor Ghatu Subhash.
But Mr Subhash's new strategy makes use of fluid-filled pouches that, his tests show, also protect the brain from the rotational or shearing force of off-centre hits on helmets.
"The fluid-filled cells within the helmet respond, so no matter the angle of impact, the helmet automatically protects any part of the head," said Mr Subhash, who came up with the idea while working on improving helmets and body armor for the military.