BLACKSBURG (WSLS) - Helmet makers will be in Blacksburg as Virginia Tech researchers begin their work on rating hockey helmets.
Biomedical engineering professor Dr. Stefan Duma and his team have created what they say is a first of its kind test that replicates what hockey players would see if they fall on the ice. It measures linear and rotational motion and its impact when players hit the ice or boards.VIRGINIA TECH MOVES TO RATE HOCKEY HELMETS
Scientists and helmet manufacturers will be at Virginia Tech Tuesday morning for an open meeting where they'll be given the science behind what it takes to make a safer helmet, ahead of the university's fall 2014 release of the Hockey STAR safety ratings for head protection. It will cover helmets worn by professional and youth hockey players.
"The overall goal is to make better helmets and in order to do that, you have to have the manufacturers on board with the understanding of what's going to be required and how to make a better helmet," said Duma.
Ratings would be a first of their kind for hockey and follow ratings for professional and youth football helmets completed by Duma.
Duma's recent football ratings, released last spring, showed manufacturers are responding and more five star helmets. He is hoping for the same response with hockey.
"I expect to see the same sort of thing with hockey where you're going to have a relatively low performing helmets," said Duma. "People will see how to design them and they'll make them better and hopefully within a year or two you'll have hockey players given a choice of buying much better helmets."
Tuesday's meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Kelly Hall. Researchers will release their methods for testing, take input and have scientific debate.