USAARL Report No.


Development of an Improved SPH-4 Retention Assembly

BY Robert H. Hines Ronald W. Palmer Joseph L. Haley, Jr. Ernest E. Hiltz

Biodynamics Research Division

April 1990




for public release; distribution



States Fort

Army Rucker,

Aeromedical Alabama

Research 36362-5292


&&ice pualified reouesters

Qualified requesters may obtain copies from the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), Cameron Station, Alexandria, Virginia Orders will be expedited if placed through the librarian 22314. or other person designated to request documents from DTIC. Chanae of address Organizations receiving reports from the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory on automatic mailing lists should confirm correct address when corresponding about laboratory reports. Disnositioq Destroy this document when it it to the originator. Disclaimer The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy, or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation. Citation of trade -names in this report does not constitute an official Department of the Army endorsement or approval of the use of such commercial items. Human use Human subjects participated free and informed voluntary 70-25 and USAMRDCReg 70-25 Reviewed: in these studies after giving their consent. Investigators adhered to AR on Use of Volunteers in Research. is no longer needed. Do not return



DENNIS F. SBANAHAN LTC, MC Director, Biodynamics Research Division Released for publication:

t&%zLi E/U




ti D. LaMQTHE, Ph.D. Colonel, tiS Chairman, Scientific Review Committee

AVID H. KARN Colonel, MC Commanding

Comfort testing and stretched less under load than the standard retention harness.O.S. 11. exposure and subsequent In the head or comes off the head during the crash sequence. TASK NO. and ZIP Code) 10. 90-9 6b. TIME COVERED 16.UNCLASSIFIED fECURlTY ClASSlFlCATlON OF THIS PAGE I 7NCLASSIFIED 2s. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL lDForm1473. 8c. OFFICE SYMBOL !2a. RESTRICTIVE MARKINGS 3 DISTRIBUTION /AVAILABILITY OF REPORT I Form Approved OMB No. ADDRESS (City. L. /AVAILABILITY OF ABSTRACT Cl 2 1. ABSTRACT (Continue on revellc In orduring a crash is one of the primary functions of a flight helmet. the USAARL yoke harness. UNCLASSIFIED 22b TELEPHONE (k~/ude Area Code) 122~. Box 577 1 Fort Rucker. Ronald W. helmet. 13b. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTATlON 17.. If the helmet is displaced :ured on the head for the entire duration of the crash sequence. ADDRESS (City. OFFICE SYMBOL (If applicable) MD 21701-5012 9. Fort Detrick and Research and Development ZIPCode) Frederick. )f the USAARL yoke harness showed the majority (72 percent) of those questioned preferred the JSAARLyoke harness over the standard harness. State. Final Robert H. ABSTRACT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION 0 DTIC USERS 20. Haley. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) 3M162787A87@ AG 131 Assembly J.DlSTRl8UTlON ~UNCLASSIFIEDNNLIMITED sm~EAS RPT. Ernest E. JUN 86 Previous editions *re obsolete. PROJECT NO. AL 36362-5292 U. yoke harness. SUBJECT TERMS (Continue on reverse if necessary and i&ntiQ by block number) Impact protection. distribution REPORT NUMBER(S) REPORT NUMBER(S) USAARL Report No. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 1b. The load versus elongation under load and comfort of the USAARL yoke harness was comThe USAARL yoke harness was Bared to that of the currently used standard retention harness.ADDRESS (City. MONITORING ORGANIZATION release. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION Approved for public unlimited 5. I retention assembly I [mpact protection I I if necessary and identify by block number) 19. and Hiltz. 8a. REPORT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY SCHEDULE 2b. retention harness. and ZIPCode) 1 P. SOURCE OF FUNDING NUMBERS PROGRAM ELEMENT NO. NAME OF FUNDING I SPONSORING ORGANIZATION I U. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAGE UNCLASSIFIED . 0704-0188 la. DECLASSIFICATION I DOWNGRADING 4. iPH-4 flight helmet often allows excessive helmet rotation or even helmet loss to occur during a crash. cranial Previous research at USAARL has shown the retention assembly of the lead injury can occur.. 8b. Palmer. Hines. . State. WORK UNIT ACCESSION NO. PROCUREMENT INSTRUMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER . State. rtronger. Army Medical Command 7b. OFFICE SYMBOL 7a. NAME OF MONITORING ORGANIZATION Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory 6c. the helmet must remain firmly seler for the helmet to provide effective impact protection.S.. FIELD COSATI CODES 23 1 GROUP 1 04 1 SUB-GROUP ’ 18. Jr.. which will alleviate the helmet rotation/helmet loss problem. TITLE (k~/ude security C/assitiation) 62787A Development of an Improved SPH-4 Retention la!. This report describes the construction and testing of a new SPH-4 retention assembly.

It would be practically impossible to complete a publication from this Laboratory without the assistance of others whose names often go unmentioned. The authors would like to express special acknowledgment to SPC Charles Paschal and CW4 Larry Woodrum for their contributions to this effort. i .

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......... Discussion Conclusions ........... Results ........................... 2 2 3 3 8 13 15 17 17 18 .......... Recommendations .............................. 19 I Introduction ............ ................................................................. ’ ................. 1 .. References Appendix ........... Methods .......................................................... List of equipment manufacturers f ....................... Materials ............. ...........................................................................................................................................................Page List List I of figures of tables ...................... A.........................................................

. . . . .. . . a... . . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . . Pendulum tests Volunteer test results results 2. .. . . . 14 9. . . . . . with a TPL'" . . ... . . . 5. . . . ... . 13 Chinstrap B1pull II test with standard... .. . . . .. . . . .. USAARL. . ... .. . . . . 15 . . . . . . . . . yoke harness. . . .... . all helmets equipped *.. .. . . .. . . . . . Final configuration of the USAARL yoke harness.. USAARL. .. . 12 Chinstrap "pull 1' test on the standard. . . . .. ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . ... . . . ... . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . mounted on headform.. . .. ... and Gentex swivel yoke harnesses. . .. .. . . . . . . . . and Gentex swivel yoke harnesses using a helmet liner without a TPL" . . . . 4. ... . . ... 15 1. .. . . . swivel view of the USAARL yoke harness in a helmet .. . harness pendulum tester. . . st of tables Page ... . . . . .. . .. .. . . .. 6. ... . . List of fiaures Figure 1. ... . . . . . . . .. . . 8 10 The USAARL yoke harness Photographs Right side skeletal Helmet of Gentex 3. . . . .. 11 Typical helmet displacement on the Hybrid III headform in the pendulum tests. ... . . . 2. .. . ... . .. . . . . . . .. ... . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . ... . . . . .. . . . retention Typical pulse experienced by the l'chest" of the pendulum tester . . 7. . ... . .

manufacturers and users of flight helmets. the retention assemaircraft accident investigations.G. fied yoke harness incorporating the features described by Palmer and Haley (1988).mtroduction Flight helmet stability and retention on the head during crashes have been. Lanoue. a new modiincreased the strength of the chinstrap.S. and (3) to subjectively compare the wearing comfort of the USAARL yoke harness and the standard retention harness. was designed at USAARLand later constructed by Gentex also designed a similar but different Gentex Corporation. (2) to compare the forward and rearward helmet rotation allowed by the two yoke harnesses to that allowed by the standard retention harness. (1) To compare the chinstrap strength and this report were: elongation of the USAARLyoke harness and the Gentex swivel yoke harness to that of the standard retention harness. and continue to be.). bly (integral napestrap and chinstrap) does not prevent the shell from undergoing excessive forward and rearward rotation when the head is exposed to crash induced acceleration(s) (Gruver and Haley. when visual enhancement devices are attached to the forward area of the helmet. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) has shown: (1) The double snap fasteners are inconsistent in attachment strength as determined by laboratory tests and actual failures in accidents (Vrynwy-Jones. the standard Sound Protective Helmet-4 (SPH-4) provides relatively good noise attenuation and impact protection. and (3) forward rotation of the shell has been identified as a concern when wearing night vision goggles due to the added weight and the forward position of the center-of-gravity (C. also. a source of concern for In use since 1970. The objectives of retention assembly having a swivel chinstrap. according to However. Previous work at the U. 1988). Materials The final configuration of the USAARLyoke harness was obtained from the Gentex Corporation under the auspices of a It was constructed in a written agreement dated 28 April 1989. 1988) and. manner similar to a prototype assembly developed by Palmer and 3 . (2) the cloth connection between the chinstrap/ napestrap and shell permits excessive forward and rearward helmet displacement which may expose the cranium to impact. Palmer and Haley (1988) showed a simple modification of the current retention assembly significantly reduced elongation and Recently. and Pritts.

The Gentex swivel yoke harnesses* (Gentex Part no. The tie-down strap concept was suggested and developed by Gentex Corporation development engineer Richard Long. Eyelets inserted into the tubular chinstrap webbing were reinforced with a stitch pattern as shown in Figure 1. The USAARL yoke harness shown in Figures 1 and 2 evolved from laboratory and field studies over a period of several months.2 inches below the current harness attachment point. Diameter of the D-rings was 0. Reinforcement of the eyelets in this fashion reduced deformation and allowed each attachment point to withstand loads of at least 150 pounds. Also.Haley (1988). uses hole rear The USAARL yoke harness was tied directly into the shell using 0.1 inches rearward and 0. The attachment points of the USAARL yoke harness are further apart than those of the current retention assembly and the Gentex swivel yoke harness (Figure 3) in order to increase the pitch rotational resistance of the assembly. A plastic (nylon) tab stiffener was sewn into the end of the chinstrap to ease the threading of the chinstrap through the double "Dl1 ring release buckles.75-inch width tubular (existing chinstrap) webbing. A a-inch length of VelcroTM pile was sewn into the lower end of the tie-down strap so that it could be directly hooked into the Velcro" of the adjustable napestrap.19 inches.11 inches. The evaluation and testing of the USAARL yoke harness included a comfort wearing test in which pilots donned and doffed an SPH-4 with the USAARL yoke harness installed. .9 inches forward and 0. This value is equal to the strength of the attachment points on motorcycle helmets. The chinstrap webbing was reinforced with 0.5-inch Kevlar" tape which was added to minimize elongation of the chinstrap.6 inches below the current attachment point.75 inches x 0. 89D-7639) were provided by Gentex. * See list of manufacturers 4 . 50-lb strength) was affixed to the inner "DB'-ring. The forward mounting position of the USAARL yoke harness the lower visor hole (Figure 4) which is located 0. it provides allowance for decrease of strength with age and usage. A shell-to-nape tie-down strap (1 inch wide x 5 inches long) was provided to limit the rotation of the shell away from the napestrap (see Figure 1). The rearward attachment point uses the headband clip located 1. A leather tab (1. The USAARL yoke harness is a modified universal retention assembly with Gentex number 14AL crushable earcups* installed.

nylon. . Final configuration 5 of the USAARL yoke harness.50” e--.- l/ I Kevlar tape View A (full sized) :qual sections * Note: Stitch prior to grommet insertion Figure 1.MIL-T-43636 thread. FSN 8310-492-8397 strength = 15 lb. minimum 0.

. . Right Figure side 2.. view The USAARL yoke harness Left side view mounted on headform.

Photographs of Gentex swivel yoke harness. 7 .Figure 3.

and the standard SPH-4 harness were tested for chinstrap strength. The chinstrap tensile strength was measured according to MILA 600-lb H-43925 using a Tinius-Olson Locap testing machine*. 8 . Only the standard harness and USAARL yoke harness were tested for wearer comfort. Gentex swivel yoke harness.5 inches per minute. elongation.hinstrapgrommet Figure 4. The USAARL yoke harness. and helmet displacement using current USAARL testing methods. Speed was 1. Revere load cell* was used. Methods in a All testing was conducted with standard SPH-4 shells fitted with thermoplastic liners* (TPL'"). Right side view of the USAARL yoke harness skeletal helmet.

values.for forward and rearward rotational displacement were tested using one-way analysis of variance and the Student-NewmanKeuls multiple comparison test (Steel and Torrie. It should be emphasized that accident histories have shown that these straps frequently were worn more loosely than were tested.and napesimulate a "snug )I fit on the wearer. the l%zhestll velocity reduced to zero. 1989) was used to measure helmet This device consisted of a rotational displacement (Figure 5). The chest deceleration was provided by a 3-inch thick cardboard honeycomb pad and a l-inch thick foam pad. pulse was filtered at 1600 Hertz. A typical deceleration experienced by the pendulum llchestll is shown in Figure 6 which shows a peak G value of 28 G. then rotated forward and downward to displaced upward (lofted). The approximate Each test deceleration velocity was 16 fps at the headform C. 1980). The simulated chest deceleration of 26-30 G peak is equal to the 95th percentile G level as stated in the Crash Survival Design Guide (Dynamic Science Engineering Corporation. The peak G provided example of by the honeycomb varied from 26 to 30 G. . aviator's chest while the attenuator acted as the restraint harness. 1971). based on reported comfort from human trials. Typical displacement of the standard SPH-4 helmet during a Note the helmet pendulum test is illustrated in Figure 7. Upon impact. Hybrid III headform and neck assembly mounted on a pendulum beam. Helmets were fitted to the Hybrid III* headform and neck to Both the chin. a moderate level lWcrashl' pulse. a relatively short duration pulse. and Palmer. i. but the head continued to move due to the humanoid (flexible) neck. the tip of the nose and rebounded enough to expose the frontal area of the head. The R@chest11 impact and resultant headform flail and helmet rotation were recorded by high speed video at 1. Paschal. the velocity of 16 fps is only the 10th percentile. Video data were digitized and reduced by computer. These values straps were cinched to 10 lb to assure consistency..e. However. were reasonable.000 frames per Mean second.A dynamic helmet retention harness testing device (VyrnwyJones.G. A simulated llcrash" was created when the beam swung against a The beam simulated an motion-arresting impact attenuator.

gkg (Includes hesdform and helmet) -CONCRETE- / / I Figure 5. Helmet retention harness pendulum tester..0cmk2) Hybrid HI Hekdform. With Artlculaied Neal k Pendulum Swinging Mass 3 1 . r --~ 204. 10 .

12 .14 Time . .-10 30 0 .lO .04 . Figure 6.sec.06 . Typical pulse experienced by the '!chestl@ of the pendulum tester.08 .02 .

then remove Immediately after removing the helmet. pebbled plastic The second helmet consisted of a TPLTM retrofit fitting pad). instructed to don the helmet. (4) comfort of the double R-ring release buckle. III a donning and doffing test was To assess wearer comfort. and (5) preference. The test subjects were SPH-4 with the USAARL yoke harness. The first helmet consisted of a TPLTM retrofit configurations. (The TPLTM kit includes SW-4 with a standard retention harness.tiil initial Position Maximum Lofting Maximum Forward Deflection Maximum Rearward Deflection Figure 7. This test compared two helmet conducted using 29 aviators. (2) a questionnaire relating to: sound attenuation. (1) General overall comfort. a 5/S-inch thick foam liner and the four-layer. Typical helmet displacement on the Hybrid headform in the pendulum tests. 12 . (3) donning and doffing. wear it for 10 minutes. they answered the helmet.

and all helmets equipped 13 . with a TPL".29 USAARL “ Yoke“ Harness HGU . Chinstrap llpull II test on the Gentex swivel yoke harnesses.56 Requirement = 440 Pounds 300 SPH .Results results are shown in Figures 8 and 9. The Gentex swivel yoke harness elongated more than the USAARL yoke harness when measured Both the at the same load with or without the TPLT* installed.4 Requirement = 300 Pounds 200 - Base Line = 2.5 Pounds Figure 8. USAARL. USAAF& yoke harness and the Gentex swivel yoke harness surpassed the HGU-56 strength requirement of 440 pounds. Chinstrap "pull test" The USAARL yoke and the Gentex swivel yoke harnesses stretched less than the standard SPH-4 harness. 600- - 1. standard.

The results of the donning and doffing test with 29 aviators are shown in Table 2. Note a majority of the aviators critiqued the USAARL yoke harness as an improvement over the standard SPH-4 harness..0 1.5 2. -P 400* 2 .5 Elongation in inches Figure 9.0 3.5 1.. The standard retention assembly allowed more forward and rearward helmet rotation to occur than did either the USAARL yoke harness or the Gentex swivel yoke harness.5 3. The pendulum test results are presented in Table 1.600- 500. USAAFIL. Chinstrap llpull II test with standard. Statistically.a..0 2.x 3 200- IOO- I I 8 1 I I I 0. and Gentex swivel yoke harnesses using a helmet liner without a TPLTM. the USAARL yoke harness and the swivel yoke harness did not differ. 14 .

Assembly type Number tests a a 6 Forward rotation (deg) 16.3' 23.0 + l.9 + 3. No Improved Comfort Noise attenuation Ease of donning and doffing Comfort with D-ring 72.Table 1. and Gentex swivel yoke retention. yoke retention assembly.3 f.6b Standard SPH-4 . USAARLyoke Gentex swivel yoke Note: ferent Values are means + standard error of mean (SEM).2% 17.1% 13.O5). Difletters within a column indicate means differ (p=O.0% 0.2% Decreased 6.9% 3.3b Rearward rotation (deg) 40. Forward and rearward rotations of the standard retention assembly.3' 19. 1.8% Discussion the existing SPH-4 retenAs mentioned in the introduction.5% 24.3 + 2.0% difference 17. Table 2.9% 86.4% 79. Volunteer "don-doff" comparative critique of standard SPH-4 retention harness to the USAARL 'Iyoke" retention harness.3% 0.1 + 3. tion harness permits excessive helmet shell fore-aft rotation when the helmet is exposed to either operational torque caused 15 4 .7a 9.0 + 1.2% 75.Ob 12.

lO-in length to accommodate the addition of the O. both the USAARL and stretched less than half as much. Gentex yoke harnesses Although the Gentex swivel yoke harness and the USAARL yoke harness produced similar results in the pendulum tests. but the USAARL and Gentex yoke harnesses sustained 440 pounds (Figure 8) to ensure adequate resistance to asymmetric loads under tangential crash forces. This stretch reduction is assumed to be the cause for the improved performance of the yoke harness over that of the standard harness on the pendulum device. 16 . (2) the earcup retainer cloth was reinforced by a nylon-Kevla?' Ilyokelfi chinstrap which reduced the elongation of the assembly and reduced the rotational displacement of the helmet under inertial forces. The visor anchor nut should be increased in length by O. (3) the current standard chinstrap sustained a load of 280 pounds. Theoretically. When compared to the standard harness. Insertion of the longer nut without causing damage to the TPLM is a delicate task.visual enhancement devices or crash-induced inertial or tangenPalmer and Haley theorized the rotational tial impact forces. low elongation type retention harness was developed further in our laboratory trials to maximize its performance in the SPH-4 type helmet. . displacement could be reduced by reducing the chinstrap elongation and by providing a @@yokel1 shape chinstrap. and (5) the yoke harness offered enhanced stability and limited forward and rearward helmet displacement during normal wear in the cockpit. the USAARL yoke should be superior to the Gentex swivel yoke because the lesser vertical displacement helped prevent forward or rearward rotation on the head. (4) the USAARL yoke harness was judged by the 29 aviators to be slightly superior in sound attenuation because this type harness promotes a better earcup seal as the yoke chinstraps pull inward on the cups during tightening. chinstrap pull tests definitely showed that less elongation occurred in the USAARL yoke harness than in the Gentex swivel yoke harness (Figures 8 and 9). The "yoke" ahape. Using the lowest visor hole for the forward attachment of the USAARL yoke to the shell requires a redesign of the TPLW to include a depression in the foam liner to allow for the thickness of the anchor nut. The preceding results have shown the USAARL yoke and the Gentex swivel yoke harnesses perform better than the standard SPH-4 harness because of the following: (1) The double snaps were replaced with tab-type "Dl rings which provide higher strength and reliability ("D" rings have been used and proven effective in motorcycle helmets over the past 30 years).lOin thick chinstrap grommet (Figure 4). but the procedure could be simplified by the use of a special anchor .

nut gripping permanently. For retrofit. but provide the widest V8yoke8W possible for the chinstrap anchor point. attachments grommets should be it does not loosen in the webbing 17 .2 inches. 5. Adequate flexibility exists in the yoke harness configuration to permit its usage in either location so that retrofit or production harnesses would be identical. The USAARL yoke harness and the Gentex swivel yoke harness allow less helmet rotation than the standard harness. but if installation of the visor anchor nut simply is too tedious to consider for reasonably rapid production. the point can be the existing hole used for the forward anchor of the earcup cross strap. tool. The forward chinstrap anchorage point should be as far forward as is feasible. SPH-4 harness with a 11yoke81 2. or by the use of cement to hold the nut . Each of the four chinstrap tested to 150 pounds to ensure after field use. 4. The replacement yoke harness should be required to sustain a 440-lb load with less than l. the anchorage point can be moved rearward. The majority (72 percent) of aviators who wore the USAARL yoke harness preferred it over the standard harness. is stronger than the than standard the Gentex swivel 2.O-inch elongation between 25 and 440 pound loads. The USAARL yoke harness requirement). the cross strap should be moved forward 0. 3. The USAARL yoke harness harness. The new location would still function as the cross strap anchor hole. Conclusions 1. for new production SPH-4 helmets. easily sustains a 440-lb load (HGU-56 Recommendations 1. Recommend replacing the standard type harness as soon as possible. 3. The USAARL yoke harness stretches less yoke harness and the standard harness.4 inches and downward 0.

Develowment of a test Gruver. PA. Princiwles Steel. 1989.. USAARLReport No.S.. grocedures of statistics. Fort Eustis. USAARLReport No. Fort Rucker. method for evaluating the effectiveness of helmet retention Fort Rucker. and Haley. J. C. Army Aeromedical Research gystems Laboratory. USAAMRDL Report No. Robert G. Peter. Inc. R.S. Rucker. Crash survival Dynamic Science Engineering Operations. Helmet. and Palmer. AL. Bernard. L. USAARLLR-88-5-4-3. Army Air Mobility desian auide..S. 1980. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory. L. and Haley. SPH-4 helmet retention assembly reinforcement. Vyrnwy-Jones.. Army fliaht helmet werformance 1983-1987. J.References . AL: U. R. and U. ical Research Laboratory. Carbondale. AL: U. Army Natick Research and Development Command. 1988. W. 71-22. Paschal.S. M. 1975. NY: McGraw-Hill. Vymwy-Jones. James H. Army Aeromedical Research device. AL: U. Douglas. AL: U.S. MA: U. Fort Rucker.S. MIL-H-43925. D. D. Palmer. 88-15. Army AeromedUSAARLLR-88-10. VA: U. 89-27. Lanoue. and Torrie. Fort SPH-4 U. 1988. Evaluation of helmet retention systems usina a Pendulum Fort Rucker. Department of the Army. 28 April 1989.. flyers wrotection. and Pritts. 1988. Research and Development Laboratory. Natick. SPH-4. R. and 18 . Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory. Laboratory.S. P. W. 1971.S. Correswondence: Cooperative Research Agreement between Gentex Corporation.

CA 92121-1011 Tinius-Olsen Testing Machine Company.O. CA Humanoid System Division of Humanetics Corporation 17022 Montanero Street Carson. Easton Road. General Motors Corporation 3044-T West Grand Boulevard Detroit. CA 90746 John Chatillon and Sons 83-30 Kew Gardens Road Kew Gardens. MI 48202 Gentex Corporation P.T Broadway New York. . NY 10018 . Inc. Switzerland Nicolet Instrument Corporation Oscilloscope Division 5225 Verona Road Madison. Box 429 Willow Grove. PA 18467 GHI Systems Randros Palos Verdes. Kodak 3099 Science Park Road San Diego. NY 11415 Kistler Instruments AAAG Winterthur. List of equipment manufacturers Belding Corticelli Thread Company 1430 .ADDendiX A. Box 315 Carbondale. WI 53711 Spin Physics 2000. PA 19090 19 .

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