POLY-XTREME

Minimize injury and fatality due to head-to-head collisions / high-impact forces
PowerPolymer has the potential to make the Kevlars of the world obsolete. Their advanced adaptive polymeric technology will become the #1 choice of extreme professional athletes worldwide due to its extraordinary shock absorbent capability. Their ability to manufacture lightweight high-performance durable equipment that also life-protects athletes under extreme conditions represents unmatched ground-breaking technology. It’s like orienteering out there in your own personalized tank.
— Marina L. Aydarova,
2007 Orienteering Champion, Federation of Extreme Sports​
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ATHLETIC & SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Reduce risk of injury and prevent fatalities in high impact and extreme sports with our Poly-Xtreme F-IDA solution for helmets, body armour, &  other athletic & safety equipment.
 
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Resistant to high impact collisions
  • Durable helmets in sub-zero conditions
  • Prevent concussion related injuries - Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Consumer Products to Protect Against Sports-Related Injuries

Design helmet / shell structures to minimize threat of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Traumatic Chronic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Common football injuries are sprains and strains (accounting for 31% of injuries), fractures and dislocations (28%) and soft tissue injuries (24%).  Concussion affects approximately 5 – 10% of players in any given season.  According to the Sports Concussion Institute, football players have the highest concussion rate (75%) among athletes in all sports.  A professional football player receives 900 to 1500 annual blows to his head with an average impact speed of 25 mph when tackled. In 2014, the National Football League (NFL) reported 202 diagnosed concussions during preseason, regular-season practices,and games combined, which represents slight reduction from previous years (229 in 2013 and 261 in 2012).

Evidence shows that concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can lead to serious physical and psychological diseases in professional football players.  A study conducted by University of North Carolina Center for the Study of Retired Athletes indicated strong correlation between diagnosed clinical depressions and number of concussions sustained by NFL players.  In the study, 2,552 retired NFL players were surveyed.  Among the 595 players who recalled sustaining three or more concussions on the football field, 20.2% said that a physician also determined they had depression, which is 3 times higher than players who had not sustained a concussion.

Another study of former NFL players performed by University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that 6.1% of players over age of 50 reported diagnosed dementia, which is 5 times higher than national average (1/2%); players between ages 30 and 49 reported a rate of 1.9%, or 19 times national average (0.1%). Finally, multiple cases of suicide (former NFL players) are linked to CTE, including:

 
  • 2002, Michael Webster (retired from Pittsburgh Steelers in 1990)
  • 2005, Terry Long (retired from Pittsburgh Steelers in 1991)
  • 2006, Andre Waters (retired from Arizona Cardinals in 1995)
  • 2011, Dave Duerson (retired from Arizona Cardinals in 1993)
  • 2012, Ray Easterling (retired from Atlanta Falcons in 1979)
  • 2012, Junior Seau (retired from New England Portraits in 2009)
Concerns of brain injuries have caused several players to start what may become an NFL exodus. In March 2015, San Francisco 49ers’ 2nd year star linebacker Chris Borland and standout linebacker Patrick Willis suddenly retired, leaving the game and millions of dollars due to CTE risk.  That same month, Pro-bowler and All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith also retired for the same reasons. Severe concussive-related brain damage among players is accepted by NFL officials.

In 2009, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stated “It’s quite obvious from the medical research that’s been done that concussions can lead to long-term problems6 .” Following three high-profile suicides and several recent retirements, the NFL has commendably taken measures to support athletic medical research, committing to donate $30 million to NIH3, and agreeing to pay nearly $1 billion as compensation to 5,000 former players for head-related injuries over the next 65 years, receiving final approval by a federal judge on Apr. 22, 2015.

 
Helmets colliding w brains
Youth Impact:
A 2011 study conducted by researchers in Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics found that an estimated 5.25 million football-related injuries among children and adolescents between ages 6 and 17 years were treated in U.S. emergency rooms between 1990 and 2007.

The annual number of football related injuries increased 27 percent during the 18-year study period, jumping from 274,094 in 1990 to 2 346,772 in 2007. Concussions, on the rise over the past 15 years and initially brought to more light by former Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Troy Aikman, account for 8,631 injuries each year, where adolescents 12 to 17 years of age suffered the greatest proportion of concussion injuries (78 percent).

Prevention and treatment of concussions, stemming from inadequate helmet design remain a focal point of discussions at all levels of play (junior, high school, collegiate, and professional/ NFL levels), where, on average, 57 reported football-related concussions are treated daily in U.S. emergency rooms1 among young athletes (between 6 and 17 years of age).

Life-threatening injury rates are higher among athletes 12 to 17 years of age, likely a combination of a ‘win at all costs’ mentality where athletes may view their bodies as ‘projectiles’ and over-confidence on lighter, seemingly stronger, protective equipment designed using impressionably ‘cool and attractively marketed’ materials, including some ‘carbon-based’ materials. However, with large number of daily pediatric and adolescent ER-treated injuries during the football season, the ‘coolness’ of today’s composite-designed equipment disconnects players’ competitive styles and safety of equipment, such as football helmets.

While pediatric research continues to make progress on injury treatment, the greater need lies in developing safer helmets.
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The major impact-absorbing element in helmet design is the foamed polymer liner. At PowerPolymer, due to the increasing number of injuries and fatalities, we have designed a new outer shell helmet that utilizes our patented tunable materials system to tremendously enhance energy transferability and minimize head injuries.

A significant impact-absorbing element in helmet constructions is the plastic outer shell that is conventionally constructed of carbon fiber-polyphenylene sulfide plastic. Alternatively, the outer shell may be composed of polycarbonate or more conventional materials such as Kevlar K29 / polyvinyl butyral-phenolic composite, K129 fibers, thermoset polymer fibers, and natural fiber particle reinforced materials, such as sisal, banana and jute reinforced polymer composites.

Helmet inserts include Carbon/Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), a long fiber thermoplastic composite (LFT) with excellent specific strength and specific modulus for stiffening a soft shell. Other candidate materials include Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), carbon nanotubes (CNTs), Nano-composites, and thermoplastic polymers.

While many pragmatic alternatives to lightweight composite helmet manufacturing exist and while brittleness is an avoidable hurdle that can otherwise dwarf success, the main culprit is a paucity of material damping that leads to aggrandization of the consumption and cost of helmet design.
Helmet cold temp test
With continued prevalence of football-related head injuries, our unique chemistry formulations, tested under high-impact / high- duress environments, are a viable solution for outer shell design to enhance impact resistance and damping. Using state-of-the-art injection molding techniques in our manufacturing facility, our materials are fabricated into thin (5 mm – 8 mm) lightweight helmet shells that enable high energy / unit volume absorption at the point of impact through an internal “moving bonding mechanism,” i.e., molecular mobility at the constitutive interface, therefore stabilizing the impact, and safely transferring the energy locally, leading to a one-of-a-kind high-strength sustainable shell design.
Load deflection of c ida helmet design