New FIA helmet standard

new fia standard 8860--2018.jpg

fia 8860-2018

The FIA have just announced a new helmet safety standard which manufacturers will have to  meet to obtain the FIA top tier racing helmet homologation. Formula 1 drivers will be wearing these helmets in 2019. This is BELL's prototype, build to the standard but yet to be tested by the FIA. Sttilo, Arai and Schuberth and also producing these helmets. In 2016 the FIA changed the harnesses homologation. They did this because they were presented with  data that showed drivers were surviving 70G crashes but at that time they did not ask manufacturers to test to such forces. The FIA has no doubt collected similarnew crash data and decided to upgrade to  tougher tests. Think Alonso's 2016 Canadian Grand Prix crash. The new harness FIA 8853-2016 standard was obligatory in its first year for all F1 drivers and now all manufacturers have to build to this standard. This 8860-2018 is very stringent, and requires the use of exotic materials - which is as we know s very expensive. Carbon Fiber is getting more affordable, but still expensive. Consequently, it is very unlikely the FIA is going to force helmet manufacturers to meet this standard. However, it is an indication of what the FIA is thinking regarding future helmet safety  rules.

NOTE the significant changes.

  • There is a narrower visor opening. The top of the opening has been lowered by 10mm (.39")  - to 'incorporate advanced ballistic protection' that's protection from all the projectiles that fly around at high speeds in a crash.
  • Increased side protection areas to make sure the helmet can better absorb the energy released on impact from closed car seat-side head protection systems.
  • The helmet shell construction will require the use of more advanced, technical composite material, as it not only has to be tough, but must be resistant to greater crushing and penetration.
  • The helmet will now be subject to greater G forces, different crash angles, more variable G forces and deal with different head forms
    Here's the details  from the FIA

    Toughened Tests

    Under the new FIA 8860-2018 standard all helmets must withstand the following tests:

  • Standard impact: Helmet impact at 9.5m/s. Peak deceleration on ‘driver’s head’ shall not exceed 275G.
  • Low velocity impact: Helmet impact at 6m/s. Peak deceleration shall not exceed 200G with a maximum average of 180g.
  • Low lateral impact: Helmet impact at 8.5m/s. Peak deceleration shall not exceed 275G.
  • Advanced Ballistic Protection: A 225g metal projectile fired at 250km/h. The peak deceleration shall not exceed 275G.
  • Crush: A 10kg weight falling 5.1 meters onto helmet. Lateral and longitudinal tests. The transmitted force should not exceed 10 kN.
    Shell penetration: A 4kg impactor dropped onto helmet at 7.7 m/s.
  • Visor penetration: Air rifle fires 1.2g pellet at visor. Pellet must not penetrate the interior of the helmet.
  • Visor coating: Transmitter test to ensure colouration and vision is not significantly changed or distorted.
  • Retention system: Roll-off test and dynamic test to ensure strength of chin strap and its attachments.
  • Chin guard linear impact: Impact test with full headform at 5.5m/s. The peak deceleration shall not exceed 275G.
  • Chin guard crush: Hammer hits chin guard and measures ability to keep impact away from the head.
  • FHR mechanical strength: Test to ensure high strength of attachment points for Frontal Head Restraints.
  • Projection and surface friction: Test to ensure helmet surface uniformity and that friction is minimized. Shell surface also subjected to BARCOL hardness test for resistance to penetration.
  • Flammability: Helmet exposed to 790 Centigrade/ 1454 Fahrenheit flame; it must self-extinguish once flame is removed.