London’s Royal College of Art graduate, Anirudha Surabhi, has created a recyclable helmet, made mostly of corrugated cardboard, which just might hit the shelves in a few months.
It’s called the Kranium–which isn’t particularly creative, so thankfully the design makes up for it–and is reported to weigh less than a standard foam helmet, as well as have 4 times the strength. Unfortunately, it also has at least 1.5 times the awkward mushroom-head looks of normal helmets, so hopefully he’s still working on that.
(see what I mean…?)
The cardboard ribs first flex then crumple upon impact. Unlike polystyrene helmets, which have to be replaced after an impact, the Kranium can withstand multiple impacts, claims Surabhi.
Cardboard ribs are pressed out of a sheet of corrugated cardboard and pieced together to make a helmet inner. Customers then choose helmet outers made from thin plastic and accessorise with different kinds of straps. The cardboard will not get mushy if it’s exposed to water, because it’s impregnated with an acrylic waterproofing agent. The treated cardboard is still recyclable despite the chemical treatment.
Surabhi said his helmet exceeds the EN1078 Bristish helmet safety standards. I’m not sure how that compares to U.S. standards, so bringing it to the States may or may not happen.
Look for an initial price around $120(!!!) or more, with replacments coming in a lot less. You know, because cardboard is an expensive material. Right? Wrong. If the price doesn’t get down to $50 or less, this thing isn’t going to sell. Seriously, we’re talking about f’ing cardboard here.
Despite the ridiculous price for something you could essentially make out of old shipping boxes (oh, there will be an Instructable, no doubt), it’s an extremely interesting concept, and hopefully it’ll succeed in the marketplace.
If you’re still interested, here’s a completely uninformative video to check out: