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Novel Lightweight Composite Liner to Complement a Regular Combat Helmet with Enhanced Protection Against the Blast and Concussive Forces

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Health Agency
Contract: W81XWH-22-C-0081
Agency Tracking Number: H2-0703
Amount: $1,099,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DHA211-002
Solicitation Number: 21.1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-01-26
Small Business Information
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-1916
United States
DUNS: 181947730
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Girish Srinivas
 (303) 940-2321
Business Contact
 Mr. John D. Wright
Phone: (303) 940-2300
Research Institution

The major drawback of the current state-of-the art ACH helmet, as well as some more recent advanced designs such as FAST and ECH, is that they do not offer enough last shockwave energy dissipation and absorption to fully protect a soldier from concussive brain injuries. As such, a new liner is needed inside the regular combat helmet to protect the wearer against blast and concussive overpressure forces to prevent brain injuries.    We will use a new multilayered design, where each layer is optimized to carry its own function. Specially reinforced rubber, a foam, and a hard plastic layer will act synergistically to completely dissipate and absorb the energy of blast and concussive forces, thus protecting a soldier for traumatic brain injuries. The structural materials of the proposed liner have also been well-proven to perform well under rugged conditions such as extreme temperatures, humidity and dust/wet conditions. The liner will be worn comfortably underneath a regular combat helmet complementing the protective design of the latter. None of the layers of the composite helmet will interfere with the wearer and technologies/systems (e.g., GPS or communication equipment) carried by the Warfighter. TDA will also develop a computational model to better understand how changes to our helmet liner will affect its protective qualities. This model will use Finite Element Analysis to model a shockwave due to an explosion propagating though air, into the helmet, through the liner, into the skull and the brain. Throughout the Phase II, TDA will work in partnership with a leading commercial manufacturer of combat helmets. Our collaborator will provide input for liner’s design, manufacturing of the prototypes, qualification tests, and technoeconomic analysis including both product and process cost assessment, design of the manufacturing process, and market analysis. Design CADD files, some raw materials for the helmet assembly and helmet shells will also be provided to TDA by our manufacturing partner. By the end of Phase II TDA will complete and qualify the design of a helmet liner that will including the impact, blast exposure tests involving animal subjects, and environmental conditioning. Together with our manufacturing partner, TDA will complete the fabrication of the prototypes, and prepare for the full-scale manufacturing safe-launch production during Phase III. Further in-field and laboratory tests involving human subjects will take place in Phase III through our collaboration with the manufacturing partner and WRAIR.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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