Savilonis, Brian James
Collisions between a baseball bat and a catcher’s helmet are rare, yet severe impacts that often lead to head injuries. Catcher’s helmets are currently designed to pass NOCSAE standards in a linear drop test. A test that replicates a batter’s backswing was prototyped to incorporate angular acceleration and tested by colliding a baseball bat into a headform. Testing was performed at six velocities with and without a helmet. Peak G and Severity Index values were measured to explain effects at the brain. Results validated linear test data for 1D testing, but suggests NOCSAE standards may test unrealistically high energy impacts. Risk of injury decreased with helmet use. Future helmet designs and testing will likely include angular acceleration to improve the 3D reaction models of the brain.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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