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ASTM Helmet Safety Standards

by Jim Bartlett May 18, 2016

What are ASTM Helmet Standards?

ASTM logo
  1. ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Approximately 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality and safety.
  2. ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 150 countries. Working in an open and transparent process and using ASTM’s advanced electronic infrastructure, ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides, and practices that support industries and governments worldwide.
  3. All of the ASTM helmet safety standards use some sort of heavy anvils to test impact resistance and the strength/resistance of the chinstrap and buckle.

The relevant ASTM safety standards for action sport helmets include:

ASTM F1447: Bicycle and roller skating helmets

This specification covers performance requirements for helmets manufactured for use by recreational bicyclists or roller skaters. ASTM F1447 is a performance standard and isn't intended to restrict design, however, ASTM understands that this type of helmet needs to be lightweight and well ventilated. Testing for this standard includes is similar to that for CPSC bicycle helmets and includes:
  • Eight sample helmets tested, two each in hot, cold, wet, and ambient environments
  • Four samples (one in each of the conditioning environments) are impacted with anvils
  • The peak acceleration of the impulse during the impact is measured.
  • The ambient helmet is subjected to the positional stability (roll-off) test, while the hot, cold, and wet helmets are subjected to the dynamic strength retention test (test of chinstrap and buckle strength).

ASTM F1492: Skateboard helmets

This specification covers helmets used for skateboarding and trick roller skating.

When tested, the helmets must meet specified requirements for:

  • peak acceleration and time duration
  • headforms and sizes
  • anvils for impact (flat, cylindrical hazard, and triangular hazard anvils)
  • dynamic strength retention system
  • impact sites
  • velocity

ASTM F1952: Downhill mountain bike helmets

This specification covers performance requirements for helmets used by downhill mountain bicycle riders. Because there is a higher risk of injury to the head and face in downhill mountain biking compared to street riding, helmets for this discipline require greater impact protection. ASTM F1952 also provides performance criteria for chin bars on full-face helmets although the specification does not require that a helmet be full-face.

ASTM F2032: BMX helmets

This specification covers performance requirements for helmets used in BMX cycling. Because there is a higher risk of injury to the head and face in BMX compared to street riding, this specification requires impact protection over a larger area of the head than a standard bicycle helmet. This specification includes performance criteria for helmets with chin bars.

ASTM F2040: Ski and snowboard helmets

This specification defines performance requirements for helmets used in non-motorized recreational snow sports like skiing and snowboarding.

  • The hot, cold, and wet helmets are subjected to the dynamic strength retention test, which tests the strength of the chinstrap and buckle.
  • The ambient helmet is subjected to the positional stability (roll-off) test.




Jim Bartlett
Jim Bartlett

Author

Founder of XSportsProtective, snowboarder, mountain biker, father of four young kids who love action sports.


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