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Title:
IMPACT ABSORBING AND DISPERSION HELMET SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/067496
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure is generally related to systems, devices, and methods for mitigating energy propagation through helmets during a collision, thereby reducing the risk of brain damage from a traumatic brain injury. For example, an impact absorption system may be utilized to increase energy absorption of forces propagating through a helmet. In a particular configuration, the absorption system includes an external shell, a plurality of impact absorbing elements, one or more liners, and/or a foam layer to mitigate the resulting forces from an impact that reach a user's brain.

Inventors:
REYNOLDS, David (Gadsden, Alabama, US)
Application Number:
US2020/053628
Publication Date:
April 08, 2021
Filing Date:
September 30, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
REYNOLDS, David (Gadsden, Alabama, US)
International Classes:
A42B3/06; A42B3/04; A42B3/12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBINSON, Eagle H. (98 San Jacinto Blvd Suite 110, Austin Texas, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A headgear impact dispersion system comprising: a helmet having an external shell that defines a cavity; and a plurality of impact absorbing elements coupled to the external shell, each element: comprising a viscoelastic polymer; and extending radially away from the external shell in a direction opposite of the cavity.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein each impact absorbing element: comprises an upper lip and a lower lip; and extends though the external shell.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein: the external shell of the helmet comprises an interior surface and an exterior surface opposite the interior surface; and the plurality of impact absorbing elements are coupled to the helmet such that the lower lip of each element is disposed on the interior surface and the upper lip is disposed on the exterior surface.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the system further comprises a plurality of covers coupled to the external shell, each cover comprising a pliable material disposed over at least one impact absorbing element of the plurality of impact absorbing elements.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of impact absorbing elements may be cylindrical or toroid.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of impact absorbing elements comprises a viscoelastic polymer.

7. An impact absorption system for protecting a user from an impact, the system comprising: an outer shell that defines a cavity configured to be positioned over a user’s head; a foam layer coupled to the outer shell; and an absorption layer positioned between the foam layer and the outer shell., the absorption layer comprising: one or more inner liners; and a plurality of impact absorbing elements coupled to the inner liner(s), each element comprising a viscoelastic polymer.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the impact absorbing elements comprise an absorbent body and a cover.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein: the absorbent body is cylindrical; and the cover comprises a pliable material configured to be disposed over and surround at least a portion of the absorbent body.

10. The system of claim 7, wherein the one or more inner liner(s) are coupled to a top surface of the foam layer such that the inner liner covers at least a portion of the foam layer.

11 The system of claim 7 wherein, the plurality of impact absorbing elements extend from the inner liner(s) toward the outer shell without contacting the outer shell.

12. The system of claim 7, further comprising: a plurality of connectors; and wherein: the one or more inner liner(s) comprise: a first inner liner; and a second inner liner; and the plurality of connectors are configured to couple the first inner liner to the second inner liner.

13. The system of claim 12, further comprising: a plurality of posts configured to be coupled to the one or more inner liner(s); and wherein the plurality of posts comprise a first post coupled to the first inner liner and a second post coupled to the second inner liner.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein a first connector of the plurality of connectors extends from the first post to the second post to couple the first inner liner to the second inner liner.

15 The system of claim 14, wherein a second connector of the plurality of connectors extends from the outer shell to the first inner liner to couple the absorption layer to the outer shell.

16. The system of claim 13, wherein each post comprises: a post platform configured to be coupled to the inner liner(s), and a post body extending away from the post platform, the post body comprising an upper lip.

17. The system of claim 13, wherein each post comprises a laminate.

18. A helmet for protecting a user from an impact, the helmet comprising: an outer shell defining a cavity configured to be positioned over a user’s head; a foam layer coupled to the outer shell; a plurality of sandwich layers coupled to the foam layer, each sandwich layer comprising: an inner liners, an outer liners; and a plurality of impact absorbing elements extending from the outer liner to the inner liner, each element comprising a viscoelastic polymer; and a connection assembly configured to couple the plurality of sandwich layers together, the connection assembly comprising: a plurality of posts coupled to the inner liner and the outer liner of each sandwich layer; and one or more fasteners configured to connect at least two posts of the plurality of post together.

19. The helmet of claim 18, wherein the foam layer is positioned between the outer shell and the plurality of sandwich layers.

20. The helmet of claim 18, wherein a top surface of the outer liner of each sandwich layer is coupled to the foam layer.

21. The helmet of claim 18, wherein each post comprises: a post platform; and a post body coupled to, and extending away from, the post platform.

22. The helmet of claim 21, wherein the post body is be moveable relative to the post platform.

23. The helmet of claim 21, wherein: a first post of the plurality of posts is coupled to a first inner liner; a second post of the plurality of posts is coupled to a second inner liner; and a first fastener of the one or more fasteners extends from the first post to the second post to couple the first and second inner liners together.

24. The helmet of claim 21, wherein the post body comprises an upper lip.

25. An impact absorbing element for dispersing force from an impact on a helmet, the element comprising: a cylindrical body extending from a top surface to a bottom surface, the cylindrical body: comprises a viscoelastic polymer (sorbothane); and defines one or more protrusions; and a concave protective cover configured to be disposed over the top surface of the cylindrical body such that a portion of the cover surrounds the top surface of the cylindrical body; wherein the bottom surface of the cylindrical body is configured to be coupled to an external shell of a helmet such that the external shell is disposed between one of the protrusions and the top surface.

Description:
IMPACT ABSORBING AND DISPERSION HELMET SYSTEM

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/908,233, filed September 30, 2019. The entire contents of the foregoing application are incorporated into the present application in their entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to impact absorption systems, and more specifically, to helmets that may be suitable to protect against an impact during an automotive accident.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Individuals may be exposed to forceful head impacts while performing all manner of activities, such as, contact sports, cycling, racing, driving, carpentry, mining or other hobbies and professional occupations. A forceful impact to the head may cause immediate serious or even fatal injury, as well as long term brain damage. Accordingly, an individual may choose to wear protective gear, such as a helmet to prevent serious head injury. Most current helmet designs utilize a hard external layer and an absorbent internal layers. Generally, the hard layer does little impact absorption, but provide some penetration protection, hindering foreign objects from reaching the absorbent layers as well as a user’s head.

[0004] Current helmet designs use a polystyrene or foam absorbent layer, or safety liner, to distribute and absorb energy propagating through the helmet towards the human brain. While current helmets dissipate some of the resulting impact forces from a collision, they still allow significant forces to reach a user’ s brain. For example, in some cases, the absorbent layers may utilize material or a structural layup that only offers protection for impacts within lesser magnitudes of impact. As a result, current helmets often do not offer optimal protection against high impact collisions, such as collisions into various solid objects, to protect a user against a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Often, the polystyrene or foam layer must be very thick to offer any kind of sufficient impact protection for a high impact collision, such as an automotive crash or a head to head collision. This results in helmets that are too cumbersome to undesirable and uncomfortable to the wearers. In addition, the foam is generally inelastic and susceptible to permanent deformation after a collision. Accordingly, the entire helmet must be replaced after exposure to a significant impact.

[0005] Thus, there exists a need for a more effective lightweight and re-usable impact absorption system that provides significant protection to a user during a high impact collision.

SUMMARY

[0006] The present disclosure is generally related to systems, devices, and methods for mitigating energy propagation through helmets during a collision, thereby reducing the risk of brain damage from a traumatic brain injury. For example, a headgear impact dispersion system may include a plurality of impact absorbing elements coupled to an external shell of a helmet to disperse an impact applied to the helmet. In some configurations, each element may include a viscoelastic polymer extending radially away from the external shell in a direction opposite of the cavity. In some of the foregoing configurations, each element includes an upper lip and a lower lip and extends though the external shell of the helmet. In some such configurations, the external shell of the helmet includes an interior surface and an exterior surface that is opposite of the interior surface and the plurality of impact absorbing elements are coupled to the helmet such that the lower lip of each element is disposed on the interior surface and the upper lip is disposed on the exterior surface.

[0007] Some configurations of the present system include a plurality of covers coupled to the external shell. In some such configurations, each cover comprising a pliable material disposed over at least one impact absorbing element of the plurality of impact absorbing elements. In at least some configurations, each of the plurality of impact absorbing elements may be cylindrical or toroid to maximize energy absorption in the system. In the foregoing configurations, wherein each of the plurality of impact absorbing elements comprises a viscoelastic polymer.

[0008] In some configurations, the present disclosure describes an absorption system for protecting a user’s head from resulting energy transfer of an impact. In one example, the system includes an outer shell that defines a cavity configured to be positioned over a user’s head, a foam layer coupled to the outer shell; and an absorption layer positioned between the foam layer and the outer shell. In some configurations, the absorption layer includes one or more inner liners and a plurality of impact absorbing elements coupled to the inner liner(s), each element comprising a viscoelastic polymer. In at least some of the foregoing implementations, the impact absorbing elements comprise an absorbent body and a cover. In some such configurations, the absorbent body is cylindrical and the cover comprises a pliable material configured to be disposed over and surround at least a portion of the absorbent body. In some configurations, the one or more inner liner(s) are coupled to a top surface of the foam layer such that the inner liner covers at least a portion of the foam layer.

[0009] In some of the foregoing configurations, the plurality of impact absorbing elements extend from the inner liner(s) toward the external shell without contacting the external shell. Some configurations include a plurality of connectors. In some configurations, the one or more inner liner(s) include a first inner liner and a second inner liner, where the plurality of connectors are configured to couple the first inner liner to the second inner liner. Ssome such configurations include a plurality of posts configured to be coupled to the one or more inner liner(s). For example, the plurality of posts comprise a first post coupled to the first inner liner and a second post coupled to the second inner liner. In such implementations, a first connector of the plurality of connectors extends from the first post to the second post to couple the first inner liner to the second inner liner. In some configurations, a second connector of the plurality of connectors extends from the outer shell to the first inner liner to couple the absorption layer to the outer shell. In at least some of the foregoing configurations, each post includes a post platform configured to be coupled to the inner liner(s), and a post body extending away from the post platform, the post body comprising an upper lip. In some configurations, each post comprises a laminate

[0010] Some devices of the present disclosure include a helmet for protecting a user from an impact. The helmet can include an outer shell defining a cavity configured to be positioned over a user’s head, a foam layer coupled to the outer shell, a plurality of sandwich layers coupled to the foam layer. In some configurations, each sandwich layer comprises an inner liner, an outer liner; and a plurality of impact absorbing elements extending from the outer liner to the inner liner, each element comprising a viscoelastic polymer, and a connection assembly configured to couple the one or more sandwich layers together. In some configurations, the connection assembly includes a plurality of posts coupled to the inner liner and the outer liner of each sandwich layer and one or more fasteners configured to connect at least two posts of the plurality of post together. In some of the foregoing helmets, the foam layer is positioned between the outer shell and the plurality of sandwich layers. In some configurations, a top surface of the outer liner of each sandwich layer is coupled to the foam layer. In at least some configurations, each post includes a post platform and a post body coupled to, and extending away from, the post platform. In some such configurations, a first post of the plurality of posts is coupled to a first inner liner, a second post of the plurality of posts is coupled to a second inner liner, and a first fastener of the one or more fasteners extends from the first post to the second post to couple the first and second inner liners together. In some configurations, the post body comprises an upper lip. In some of the foregoing configurations, the post body is be moveable relative to the post platform. [0011] Some of the present devices, systems, or methods include an impact absorbing element for dispersing force from an impact on a helmet. In some configurations, the impact absorbing element includes a cylindrical body extending from a top surface to a bottom surface, the cylindrical body comprising a viscoelastic polymer and defining one or more protrusions and a concave protective cover configured to be disposed over the top surface of the cylindrical body such that a portion of the cover surrounds the top surface of the cylindrical body. In some such configurations, the bottom surface of the cylindrical body is configured to be coupled to an external shell of a helmet such that the external shell is disposed between one of the protrusions and the top surface.

[0012] The term “coupled” is defined as connected, although not necessarily directly, and not necessarily mechanically; two items that are “coupled” may be unitary with each other. The terms “a” and “an” are defined as one or more unless this disclosure explicitly requires otherwise. The term “substantially” is defined as largely but not necessarily wholly what is specified (and includes what is specified; e.g., substantially 90 degrees includes 90 degrees and substantially parallel includes parallel), as understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art. In any disclosed configuration, the term “substantially” may be substituted with “within [a percentage] of’ what is specified, where the percentage includes .1, 1, 5, and 10 percent. [0013] Further, an apparatus or system that is configured in a certain way is configured in at least that way, but it can also be configured in other ways than those specifically described. [0014] The terms “comprise” (and any form of comprise, such as “comprises” and “comprising”), “have” (and any form of have, such as “has” and “having”), and “include” (and any form of include, such as “includes” and “including”) are open-ended linking verbs. As a result, an apparatus that “comprises,” “has,” or “includes” one or more elements possesses those one or more elements, but is not limited to possessing only those elements. Likewise, a method that “comprises,” “has,” or “includes” one or more steps possesses those one or more steps, but is not limited to possessing only those one or more steps.

[0015] Any configuration of any of the apparatuses, systems, and methods can consist of or consist essentially of - rather than comprise/include/have - any of the described steps, elements, and/or features. Thus, in any of the claims, the term “consisting of’ or “consisting essentially of’ can be substituted for any of the open-ended linking verbs recited above, in order to change the scope of a given claim from what it would otherwise be using the open- ended linking verb.

[0016] The feature or features of one configuration may be applied to other configurations, even though not described or illustrated, unless expressly prohibited by this disclosure or the nature of the configurations.

[0017] Some details associated with the configurations described above and others are described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0018] The following drawings illustrate by way of example and not limitation. For the sake of brevity and clarity, every feature of a given structure is not always labeled in every figure in which that structure appears. Identical reference numbers do not necessarily indicate an identical structure. Rather, the same reference number may be used to indicate a similar feature or a feature with similar functionality, as may non-identical reference numbers.

[0019] FIG. 1A is a schematic front perspective view of an example of the present impact dispersion system.

[0020] FIG. IB is a schematic side perspective view of the impact dispersion system of FIG. 1A.

[0021] FIG. 2A is a side view of an example of an absorbent body of a present impact absorbing element. [0022] FIG. 2B is a side view of an example of a cover of the impact absorbing element. [0023] FIG. 2C is a cross sectional view of the absorbent body and cover of FIGS. 2A and 2B, respectively, coupled to a helmet.

[0024] FIG. 3A is a schematic front perspective view of another example of the present impact dispersion system.

[0025] FIG. 3B is a schematic side perspective view of the impact dispersion system of FIG. 3A.

[0026] FIG. 4A - FIG. 4B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of an example of the present impact dispersion system having a multi-piece layer.

[0027] FIG. 4C - FIG. 4D are schematic top and cross-sectional views, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 4A.

[0028] FIG. 5A - FIG. 5B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of another example of the present impact dispersion system having a multi-piece layer.

[0029] FIG. 5C- FIG. 5D are schematic top and cross-sectional views, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 5A.

[0030] FIG. 6A - FIG. 6B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of another example of the present impact dispersion system having a multi-piece layer.

[0031] FIG. 6C - FIG. 6D are schematic top and cross-sectional views, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 6A.

[0032] FIG. 7A is a schematic perspective view of an example of a post as used in a connection assembly of the present impact dispersion systems.

[0033] FIG. 7B is a cross-sectional view of the post of FIG. 7A.

[0034] FIG. 7C is a perspective view of another example of a post used in the present impact dispersion systems. [0035] FIG. 7D is a perspective view a post used to join adjacent liners of the dispersion system.

[0036] FIG. 8A - FIG. 8B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of another example of the present impact dispersion system.

[0037] FIG. 9A - FIG. 9B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of an example of the present impact dispersion system having two separate multi-piece layers. [0038] FIG. 9C - FIG. 9D are schematic top and cross-sectional views, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 9A.

[0039] FIG. 10A - FIG. 10B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of another example of the present impact dispersion system having two separate multi-piece layers.

[0040] FIG. IOC - FIG. 10D are schematic top and cross-sectional views, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 10A. [0041] FIG. 11A - FIG. 11B are schematic front and side perspective views, respectively, of another example of the present impact dispersion system having two separate multi-piece layers.

[0042] FIG. llC - FIG. 11D are schematic top and cross-sectional view, respectively, of an example of a connection assembly in use with the impact dispersion system of FIG. 11 A. [0043] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an example of a bolt assembly of the present impact dispersion system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0044] FIG. 1A and IB depict a configuration 10 of the present impact dispersion system. For example, FIG. 1A depicts a perspective view of impact dispersion system 10, and FIG. 1 B depicts a side view of the impact dispersion system. Although referred to as impact dispersion system 10, the system may also be referred to herein as an impact absorption system, impact absorbing helmet system, headgear dispersion system, energy absorption/dispersion system. The object of this system is mitigate the impact energy from penetrating the helmets layers during a collision, thereby reducing the risk of brain damage from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). As shown, impact dispersion system 10 includes a helmet 14 and a plurality of impact absorbing elements 18 (e.g., absorbent elements) coupled to the helmet.

[0045] Helmet 14 is configured to be worn over a user’s head and protect the user’s brain from harmful impacts. Helmet 14 includes an external shell 22 having an inner surface 26 and an outer surface 30. Inner surface 26 may define a cavity 32 in which a user may place their head when wearing helmet 14. In some configurations, external shell 22 is substantially rigid to prevent a foreign object from penetrating though the external shell. External shell 22 may comprise any suitable material having the requisite strength and durability characteristics to function as a helmet, such as, but not limited to, polycarbonate, carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, other fiber reinforced composites or molded polymers, and the like.

[0046] As shown, absorbent elements 18 may be disposed on an exterior of helmet 14. In some configurations, absorbent elements 18 are coupled to outer surface 30 of external shell 22. To illustrate, each absorbent element (e.g., 18) may comprise a bottom portion coupled to external shell 22 and a top portion extending radially away from the external shell in a direction opposite of cavity 32. In this way, absorbent elements 18 may allow external shell to provide some level of impact protection (e.g., absorption/dispersion) to a user. In some configurations, the plurality of absorbent elements 18 may collectively provide impact protection for helmet 14. For example, greater than or equal to any one of, or between any two of: 2, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, or 100 elements may be coupled to helmet 14. In some configurations, more than 100 elements may be used in impact dispersion system 10. Each absorbent element 18 may be light weight (e.g., between 2-6 oz) so that multiple absorbent elements may be used without adding any significant weight to helmet 14. The decreased weight of a helmet may provide additional protection by reducing the rotational momentum of the helmet (e.g., rotational acceleration) upon impact. In this way, the absorbent elements 18 may be optimally positioned to provide at least the same protection as a sheet of material attached to an exterior (e.g., external shell) of a helmet while adding less weight to the helmet.

[0047] Absorbent elements 18 may be positioned along the exterior of the helmet at any suitable location. In some configurations, absorbent elements 18 may be more densely populated at a location (e.g., frontal lobe) where risk of traumatic brain injury from an impact is far greater in comparison to the other areas of the human brain. For example, twenty-one absorbent elements (e.g., 18) may be optimally positioned around helmet 14 to provide sufficient protection to all areas of the brain. In a specific, non-limiting example, nine absorbent elements 18 may be placed along the forehead area of helmet 14, and four absorbent elements may be places along each of the left side, the right side, and the back of the helmet. This can add additional protection to a helmet (e.g., 14) with only adding a nominal amount of weight (e.g., 10 ounces). The absorbent elements 18 may distribute energy propagation throughout system 10 even if not directly impacted due to the expanding of each highly elastic and briefly elongated non-impacted element prior to the respective impacted elements rebound to its initial shape. As explained in greater detail below, absorbent elements may work in conjunction with one or more other components of impact dispersion system 10 to mitigate energy transfer though the helmet (e.g., 14). As described, impact dispersion system 10 may installed upon an existing helmet to increase the impact protection without changing the comfort of the helmet. In this way, a user may continue to use a helmet that may not otherwise meet safety or impact requirements. Additionally, helmets including impact dispersion system 10 may be able to be re-used after a high impact collision due to the high impact absorption characteristics of absorbent element 18. [0048] Referring now to FIG. 2A-2C, an example of absorbent element 18 is shown. Absorbent elements 18 may include a body 42 and a cover 46. Body 42 and/or cover 46 may be coupled to external shell 22. For example, cover 46 may cover at least a portion (e.g., top portion) of body 42 to protect the body from atmospheric conditions (e.g., sunlight, rain, snow, ice, wind, humidity, or the like).

[0049] Body 42 includes a top surface 50, a bottom surface 54 that opposes the top surface, and a side surface 60 extending from the top surface to the bottom surface. In some configurations, side surface 60 may define one or more protrusions 62 (e.g., circumferential lip). Additionally, or alternatively, side surface 60 may define one or more grooves 66. To illustrate, body 42 may comprise a first protrusion 70 (e.g., upper lip), and a second protrusion (e.g, lower lip 74) that define a groove (e.g., 66) between the first and second protrusions. Body 42 includes a length 76 and a width 78. Length 76 is measured between top surface and bottom surface along a straight line. Length 76 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, or 1 inches (in.) (e.g., approximately 3/8 in). Width 78 (e.g., diameter) is measured between opposing sides of side surface 60 across a straight line. Width 78 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, or 1 inches (in.) (e.g., approximately 3/8 in). In some configurations, length 76 is less than, equal to, or greater than width 78.

[0050] As shown body 42, is cylindrical to provide optimal absorption to impact dispersion system 10. The cylindrical shaped body may absorb and disperse more impact energy than the use of a body shaped as a rectangular prism. In other configurations, body 42 may be shaped and sized in any suitable manner, such as a toroid (e.g., doughnut- shaped), frustoconical, prism, or the like. For example, at least a portion of body 42 may be frustoconical to increase a surface area of the body for greater dispersion characteristics. [0051] In the depicted configurations, body 42 comprises a viscoelastic polymer (VEP). For example, VEP is a material that exhibits both viscous and elastic properties. In some configurations, the VEP may exhibit shear-thickening or shear-thinning properties. Shear thinning VEPs appear to be solid at rest but, under stress, they show some continuous liquid like deformation (e.g., deformation is not reversible as it is the case for normal solids). As a result, VEP may have good vibration damping characteristics (e.g., high damping coefficient) and can effectively dissipate energy. In some configurations, the VEP may is a synthetic viscoelastic urethane polymer (e.g., Sorbothane). In other configurations, the VEP may comprise any suitable material such as oxide, metallic glass-forming materials, crystal compounds, nanocomposites, or the like.

[0052] As shown in FIG. 2B, cover 46 may comprise an inner surface 80, an outer surface 82 that opposes inner surface, and a first end 84 that extends between inner and outer surface. First end 84 (e.g., base) may define an annular member with inner and outer surface 80, 82 extending away from the first end. The term annular member is not limited to a circle, but may include any member defined by the area between two shapes providing an added energy absorption efficiency. In some configurations, cover 46 (e.g., inner surface 80) defines a cavity 86 so that at least a portion (up to and including all) of body 42 may be disposed within the cavity to protect the unit from atmospheric conditions. In the depicted configurations, first end 84 is circular, elliptical, combination thereof, and/or the like. Likewise, cover 46 is shown to be concave, while in other configurations, the cover may be any suitable size or shape to surround body 42. In any case, the configured shape(s) of each unit is to provide optimum efficiency of deterring the damaging high velocity impact energy to and through the brain. [0053] Cover 46 includes a length 90 and a width 92. Length 90 and width 92 may be greater than length 76 and width 78, respectively, to allow for free engagement of body 42 within cavity 86. Length 90 is measured between first end 84 and a top portion of cover along a straight line. Length 76 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, or 1 inches (in.) (e.g., approximately 3/8 in). Width 92 (e.g., diameter) is measured between opposing sides of inner surface 80 at first end 84 across a straight line. Width 92 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1, 1-1/8, 1-1/4, 1-3/8, 1-1/2, 1-5/8, 1-3/4, or 2 inches (in.) (e.g., approximately 1-1/2 in). In some configurations, length 90 is less than, equal to, or greater than width 92.

[0054] Cover 46 can be made of any durable and pliable material, such as rubber, silicone, other polymer, or any other suitable pliable and durable covering material. Cover 46 may comprise an elastic, pliable material such that the cover can move between a resting state and a deformed state when a force is applied without breaking or fracture of the cover. In some configurations, cover 46 may return to the resting state after the force is removed. Cover 46 may be deformable such that body 42 may still reach a maximum compressed state upon impact while the cover is surrounding the body.

[0055] As shown in FIG. 2C, body 42 may extend through external shell 22 such that a portion of the body (e.g., first protrusion 70) is disposed on outer surface 30 and one other portion of the body (e.g., second protrusion 74) is disposed on inner surface 26. In such configurations, protrusion(s) 62 and/or groove(s) 66 may prevent body 42 from translating or rotating relative to helmet 14 during an impact. First and second protrusions 70, 74 may be sized and shaped in any suitable manner to secure body 42 to helmet 14. For example, first and second protrusions 70, 74 may each comprise a circumferential lip, a plurality of protrusions extending radially away from body 42, or any other structure to secure the base to helmet 14. In other configurations, body may comprise a single protrusion (e.g., 62) configured to be positioned on either outer surface 30 or inner surface 26 of external shell 22, while in other configurations, body 42 may comprise a groove without any protrusions. In this manner, body 42 may be secured to external shell 22 to disperse impacts applied to absorbent elements 18 though both body 42 and the external shell. In other configurations, body 42 may be coupled to outer surface 30 without extending though external shell 22 (e.g., bottom surface 54 of body is coupled to outer surface 30). In any such configuration, a separate fastener (e.g., adhesive) may be utilized to couple, or further secure, body 42 to helmet 14.

[0056] In the foregoing configurations, cover 46 may be disposed on body 42. In this way, a portion of cover 46 surrounds top surface 50 of body 42 to protect the body from atmospheric conditions. In some configuration, cover 46 may be coupled to outer surface 30 of external shell 22 to seal body 42 from the atmospheric conditions. For example (e.g., FIG. 2C), first end 84 may be coupled to outer surface 30 of external shell so that cavity 86 is not open to the atmosphere; however, in other configurations, a gap is defined between the first end and the outer surface. In some configurations, cover 46 is not in contact with body 42 while absorbent element 18 is coupled to helmet 14. In other configurations, cover 46 may be coupled to body 42. To illustrate, if first end 84 and outer surface 30 define a gap, inner surface 80 may be coupled to top surface 50 of body 42. In the described configurations, cover 46 does not mitigate the impact absorption characteristics of body 42. For example, cover 46 may allow complete or free engagement of body 42 to provide unhindered capability (e.g., full compression) of absorbent element 18.

[0057] Although, cover 46 is described herein as covering a single body (e.g., 42), it should be noted that the cover may be shaped and sized to cover a plurality of bodies (e.g., 42) based on the specific application of absorbent element 18. In some applications, cover 46 may surround a plurality of bodies to improve impact absorption characteristics or provide an improved aesthetic appearance. To illustrate, a decrease amount of bodies (e.g., 34) may be used in configurations where cover 46 covers a plurality of bodies (e.g., 34) as the cover may provide a greater surface area to protect. Additionally, cover may distribute force more evenly through the bodies 42 so that less elements are required for protection, thereby reducing weight and increasing comfort of the impact dispersion system 10.

[0058] Referring now to FIG. 3A-6D, shown therein and designated by the reference numeral 10a is a second configuration of the present impact absorption and dispersion system. In this configuration, components that are similar (e.g., in structure and/or function) to components discussed with reference to FIGS. 1-2C are labeled with the same reference numerals and a suffix “a.” As shown, impact dispersion system 10a includes a helmet 14a, a plurality of impact absorbing elements 18a (e.g., absorbent elements), and a first layer 96. Absorbent elements 18a and first layer 96 are disposed in the interior of helmet 14a (e.g., within cavity 32a). Absorbent elements 18a and helmet 14a may include or correspond to absorbent elements 18 (e.g., body 42 and cover 46) and helmet 14, respectively. In some configurations, impact dispersion system 10a may include a safety layer 104.

[0059] First layer 96 comprises one or more inner liner(s) 100, each having an outer surface 108 and an inner surface 112 that opposes the outer surface. As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B impact dispersion system 10a comprises a single inner liner (e.g., 100) having an outer surface 108 faces external shell 22a and inner surface 112 faces safety layer 104. Absorbent element 18a may be coupled to inner liner 100 such that the absorbent element is interposed between the inner liner and the external shell 22a. In some configurations, body 42a extends though inner liner 100 (e.g., as described with reference to FIG. 2C) while absorbent element 18a is coupled to the inner liner; however, in other configurations, the body (e.g., bottom surface 54a) may be coupled (e.g., adhered) to outer surface 108 of inner liner. In the depicted embodiment, the plurality of absorbent elements 18a extend radially away from inner liner 100. Absorbent elements 18a may be distributed evenly across inner liner 100, or in other configurations, the elements may be highly concentrated at a location (e.g., temporal lobe, cerebellum) where risk of traumatic brain injury from an impact is highest, or a location where a majority of impacts are estimated to occur (e.g., frontal lobe). In yet other embodiments, the absorbent elements 18a may be positioned at any location along inner liner 100 based on the application and design of helmet 14a. In some embodiments, safety layer 104 acts as a firm support for the engagement of the absorbent elements 18a that are strategically placed throughout the interior of the helmet and being below the helmet's exterior (e.g., external shell 22a). For example, impact dispersion system 10 may include a poly-carbonate outer shell (e.g., 22b), and a polystyrene layer (e.g., 104b) beneath the outer shell, that acts as a firm support for the engagement of absorbent elements 18b that are strategically placed throughout the polystyrene interior of the helmet.

[0060] As shown in FIG. 3B, body 42a and cover 46a are coupled to inner liner 100 and extend toward external shell 22a. Cover 46a may be coupled to outer surface 108 of liner to protect body 42a from atmospheric conditions (e.g., if shell 22 has vents or other apertures) and improve impact dispersion of absorbent element 18. In the depicted configurations, cover 46a is not in contact with external shell 22a such that a gap 116 is defined between the cover and inner surface 26a of the external shell. Gap 116 may serve to optimize the functionality of the comprised and fully connected interacting system. In this way, absorbent elements 18a may disperse impact upon deformation of helmet 14a to allow maximum damping at the point of impact. In other configurations, absorbent element 18a may not comprise cover 46a and gap 116 may be defined between body 42 (e.g., top surface 50a) and inner surface 26a of the external shell 22a. In other configurations, body 42a and/or cover 46a may be coupled directly to inner surface 26a so absorbent element 18a extends from inner liner 100 to external shell. In each of the forgoing implementations, absorbent elements 18a and inner liner 100 may operate in conjunction to prevent disperse the resultant forces of an impact. In this way, the forces acting upon safety layer 104 or a user’s brain may be decreased. As a result, helmets may be able to be re-used after a high impact collision as permeant deformation of a foam (e.g., safety layer 104) does not occur. Additionally, impact dispersion system 10a may allow for thinner helmets as a thickness of the safety layer may be reduced while stiff offering the same or enhanced impact protection. In some configurations, an absorbent filler material (not shown) may be positioned between each of the absorbent elements 18.

[0061] Inner liner 100 may be contoured to mimic the contours of external shell 22a to provide impact protection at each point of helmet 14a. In some configurations, safety layer 104 may be similarly contoured to inner liner 100 and external shell 22a to provide additional protection. Safety layer may comprise any suitable material for dispersing force, such as, foam (e.g., expanded polystyrene, expanded polypropylene, expanded polyurethane, rate-sensitive slow rebound foams, or the like), cloth, polymer, or the like). In such configurations, inner liner 110 may be disposed on, or coupled to, safety layer 104. To illustrate, inner surface 112 of inner liner may be coupled to safety layer 104. Inner liner 100 may span at least a majority of (up to and including all of) safety layer 104.

[0062] Inner liner 100 may comprise any suitable material such as a high impact plastic or composite material for provide reinforcement for absorbent elements 18 during an impact. For example, inner liner 100 may comprise a fiber reinforce composite, high-strength polymer (e.g., ABS), Kevlar, silicone, or the like. Inner liner 100 may be flexible such that the liner may deform based on forces impacting helmet 14a to disperse the force to absorbent elements 18 located away from a point of impact. Inner liner 100 may also provide additional impact damping or penetration protection against foreign objects. The inner and the outer liners 100 will be a thickness that is approximately 11 gauge or greater. In some configurations, inner liner may be very thin (e.g., less than 11 gauge) due to the higher impact absorption efficiency of the absorbent elements 18. In some configurations, an additional liner (not shown) may be coupled external shell 22a (e.g., inner surface 26a) and absorbent element 18 may be coupled to the additional liner or form a gap with the additional liner to disperse a force associated with an impact as described above.

[0063] Referring now to FIGS. 4A-4D, impact dispersion system 10a includes helmet 14a, mpact absorbing elements 18a (e.g., absorbent elements), first layer 96 comprising a plurality of inner liners 100 (e.g., a multi-piece liner) and a connection assembly 120. Connection assembly 120 may couple the plurality of inner liners 100 to each other as described in further detail herein.

[0064] As shown in FIGS. 4A-4D, impact dispersion system 10a comprises a multi-piece liner (e.g., 96) having two inner liners (e.g., 100). In the depicted configuration, each inner liner (e.g., 100) may cooperate (e.g., connect) to span at least a majority of (up to and including all of) safety layer 104. In some configurations, a first inner liner (e.g., 100) and a second inner liner (e.g., 100) may each comprise a separate half of first layer 96. For example, first liner may comprise a right half of first layer 96 and second liner may comprise a left half of the first layer (e.g., first and second liner are separated by a vertical plane bisecting helmet along a front to back axis), while in other configurations, the first liner is a front half and the second liner is a back half of the first layer (e.g., first and second liner are separated by a vertical plane bisecting helmet along a left to right axis). Yet in other configurations, the first and second liner may be separated by a horizontal plane (e.g., a plane orthogonal to the vertical plane) or comprise any other suitable portion of first layer 96. In this way, each inner liner 100 of the multi-piece first layer 96 may deform independently of the other inner liners based on the resultant forces generated by an impact to helmet 14. Accordingly, the shear forces acting of first layer 96 can be reduced for certain impacts (e.g., tangential impacts) to helmet 14.

[0065] Connection assembly 120 includes a fastener 124 (e.g., connector) and a post 128. As shown, connection assembly 120 may couple a first inner liner (e.g., 100) to a second inner liner (e.g., 100). The fasteners 124 may be used to horizontally join adjacent inner liners 100. To illustrate, post 128 may be coupled to each inner liner 100 and fastener 124 may be used to connect the posts disposed on adjacent liners together (e.g., fastener may connect a first post coupled to a first inner liner to a second post coupled to a second inner liner). In this manner, a single fastener (e.g, 124) may be used to connect two posts (e.g, 128). In such configurations, a plurality of posts (e.g., 124) and a plurality of fasteners (e.g., 124) may be used to connect adjacent inner liners 100 (e.g., 4 posts and 2 fasteners, 6 posts and 3 fasteners, 8 posts and 4 fasteners, or the like). Posts 128 may be coupled to inner surface 112 and/or outer surface 108 of each inner liner 100. For example, as shown in FIGS. 4C and 4D connection assembly 120 is shown connecting two inner liners together. In the depicted configuration, two posts 128 are coupled on inner surface 112 of a first inner liner (e.g., 100) and are connected to two respective posts 128 coupled to the inner surface of an adjacent liner (e.g., 100) via fasteners 124. Likewise, two posts 128 are coupled on outer surface 108 of a first inner liner (e.g., 100) and are connected to two respective posts 128 coupled to outer surface 108 of an adjacent liner (e.g., 100) via fasteners 124. In other configurations, any suitable number of posts 128 and fasteners 124 may be used to couple inner liners 100 together. Each post may be centered within ¼” of each end of the liner to allow for deformation of the liner on impact, while remaining attached to the adjoined post on the adjacent liner via fastener 124. The fasteners 124 may remain attached to posts 128 by a fractionally wider lip at the top of each post (e.g., protrusion) that will help to prevent the liner from slipping off of the post upon impact (as explained in further detail with reference to FIG. 7A and 7B)..

[0066] As shown in FIG. 4D, connection assembly 120 may be used to couple first layer 96 to one other layer (e.g., external shell 22a) of impact dispersion system 10a. Fasteners 124 may be used to vertically join first layer 96 t one other layer. For example, each inner liner 100 may define a hole (e.g., 6 spaced apart 1/16” holes) and a fastener may extend through the hole to couple the inner liner to another layer. In some configurations, fastener 124 may be configured to connect first layer 96 to external shell 22a such that gap 116a is formed between absorbent elements 18a and the external shell to provide increased impact protection. To illustrate, a first end of fastener 124 may be coupled to first layer 96 (e.g., inner liner 100) and a second end of the fastener may be coupled to external shell 22a.

[0067] In the depicted configuration, two fasteners 124 are used to couple each inner liner 100 to external shell 22a. In other configurations, a single fastener (e.g., 124) may be used to couple each inner liner 100 to external shell 22a or more than two fasteners (e.g., 124) may be used to couple each inner liner to the external shell. Fasteners may be high impact plastic or stainless steel and configured to join each of the liners. In other configurations, fastener 124 may comprise any suitable material to couple components of dispersion system 10 together. [0068] Referring now to FIG. 5A-5D, impact dispersion system 10a comprises a multi-piece liner (e.g., 96) having three inner liners (e.g., 100). In the depicted configuration, each inner liner (e.g., 100) may cooperate (e.g., connect) to span at least a majority of (up to and including all of) safety layer 104. In some configurations, a first inner liner (e.g., 100), a second inner liner (e.g., 100), and a third inner liner (e.g., 100) may each comprise a separate portion (e.g., a third) of first layer 96. Each liner may be spaced apart from an adjacent liner by approximately ¼” to allow for deformation of each liner without interfering with adjacent liners. In some configurations, adjacent inner liners 100 may be separated by a vertical plane intersecting helmet 14a and extending along a front to back axis, while in other configurations, adjacent inner liners 100 may be separated by a vertical plane intersecting helmet 14a and extending along a left to right axis. Yet in other configurations, adjacent inner liners 100 may be separated along a horizontal plane or can be separated in any suitable manner such that each liner (e.g., first, second, third) may comprise any portion of first layer 96. In this way, each inner liner 100 of the multi-piece first layer 96 may deform independently of the other inner liners based on the resultant forces generated by an impact to helmet 14a. Accordingly, the shear forces acting of first layer 96 can be reduced for certain impacts (e.g., tangential impacts) to helmet 14.

[0069] As shown, connection assembly 120 may couple a first, second, and third inner liners (e.g., 100) together. To illustrate, a middle inner liner (e.g., an inner liner interposed between two other liners) may comprise 8 posts coupled to inner surface 112 and/or outer surface 108 of the liner. In the depicted configuration, each post 128 coupled to middle inner liner may be coupled to one other respective post (e.g., 128) disposed one of two edge inner liners via a fastener 124. In this manner, a single fastener (e.g, 124) may be used to connect two posts (e.g, 128) coupled to adjacent inner liners 100 to connect the inner liners together. In other configurations, any suitable number of posts 128 and fasteners may be used to couple the three inner liners (e.g., 100) together. As shown in FIG. 5D, one or more fasteners 124 may be used to couple each inner liner 100 to external shell 22a. In the depicted configuration, six fasteners 124 are used to couple first layer 56 to external shell 22a (e.g., two fasteners for each inner liner). However, first layer 56 may be coupled to external shell 22a in any suitable manner. [0070] As shown in FIG. 6A-6D, impact dispersion system 10a comprises a multi-piece liner (e.g., 96) having four inner liners (e.g., 100). In some configurations, first, second, third, and fourth inner liners (e.g., 100) may each comprise a separate portion (e.g., a fourth) of first layer 96. Each liner may be spaced apart from an adjacent liner by approximately ¼” to allow for deformation of each liner without interfering with adjacent liners. In the depicted configuration, adjacent inner liners 100 may be separated by a vertical plane intersecting helmet 14a and extending along a front to back axis. Yet in other configurations, adjacent inner liners 100 may be separated in any suitable manner such that each liner (e.g., first, second, third, fourth) may comprise any portion of first layer 96. In this way, each inner liner 100 of the multi-piece first layer 96 may deform independently of the other inner liners based on the resultant forces generated by an impact to helmet 14. [0071] As shown, connection assembly 120 may couple a first, second, third and fourth inner liners (e.g., 100) together. To illustrate, two middle inner liners (e.g., an inner liner interposed between two other liners) each having 8 posts may be coupled to two edge inner liners each having four posts. In other configurations, any suitable number of posts 128 and fasteners 124 may be used to couple the four inner liners (e.g., 100) together. As shown in FIG. 6D, one or more fasteners 124 may be used to couple each inner liner 100 to external shell 22a. In the depicted configuration, eight fasteners 124 are used to couple first layer 56 to external shell 22a (e.g., two fasteners for each inner liner). However, first layer 56 may be coupled to external shell 22a in any suitable manner.

[0072] Referring now to FIGS. 6A-6B, shown is an example of a post 128 used to couple inner liners 100 together. In the depicted configuration, post 128 includes a post platform 132 and a post body 136. Post platform 132 is configured to couple post body 136 to each inner liner to allow for contortion of impact dispersion system 10a upon impact. Accordingly, each component of impact dispersion system 10a (e.g., inner liner, absorbent element, fastener, helmet) may some degree of movement when the components are coupled together to prevent shear stress acting on the components and increase dispersion of forces among the components. [0073] Post platform 132 may include a bottom surface 140 and a top surface 144 that opposes the bottom surface. As shown, top surface 144 may define a depression 146 configured to receive a portion of post body 136 so that the post body may rotate slightly, relative to post platform 132, while the post body is coupled to the post platform. As shown, depression 146 may extend from top surface toward bottom surface. In some configurations, depression 146 may be between 1/8 and 1/2 inch. In the depicted configurations, depression 146 is concave, while in other configurations depression may be any suitable shape and size to allow limited movement (e.g., roll and pitch) of post 128 upon impact of helmet 14a. For example, post platform 132 is configured to allow post body to move (e.g., angularly) up to a predetermined distance or angle. Specifically, post body 136 may move relative to post platform 132 such that a vertical axis of the post body may be displaced by an angle (e.g., 10 degrees or less) while the post body is coupled to the post platform. In some configurations, post platform 132 is coupled to first layer 56. For example, post platform 132 may be coupled to inner surface 112 or outer surface 108 of each inner liner 100. In some configurations, bottom surface 140 of post platform 132 may be adhered to inner liner 100, while in other configurations, the post platform may be coupled to inner surface in any suitable manner. [0074] In the depicted configuration, post platform 132 includes a thickness 150 that is measured from bottom surface 140 to top surface along a straight line. Thickness 150 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15 gauge (e.g., approximately 11 gauge). In some configurations, post platform 132 may comprise a laminate 154 (e.g., a plurality of fibers dispersed within a matrix material). Laminate 154 may comprise or more layers and can be unidirectional, multidirectional, woven (a plane, twill, satin, basket, leno, mock leno, or the like weave), non- woven, or the like. In some configurations, laminate 154 may comprise 60 to 100 gauge ABS laminate.

[0075] Post body 136 includes a top surface 160 and a bottom surface 164 that opposes the top surface. In some configurations, post body 136 may define one or more protrusions 168 to secure fastener 124 to the post body. In some configurations, protrusion 168 may comprise a circumferential lip adjacent to top surface 160 of post body 136 (e.g., upper lip). In other configurations, protrusion may comprise any suitable shape to prevent fastener 124 from translating in at least one direction. In some configurations, post body 136 may define one or more grooves (not shown) to facilitate coupling with fastener 124. As shown post body 136, is cylindrical, however, the post body may be any suitable shape to provide optimal absorption to impact dispersion system 10. For example, post body 136 may be cylindrical, frusto- pyramidal, dodecahedron, other three dimensional polygonal shape (e.g., rectangular prism, hexagonal prism, or the like.

[0076] Post body 136 includes a length 172 and a width 176. Length 172 is measured between top surface and bottom surface along a straight line. Length 172 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, or 1 inches (in.) (e.g., approximately 3/8 in). Width 176 (e.g., diameter) is measured between opposing sides of post body across a straight line. Width 176 can be greater than or substantially equal to any one of, or between any two of: 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, or 3/8 (in.) (e.g., approximately 3/8 in). In some configurations, width 176 is less than the width of depression 146 such that post body 136 may have limited movement relative to post platform 132 to allow for contortion of inner liner 100 and helmet 14. Accordingly, post 128 may allow for increased damping properties and reduced stresses acting on impact dispersion system 10a. In some configurations, post platform 132 may comprise a plurality of body bodies (e.g., 136) as shown in FIG. 7C and 7D.

[0077] Referring now to FIG. 8A-10D, shown therein and designated by the reference numeral 10b is a third configuration of the present impact dispersion system. In this configuration, components that are similar (e.g., in structure and/or function) to components discussed with reference to FIG.’s. 1-7B are labeled with the same reference numerals and a suffix “a.” As shown, impact dispersion system 10b includes a helmet 14b, a plurality of impact absorbing elements 18b (e.g., absorbent elements), a first layer 96b, and a second layer 180. Absorbent elements 18b and inner liner 100b are disposed in the interior of helmet 14b (e.g., within cavity 32b). Absorbent elements 18b and helmet 14b may include or correspond to absorbent elements 18 (e.g., body 42, 42a and cover 46, 46a) and helmet 14, 14a, respectively. In some configurations, impact dispersion system 10a may include a safety layer

104b. [0078] Second layer 180 may comprise one or more outer liner(s) 184 each having an outer surface 188 and an inner surface 192 that opposes the outer surface. As shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, impact dispersion system 10a comprises a single outer liner (e.g., 184) having an outer surface 188 that faces safety layer 104b and an inner surface 192 that faces an interior of helmet 14b (e.g., in a direction opposite of external shell 22b). Absorbent elements 18b are disposed between inner liner 100b and outer liner 184. Accordingly, outer liner 184, inner liner 100b, and absorbent elements 18b may from a sandwich layer with high absorption (e.g., vibration damping) characteristics. In some configurations, an absorbent filler material (not shown) may be disposed bet between inner liner 100b and outer liner 184 and surround at least one absorbent element (e.g., 18b). In some configurations, impact dispersion system 10 includes a poly carbonate outer shell (e.g., 22b), and a polystyrene layer (e.g., 104b) beneath the outer shell, that acts as a firm support for the engagement of absorbent elements 18b that are strategically placed throughout the polystyrene interior of the helmet. In such configurations, impact dispersion system 10 may operate either with or without an upper liner (e.g., 18) adhered to and over the top of absorbent elements 18b that are strategically placed throughout the interior of the helmet; with each unit adhered to a high impact plastic inner liner (e.g., 100b).

[0079] The sandwich layer (e.g., outer liner 184, absorbent elements 18b and inner liner 100b) may be disposed below safety layer 104b such that the safety layer is interposed between the sandwich layer and external shell 22b. For example, outer surface 188 of outer liner 184 may be coupled to safety layer 104b. In some configurations, outer liner 184 and inner liner 100b may be contoured to mimic the contours of external shell 22a or safety layer 104b to provide impact protection for helmet 14b. In such configurations, outer liner 184 may span at least a majority of (up to and including all of) safety layer 104. The outer liner 184 may comprise any suitable material and, in some configurations, the outer liner comprises the same material as inner liner 100b. [0080] In some configurations, absorbent elements 18b are coupled to inner liner 100b and/or outer liner 184. For example, each absorbent element may extend from the outer liner 184 to the inner liner 100b. In some configurations, absorbent element 18b does not comprise a cover 46b. In this way, body 42b may extend though inner liner 100 and/or outer liner 184, or, in other configurations, the body may be coupled (e.g., adhered) inner liner and/or outer liner. In other configurations, absorbent elements 18b may be coupled to only one of inner liner 100 or outer liner 184 such that a gap 116b may be formed between the absorbent elements and one of the liners. Absorbent elements 18b may be distributed evenly across the sandwich layer (e.g., inner and outer liner 100b, 184), or in other configurations, the elements may be highly concentrated at a location (e.g., temporal lobe, cerebellum) where risk of traumatic brain injury from an impact is highest, or a location where a majority of impacts are estimated to occur (e.g., frontal lobe). The respective outer liner 184, and/or the inner liner 100 enhance optimal performance of absorbent elements 18 to expand their protective coverage throughout the majority of the entire upper half of the helmet’s design; or the entire cerebral cortex of the human brain.

[0081] Referring now to FIGS. 9A-1 ID, impact dispersion system 10b includes helmet 14b, impact absorbing elements 18b (e.g., absorbent elements), first layer 96b comprising a plurality of inner liners 100 (e.g., a multi-piece liner), a second layer 180 comprising a plurality of outer liners 184 (e.g., multi-piece liner) and connection assembly 120b. Connection assembly 120b may couple the plurality of inner liners 100 together and the plurality of outer liner 184 together as described above.

[0082] As shown, impact dispersion system 10b may comprise two multi-piece layers (e.g., first layer 96b and second layer 180) each having a plurality of liners that move independently from one another. For example, each liner may be spaced apart from an adjacent liner by greater than 1/8” to allow for deformation of each liner without interfering with adjacent liners. In this way, first layer 96b and second layer may comprise a plurality of sandwich layers (e.g., inner liner 100b, absorbent elements 18b, outer liner 184) that can deform based on an impact of the helmet to reduce shear stress and increase absorption characteristics of impact dispersion system 10b. For example, impact dispersion system 10b may comprise two inner liners 100b and two outer liners 184 (FIGS. 9A-9D), three inner liners 100b and three outer liners 184 (FIGS. 10A-10D), four inner liners and four outer liners (FIGS. 1 lA-1 ID), or the like. In the depicted configurations, each inner liner 100b is coupled to a respective outer liner 184 such that the inner liner and respective outer liner are separated from adjacent in a similar manner (e.g., boundaries of inner and outer liner have substantially equal polar and azimuthal angles from an origin point within cavity 32b of helmet 14b). The plurality of sandwich layers may be separated in any suitable manner. For example, sandwich layers may be separated similarly to inner liner 100a as described above with reference to FIGS. 4A-6D. In other configurations, impact dispersion system 10b may comprise more inner liners (e.g., 100b) than outer liner 184, while in other configurations the system may comprise more outer liners than inner liners so that the outer liners and inner liners overlap. In this way, first layer 96b and second layer 180 may deform in a wave like manner to transfer (e.g., disperse) force away from a point of impact. [0083] As shown, connection assembly 120b may couple adjacent inner liners 100b together and couple adjacent outer liner 184 together. Inner liners 100b and outer liners 184 may be coupled to like liners in any suitable manner, such as described above with reference to FIGS. 4A-6D. For example, one or more posts 128b may be disposed on an outer surface (e.g., 108b, 188) of each liner (e.g., 100b, 180) to couple the liners together. Additionally, or alternatively, one or more posts 128b may be disposed on an inner surface (e.g., 112b, 192) of each liner (e.g., 100b, 180) to couple the liners together. Posts 128b may be positioned in any suitable manner described herein. For example, inner liner 100b and outer liner 184 of edge sandwich layers (e.g., layers adjacent to only one other layer) may each comprise four posts 128b (two on inner surface and two on outer surface) that are coupled to four respective posts (e.g., 128b) of inner and outer liners of one other sandwich layer. Likewise, inner liner 100b and outer liner 184 of middle sandwich layers (e.g., layer interposed between two other adjacent layers) may comprise eight posts (four on inner surface and four on outer surface) that are coupled to four respective posts (e.g., 128b) of inner and outer liners of each of the two other sandwich layers. In other configurations, any suitable number of posts 128b and fasteners 124 may be used to couple the liners (e.g., 100b, 184) together.

[0084] As shown in FIGS. 9C-1 ID, one or more fasteners 124b may be used to couple first layer 96b and second layer 180 together. For example, each inner liner 100b may be coupled to a respective outer liner 188 via fasteners 124b. In the depicted configuration, two fasteners 124b are used to couple each inner liner 100b to the respective outer liner 188; however, first layer 56 may be coupled to external shell 22a in any suitable manner.

[0085] In some configurations, one or more bolts 196 may be used to couple one more components of dispersion system (10, 10a, 10b) together. As shown in FIG. 12, two bolts 196 may be used, being directly on opposite sides of each other; to couple external shell 22, safety layer 104, first layer 96 and/or second layer 180 together. In some configurations, each bolt may be approximately ¼” in diameter by 2” in length and having a semi-round bolt head to be on the exterior flush with the exterior liner on each opposite side of the helmet. In some configurations, one or more grommets 200 may be coupled to each bolt. For example a grommet (e.g., 200) may be positioned at an interface of each layer bolt 196 passes through. Grommet 200 may have an approximate thickness of 1/8” and is configured to be coupled around a portion of both 196. In some configurations, the bolt ends will extend through the impact dispersion system 10 (e.g., 1/2'”) allowing for a nut to be slightly torqued onto a bolt assembly support. In the depicted configuration, the head (e.g., smooth, rounded head) of each bolt 196 may be placed on the interior of helmet 14c and the bolt may extend through the helmet where the nut secures the bolt on the exterior (e.g., 22) of the helmet. In such configurations, one or more covers (e.g., 46) may be disposed over the nut to prevent loosing of the nut and improve the appearance of system 10. In this way, one or more components (e.g., 22, 96,104, 180) may be coupled together.

[0086] In a non-limiting example, a shallow rounded head bolt (e.g., 96) may be positioned on the interior of the helmet, abutting the system's inner (or bottom) liner (e.g., 104, 96, 180). Each of the bolt assemblies may be inserted starting from the indicated opposite sides of the helmet (e.g., 14). For example, bolt (e.g., 96) may be inserted through the exterior of the inner or the bottom liner (e.g., 104, 96, 180) having a 1/4" high impact absorbent material grommet (e.g., 200). The bolt (e.g., 96) may then be slid through the outer liner or top liner (e.g., 104, 96, 180) having a second 1/4" high impact absorbent material grommet (e.g., 200). The bolt may slide through the cleanly bored foam protective layer (e.g., 104). The end of the bolt may extend through the final layer of the helmet's interior and exterior helmet's liner (e.g., 22) having a third 1/4" high impact absorbent material grommet). In some configurations, a lock washer and a nut or a lock nut may be coupled to the end of the bolt (e.g., 96) at the exterior of the helmet (e.g., 14) and torqued gently to assure integrity of both sides of the entire system (e.g., 10). Both sides may be in alignment with the depicted two bolt assemblies. An aesthetic and protective covers (e.g., 46) made of high impact absorbent material may be fitted snugly over the extended bolt ends with the lightly torqued lock washer and a nut or a lock nuts. [0087] A reinforcement high impact plastic strip may be coupled to the liner to facilitate coupling of bolt 196. The strip may have a width of approximately 2” and extend along the length of the liner; with the ¼” pre-drilled hole to accommodate the 2 bolts 196 on opposite sides of the helmet 14. FIG. 12 depicts a non-limiting example of the coupling of one or more components of system 10. It should be noted that components of system 10 may be coupled together in any suitable manner known in the art, such as, adhesives, fasteners (e.g., connector 120, rivets, straps, snap fasteners), or the like.

[0088] The components of a single embodiment of the foregoing impact dispersion systems (10, 10a, 10b) may be used additionally, or interchangeably, with the components described with reference to the other described embodiments. As such, some systems may comprise combinations of components from each or any of the described embodiments. Each of the aforementioned designs are unique in that each design is customized to manage the weight of the impact dispersion system 10, while effectively absorbing and disbursing a much greater measure of impact energy away from the human brain than traditional helmets.

[0089] The above specification and examples provide a complete description of the structure and use of illustrative configurations. Although certain configurations have been described above with a certain degree of particularity, or with reference to one or more individual configurations, those skilled in the art could make numerous alterations to the disclosed configurations without departing from the scope of this invention. As such, the various illustrative configurations of the methods and systems are not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, they include all modifications and alternatives falling within the scope of the claims, and configurations other than the one shown may include some or all of the features of the depicted configurations. For example, elements may be omitted or combined as a unitary structure, connections may be substituted, or both. Further, where appropriate, aspects of any of the examples described above may be combined with aspects of any of the other examples described to form further examples having comparable or different properties and/or functions, and addressing the same or different problems. Similarly, it will be understood that the benefits and advantages described above may relate to one configuration or may relate to several configurations. Accordingly, no single implementation described herein should be construed as limiting and implementations of the disclosure may be suitably combined without departing from the teachings of the disclosure.

[0090] The previous description of the disclosed implementations is provided to enable a person skilled in the art to make or use the disclosed implementations. Various modifications to these implementations will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the principles defined herein may be applied to other implementations without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Thus, the present disclosure is not intended to be limited to the implementations shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope possible consistent with the principles and novel features as defined by the following claims. The claims are not intended to include, and should not be interpreted to include, means-plus- or step-plus-function limitations, unless such a limitation is explicitly recited in a given claim using the phrase(s) “means for” or “step for,” respectively.