Innovation & technology
THE SKIN THAT CAN SAVE YOUR OWN
A revolutionary innovation
THE GREATEST ADVANCE IN HEAD PROTECTION SINCE THE INVENTION OF THE FULL-FACE HELMET.
With SuperSkin®, the Belgian company Lazer now brings helmet users definitive progress in the field of protective head gear, given the knowledge that in 67% of all motorcycle accidents and 80% of fatal accidents the head will be injured.
The solution provided by SuperSkin® is simple, almost obvious, because it is inspired directly by nature. Actually, our skull, which is the best-designed casing for providing our brain with protection, is itself naturally protected by scalp.
The SuperSkin® is a layer on the outside of the helmet, which acts exactly like the scalp does in the human head. By sliding on the shell it limits rotation.
Rotation of the head causes severe and untreatable damage to the brain from the very first milliseconds following a blow and the scalp reduces the effect of the impact by sliding over the skull. It is precisely this infinitesimal time lapse of 15 milliseconds that is so critical, when what occurs is what is called by scientists “rotational Injury”, the most mortal of enemies. And the principle of the Lazer SuperSkin® helmet was invented and designed by Dr Ken Philips of Philips Helmets Ltd precisely to counteract this in the most effective manner.
THE HEAD IS NATURALLY PROTECTED BY THE SKIN
Lazer has developed an anti-rotational membrane and a lubricant that imitate the natural movement of the skin over the skull
Rotational Injury THE ABSOLUTE ENEMY
It is important to note that in 67% of all cases the head is affected in a motorcycle accident. And according to the European COST 327 helmet study concerning motorcyclist safety, “rotational acceleration was identified as a principal cause of head injury”. In order to understand how this phenomenon occurs, you should be aware that the brain is not fixed to the inside of the skull and the brain linings but that it floats, immersed in cerebrospinal fluid.
In actual fact, the skull and the brain can be compared to a hollow globe that encloses a gelatinous sphere, the brain matter, which floats within the bony walls. Any impact causes instantaneous pivoting of the head, to a greater or lesser degree. Of course, the brain mass follows the rotational movement of the skull, but with a slight time delay. Kinetic energy results in the brain undergoing a rotational movement inside the skull. And as we have seen earlier, this happens within the first 15 milliseconds following the impact. Clearly the violence of this rotational movement within the skull can instantaneously cause the tearing of blood vessels and nerve fibres inside the brain.
This phenomenon, called “intracranial shearing” by doctors, is the cause of serious and inoperable injuries leading to serious disabilities (coma, paralysis and various other disorders) and all too often, death.
And this is why, in conjunction with the work carried out on this subject by Dr Ken Philips of Philips Helmets Limited, the makers of Lazer helmets have decided to invest their effort and capital in the development of a new technology – PHPS™: Philips Head Protection System, that makes it possible to considerably limit the physiological and neurological consequences of rotational injury on the brain considerably. So Lazer continues its well-established tradition of active participation in improved safety for its customers, one that began with its foundation in 1919. Actually, as we can see later, a helmet fitted with the SuperSkin® membrane reduces intracerebral shearing by 67.5%, by reducing the mechanical effects of rotational acceleration by more than 50%. This exceptional outcome is the result of long research and meticulous design and development.
STANDARD HELMET VS SUPERSKIN – THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Standard helmet. Intracerebral shearing, 17 milliseconds following impact (Von Mises stress)
Shearing, 17 milliseconds following impact (Von Mises stress) - SuperSkin® helmet
The solution provided by the SuperSkin® helmets is totally in line with the requirements highlighted by these rigorous scientific observations. By reducing the rotational impact by 50%, thus implying a reduction of 67.5% in the forces causing lesions, the Lazer SuperSkin® is now obviously the real pioneer in a new generation of more “intelligent” helmets.
Propagation of the compression wave following rotational impact
Dr Ken Philips
INTUITION AND PERSERVERANCE
Dr Ken Philips is a British doctor who has spent several years working on improving helmet safety, following a discussion with his son, a journalist specialising in the motorcycle press. Considering with good reason that the best helmet had already been invented by nature, he postulated that the skin on the skull, our scalp, played an all-important role in the event of an impact and was able to demonstrate that the same effect was achieved by putting a lubricated membrane on a helmet. This pioneer has dedicated a total of fifteen years of his life to saving ours.
Over the years, he has developed his head protection concept, called PHPS™ (Philips Head Protection System). By joining forces with this project, the managers of LAZER immediately became aware of the tremendous added benefits that the SuperSkin® solution could provide for its customers in terms of safety. So LAZER now has the exclusive use of this concept adapted to motorcycle helmets. For his part, Dr Philips envisages extending the application of his discovery to helmets for cyclists and to riding helmets, etc.
HOW DOES IT LOOK?
THE LAZER LOOK REMAINS UNCHANGED WITH MINIMUM EXTRA COST AND MAXIMUM PROTECTION
From the outside, it is impossible to tell the difference between a standard LAZER helmet and its SuperSkin® version. The principle is to coat the helmet of the LAZER range (Full-face and Urban Jet) with a synthetic membrane and its lubricant and this can be coloured without any problem and without any loss of its intrinsic qualities. This means that the SuperSkin® helmet keeps its LAZER look, with the advantage of its flattering design that contributes to the success of the brand. But although nothing is evident to the eye, it is easy tell the difference from the feel. When you stretch the surface of the helmet, the membrane lengthens slightly, evidence of the suppleness of this innovative and life-saving covering.
Safety maybe has no price, but it inevitably comes at a cost. We at LAZER wanted this major step forward in technology to benefit the greatest number of people. So the extra cost generated by our adopting the SuperSkin® solution will not exceed around one hundred and fifty euros. In LAZER’s cherished corporate culture, safety must not be a luxury, it must be a service.
Best Patented Innovation Award
Lazer won the Best Patented Innovation Award for its SuperSkin helmet !
On May 14th 2009, our CEO, Alexander de Vos van Steenwijk, received the award at a ceremony with 400 guests in Brussels. Lazer was praised for its continuous research for innovation and contribution to personal protection in the Motorcycling field.
Can this technology be applied to existing helmets, or can it be applied only during the helmet’s original production?
The Lazer SuperSkin is only available on motorcycle helmets made by Lazer.
How do you make it? How do you put the membrane on?
The Lazer SuperSkin was developed during 15 years of laboratory research by Philips Helmets Ltd and 2 years of production research by Lazer. Its application is highly specialised and applied to the shell by thermoforming of the membrane over the lubricant onto the shell.
What is the additional weight of the lubricated membrane?
The weight of the SuperSkin is less than 100 grams.
How will extreme hot/cold temperatures affect the performance of Lazer SuperSkin?
The European Standard requires helmets to be tested at 40 degrees °C. The Lazer SuperSkin has been tested at 60 degrees C for the equivakent of 5 years of product life. No damage was seen. However, no helmet material we are aware of will resist prolonged exposure to extreme heat or cold.
How would the skin hold up against debris flung up at high speeds while riding on the highway, such as a rock? Will it cut the SuperSkin?
The SuperSkin membrane is tough and programmed to give about 800% elasticity when stretched. It has been tested by an independent laboratory and was found to be undamaged after normal but fairly severe banging. It is neither brittle nor fragile, It’s like a tough skin. Furthermore, the underlying lubrication gives it additional elasticity and cushions minor impacts. However, like our own skin, sharp objects can cut it.
When the membrane is broken, is it possible to replace it?
No, the application process is too complex to replace a membrane. In case of breakage, do not try to fix the membrane. You should replace your helmet to keep the anti-rotation advantages, but your helmet continues to give all other safety features.
If you have an accident, will the membrane get damaged? Do I have to replace my helmet?
In case of accident, every helmet should be replaced. The absorption capacities of the inner shell are inoperative after any heavy impact, with or without SuperSkin.
How to clean my SuperSkin helmet ?
Lazer SuperSkin maintenance is the same as with other helmets. Use only cool clear water and a soft cloth to clean the helmet surface.
What are the benefits of a SuperSkin helmet?
Whenever the head is struck it rotates to a greater or lesser extent. Rotational stresses cause tearing of blood vessels and nerves in the brain, which can be dangerous or even fatal. The Lazer SuperSkin reduces these rotational forces and thus reduces the risk of rotational injury by 67.5%.
Every helmet slides when crashed; why is the SuperSkin beter?
The critical time for brain injury is during the 15 first milliseconds of the impact. During this time the road surface, for example, bites into conventional helmets and causes rotation, but the SuperSkin slides on its lubricant. See the movie on our Website to see the difference of rotation with a standard helmet and the very markedly reduced rotation with the SuperSkin helmet.
Is there any impact on aerodynamics?
No. The membrane is thin enough and so tense on the helmet that there is no impact at all on aerodynamics. It has been wind-tinnel tested at Southampton University up to 160 kph.
Is the SuperSkin technology available on every type of Lazer helmet?
Yes, three Lazer helmet models are now equipped with the SuperSkin membrane, offering a complete range : the Rider, the Solano and the SMX.
What is the cost of the SuperSkin?
The helmet will cost between €100 and €150 more than a comparable standard helmet.