Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering (2011), doi: 10.1080/10255842.2011.597353. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


The effectiveness of helmets in extenuating the primary shock waves generated by the explosions of improvised explosive devices is not clearly understood. In this work, the role of helmet on the overpressurization and impulse experienced by the head were examined. The shock wave–head interactions were studied under three different cases: (i) unprotected head, (ii) head with helmet but with varying head–helmet gaps and (iii) head covered with helmet and tightly fitting foam pads. The intensification effect was discussed by examining the shock wave flow pattern and verified with experiments. A helmet with a better protection against shock wave is suggested.