Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Gopal Jayaraman

Committee Member 1

Allan Struthers

Committee Member 2

Ibrahim Miskioglu

Committee Member 3

Mahesh Gupta


Football helmets have been used for many years to prevent head injuries to players. Over the years, the helmet design has evolved from a crude leather head covering to the more recent form fitting helmets that are seen today. The one design feature that has been common in the majority of all helmets is a hard polycarbonate shell with a foam cushion padding. The main goal of the padding layer was to reduce the amount of linear acceleration during an impact event. The one feature that has been overlooked is how stiff the padding is in rotation.

The purpose of this work is to evaluate how well the Enhanced Bio-Morphic (EBM) football helmet performs as compared to a commercially available football helmet. The EBM helmet is designed to capture the existing features of the current football helmet, but to also include a shear layer between the polycarbonate shell and foam padding. The shear layer is included to help reduce the severity of angular acceleration that is imposed on the human head that is responsible for concussions.

This dissertation presents the makeup of the EBM helmet, the rational for selecting the components of the EBM IEA system, and a comparison of the predicted performance of the EBM as compared to a commercially available VSR4 helmet by Riddell. The results will show the EBM helmet has the ability to reduce the angular acceleration for an oblique impact, thereby reducing the amount of stress in the human brain. This stress reduction has the ability to help reduce the possibility of concussion more commonly seen in sports related injuries. This finding is an important discovery in helmet technology. Although the technology studied here is focuses on football helmets, it is not by any means limited to football helmets. This can be used throughout different sports as well as throughout other applications where helmets are used.