Implications for Industry
The results of Working Group 4’s investigation have direct implications for the bicycle helmet manufacturing industry. The output offers ways to accurately and effectively monitor and model thermo-physiological responses. This, together with psychological considerations, can result in headgear that is better accepted by prospective users.
The two factors that have a strong impact on the thermal properties of helmets, and consequently on overall thermal comfort, are wind speed and body posture. Helmets must therefore be adjusted for the type of cycling activity. In addition, improved radiant shielding properties contribute to overall comfort, and several design improvements are offered to optimise this effect. These improvements also include the adjustment of inlet and outlet air vents, and the air channels that connect them, to further improve air convection capabilities.
Working Group 4’s output shows that different methodologies, including computational modelling, can help in the development of new and effective helmet design, while experimental simulation can provide proof of concept and optimisation capabilities. Furthermore, the possibility of adding active cooling systems to helmet design were explored. Dynamic vents or active cooling systems that regulate heat loss can be controlled by models that predict thermal comfort at the head, so as to optimise thermal comfort in the design stages.