Test bench development of a neck protector for motorcycle riders saves lives

Severe injuries in motorcycle accidents frequently involve the cervical spine. The Leatt Corporation developed a special neck protector, the Leatt Brace, for this reason. SoMat eDAQlite and nCode GlyphWorks® from HBM are used in the tests and experiments for this neck protector.

The weakest point of every motorcycle rider is the cervical spine area which is frequently injured in many motorcycle accidents. In order to protect this area better, the South African doctor Chris Leatt developed a special neck protector called the Leatt Brace. As with all safety devices, comprehensive tests and experiments were essential beforehand. The device needed to be able to reduce bending moments, shearing forces and axial forces acting on the cervical spine.

A high-speed camera records the shear forces and the effects on the spine and head in the case of a frontal impact.

Test bench simulates accidents

After initial testing together with BMW, the experts at the Leatt Corporation developed their own test structures with which they could simulate the forces acting on bike riders during an accident.

“There were no test bench standards for this device, so we needed to set them ourselves” said Cornel de Jongh, biomedical engineer. During an accident, compressive, tensile and shear forces occur together with strain and bending moments, and these need to be evaluated in combination. “Besides the mechanics, we use the SoMat eDAQlite data acquisition unit from HBM to acquire the signals from our 23 dummy and other sensor channels”, explained Cornel. This extremely rugged amplifier can be used to acquire a wide range of parameters, making SoMat eDAQlite the ‘heart’ of this test bench as Cornel emphasized.

The Leatt Corporation uses HBM's nCode GlyphWorks® software for post-processing the measurement data – powerful software for processing test data in engineering with the focus on structural durability and lifetime analyses.

The effects of a direct impact on the helmet are recorded in a special device.
HBM's data acquisition unit, eDAQlite, measures the forces that occur in a typical accident such as when the head of the dummy hits a metal block.

Somat eDaqlite

nCode GlyphWorks®

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