It turns out the same material that makes college dorm furniture cheap and comfortable also works quite well when it comes to protecting your head. So Vaco12 has turned simple bean bags into an innovative padding technology.
While foam linings in a helmet have obviously been effective at absorbing the shock of impacts for years now, bean bags are even better at it since the forces can be transferred from bean to bean across a larger area.
In fact, the Vaco12 system uses small polypropylene beads that each make contact with up to 12 other beads. So as the energy is transferred along, it’s dispersed and weakened again and again. And the more force that’s absorbed by the padding before it eventually hits your head, the better your odds will be of not sustaining an injury.
In a product like Amplid’s Plasma ski helmet, there can be as many as 40 million tiny beads working hard to absorb the impact of a fall. And as an added bonus, if you’ve ever plopped down into a bean bag chair that instantly conformed to your body shape, the Vaco12 padding better fits each user’s head, which also helps to improve its shock absorbing capabilities. [Vaco12 & Amplid via Gizmag]