• Jun 15, 2011
Kranium cardboard helmets – Click above for image gallery

We were nearly ready to break out the tin foil hats when we first ran across news that cardboard may be better at protecting your noggin than the polystyrene that's currently en vogue in helmets. Upon closer inspection, it turns out the corrugated paper product actually makes a fine impact absorber.

The technology is called Kranium, and it uses interlocking ribs made from cardboard housed under a stiff plastic shell. Since the cardboard is easily manufactured and cut to shape, custom fitment is possible by means of a simple and personalized head-shaped template. This way, the guts can be cut out of a single cardboard sheet and replaced without buying a completely new helmet.

Tests show that these cardboard helmets can withstand four times more impact energy than regular helmets. Just as interestingly, while polystyrene helmets can only take a single impact, these Kranium helmets can reportedly pass testing after five strikes. Read more about the technology at the Kranium site.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      pinyatapbjtime
      • 3 Years Ago
      if a helmet can pass after 5 simulated crashes, it has to be pretty strong right? if it's that strong, doesn't it mean that it passes more of the impact energy through, to say the wearer? isn't that what we're trying to reduce? In my head, i compare this to old cars that are strong so after an accident they don't look too bad, but they've managed to pass all that energy to the driver. that is in comparison to modern cars which crumple to absorb the impact energy.
      azepolyn
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd imagine polystyrene holds up to perspiration a whole lot better though
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is one of those "why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Cardboard is plentiful and cheap. Easy to cut and manipulate and they already make shipping containers (obviously) out of it, as well as stuff like furniture, so applying the same techniques to something like a helmet make perfect sense.
      P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cycling + Heat trapping plastic = Moisture. Moisture + polystyrene = OK. Moisture + cardboard = Bad.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Steve
      • 3 Years Ago
      This technolgy is targeted at bicyclists (for now). Being a cyclist, I am interested in how they can manage airflow to keep a riders head cool. The plastic cover would be a brutal heat trap. The worst helmet is one that is so uncomfortable that you'd rather bear the limited risk head trauma than subject yourself to the assurance of discomfort. Great idea that will need maturation.
      jeep02tj
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beats using bread.
      Alphonso Carioti
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is nothing wrong with this design. The structural strenght would be very good.
      William
      • 3 Years Ago
      These helmets might end up being so cheap that the government could require everyone to wear one every waking hour of the day "for our own good."
        • 3 Years Ago
        @William
        [blocked]
          caddy-v
          • 3 Years Ago
          You never miss an opportunity to bring a newly founded catch phrase out in the conversation. Like a three year old that first used the "F" word. Big government, especially YOUR lunitic liberal view of it is evil. And for the record here's a quote from your messiah shortly after the election; "We can't get them now, but down the road in a second term we will get the guns." "Liberalism. It's a mental disorder." (Michael Savage)
          ..
          • 3 Years Ago
          And you nanny statists libtard wankers "we know whats's best for you" safetycrats are right there to remind us. Thanks. It's time for your meds.
          Scholtzy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ "Caddy-V" and ".." Right...because EVERY liberal agrees with Obama and falls into a narrow range of misrepresented beliefs and ideological stances. For the record, I'm a liberal and I believe strongly in the right to own guns. However, I also believe that there should be a limit to the size of magazines permitted for use in civilian-owned semi-automatic weapons in order to limit the tragic effects of large scale massacres (such as Virginia Tech). If Seung-Hui Cho had to reload sooner than he did, he could have been tackled by a bystander and stopped. This position on guns is not the result of a superior or condescending attitude but a logical conclusion, based on the premises that a) A limit on magazine sizes would allow bystanders and law enforcement to intervene more quickly in shootings and b) a large magazine size isn't necessary for sportsmen and other gun owners to kill game or defend themselves from a limited number of assailants. My point is not a long-winded diatribe on the Second Amendment--that would be largely irrelevant. My point is that my beliefs on the issue are informed by broad analysis of the topics at hand. I think most conservatives think rationally--it's just that the values and objectives they seek to uphold and to pursue, respectively are different. Consequently, the results of their rational investigation is different. When conservatives call liberals "lunitic" (*lunatic) and "evil" there is no rational investigation, no polite questioning, and no interesting debate. There's only cat-calling and crude insults. So please, keep it out of the comments section of a CAR blog, and, hopefully, avoid it altogether. One last thing--assuming your ideological opponents have "a mental disorder" is close-minded and close to elitism, in that it assumes a group with certain traits (in this case, Conservatism) is inherently superior to another (those with more liberal views).
        Kunikos
        • 3 Years Ago
        @William
        Christ, just shut up already
      Bruce Lee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Right, because it never rains and snow never melts.
        themanwithsauce
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        Yes and because plastic doesn't repel water...and neither does wax.... They're not stupid enough to make a helmet that melts.
        Jempi
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        Read the source! " It has also been impregnated with a compound to make the cardboard water-proof."
        brandon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        um....that is what the plastic casing is for?
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't look too comfy. If it's got a clear plastic shell with no air holes, then not only will it be hot because of no ventilation, it would act like a giant greenhouse on your head. And like others have mentioned, it looks like it just transmits the energy to the head instead of absorbing it and breaking. Dont get me started on the problems with pulling random cardboard from the recycling to replace the stuff in the helmet. They are trading safety and ergonomics for low cost manufacturing and "value". Not cool.
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is pretty awesome. I'd be interested in getting one if they made a full face version.
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