The most asked question, answered by the Founder of TIIVRA.
When we first decided to enter the helmet market, we realized that only 3 companies in the world make ONLY composite helmets (there are many types of composite fibers – Carbon fiber, glass fiber, basalt fiber and others). There are stalwarts in the industry such as ARAI, SHOEI and RuRoc. We decided to be the 4th company in the world to make ONLY Glass Fiber, Carbon Fiber Composite helmets . Less than 1% of the world's helmets are made from Composite Fibers. Rest are injection molded plastic helmets – made from polycarbonate or ABS granules.
A composite fiber helmet is not an easy product to make. It is not an easy product to scale. It is more expensive to make in terms of material cost. It takes more time to make – increasing process cost. Then why did we insist on Composite Fiber Helmets only? Carbon Fiber and Glass Fiber are very hard to make.
How do we know if a helmet is safe for a rider or not? Well, helmets are subjected to various tests – impact test, abrasion test, retention test etc., and all helmets pass tests, laid out by various certification standards. So, aren’t plastic helmets with these certifications good enough? Why do we need carbon fiber or glass fiber helmets? Why do carbon fiber helmets for motorbike riders seem preferable?
The answer is that while these plastic helmets also pass standards that are ISI (India), DOT (USA) and/or ECE (EU), the testing for these certifications is done at 30 kmph or less. If the certifications required testing at higher speeds, then many (if not all) of these plastic helmets would fail. ISI impact test requires the impact to be under 400gs when testing is done at approx. 27 kmph. ECE requires 250gs or less. The best of polycarbonate helmets make high density EPS and a thick polycarbonate shell to pass these standards. Most such helmets would weigh between 1500 -1750gms. Our composite fiber helmets test at 50% to 25% lower gs than allowed, at a significantly lower weight. Composite fiber helmets weigh 1250 gms – 1400 gms. And surpass plastic helmets in performance. Quite simply, at higher speeds, plastics fail and composite fiber helmets save. That is why composite fiber / carbon fiber helmets for riders are the best option when it comes to saving their heads and composite fiber helmets are also lightweight helmets.
Polycarbonate helmets don’t break – but tend to transfer the force of impact inside the helmet. Typically, the layer of EPS (Extended Polystyrene) is the only thing that absorbs impact. There is only a single line of defense for riders.
Composite fiber is made of multi-axial fibers. These fibers are laid up in layers, and fused with epoxy or resin. The resultant material is ultra light and ultra strong giving you lightweight helmets. In the event of an impact on composite fiber, the entire force of the impact is spread along the entire shell , along all the multi-axial fibers. So the force of impact at any single point is greatly dissipated. Thus these ISI tested lightweight helmets are also very high protection helmets. Many ISI tested helmets (remember, they are only tested at 27kmph) significantly surpass impact tests. They have the ability to save heads and brains from impacts at higher speeds.
At Tiivra, we have a mantra – Safety Before Profits. Our decision to focus only on lightweight, high performance composite carbon helmets and composite glass helmets is largely based on this principle.