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ECE certification 22.05 is being renewed. What to expect from ECE 22.06?

How do you know that you have a good and reliable helmet in front of you? How do you determine that this is a real original piece of protection that can save your head? The first thing you should pay attention to is the availability of certification. The same helmet can have several certifications, if the manufacturer is concerned about this issue.

ECE 22.05 certifies helmets before they hit store shelves. For this, the manufacturer is obliged to provide for tests a whole batch of 50 production models in advance.

Experienced riders know that helmet safety certification can be DOT, Snell, SHARP or ECE 22.05. We will talk about the features of each of these certifications in the next article. Now let’s take a look at the update that ECE is expecting on May 22. Very soon, the designation of the ECE safety standard will change to ECE 22.06. What standards will the equipment manufacturers support now?

Briefly about how it used to be

ECE 22.05 is a European quality standard monitored by the “European Economic Commission”, established in 1958. However, the first certification was received only in 1982 and had an index of 22.02. Each version has its own index, and it is indicated by the second pair of numbers. The current standard is 22.05, it will be replaced by 22.06.

Motorcyclists traveling in Europe must wear a motorcycle helmet that meets ECE standards.

ECE 22.05 certified helmets are eligible for professional competition in the world championships in road racing, including Moto GP, Formula-USA and WERA, CCS, FIM and AMA. The same standard permits the use of helmets for off-road racing and motocross racing.

The criteria for evaluating the helmet included many important indicators:

  • Impact resistance
  • Resistance to deformation
  • Wear resistance
  • Testing with chemical solvents and aggressive media
  • Visor strength and its effect on road perception – vision distortion
  • Additionally tested belt and buckle

The first step is to check the geometry of the helmet and the anatomical fit of the model with different head shapes. To do this, the helmet is put on a blank with 3D accelerometers. It is checked how the helmet covers the head and whether it fits snugly to the surface. Compression testing is performed by independent laboratories – longitudinal and transverse. The helmet is loaded up to 630 Newtons, which is about 65 kilograms. After the strength experiment, the geometry of the helmet is checked again – is there any deformation? Does the helmet move on the head if force is applied?

photo from the open reporting database of the Department of Vehicle Safety. USA.

Next, go to the “impact” test, simulating a fall on a curb. The blow is delivered with a stone equal in weight to the head of the dummy. The extreme highest point, for which the indicators of the accelerometer sensors should not pass – 275 kilograms.

photo from the open reporting database of the Department of Vehicle Safety. USA.

By the way, testing with a helmet hitting a flat surface is also carried out. There have been a lot of questions about this test lately, because statistics indicate a greater number and danger of rotational injuries. At the same time, a direct collision should not be underestimated; it could be a hit against a car body or a road obstacle.

The helmet must be tested in different modes – at high and low temperatures, simulating all kinds of circumstances in which the helmet wearer might find themselves. And this is a logical turn of events for experiments, because some materials, especially if the manufacturer wants to save money, can become brittle at subzero temperatures, and viscous at high temperatures. Therefore, testing at different temperatures will reveal flaws.

Some certifications use penetration testing, such as DOT, and Snell. ECE 22.05 dropped this in 1995 in favor of hull integrity testing.

photo from the open reporting database of the Department of Vehicle Safety. USA.

To simulate sliding on asphalt, the helmet is rubbed against an abrasive surface. Here, for a successful passage, the helmet should not catch on with any protruding parts. In addition, the sensors measure the load on the potential owner.

The hardships of the destroyed helmet do not end there. It is tested for its reaction to aggressive chemical media – solvents and its sensitivity to ultraviolet light.

The strap and visor deserve special attention. The chin strap is tested under increasing strength and tensile strength. The belt must not stretch more than 35 millimeters and the permanent deformation must not exceed 25 millimeters. The places where the belts are attached are closely examined. Naturally, the fasteners should not open during the test! There is even a test for the speed and convenience of opening the fasteners.

The visor is tested for strength with a pointed striker, checked for abrasion with an abrasive surface. It is assessed for distortion of visual vision, transparency and elasticity in freezing temperatures.

Additionally, the helmet is evaluated for the quality of the view.

As you can see, there are quite a few ranking positions. The current standard should adjust for innovations that have already entered the motorcycle industry and take into account the experience of thousands of accidents that injure the head of a motorcyclist.

ECE 22.06 standard – what will change?

There is an opinion that testing at higher speeds does not guarantee the same excellent protection against injuries sustained at low speeds. Therefore, the new rating will cover different ranges of impact speed – low and high. The angle of impact will also change. Remember the research by the creators of the MIPS concussion protection system? The impact on a flat surface does not give a rotational motion, so the new system provides for an impact at an angle of 45 degrees.

Earlier there were also questions about the certification of modular helmets. ECE 22.06 standard provides for testing modulators in both open and closed state. Special requirements will apply to the built-in glasses and their performance regardless of the position of the visor. A test will be created for the visor, simulating the impact of a pebble at a speed of 215 km / h. To do this, a steel ball will be shot into the visor.

Previously, no one had included a Bluetooth headset in a helmet package. Now a graph for the headset will also appear in the rating. The study will be conducted with and without a headset. Accessories, which are supplemented with a motorcycle helmet, also break during an accident, so their availability must be taken into account.

How will this affect us?

Two questions immediately arise:

– How will the price of a helmet that must meet the new standard change?

– Can’t I use my helmet with ECE 22.05 certification?

The ECE 22.05 certification is still valid, even with the current rating. Therefore, as long as your helmet is “alive”, it can be used. The new safety criteria will require even more diligent manufacturing from manufacturers to protect our heads with you. According to rough estimates of experts, a helmet with a new safety standard will rise in price by about 5%.

What is 5% of the amount of equipment for the confidence that your helmet will withstand a drop, pressure, and reflect the impact of pebbles at high speed? At the same time, stores will be allowed to sell off the remaining stocks of helmets with the ECE 22.05 index. By the way, these same analysts predict that it will take almost two years to sell all helmets with ECE 22.05. Add to this the service life of the helmet. This means that we will meet both versions for a long time to come.

The 06 amendments are scheduled to enter into force in June 2020.

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