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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of June 2, 2020

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter BPart 1203Subpart A → §1203.17


Title 16: Commercial Practices
PART 1203—SAFETY STANDARD FOR BICYCLE HELMETS
Subpart A—The Standard


§1203.17   Impact attenuation test.

(a) Impact test instruments and equipment—(1) Measurement of impact attenuation. Impact attenuation is determined by measuring the acceleration of the test headform during impact. Acceleration is measured with a uniaxial accelerometer that is capable of withstanding a shock of at least 1000 g. The helmet is secured onto the headform and dropped in a guided free fall, using a monorail or guidewire test apparatus (see Figure 9 of this part), onto an anvil fixed to a rigid base. The center of the anvil shall be aligned with the center vertical axis of the accelerometer. The base shall consist of a solid mass of at least 135 kg (298 lb), the upper surface of which shall consist of a steel plate at least 12 mm (0.47 in.) thick and having a surface area of at least 0.10 m2 (1.08 ft2).

(2) Accelerometer. A uniaxial accelerometer shall be mounted at the center of gravity of the test headform, with the sensitive axis aligned within 5 degrees of vertical when the test headform is in the impact position. The acceleration data channel and filtering shall comply with SAE Recommended Practice J211 OCT88, Instrumentation for Impact Tests, Requirements for Channel Class 1000.

(3) Headform and drop assembly—centers of gravity. The center of gravity of the test headform shall be at the center of the mounting ball on the support assembly and within an inverted cone having its axis vertical and a 10-degree included angle with the vertex at the point of impact. The location of the center of gravity of the drop assembly (combined test headform and support assembly) must meet the specifications of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, Motorcycle Helmets, 49 CFR 571.218 (S7.1.8). The center of gravity of the drop assembly shall lie within the rectangular volume bounded by x=−6.4 mm (−0.25 in.), x = 21.6 mm (0.85 in.), y = 6.4 mm (0.25 in.), and y = −6.4 mm (−0.25 in.), with the origin located at the center of gravity of the test headform. The origin of the coordinate axes is at the center of the mounting ball on the support assembly. The rectangular volume has no boundary along the z-axis. The positive z-axis is downward. The x-y-z axes are mutually perpendicular and have positive or negative designations as shown in Figure 10 of this part. Figure 10 shows an overhead view of the x-y boundary of the drop assembly center of gravity.

(4) Drop assembly. The combined mass of the drop assembly, which consists of instrumented test headform and support assembly (excluding the test helmet), shall be 5.0±0.1 kg (11.00±0.22 lb).

(5) Impact anvils. Impact tests shall be performed against the three different solid (i.e., without internal cavities) steel anvils described in this paragraph (a)(5).

(i) Flat anvil. The flat anvil shall have a flat surface with an impact face having a minimum diameter of 125 mm (4.92 in.). It shall be at least 24 mm (0.94 in.) thick (see Figure 11 of this part).

(ii) Hemispherical anvil. The hemispherical anvil shall have a hemispherical impact surface with a radius of 48±1 mm (1.89±0.04 in.) (see Figure 12 of this part).

(iii) Curbstone anvil. The curbstone anvil shall have two flat faces making an angle of 105 degrees and meeting along a striking edge having a radius of 15 mm±0.5 mm (0.59±0.02 in.). The height of the curbstone anvil shall not be less than 50 mm (1.97 in.), and the length shall not be less than 200 mm (7.87 in.) (see Figure 13 of this part).

(b) Test Procedure—(1) Instrument system check (precision and accuracy). The impact-attenuation test instrumentation shall be checked before and after each series of tests (at least at the beginning and end of each test day) by dropping a spherical impactor onto an elastomeric test medium (MEP). The spherical impactor shall be a 146 mm (5.75 in.) diameter aluminum sphere that is mounted on the ball-arm connector of the drop assembly. The total mass of the spherical-impactor drop assembly shall be 5.0±0.1 kg (11.0±0.22 lb). The MEP shall be 152 mm (6 in.) in diameter and 25 mm (1 in.) thick, and shall have a durometer of 60±2 Shore A. The MEP shall be affixed to the top surface of a flat 6.35 mm ( 14 in.) thick aluminum plate. The geometric center of the MEP pad shall be aligned with the center vertical axis of the accelerometer (see paragraph (a)(2) of this section). The impactor shall be dropped onto the MEP at an impact velocity of 5.44 m/s±2%. (Typically, this requires a minimum drop height of 1.50 meters (4.9 ft) plus a height adjustment to account for friction losses.) Six impacts, at intervals of 75±15 seconds, shall be performed at the beginning and end of the test series (at a minimum at the beginning and end of each test day). The first three of six impacts shall be considered warm-up drops, and their impact values shall be discarded from the series. The second three impacts shall be recorded. All recorded impacts shall fall within the range of 380 g to 425 g. In addition, the difference between the high and low values of the three recorded impacts shall not be greater than 20 g.

(2) Impact sites. Each of helmets 1 through 4 (one helmet for each conditioning environment) shall impact at four different sites, with two impacts on the flat anvil and two impacts on the hemispherical anvil. The center of any impact may be anywhere on or above the test line, provided it is at least 120 mm (4.72 in), measured on the surface of the helmet, from any prior impact center. Each of helmets 5 through 8 (one helmet for each conditioning environment) shall impact at one site on the curbstone anvil. The center of the curbstone impacts may be on or anywhere above the test line. The curbstone anvil may be placed in any orientation as long as the center of the anvil is aligned with the axis of the accelerometer. As noted in §1203.12(d)(1), impact sites, the order of anvil use (flat and hemispherical), and curbstone anvil sites and orientation shall be chosen by the test personnel to provide the most severe test for the helmet. Rivets and other mechanical fasteners, vents, and any other helmet feature within the test region are valid test sites.

(3) Impact velocity. The helmet shall be dropped onto the flat anvil with an impact velocity of 6.2 m/s±3% (20.34 ft/s±3%). (Typically, this requires a minimum drop height of 2 meters (6.56 ft), plus a height adjustment to account for friction losses.) The helmet shall be dropped onto the hemispherical and curbstone anvils with an impact velocity of 4.8 m/s±3% (15.75 ft/s±3%). (Typically, this requires a minimum drop height of 1.2 meters (3.94 ft), plus a height adjustment to account for friction losses.) The impact velocity shall be measured during the last 40 mm (1.57 in) of free-fall for each test.

(4) Helmet position. Prior to each test, the helmet shall be positioned on the test headform in accordance with the HPI. The helmet shall be secured so that it does not shift position prior to impact. The helmet retention system shall be secured in a manner that does not interfere with free-fall or impact.

(5) Data. Record the maximum acceleration in g's during impact. See Subpart C, §1203.41(b).

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