About Helmet Inspection

The annotated area depicts significant structural damage to the customer’s helmet, damage that’s not visible to the naked eye, and damage that would cause this helmet to be ineffective on an impact.

We see the invisible.

Pick up the slider on each of the inspections and drag them from right to left to view an alternative perspective from our inspection process.

Inspection #1

Inspection #2

These are examples of a single inspection point.  Each one of our tests includes multiple inspection points, ensuring we obtain 100% coverage for a conclusive result.

Helmet integrity is affected by a number of variables, which is why manufacturers typically state that the lifespan is between 3 and 5 years.  This is not a ruse by the manufacturers to get you to buy a new helmet every 3 – 5 years, as some would believe.  It’s simply a statement of fact.  Your helmet is a consumable item, and it degrades over time.  The degradation process happens irrespective of whether you wear your helmet or not.  However, the more you use your helmet, the quicker the degradation process happens.

Two of the main components created in the helmet manufacturing process are (a) an outer shell and (b) an inner liner.

The outer shell of a helmet is typically manufactured from materials such as Polycarbonate, Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) or Carbon Fibre.  The shell is designed to be your first line of defence. If the integrity of the shell is compromised the inner liner is being asked to absorb more of the impact force.

Composite materials are excellent at absorbing and dissipating shock forces, but only once.  The nature of composite materials means that once they have taken an impact, the integrity of the material may be compromised.

But your helmet doesn’t need to have taken an impact for the integrity to be compromised.  Other factors will also lead to integrity issues, such as;

  • natural ageing of the glues used to bind the composites
  • exposure to petrol fumes
  • extended exposure to sunlight
  • sweat
  • hair products

Due to the nature of composite materials, and how their integrity may be compromised, a visual inspection with the naked eye is ineffective.
What about x-ray or ultrasound?  Nope, still not good enough, certainly not for inspecting a protective helmet.
So, what do we need to provide an effective inspection on helmets?