Hydraulic Press Channel on Youtube never disappoints when it comes to crushing a wide variety of things. Time and again, they crush automotive items (like alloys), giving us valuable insight into how things behave under extreme compressive load.
Their recent video compares strengths of different helmets when they are subjected to the mighty hydraulic press. The test which was sponsored by the ‘Specialized’ bicycle helmet brand uses a Finnish cabbage to simulate the effect of a human head. We are not quite sure if the vegetable is comparable to a head for the purpose of compressive loading but hey, the theme of this video is fun rather than research.
We are also skeptical with the comparison of half helmets with full faced ones because the loading conditions are clearly different. The cabbage carries a good proportion of the load before it crushes and lets the half helmets take the pressure whereas the full face helmets bear the hydraulic press’ brunt right from word go (the veggie plays no role at all).
Nevertheless, the video is surely entertaining to watch and gives us a comparative analysis of similar type of helmets with different materials. One should also note that the hydraulic press test is by no means a standard test for helmets, and the relationship between compressive strength and impact strength of a component is an empirical one. So, a hydraulic press does not simulate the actual loading condition of a helmet subjected to a real life crash.
One valuable insight the video provides is that cheap helmets may look and feel exactly like more expensive ones but they are significantly weaker. So, whether you are riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, investing in a proper helmet with superior materials from a proven brand is imperative for your safety. And contrary to the results shown in this video, a full face helmet is far safer than a half helmet because it covers the entire head.
We have to say that the nice texting feature of the Specialized helmet could be a potential life saver. The helmet has a built-in sensor which detects crashes and uses smartphone apps to send crash notification to your loved ones along with location details.