Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
MULTI-LAYER PROGRESSIVE PADDING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/160450
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A helmet (10) includes a shell (12) having an interior surface (16) and a padding (100) configured to provide progressive impact resistance. The padding (100) includes a first padding layer (110) and a second padding layer (130). The first padding layer (110) has a first side (112) configured to conform to the interior surface (16) of the shell (12) and an opposing second side (114) that defines a plurality of first continuous extensions (124) arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first recesses (126) therebetween. The second padding layer (130) has a third side (132) configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet (10) and an opposing fourth side (134) that defines a plurality of second continuous extensions (144) arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second recesses (146) therebetween.

Inventors:
YANG, Fong (2411 E. Featherhill Drive, Orange, California, 92867, US)
Application Number:
US2017/017936
Publication Date:
September 21, 2017
Filing Date:
February 15, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FOX HEAD, INC. (16752 Armstrong Avenue, Irvine, California, 92606, US)
International Classes:
A42B3/12
Domestic Patent References:
2016-03-24
Foreign References:
US20070000032A12007-01-04
US20100000009A12010-01-07
US20030140400A12003-07-31
US6694529B12004-02-24
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MORLEY, Marc T. et al. (Foley & Lardner LLP, 3000 K Street N.W.Suite 60, Washington District of Columbia, 20007, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A helmet, comprising:

a shell having an exterior surface and an interior surface;

a helmet padding configured to provide progressive impact resistance to an impact force experienced by the exterior surface of the shell, the helmet padding including:

a first padding layer having a first side configured to conform to the interior surface of the shell and an opposing second side defining a plurality of first continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first recesses therebetween; and

a second padding layer having a third side configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet and an opposing fourth side defining a plurality of second continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second recesses therebetween.

2. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein the plurality of second recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of first continuous extensions, and wherein the plurality of first recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of second continuous extensions.

3. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein the first padding layer has a first density and the second padding layer has a second density, wherein the first density is greater than the second density.

4. The helmet of Claim 3, wherein the helmet padding further includes a third padding layer positioned between the first padding layer and the second padding layer, wherein the third padding layer has a third density that is different than the first density and the second density.

5. The helmet of Claim 4, wherein the third padding layer is elastic such that the third padding layer follows along the opposing second side of the first padding layer and the opposing fourth side of the second padding layer, and wherein the third padding layer has a constant thickness.

6. The helmet of Claim 4, wherein the third padding layer has a fifth side defining a plurality of third continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of third recesses therebetween and an opposing sixth side defining a plurality of fourth continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of fourth recesses therebetween.

7. The helmet of Claim 6, wherein the plurality of first recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of third continuous extensions, the plurality of second recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of fourth continuous extensions, the plurality of third recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of first continuous extensions, and the plurality of fourth recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of second continuous extensions.

8. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of first continuous extensions have a first surface and a second surface, wherein at least one of the first surface and the second surface extend from the first padding layer at an angle defining a non-uniform width along a height of a cross-sectional shape of each of the plurality of first continuous extensions.

9. The helmet of Claim 8, wherein each of the plurality of second continuous extensions have a third surface and a fourth surface, wherein at least one of the third surface and the fourth surface extend from the second padding layer at an angle defining a nonuniform width along a height of a cross-sectional shape of each of the plurality of second continuous extensions.

10. The helmet of Claim 9, wherein the non-uniform width of the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of second continuous extensions facilitates providing an analog impact resistance as the impact force propagates through the helmet padding.

11. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein dimensions of a cross-sectional shape of at least one of the plurality of first continuous extensions and at least one of the plurality of second continuous extensions are varied to provide a desired progressive impact resistance to certain regions of the helmet corresponding to certain anatomical regions of the head of the wearer of the helmet.

12. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of second continuous extensions each extend continuously from a respective point configured to be positioned at a top of the interior surface of the shell to a lower edge of the shell.

13. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein the plurality of first continuous extensions extend continuously from a first concentrically located extension member to a lower edge of the shell and the plurality of second continuous extensions extend continuously from a second concentrically located extension member to the lower edge of the shell, wherein the first concentrically located extension member and the second concentrically located extension member are configured to be positioned at a top of the interior surface of the shell.

14. The helmet of Claim 1, wherein the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of second continuous extensions extend continuously from a front portion of the shell to a rear, lower edge of the shell.

15. The helmet of Claim 13, wherein at least one of the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of second continuous extensions define channels that extend at least a portion of a length of the least one of the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of second continuous extensions.

16. The helmet of Claim 15, further comprising intake vents and exhaust ports positioned to correspond with the channels.

17. The helmet of Claim 16, wherein the channels, the intake vents, and the exhaust ports are configured to facilitate at least one of aerodynamic ventilation and cooling through the helmet.

18. A helmet padding, comprising:

an outer layer having a first density, the outer layer including a first surface configured to conform to an interior surface of a helmet and an opposing second surface defining a plurality of first extensions that extend continuously along an entire length of the outer layer, wherein the plurality of first extensions are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first channels therebetween; and

an inner layer having a second density less than the first density, the inner layer including a third surface configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet and an opposing fourth surface defining a plurality of second extensions that extend continuously along an entire length of the inner layer, wherein the plurality of second extensions are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second channels therebetween;

wherein the plurality of second channels are shaped to receive the plurality of first extensions;

wherein the plurality of first channels are shaped to receive the plurality of second extensions; and

wherein the outer layer and the inner layer are configured to cooperatively provide progressive, analog impact resistance to mitigate an impact force experienced by an exterior surface of the helmet as the impact force propagates through the helmet padding.

19. The helmet padding of Claim 18, wherein the plurality of first extensions and the plurality of second extensions extend from the outer layer and the inner layer, respectively, in a radial direction approximately orthogonal to a plane tangent to a curvature of the helmet.

20. A multi-layer padding, comprising:

a first layer having a first density; and

a second layer having a second density less than the first density; wherein the first layer and the second layer define at least one of (i) opposing, interlocking wedges that extend continuously along an entire length of the multi-layer padding and are configured to provide progressive, analog impact resistance to attenuate an impact force experienced by the multi-layer padding as the impact force propagates through the multi-layer padding and (ii) air flow channels that extend at least a portion of a length of the multi-layer padding and are configured to facilitate at least one of aerodynamic ventilation and cooling through the multi-layer padding.

Description:
MULTI-LAYER PROGRESSIVE PADDING

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 15/074,959, filed March 18, 2016, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The subject matter disclosed herein relates to multi-layer progressive padding which could be used, for example, in a protective helmet, such as helmets used in motocross, other motorsports or protective helmets such as in downhill bicycling sports.

[0003] Protective helmets are frequently used for recreational and vocational activities and sports. For example, protective helmets are used as head protection in motorsports, by jockeys in horse racing, in American football, ice hockey games, cricket games, and during rock climbing. Protective helmets are also used when performing dangerous work acti vities, such as hard hats used in construction work, during mining activities, and by police agents. Protective helmets are often required to be wor in transportation, for example motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets.

[0004] Helmets often include padding to absorb impact forces. In order to accommodate different impact forces, different material layers and/or different density layers are stacked together. Though layering may increase impact absorption for a wider range of impact forces, layering does not provide an analog impact resistance. For example, as an impact force propagates from a first layer to a second layer, the second layer instantly starts absorbing the impact force not absorbed by the first layer, causing an abrupt deceleration experienced by the wearer of the helmet.

SUMMARY

[0005] The subject matter disclosed herein offers solutions for problems resulting from layering of padding. [0006] One embodiment relates to a helmet. The helmet includes a shell having an exterior surface and an interior surface and a helmet padding configured to provide progressive impact resistance to an impact force experienced by the exterior surface of the shell. The helmet padding includes a first padding layer and a second padding layer. The first padding layer has a first side and an opposing second side. The first side is configured to conform to the interior surface of the shell. The opposing second side defines a plurality of first continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first recesses therebetween. The second padding layer has a third side and an opposing fourth side. The third side is configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet. The opposing fourth side defines a plurality of second continuous extensions arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second recesses therebetween. In some embodiments, the plurality of second recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of first continuous extensions and the plurality of first recesses are shaped to receive the plurality of second continuous extensions. In some embodiments, a third padding layer is positioned between the first padding layer and the second padding layer.

[0007] Another embodiment relates to a helmet padding. The helmet padding includes an outer layer and an inner layer. The outer layer has a first density and includes a first surface and an opposing second surface. The first surface is configured to conform to an interior surface of a helmet. The opposing second surface defines a plurality of first extensions that extend continuously along an entire length of the outer layer. The plurality of first extensions are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first channels therebetween. The inner layer has a second density. According to an exemplary embodiment, the first density of the outer layer is greater than the second density of the inner layer. The inner layer includes a third surface and an opposing fourth surface. The third surface is configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet. The opposing fourth surface defines a plurality of second extensions that extend continuously along an entire length of the inner layer. The plurality of second extensions are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second channels therebetween. According to an exemplary embodiment, the plurality of second channels are shaped to receive the plurality of first extensions and the plurality of first channels are shaped to receive the plurality of second extensions. According to an exemplary embodiments, the outer layer and the inner layer are configured to cooperatively provide progressive, analog impact resistance to mitigate an impact force experienced by an exterior surface of the helmet as the impact force propagates through the helmet padding.

[0008] Yet another embodiment relates to a multi-layer padding. The multi-layer padding includes a first layer having a first density and a second layer having a second density less than the first density. The first layer and the second layer define at least one of (i) opposing, interlocking wedges that extend continuously along an entire length of the multi-layer padding and are configured to provide progressive, analog impact resistance to attenuate an impact force experienced by the multi-layer as the impact force propagates through the multilayer padding and (ii) air flow channels that extend at least a portion of a length of the multilayer padding and are configured to facilitate at least one of aerodynamic ventilation and cooling through the multi-layer padding.

[0009] Still another embodiment relates to a method of manufacturing a multi-layer padding. The method includes forming a first layer having a first density in a single, first forming operation; forming a second layer having a second density less than the first density in a single, second forming operation; and stacking the first layer and the second layer to form the multi-layer padding. The first forming operation and the second forming operation may include at least one of molding, injection molding, over-molding, compression molding, extrusion molding, thermoforming, and vacuum forming.

[0010] The foregoing summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. In addition to the illustrative aspects, embodiments, and features described above, further aspects, embodiments, and features will become apparent by reference to the drawings and the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The drawings are provided to illustrate example embodiments described herein and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure. Throughout the drawings, reference numbers may be re-used to indicate general correspondence between referenced elements.

[0012] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a helmet including padding, according to an exemplary embodiment; [0013] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the helmet of FIG. 1, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a detailed perspective view of a shell and padding of a helmet, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of padding for a helmet, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0016] FIG. 5 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the padding of FIG. 4, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0017] FIG. 6 is a stress versus strain curve for dual-density padding of a helmet, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0018] FIG. 7 is a stress versus strain curve for dual-density padding of a helmet having continuous interlocking extensions, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0019] FIGS. 8-9 are a first layer of a padding for a helmet arranged in a first

configuration, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0020] FIGS. 10-11 are a first layer of a padding for a helmet arranged in a second configuration, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0021] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of padding for a helmet, according to another exemplary embodiment;

[0022] FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of padding for a helmet, according to yet another exemplary embodiment;

[0023] FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of padding for a helmet defining airflow channels, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0024] FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of padding for a helmet defining airflow channels, according to another exemplary embodiment; and [0025] FIGS. 16-19 are various views of the helmet of FIG. 1 including intake vents and exhaust ports, according to an exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] Various aspects of the disclosure will now be described with regard to certain examples and embodiments, which are intended to illustrate but not to limit the disclosure. Nothing in this disclosure is intended to imply that any particular feature or characteristic of the disclosed embodiments is essential. The scope of protection is defined by the claims that follow this description and not by any particular embodiment described herein. Before turning to the figures, which illustrate example embodiments in detail, it should be understood that the application is not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the description or illustrated in the figures. It should also be understood that the terminology is for the purpose of description only and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0027] Embodiments herein generally relate to multi-layer progressive padding. Such multi-layer progressive padding may be used in a number of activities, including without limitation: sports and athletics, including extreme sports such as motocross, snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, etc., and traditional sports such as football, hockey, baseball, lacrosse, etc.; cycling activities, including auto racing, motorcycle riding and racing, BMX, mountain biking, etc.; with recreational vehicles including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), snowmobiles, and other off-road vehicles; military and/or construction applications; to name just a few. Further details are provided herein.

[0028] According an exemplary embodiment, a helmet includes padding having multiple layers (e.g., two, three, etc.) configured to cooperatively provide progressive (e.g., analog, etc.) impact resistance to mitigate (e.g., reduce, lessen, absorb, dissipate, attenuate, etc.) an impact force experienced by an exterior surface of the helmet as the impact force propagates through the multiple layers of the padding. Traditional helmets may include a single density padding or dual-density padding having two layers of different densities that interface with each other with a smooth (e.g., spheroid, etc.) surface. While the traditional dual-density padding may accommodate impact absorption for a wider range of impact forces, the traditional dual-density padding may not provide an analog impact resistance. In fact, as an impact force propagates from a first layer (e.g., a lower density layer, etc.) to a second layer (e.g., a higher density layer, etc.) of the traditional dual-density padding, the second layer instantly starts absorbing the impact force not absorbed by the first layer, causing an abrupt deceleration experienced by a wearer of the helmet.

[0029] The exemplary multi-layer padding of the present disclosure provides various advantages over other designs, such as a traditional dual-density padding or those that may utilize discrete protrusions. The advantages may include analog impact resistance, decreasing the complexity of manufacturing, reducing the number of molds required for manufacturing, and reducing the cost of manufacturing, among other advantages. According to an exemplary embodiment, the multi-layer padding includes at least two layers having opposing, interlocking profiles that define a series of continuous extensions (e.g., wedge- shaped extensions, etc.) that interface with one another. In one embodiment, a first layer (e.g., outer layer, layer positioned against a shell of the helmet, etc.) has a density that is greater than that of a second layer (e.g., inner layer, layer positioned towards the head of a wearer of the helmet, etc.). By way of example, as an impact force is absorbed by the multilayer padding, the lower density layer compresses first. As the lower density layer collapses, less of the lower density layer and more of the higher density layer becomes active, progressively (e.g., gradually, etc.) increasing the resistance to the impact force (e.g., an analog response, etc.). In one embodiment, the height, width, and/or thickness of the series of continuous extensions of the first layer and/or the second layer are constant along their length. In other embodiments, at least one of the height, width, and/or thickness of the series of continuous extensions of the first layer and/or the second layer vary along their entire length. In still other embodiments, the height, width, and/or thickness of some of the continuous extensions are different than others (e.g., to tune the impact resistance at a specific area, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the continuous extensions extend from their respective layer in a radial direction, approximately orthogonal to a plane tangent to a curvature of the helmet.

[0030] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, a protective headwear, shown as helmet 10 (e.g., protective equipment or gear, etc.), includes a multilayer padding, shown as progressive padding 100. According to an exemplary embodiment, the helmet 10 is a motocross helmet. In other embodiments, the helmet 10 is a snowmobile helmet, a snowboarding or skiing helmet, a bicycling helmet, a mountain biking helmet, a motorcycle helmet, a skateboarding helmet, or still another action or extreme sports helmet. In still other embodiments, the helmet 10 is a football helmet, a hockey helmet, a lacrosse helmet, a baseball helmet, or still another sports helmet. In yet other embodiments, the helmet 10 is a military helmet, a construction helmet, or still another helmet used to protect a wearer of the helmet 10 from impacts to his or her head. The size of the helmet 10 may be varied to fit various wearers (i.e., different head sizes). In alternative embodiments, the progressive padding 100 is used in equipment other than helmets such as knee pads, elbow pads, shoes, shin guards, chest protectors, neck braces, seat/chair cushions, and/or other similar equipment or gear that includes padding.

[0031] As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the helmet 10 includes an outer casing, shown as helmet shell 12, that includes a first surface, shown as exterior surface 14, and an opposing second surface, shown as interior surface 16. According to an exemplary embodiment, the helmet shell 12 is configured to disperse an impact force experienced by the exterior surface 14 of the helmet 10 over a greater area of the helmet shell 12 and the progressive padding 100 (e.g., which increases the attenuation capability of the progressive padding 100 as the impact force propagates through the progressive padding 100, etc.).

[0032] As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the helmet 10 includes a frontal extension, shown as visor 30, and a chinbar, shown as chinbar 40. The visor 30 may be configured to shield a wearer's eyes from the sun and/or from incoming debris (e.g., rocks, dirt, mud, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the visor 30 is pivotably coupled to the front, upper portion of the helmet 10. In other embodiments, the visor 30 is omitted. The chinbar 40 may be configured to protect a wearer's face (e.g., when falling face first, etc.). In some embodiments, the chinbar 40 includes one or more crossbars, a transparent shield, or other protection devices. According to an exemplary embodiment, the chinbar 40 is removably coupled to the helmet shell 12 (e.g., in-molded, an individual component of the helmet 10, etc.). In other embodiments, the chinbar 40 is integrally formed with or rigidly attached to the helmet shell 12, forming a single continuous outer casing of the helmet 10. In yet further embodiments, the chinbar 40 is omitted. As shown in FIG. 1, the helmet shell 12 and the visor 30 form an opening, shown as frontal opening 50. According to an exemplary embodiment, the frontal opening 50 is configured to facilitate wearing goggles and/or allow air to flow within and/or through an internal cavity, shown as head cavity 52. As shown in FIGS. 1-2, the head cavity 52 is configured to receive the progressive padding 100, and therefore receive the head of a wearer of the helmet 10.

[0033] As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the progressive padding 100 include a first padding layer, shown as outer padding layer 110, and a second padding layer, shown as inner padding layer 130. In one embodiment, the outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130 are manufactured from the same material. In other embodiments, the outer padding layer 110 is manufactured from a first material and the inner padding layer 130 is manufactured from a second, different material. The material of the outer padding layer 110 and/or the inner padding layer 130 may include expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam, expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam, polyolefin foam, and/or still another impact attenuating or absorbing material. According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer padding layer 110 has a first density and the inner padding layer 130 has a second, different density. In one embodiment, the first density of the outer padding layer 110 is relatively greater (e.g., more dense, etc.) than the second density of the inner padding layer 130. In other embodiments, the first density of the outer padding layer 110 is relatively equal to or less than the second density of the inner padding layer 130.

[0034] As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the outer padding layer 110 has a first side, shown as outer surface 112, and an opposing second side, shown as inner surface 114. As shown in FIG. 3, the outer surface 112 of the outer padding layer 110 is configured to conform to the interior surface 16 of the helmet shell 12. As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the inner surface 114 defines a profile that includes a plurality (e.g., a series, etc.) of first continuous extensions, shown as outer protrusions 124. According to the exemplary embodiment, each of the outer protrusions 124 are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of first recesses therebetween, shown as outer recesses 126. According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer protrusions 124 extend continuously along an entire longitudinal length of the inner surface 114 of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., the outer protrusions 124 are not discrete extensions such as conical protrusions, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer protrusions 124 extend from the outer padding layer 110 in a radial direction, approximately orthogonal to a plane tangent to the curvature of interior surface 16 of the helmet shell 12 of the helmet 10.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 5, each of the outer protrusions 124 have a first surface, shown as left face 116, a second surface, shown as right face 118, a third surface, shown as outer edge 120, connecting the left face 116 to the right face 118, and a fourth surface, shown as inner edge 122, connecting adjacent outer protrusions 124 together. As shown in FIG. 5, the bases of the outer protrusions 124 have a width w 1 that is defined at least partially by a width w 3 of the inner edges 122 of the inner surface 114. By way of example, the width w t of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 may be decreased by increasing the width w 3 of the inner edges 122 or increased by decreasing the width w 3 of the inner edges 122. In some embodiments, the width w 1 of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 and the width w 3 of the inner edges 122 are constant in both a lateral and a longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110. In some embodiments, the width w t of at least one of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 and the width w 3 of at least one of the inner edges 122 vary along the lateral direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., a first outer protrusion 124 has a first width w 1 and a second outer protrusion 124 has a second, different width w t , etc.). In some embodiments, the width w t of at least one of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 and the width w 3 of at least one of the inner edges 122 vary along the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., at least one of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 taper in the longitudinal direction, etc.). In some embodiments, the width w t of at least one of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 and the width w 3 of at least one of the inner edges 122 vary in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110.

[0036] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 5, a width w 2 of the outer edges 120 of the outer protrusions 124 is less than the width w 1 of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 such that the left faces 116 and the right faces 118 extend from the inner edges 122 at an angle, thereby forming a wedge-shaped cross-sectional shape (e.g., defining a non-uniform width along a height of the cross-sectional shape of each of the outer protrusions 124, etc.). By way of example, the angle at which the left faces 116 and/or the right faces 118 extend from the inner edges 122 may be selected by varying the width w 2 of the outer edges 120 and/or the width w 3 of the inner edges 122. In one embodiment, the outer edges 120 are positioned along the mid-point of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 such that the outer protrusions 124 have an isosceles triangle-like, an equilateral triangle-like, or a trapezoidal cross-sectional shape. In other embodiment, the outer edges 120 are positioned offset relative to the mid-point of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 such that the outer protrusions 124 have an asymmetrical triangle-like cross-sectional shape. In yet other embodiments, the outer edges 120 are positioned offset relative to the mid-point of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 such that the outer protrusions 124 have a right triangle-like cross-sectional shape (e.g., one of the left face 116 and the right face 118 extend orthogonally from the inner edge 122, etc.). In one embodiment, the outer edges 120 are flat with rounded or blunted comers. In other embodiments, the outer edges 120 are rounded or domed shaped. In still other embodiments, the outer edges have another shape. In an alternative

embodiment, the outer edges 120 are omitted such that the left faces 116 and the right faces 118 come to a point.

[0037] In other embodiments, the width w 2 of the outer edges 120 of the outer protrusions 124 is equal to the width w 1 of the bases of the outer protrusions 124 such that the left face 116 and the right face 118 extend orthogonally (e.g., perpendicularly, etc.) from the inner edge 122 such that the outer protrusions 124 have an square or rectangular-like cross- sectional shape. In still other embodiments, the outer protrusions 124 have another cross- sectional shape. For example, at least one of the left face 116 and the right face 118 may be curved forming a domed or partially-domed cross-sectional shape. In another example, at least one of the left face 116 and the right face 118 may extend from inner edge 122 in multiple directions. By way of example, the left face 116 and/or the right face 118 may have a first portion that extends orthogonally from the inner edge 122 and a second portion that extends at an angle from the first portion forming a pentagon shaped cross-sectional shape.

[0038] In some embodiments, the width w 2 of the outer edges 120 is constant in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110. In some embodiments, the width w 2 of at least one of the outer edges 120 varies along the lateral direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., a first outer protrusion 124 has a first width w 2 and a second outer protrusion 124 has a second, different width w 2 , etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 2 of at least one of the outer edges 120 varies along the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., at least one of the outer edges 120 of the outer protrusions 124 taper in the longitudinal direction, etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 2 of at least one of the outer edges 120 varies in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110. In some embodiments, the cross-sectional shape of each of the outer protrusions 124 is the same (e.g., each outer protrusion 124 is wedge-shaped, etc.). In other

embodiments, the cross-sectional shape of each of the outer protrusions 124 varies (e.g., one outer protrusion 124 is wedge-shaped and a second outer protrusion 124 is dome-shaped, etc.)

[0039] As shown in FIG. 5, the thickness of the outer padding layer 110 is defined by a first height and a second height h 2 . The height is the thickness of the outer padding layer 110 between the outer surface 112 and the inner edges 122. The height h 2 is the thickness of the outer padding layer 110 between the inner edges 122 and the outer edges 120 (i.e., the height of the outer protrusions 124). In some embodiments, the height and/or the height h 2 are constant in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., a constant thickness outer padding layer 110, etc.). In some embodiments, the height h t and/or the height h 2 vary along the lateral direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., a first outer protrusion 124 has a first height h 2 and a second outer protrusion 124 has a second, different height h 2 , etc.). In some embodiments, the height and/or the height h 2 vary along the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., at least one of a variable height outer protrusion 124, a variable thickness outer padding layer 110, etc.). In some embodiments, the height and/or the height h 2 vary in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the outer padding layer 110.

[0040] As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the inner padding layer 130 has a first side, shown as outer surface 132, and an opposing second side, shown as inner surface 134. According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer surface 132 of the inner padding layer 130 is configured to conform to a head of a wearer of the helmet 10. In some embodiments, the progressive padding 100 includes a comfort liner (e.g., a low density material, a soft material, etc.) positioned along the outer surface 132 of the inner padding layer 130. As shown in FIGS. 3- 5, the inner surface 134 defines a profile that includes a plurality (e.g., a series, etc.) of second continuous extensions, shown as inner protrusions 144. According to the exemplary embodiment, the inner protrusions 144 are arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of second recesses therebetween, shown as inner recesses 146. According to an exemplary embodiment, each of the inner protrusions 144 extend continuously along an longitudinal entire length of the inner surface 134 of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., the inner protrusions 144 are not discrete extensions such as conical protrusions, etc.).

According to an exemplary embodiment, the inner protrusions 144 extend from the inner padding layer 130 in a radial direction, approximately orthogonal to a plane tangent to the curvature of interior surface 16 of the helmet shell 12 of the helmet 10.

[0041] As shown in FIG. 5, each of the inner protrusions 144 have a first surface, shown as left face 136, a second surface, shown as right face 138, a third surface, shown as outer edge 140, connecting the left face 136 to the right face 138, and a fourth surface, shown as inner edge 142, connecting adjacent inner protrusions 144 together. As shown in FIG. 5, the bases of the inner protrusions 144 have a width w 4 that is defined at least partially by a width w 6 of the inner edges 142 of the inner surface 134. By way of example, the width w 4 of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 may be decreased by increasing the width w 6 of the inner edges 142 or increased by decreasing the width w 6 of the inner edges 142. In some embodiments, the width w 4 of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 and the width w 6 of the inner edges 142 are constant in both a lateral and a longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130. In some embodiments, the width w 4 of at least one of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 and the width w 6 of at least one of the inner edges 142 vary along the lateral direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., a first inner protrusion 144 has a first width w 4 and a second inner protrusion 144 has a second, different width w 4 , etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 4 of at least one of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 and the width w 6 of at least one of the inner edges 142 vary along the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., at least one of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 taper in the longitudinal direction, etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 4 of at least one of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 and the width w 6 of at least one of the inner edges 142 vary in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130. [0042] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 5, a width w 5 of the outer edges 140 of the inner protrusions 144 is less than the width w 4 of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 such that the left faces 136 and the right faces 138 extend from the inner edges 142 at an angle, thereby forming a wedge-shaped cross-sectional shape (e.g., defining a non-uniform width along a height of the cross-sectional shape of each of the inner protrusions 144, etc.). By way of example, the angle at which the left faces 136 and/or the right faces 138 extend from the inner edges 142 may be selected by varying the width w 5 of the outer edges 140 and/or the width w 6 of the inner edges 142. In one embodiment, the outer edges 140 are positioned along the mid-point of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 such that the inner protrusions 144 have an isosceles triangle-like, an equilateral triangle-like, or a trapezoidal cross-sectional shape. In other embodiment, the outer edges 140 are positioned offset relative to the mid-point of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 such that the inner protrusions 144 have an asymmetrical triangle-like cross-sectional shape. In yet other embodiments, the outer edges 140 are positioned offset relative to the mid-point of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 such that the inner protrusions 144 have a right triangle-like cross-sectional shape (e.g., one of the left face 136 and the right face 138 extend orthogonally from the inner edge 142, etc.). In one embodiment, the outer edges 140 are flat with rounded or blunted comers. In other embodiments, the outer edges 140 are rounded or domed shaped. In still other embodiments, the outer edges have another shape. In an alternative

embodiment, the outer edges 140 are omitted such that the left faces 136 and the right faces 138 come to a point.

[0043] In other embodiments, the width w 5 of the outer edges 140 of the inner protrusions 144 is equal to the width w 4 of the bases of the inner protrusions 144 such that the left face 136 and the right face 138 extend orthogonally (e.g., perpendicularly, etc.) from the inner edge 142 such that the inner protrusions 144 have an square or rectangular-like cross- sectional shape. In still other embodiments, the inner protrusions 144 have another cross- sectional shape. For example, at least one of the left face 136 and the right face 138 may be curved forming a domed or partially-domed cross-sectional shape. In another example, at least one of the left face 136 and the right face 138 may extend from inner edge 142 in multiple directions. By way of example, the left face 136 and/or the right face 138 may have a first portion that extends orthogonally from the inner edge 142 and a second portion that extends at an angle from the first portion forming a pentagon shaped cross-sectional shape.

[0044] In some embodiments, the width w 5 of the outer edges 140 is constant in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130. In some embodiments, the width w 5 of at least one of the outer edges 140 varies along the lateral direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., a first inner protrusion 144 has a first width w 5 and a second inner protrusion 144 has a second, different width w 5 , etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 5 of at least one of the outer edges 140 varies along the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., at least one of the outer edges 140 of the inner protrusions 144 taper in the longitudinal direction, etc.). In some embodiments, the width w 5 of at least one of the outer edges 140 varies in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130. In some embodiments, the cross-sectional shape of each of the inner protrusions 144 is the same (e.g., each inner protrusion 144 is wedge-shaped, etc.). In other

embodiments, the cross-sectional shape of each of the inner protrusions 144 varies (e.g., one inner protrusion 144 is wedge-shaped and a second inner protrusion 144 is dome-shaped, etc.)

[0045] As shown in FIG. 5, the thickness of the inner padding layer 130 is defined by a first height h 3 and a second height h 4 . The height h 3 is the thickness of the inner padding layer 130 between the outer surface 132 and the inner edges 142. The height h 4 is the thickness of the inner padding layer 130 between the inner edges 142 and the outer edges 140 (i.e., the height of the inner protrusions 144). In some embodiments, the height h 3 and/or the height h 4 are constant in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., a constant thickness inner padding layer 130, etc.). In some embodiments, the height h 3 and/or the height h 4 vary along the lateral direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., a first inner protrusion 144 has a first height h 4 and a second inner protrusion 144 has a second, different height h 4 , etc.). In some embodiments, the height h 3 and/or the height h 4 vary along the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., at least one of a variable height inner protrusion 144, a variable thickness inner padding layer 130, etc.). In some embodiments, the height h 3 and/or the height h 4 vary in both the lateral and the longitudinal direction of the inner padding layer 130. [0046] According to an exemplary embodiment, the inner edges 122 of the outer padding layer 1 10 are shaped to correspond with the shape of the outer edges 140 of the inner padding layer 130 and the inner edges 142 of the inner padding layer 130 are shaped to corresponds with the shape of the inner edges 122 of the outer padding layer 1 10. As shown in FIGS. 3- 4, the inner recesses 146 of the inner padding layer 130 are shaped to correspond with the shape of and receive the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110 and the outer recesses 126 of the outer padding layer 1 10 are shaped to correspond with the shape of and receive the inner protrusions 144 of the inner padding layer 130. The inner surface 1 14 of the outer padding layer 110 and the inner surface 134 of the inner padding layer 130 thereby define opposing, interlocking profiles that facilitate combining the outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130 to form the progressive padding 100. According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer padding layer 1 10 and the inner padding layer 130 are configured to cooperatively provide progressive, analog impact resistance to mitigate (e.g., reduce, attenuate, absorb, lessen, etc.) an impact force experienced by the exterior surface 14 of the helmet shell 12 as the impact force propagates through the progressive padding 100. In some embodiment, there is contact over substantially the entire area of where the outer padding layer 1 10 overlays the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., there are no gaps between the outer padding layer 1 10 and the inner padding layer 130, etc.).

[0047] Referring now to FIG. 6, a stress versus strain curve 600 for a traditional dual- density padding of a helmet is shown according to one embodiment. Traditional helmets may include a dual layer padding including a first layer having a low density positioned against the head and a second layer having a relatively higher density positioned between the first layer and the shell of the helmet. The first layer and the second layer may each include a smooth, spheroid surface that interface with one another. As show in FIG. 6, the stress versus strain curve 600 includes a first portion, shown as lower density absorption zone 610, corresponding with the first layer, a second portion, shown as transition zone 620, corresponding with the interface between the first and second layers, and a third portion, shown as higher density absorption zone 630, corresponding with the second layer. As shown in FIG. 6, when a helmet having the traditional dual-density padding experiences an impact force, the first layer begins to deform, absorbing the impact force independent of the second layer (e.g., only the first layer is active, etc.), as shown by the lower density absorption zone 610. As the impact force propagates through the padding causing the wear's head to deform or compact the padding further, the deformation reaches the transition zone 620 between the first layer and the second layer where the head of the wearer experiences a sudden deceleration as the second, higher density layer becomes active. The second layer then instantly starts absorbing the remaining portion of the impact force not absorbed by the first layer as indicated by the higher density absorption zone 630, which causes the abrupt deceleration (e.g., a binary response, a non-analog response, a stepped response, etc.).

[0048] Referring now to FIG. 7, a stress versus strain curve 700 for the progressive padding 100 is shown according to an exemplary embodiment. As show in FIG. 7, the stress versus strain curve 700 includes an absorption profile, shown as analog absorption profile 710, that progressively increases resistance with deformation of the progressive padding 100. As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the outer protrusions 124 extend into the inner padding layer 130 and the inner protrusions 144 extend into the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., as far as

manufacturability allows, etc.) to facilitate an analog (e.g., linear, etc.) shock absorption response across the majority of the thickness of the progressive padding 100 (e.g., through the height h 2 and h 4 , etc.). By way of example, when a helmet having the progressive padding 100 experiences an impact force, the inner padding layer 130 begins to deform, absorbing the impact force independent of the outer padding layer 110 (e.g., only the first layer is active, etc.) for a small portion of the deformation (e.g., through the height h 3 of the inner padding layer 130, etc.). As the impact force propagates through the progressive padding 100, the wearer's head causes the progressive padding 100 to deform or compact further, such that the deformation reaches the interlocking portion of the progressive padding 100 where the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 cooperatively absorb the impact force by collapsing in a radial direction.

[0049] As the impact force propagates further through the height h 4 of the inner protrusions 144 and the height h 2 of the outer protrusions 124, more of the outer padding layer 1 10 becomes active (e.g., the width of the outer protrusions 124 increases as the impact force propagates along the height h 2 , etc.) and less of the inner padding layer 130 remains active (e.g., the width of the inner protrusions 144 decreases as the impact force propagates along the height h 4 , etc.), increasing the impact resistance. The gradual transition between the inner padding layer 130 and the outer padding layer 110 provided by the interlocking of the inner protrusions 144 and the outer protrusions 124 causes a gradual increase in impact resistance (e.g., rather than an abrupt or instantaneous increase as in traditional dual-density padding, etc.). The outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130 (e.g., the nonuniform widths of the inner protrusions 144 and the outer protrusions 124, etc.) thereby cooperatively provide progressive, analog impact resistance to mitigate (e.g., reduce, attenuate, absorb, lessen, etc.) an impact force experienced by the exterior surface 14 of the helmet shell 12 as the impact force propagates through the progressive padding 100.

[0050] According to an exemplary embodiment, the analog absorption profile 710 of the progressive padding 100 is a function of the cross-sectional shape of the inner protrusions 144 and the outer protrusions 124. By way of example, a wedge-shaped cross-sectional shape of the inner protrusions 144 and the outer protrusions 124 (as shown) may cause a linear shock absorption response of the progressive padding 100. According to an exemplary embodiment, the angle of the left faces 116, the right faces 118, the left faces 136, and/or the right faces 138 affect the slope of the linear shock absorption response of the progressive padding 100. For example, increasing or decreasing the width w 1 and/or the width w 4 of the bases and/or increasing or decreasing the width w 2 and/or the width w 5 of the outer protrusions 124 and/or the inner protrusions 144, respectively, may cause the slope of the linear shock absorption response to vary (e.g., allowing tuning of impact absorption for specific standards, uses, and/or locations of impact, etc.). By way of another example, a cross-sectional shape of the inner protrusions 144 and the outer protrusions 124 having a curved or non-linear face (e.g., the left face 116, the right face 118, the left face 136, the right face 138, etc.) may cause a non-linear shock absorption response (e.g., a parabolic, a hyperbolic, etc. response).

[0051] According to an exemplary embodiment, at least one characteristic (e.g., dimension, shape, density, angle, etc.) of at least one of the outer protrusions 124, at least one of the inner protrusions 144, at least a portion of the outer padding layer 110, and/or at least a portion of the inner padding layer 130 are varied along a length (e.g., in a lateral direction, in a longitudinal direction, etc.) of the progressive padding 100 (e.g., along a length of one or more of the outer protrusions 124 and/or the inner protrusions 144, etc.) to provide a desired progressive impact resistance to desired regions of the helmet 10. The desired regions of the helmet 10 may correspond with certain anatomical regions of the head of the wearer of the helmet 10 (e.g., a forehead, a temple, crown of the head, back of the head, etc.). By way of example, at least one of the widths w 1 ; w 2 , w 3 , w 4 , w 5 , and w 6 ; at least one of the heights , h 2 , h 3 , and h 4 ; the density of the outer padding layer 110; the density of the inner padding layer 130; the angle of at least one of the left faces 116, the right faces 118, the left faces 136, and the right faces 138; and/or the cross-sectional shape of the outer protrusions 124 and/or the inner protrusions 144 may be varied to tune the impact resistance characteristics of the progressive padding 100 in the desired regions.

[0052] According to an exemplary embodiment, the continuous arrangement of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 decreases the complexity and cost of manufacturing the progressive padding 100 by facilitating manufacturing the outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130 with less molds relative to other padding. By way of example, the outer padding layer 110 and/or the inner padding layer 130 may each be manufacture using a single mold due to the continuous structure of the progressive padding 100. Conversely, padding having discrete protrusions or extensions (e.g., radial cones, etc.) require a plurality of molds to manufacture various sections independently that need to thereafter be attached or nested together. According to an exemplary embodiment, the interlocking profile of the progressive padding 100 facilitates manufacturing the progressive padding 100 thinner than traditional dual-density padding. The helmet 10 may thereby be manufactured in smaller sizes (e.g., fit a wider variety of head sizes, etc.), as well as have a lower overall weight as compared to traditional helmets of the same size, while still satisfying various impact standards. By way of example, helmets having the progressive padding 100 may be lighter and meet various regulations including, but not limited to, DOT FMVSS 218, Snell M2015, Snell RS-98, CPSC 16 CFR 1203, ASTM F1447, ASTM F1492, ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, ASTM F2040, ECE 22.05, EN 1078, EN 1077, AS/NZS 1698, AS/NZS 2063, JIS T 8133, and/or SG.

[0053] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 8-9, the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110 are arranged in a first configuration, shown as ring configuration 150. As shown in FIGS. 8-9, the outer padding layer 110 having the outer protrusions 124 arranged in the ring configuration 150 includes a first extension member, shown as inner protrusion member 152, and a second extension member, shown as outer protrusion member 154. As shown in FIGS. 8-9, the inner protrusion member 152 and the outer protrusion member 154 are concentric circles. In other embodiments, the inner protrusion member 152 and the outer protrusion member 154 are other shapes concentrically positioned. For example, the inner protrusion member 152 and the outer protrusion member 154 may be any polygon shape (e.g., triangle, square, oval, hexagon, octagon, etc.) or amorphous closed loop. In an alternative embodiment, the inner protrusion member 152 is one shape, and the outer protrusion member 154 is a second, different shape. As shown in FIGS. 8-9, the outer protrusions 124 extend continuously from the outer protrusion member 154. According to an exemplary embodiment, the inner protrusion member 152 and the outer protrusion member 154 are positioned along the interior surface 16 at the top of the helmet shell 12 (e.g., located to correspond with the crown of the head, etc.) such that the outer protrusions 124 extend continuously from the outer protrusion member 154 positioned at the top of the helmet shell 12 to a lower edge, shown as rear edge 70, of the helmet shell 12 (see FIGS. 1-2). In some embodiments, the outer protrusions 124 additionally extend between the inner protrusion member 152 and the outer protrusion member 154. In some embodiments, the outer padding layer 110 includes a plurality of inner protrusion members 152 and/or outer protrusion members 154 (e.g., two, three, four, etc.) positioned along the length of the outer protrusions 124. It should be understood that the aforementioned description regarding FIGS. 8-9 of the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110 may similarly apply to the inner protrusions 144 of the inner padding layer 130.

[0054] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 10-11, the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110 are arranged in a second configuration, shown star configuration 160. As shown in FIGS. 10-11, the outer protrusions 124 extend continuously from a point, shown as point 162. According to an exemplary embodiment, the point 162 is positioned along the interior surface 16 at the top of the helmet shell 12 (e.g., located to correspond with the crown of the head, etc.) such that the outer protrusions 124 extend continuously from the point 162 positioned at the top of the helmet shell 12 to the rear edge 70 of the helmet shell 12. It should be understood that the aforementioned description regarding FIGS. 10-11 of the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110 may similarly apply to the inner protrusions 144 of the inner padding layer 130.

[0055] According to various other embodiments, the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 1 10 and/or the inner protrusions 144 of the inner padding layer 130 are arranged in another configuration. In one embodiment, the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extend continuously from a front portion, shown as front edge 60 (see FIGS. 1-2), of the helmet shell 12 (e.g., the rim around the frontal opening 50, etc.) to the rear edge 70 of the helmet shell 12 (e.g., from front to back, a fore and aft configuration, extend longitudinally along the helmet 10, etc.). In another embodiment, the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extend continuously from the left lateral side of the helmet shell 12 to the right lateral side of the helmet shell 12 (e.g., a lateral configuration, etc.). In other embodiments, the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extend continuously in another configuration (e.g., a diagonal configuration, etc.).

[0056] In still other embodiments, a first portion of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extend in a first direction and a second portion of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extend is a second, different direction. By way of example, the progressive padding 100 may include a first portion having the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extending from the front edge 60 to the rear edge 70 along a middle portion of the helmet 10 (e.g., along a longitudinal centerline, etc.). The progressive padding 100 may further include a second portion having the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 extending at an angle relative the first portion (e.g., a butt connection, intersecting wedges, etc.) to each of the lateral sides of the helmet shell 12. In one embodiment, the first portion and the second portion intersect perpendicularly relative to each other. In other embodiments, the second portion extends at another angle relative to the first portion (e.g., 5 degrees, 20 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees, 75 degrees, between 5 and 85 degrees, angled towards the front edge 60, angled towards the rear edge 70, etc.). In still other embodiments, the second portion extends non-linearly from the first portion (e.g., the protrusions of the second portion curve or change direction as each extends from the first portion, etc.). [0057] By way of another example, the progressive padding 100 may include a first portion positioned on the left lateral side of helmet 10 and a second portion positioned on the right lateral side of the helmet 10. The first portion and the second portion may meet along the longitudinal centerline of the helmet 10. In one embodiment, the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 of the first portion and the second portion may extend from the longitudinal centerline towards the respective lateral side of the helmet 10 at an angle relative to the longitudinal centerline (e.g., each portion has protrusions that slant forward or rearward, cooperatively forming an arrow-shape, etc.). In other embodiments, the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 of the first portion and the second portion extend from the longitudinal centerline towards the respective lateral side of the helmet 10 non-linearly (e.g., the protrusions curve or change direction as each extends from the longitudinal centerline, etc.). In alternative embodiments, at least a portion of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 of the progressive padding 100 are arranged in a zig-zag partem (e.g., a saw-tooth pattern, etc.) or still another partem.

[0058] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 12, the progressive padding 100 includes a third padding layer, shown as intermediate padding layer 170, positioned between the outer padding layer 1 10 and the inner padding layer 130. According to an exemplary embodiment, the intermediate padding layer 170 has a third density that is different from the first density of the outer padding layer 110 and the second density of the inner padding layer 130. In one embodiment, the third density of the intermediate padding layer 170 is less than the first density of the outer padding layer 1 10 and the second density of the inner padding layer 130. As shown in FIG. 12, the intermediate padding layer 170 follows along the contours (e.g., the outer protrusions 124, the inner protrusions 144, etc.) of the interlocking profile of the inner surface 114 of the outer padding layer 1 10 and the inner surface 134 of the inner padding layer 130. According to an exemplary embodiment, the intermediate padding layer 170 is elastic such that the intermediate padding layer 170 is configured to deflect low force impacts. In some embodiments, the intermediate padding layer 170 has a constant thickness. In some embodiments, the intermediate padding layer 170 is substantially thinner than the outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130. [0059] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 13, the progressive padding 100 includes a third padding layer, shown as intermediate padding layer 180, positioned between the outer padding layer 1 10 and the inner padding layer 130. According to an exemplary embodiment, the intermediate padding layer 170 has a third density that is different from the first density of the outer padding layer 110 and the second density of the inner padding layer 130. In one embodiment, the third density of the intermediate padding layer 180 is greater than the first density of the outer padding layer 1 10 and the second density of the inner padding layer 130. In another embodiment, the third density of the intermediate padding layer 180 is greater than the second density of the inner padding layer 130, but less than the first density of the outer padding layer 1 10. In other embodiments, the third density of the intermediate padding layer 180 is less than or equal to the first density of the outer padding layer 110 and/or the second density of the inner padding layer 130.

[0060] As shown in FIG. 13, the intermediate padding layer 180 has a fifth side, shown as upper surface 182, and a sixth side, shown as lower surface 184. The upper surface 182 defines a plurality of third continuous extensions, shown as upper protrusions 186, arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of third recesses therebetween, shown as upper recesses 188. The lower surface 184 defines a plurality of fourth continuous extensions, shown as lower protrusions 190, arranged in a spaced configuration defining a plurality of fourth recesses therebetween, shown as lower recesses 192. As shown in FIG. 13, the outer recesses 126 of the outer padding layer 1 10 are shaped to receive the upper protrusions 186 of the intermediate padding layer 180, the inner recesses 146 of the inner padding layer 130 are shaped to receive the lower protrusions 190 of the intermediate padding layer 180, the upper recesses 188 of the intermediate padding layer 180 are shaped to receive the outer protrusions 124 of the outer padding layer 110, and the lower recesses 192 of the intermediate padding layer 180 are shaped to receive the inner protrusions 144 of the inner padding layer 130.

[0061] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 14, at least one of the outer padding layer 110 and the inner padding layer 130 define air flow channels that extend at least a portion of the length of the progressive padding 100 and are configured to facilitate at least one of aerodynamic ventilation and cooling through the progressive padding 100 (e.g., when the progressive padding 100 is arranged in the fore and aft configuration, etc.). As shown in FIG. 14, the outer protrusions 124 define channels, shown as outer air flow channels 128, and the inner protrusions 144 define channels, shown as inner air flow channels 148. The outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 may partially or completely hollow out the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, respectively. In one embodiment, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 extend the entire length of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, respectively. In other embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 extend a portion of the entire length of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, respectively. In another embodiment, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 are omitted. In still another embodiment, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 are defined between the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144 (e.g., a cavity or space is formed between the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, not defined within the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the shape of the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 correspond with the shape of the outer protrusions 124 and the inner protrusions 144, respectively. In other embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 are otherwise shaped (e.g., triangular, square, hemispherical, n-polygon, circular, etc.).

[0062] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 15, a multilayer padding element, shown as padding 200, includes a first padding layer, shown as outer padding layer 210, and a second padding layer, shown as inner padding layer 230. As shown in FIG. 15, the outer padding layer 210 defines channels, shown as outer air flow channels 228, and the inner padding layer 230 defines channels, shown as inner air flow channels 248. In one embodiment, the outer air flow channels 228 and/or the inner air flow channels 248 extend the entire length of the outer padding layer 210 and the inner padding layer 230, respectively. In other embodiments, the outer air flow channels 228 and/or the inner air flow channels 248 extend a portion of the entire length of the outer padding layer 210 and the inner padding layer 230, respectively. In another embodiment, the outer air flow channels 228 and/or the inner air flow channels 248 are omitted. In still another embodiment, the outer air flow channels 228 and/or the inner air flow channels 248 are defined between the outer padding layer 210 and the inner padding layer 230 (e.g., a cavity or space is formed between the outer padding layer 210 and the inner padding layer 230, the interaction surface of the outer padding layer 210 and/or the inner padding layer 230 define recesses that extend a length of the outer padding layer 210 and the inner padding layer 230 etc.). According to various embodiments, the outer air flow channels 228 and/or the inner air flow channels 248 are variously shaped (e.g., triangular, square, hemispherical, n-polygon, circular, etc.).

[0063] In some embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128, the inner air flow channels 148, the outer air flow channels 228, and/or the inner air flow channels 248 are reinforced. In one embodiment, a hollow tubing is positioned within or around the outer air flow channels 128, the inner air flow channels 148, the outer air flow channels 228, and/or the inner air flow channels 248. The hollow tubing may be a composite material, a plastic material, a metal material, or still another material. In another embodiment, a plurality of ridges are positioned around and/or within the outer air flow channels 128, the inner air flow channels 148, the outer air flow channels 228, and/or the inner air flow channels 248. The ridges may be a may be a composite material, a plastic material, a metal material, or still another material. In other embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128, the inner air flow channels 148, the outer air flow channels 228, and/or the inner air flow channels 248 are still otherwise reinforced.

[0064] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 16-19, the front edge 60 of the helmet 10 defines a plurality of air intakes, shown as intake vents 62, the helmet shell 12 defines a plurality of exit vents, shown as exhaust ports 18-28, and the rear edge 70 of the helmet 10 defines a plurality of exit vents, shown as exhaust ports 72. As shown in FIGS. 16-19, the exhaust ports 18-28 are positioned variously around the sides, top, and rear of the helmet shell 12. In other embodiments, one or more of the exhaust ports 18-28 are differently positioned (e.g., along the side of the helmet shell 12 where a goggle strap would traditionally cover such that the goggle strap may be ventilated as well or eliminated, etc.). In still other embodiments, the helmet shell 12 defines more or fewer exhaust ports.

[0065] According to an exemplary embodiment, the intake vents 62 are shaped and positioned about the front edge 60 to correspond with the openings of at least one of the outer air flow channels 128 and the inner air flow channels 148 positioned along a front edge of the progressive padding 100. According to an exemplary embodiment, the exhaust ports 72 are shaped and positioned about the rear edge 70 to correspond with the openings of at least one of the outer air flow channels 128 and the inner air flow channels 148 positioned along a rear edge of the progressive padding 100. The outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 of the progressive padding 100 may thereby extend from the intake vents 62 to the exhaust ports 72. In some embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 extend a portion of the length of the progressive padding 100 and are connected to at least one of the exhaust ports 18-28 positioned variously around the helmet shell 12. The outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 of the progressive padding 100 may thereby extend from the intake vents 62 to any of the exhaust ports 18-28. In some embodiments, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 of the progressive padding 100 are configured to extend from the intake vents 62 to any of the exhaust ports 18-28 and/or the exhaust ports 72.

[0066] According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer air flow channels 128, the inner air flow channels 148, the intake vents 62, the exhaust ports 18-28, and/or the exhaust ports 72 are configured to facilitate at least one of aerodynamic ventilation and cooling by channeling air entering the frontal opening 50 through the progressive padding 100 and/or the helmet 10. According to an exemplary embodiment, the outer air flow channels 128 and/or the inner air flow channels 148 have a smooth interface with the intake vents 62, the exhaust ports 18-28, and/or the exhaust ports 72 (e.g., do not interface at an abrupt angle therewith, etc.) for increased airflow, cooling, and/or aerodynamics. It should be understood that the aforementioned description regarding FIGS. 16-19 of the outer air flow channels 128 and the inner air flow channels 148 of the progressive padding 100 may similarly apply to the outer air flow channels 228 and the inner air flow channels 248 of the padding 200.

[0067] According to an exemplary embodiment, a method of manufacturing the progressive padding 100 may be as follows. A first layer (e.g., the outer padding layer 1 10, the inner padding layer 130, etc.) having a first density is formed using a single, first forming operation (e.g., using a single, first mold, etc.). A second layer (e.g., the inner padding layer 130, the outer padding layer 1 10, etc.) having a second density is formed using a single, second forming operation (e.g., using a single, second mold, etc.). The first forming operation and the second forming operation may include at least one of molding, injection molding, over- molding, compression molding, extrusion molding, thermoforming, and vacuum forming. The first layer and the second layer may then be stacked to form the progressive padding 100 (e.g., the wedged-profiles are interlocked, etc.). In some embodiments, an adhesive or other coupling material is disposed between the stacked layers to j oin the first layer and the second layer together. In some embodiments, a third layer (e.g., the intermediate layer 170, etc.) having a third density is disposed between the first and second layer prior to the stacking. In some embodiments, a third layer (e.g., the intermediate layer 180, etc.) having a third density is formed using a single, third forming operation (e.g., using a single, third mold, etc.) and then the first, second, and third layers are stacked with the third layer between the first layer and the second layer. The third forming operation may include at least one of molding, injection molding, over-molding, compression molding, extrusion molding, thermoforming, and vacuum forming.

[0068] It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of the systems, methods, and apparatuses as shown in the exemplary embodiments are illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the enclosure may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, in any of a wide variety of colors, textures, and combinations.

[0069] Embodiments have been described in connection with the accompanying drawings. However, it should be understood that the figures are not drawn to scale. Distances, angles, shapes, etc. are merely illustrative and do not necessarily bear an exact relationship to actual dimensions and layout of the articles that are illustrated. In addition, the foregoing embodiments have been described at a level of detail to allow one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the articles, parts, different materials, etc. described herein. A wide variety of variation is possible. Articles, materials, elements, and/or steps can be altered, added, removed, or rearranged. While certain embodiments have been explicitly described, other embodiments will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art based on this disclosure.

[0070] Conditional language used herein, such as, among others, "can," "could," "might," "may," "e.g.," and the like, unless specifically stated otherwise, or otherwise understood within the context as used, is generally intended to convey that certain embodiments include, while other embodiments do not include, certain features, elements and/or states. Thus, such conditional language is not generally intended to imply that features, elements and/or configurations are in any way required for one or more embodiments. The terms

"comprising," "including," "having," and the like are synonymous and are used inclusively, in an open-ended fashion, and do not exclude additional elements, features, acts, operations, and so forth. The term "consisting essentially of can be used anywhere where the terms comprising, including, containing or having are used herein, but consistent essentially of is intended to mean that the claim scope covers or is limited to the specified materials or steps recited and those that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristic(s) of the claimed invention. Also, the term "consisting of can be used anywhere where the terms comprising, including, containing or having are used herein, but consistent of excludes any element, step, or ingredient not specified in a given claim where it is used.

[0071] Also, the term "or" is used in its inclusive sense (and not in its exclusive sense) so that when used, for example, to connect a list of elements, the term "or" means one, some, or all of the elements in the list. Conjunctive language such as the phrase "at least one of X, Y, and Z," unless specifically stated otherwise, is otherwise understood with the context as used in general to convey that an item, term, etc. may be either X, Y, Z, X and Y, X and Z, Y and Z, or X, Y, and Z (i.e., any combination of X, Y, and Z). Thus, such conjunctive language is not generally intended to imply that certain embodiments require at least one of X, at least one of Y, and at least one of Z to each be present, unless otherwise indicated.

[0072] Additionally, in the subject description, the word "exemplary" is used to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. Any embodiment or design described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments or designs. Rather, use of the word exemplary is intended to present concepts in a concrete manner. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present inventions. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the preferred and other exemplary embodiments without departing from scope of the present disclosure or from the spirit of the appended claims.