Rawlings Baseball Helmet

mountains

Product number: CFPBHD

Jeff Onstott, Joe Sclafani, Brandon Parks, Vanessa Trinh, Anne Boguslavsky

Joe: This helmet protected me from impacts on the baseball field, and it felt great wearing it!

Outer Shell: ABS polymer (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

ABS, discovered during World War II, is lightweight, durable, strong, and rigid. It has good shock absorbance and is used widely in protective headgear. The most important mechanical property of ABS is impact resistance. It is also heat resistant and will not be affected by environmental conditions. It is strong enough to allow vents to keep the head cool while still being impact resistant.

outer shell

White Foam: EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate)

EVA is soft and flexible, yet can be processed like other thermoplastics. It has stress crack resistance and low temperature toughness. It is good for outside use, because it is waterproof and resistant to UV radiation, keeping the head cool. It is highly elastic and has a melting temperature of 205°F.

white foam

Grey Foam: Polyethylene

Polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer resin consisting of long chains of the monomer ethylene. It has excellent temperature resistance and doesn't dissolve at room temperature because of crystallization of the molecule. It is soft and absorbent. Because it is often used as a cushioning device, it is a great material for helmets, because it will allow the helmet to fit well. Polyethylene is relatively inexpensive.

grey foam

Black Covering: Leather

Leather is used around the main sweat areas and protects your face from irritation from the rougher foam exterior. It also protects the foam from dirt and sweat.

black covering

Black Hard Thin Padding: EPE (Expanded Polyethylene)

Expanded polyethylene foam is used in thin layers to protect the head from the ABS shell at certain pressure points on the helmet. When you are wearing the helmet and it is moving, your head will not be in direct contact with the shell. EPE is lightweight, flexible and elastic. It does a good job of spreading the impact from a force.

black hard thin padding

Common Failures

The foams are not going to fail from getting hit as much as they are from the constant stretching and compressing that occurs when putting the helmet on and off. Also, dirt and sweat can get into the foams causing them to deteriorate. The only force that will cause the outside shell to crack is a hard impact from a ball or bat. Also, there is a frequent bending of the shell around the earflaps when the user takes the helmets on and off, causing a stress point that can lead to deformation or cracking.