Research & Innovation
|Helmet Concepts Snow||Helmets Concepts Wheels||Body Armor Concepts||Optical Concepts|
POC has worked intensively with leading experts to understand every detail how a helmet should be constructed. All this is preformed with the sole objective of giving you far better protection than ever before. This has led up to a bunch of different concepts for different needs.
WHEN POC FIRST STARTED UP, there were two types of helmets on the market. Firstly, the traditional helmet with a hard shell and a liner of softer expanded polystyrene (EPS) which has good penetration resistance and energy distribution properties. The disadvantage of the hard shell is that upon impact, the hard structure causes a sudden stop. The brain may continue to move in the direction of travel and the impact is not absorbed very well. The hard shell is also quite heavy which may cause the helmet to bounce off the ground on impact. These properties can lead to brain damage and whiplash injuries.
THE SECOND TYPE OF HELMET IS THE ‘IN-MOLD’ TYPE, which originated in the field of cycling. These molded helmets have a thinner shell of hard plastic that covers the ears and the back of the neck.
NORMALLY, BOTH THE TRADITIONAL hard shell and in-mold helmets rely on expanded Polystyrene (EPS) for the shock absorption. EPS absorbs energy by plastic deformation, meaning it is deformed permanently upon impact. Therefore, a helmet liner made of EPS will not be good at absorbing repetitive shocks. Another aspect that is not taken into account in traditional helmets is the effects of rotational violence, which is a major risk at oblique impacts.
Six different helmet concepts for six different needs.
”Semi-hard shell” 2.0 helmets
WHEN FIRST developed and launched season 2005/2006, the aim of the “semi hard shell” helmets was to combine the advantages of both in-mold and hard shell helmets. The excellent energy absorption properties from the in-mold helmets was achieved by using a thin and light outer shell and the ability to withstand sharp object penetration was solved by adding a barrier made from ballistic aramid. POC has been refining the concept over a couple of seasons and is now presenting the second generation of these helmets, the “semi hard shell 2.0” collection. By studying today’s top ski racers, it was evident that a helmet used for ski racing is likely to be exposed for repeated violence from hitting gates at high speed. The updated helmets are therefore equipped with a liner of Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) instead of EPS. The difference between the materials is that EPP, unlike EPS, does not deform permanently on impact and is therefore suitable to absorb repetitive shocks. The outer shell is also updated for increased durability and optimized for the new liner material (all Skull helmets).
Unique in-mold helmets
STARTING FROM the amazing properties of our Skull Comp helmet, we have taken the technology further by incorporating the Aramid ballistic penetration barrier APB, into a series of in-mold helmets – Synapsis. This has enabled us to overcome the traditional problems of in-mold helmets breaking easily and not being able to withstand penetration. The Synapsis helmets are designed to offer extreme lightweight, ventilation and comfort without compromising safety. The helmets have soft foam pads for a perfect individual fit and detachable ear pads (all Synapsis helmets).
Double shell helmets
IMPROVING PROPERTIES such as better shock absorption, lower weight and penetration resistance are some of the major advantages solved by using POC’s patent pending Aramid ballistic penetration barrier: APB. Transferring these qualities and lessons learned into a fully ventilated system has led to the new revolutionary, patent pending; Ventilated- Double-Shell-Anti-Penetration: VDSAP.
THE CONCEPT WAS initially developed for the Receptor + all season helmet. A helmet developed and certified in Europe and the US for skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, biking and water sports. VDSAP is built with double shells, placed offset, for maximum penetration resistance and has channels in between to evacuate heat, moisture or water. The inner shell is an extremely thin in-mold shell, while the outer shell is a hard shell of ABS and PC. The properties are amazing and used in all Receptor helmets and the Cortex DH.
Optimized vent helmets
SOME MARKETS have asked us to come up with a super ventilated helmet, adjustable for cold days. With the experience gained from previous models, innovations and patents, we have come up with a cocktail of different ventilation concepts, all included in one helmet. When using an adjustable system, there is also the challenge of keeping weight down. The solution combines three different ventilation systems. At the front, there is the POC patent VDSAP, a double shell solution where air is transported between two layers of shell, to avoid direct wind and to withstand penetration from sharp objects. At the back, there are ventilation holes for the helmet to function as a chimney, where air is pulled from the front to the rear.
ON TOP, the helmet has generous ventilation with six vents, that may be closed or semi-closed with a turning-devise. This combination makes the helmet very airy and very light (all Frontal helmets).
Carbon Fiber helmets
SO FAR, carbon fiber helmets haven’t made too much sense. The methods of industrially laying carbon fiber have been counterproductive to the goal of thin, light shells that deform or destruct at certain stress points. The shells have been too stiff and too thick for use in ski helmets.
HOWEVER, thanks to a new method, we can make a super-thin and superlight carbon fiber shell, which is highly flexible and makes sense to use in a ski helmet. Unfortunately the technique is still very expensive but it’s so good that we want to introduce it in a new line of Skull Helmets; Super Skull Comp.
Multi directional impact protection system helmets
TRADITIONAL HELMET testing methods only test vertical falls. However, the real situation is that, if crashing at speed, the impact will be oblique. In turn, this means that the helmet and head will start rotating when hitting the ground, resulting in rotational forces to the brain. The brain is highly sensitive to this kind of violence.
WHEN ENTERING the bike scene, we made use of the experiences gained from our short but successful history in making revolutionizing ski helmets. The concepts that we have developed for ski helmets has been taken further and optimized to reach and exceed the demands of today’s bike users in the DH, Dirt, Free ride and BMX disciplines. The aim has been to provide better head protection than ever before.
NORMALLY, both the traditional hard shell and in-mold helmets rely on Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) for the shock absorption. EPS absorbs energy by plastic deformation, meaning it is deformed permanently upon impact. Therefore, a helmet liner made of EPS will not be good at absorbing repetitive shocks.
THE CONCEPTS that we have developed for ski helmets has been taken further and optimized to reach and exceed the demands of today’s bike users in the DH, Dirt, Freeride and BMX disciplines.
Multi Impact Performance
MOST OF POC’s bike helmets use a liner of EPP instead of the traditional EPS. The difference between the materials is that EPP, unlike EPS, does not deform permanently on impact and is therefore suitable for absorbing repetitive shocks.
Transferring experience from ski
THE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS for ski and bike helmets are similar, but bike helmets call for some additional requirements when it comes to ventilation and comfort. A bike helmet should have full ventilation to let fresh air flow into the helmet as well as letting out excess heat and perspiration. The challenge with ventilation is that open vents in the helmet leaves the user unprotected from sharp objects that may penetrate the vents. This is a serious risk, especially for DH riders since they are likely to be exposed to branches, sharp rocks and other hazardous objects in a crash.
To overcome the challenge of providing penetration resistance, excellent ventilation and impact protection properties, we developed our patented concept with double overlapping shells (VDSAP).
MIPS rotational violence protection
POC HAS ALSO ADDED the patented MIPS technology to our collection of innovations, aiming for safer helmets. MIPS is a system used to reduce the rotational forces on the brain in the case of oblique impacts. This is achieved by allowing a controlled rotation of the shell relative to the liner. We are proud to present this unique and necessary system in a bike helmet.
POC’s double shell helmets
TRADITIONALLY, there have been two different types of bike helmets on the market. First, there is the traditional hard shell helmet with a thick outer shell, covering a shock absorbing liner of EPS. The hard shell helmet provides good protection against penetration and makes a durable construction. But, the nature of the stiff outer shell also has its drawbacks.
ON IMPACT, the hard shell causes an abrupt stop of the head. This increases the risk of brain injuries. The hard shell may also bounce on the ground and thereby increase the risk of whiplash injuries. The second type of traditional bike helmet is the “in-mold” type. These helmets have a thin shell of polycarbonate molded together with an EPS liner. With this construction, the impact energy is very well absorbed as the thin shell allows the helmet to deconstruct on impact, creating lower energy levels for the brain to deal with and minimal bounce. The disadvantages are poor resistance to penetration and a less durable construction.
OUR EFFORT to combine the strengths of these two major concepts in ski helmets led to our patent pending “Aramid ballistic penetration barrier”: APB. By adding a layer of penetration-resistant aramid between the shell and the liner, the shell thickness could be reduced, leading to weight reduction and better energy absorption.
Transferring the APB concept into a fully ventilated system for bike users led to our revolutionary, patented Ventilated- Double-Shell-Anti-Penetration: VDSAP.
THIS CONSTRUCTION was initially developed for the Receptor+ all season helmet. A helmet certified in Europe and the US for: biking, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and water sports. When developing the Cortex DH full face downhill helmet, it was an obvious choice to use the VDSAP concept.
VDSAP has two ventilated shells placed offset for maximum penetration resistance and channels in between the shells to ventilate heat, perspiration, or water. The inner shell is an extremely thin layer of polycarbonate while the outer shell is made of carbon fiber or injected plastic depending on model. The properties are amazing and these helmets represent an unique way of thinking in helmet design.
AS A RESULT OF OUR COLLABORATION WITH SPECIALISTS in spinal cord injuries, riders of all kinds and experts in material and construction, we have come to the conclusion that many of the protectors on the market have serious weaknesses.
THE CHALLENGE IS TO COME UP WITH A FLEXIBLE, comfortable protection that really does the work! Many back protectors out there are lightweight, but less good when it comes to shock absorption and really protecting your spinal area. We are very happy to present two different concepts of back protections; VPD and Multi-impact hard shell system, both as a result of different needs of riders and state of art materials and constructions.
Our VPD protector works progressively, adapts itself to the force of the impact and is the most flexible back protector out there.
VPD - Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough
POC USES A COMPOUND and technology for our most shock absorbing back protector called VPD (Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough). This protector is one of few on the market that reaches the highest standard (Level 2 “High performance”) of the CE 1621-2 motorcycle standard.
THE MATERIAL IS HIGHLY DAMPENING, using a modified Polyurethane foam that is soft, comfortable and adapts to create an individual fit. However, when exposed to impact the material stiffens and has extreme energy absorption properties. Most of the protector systems available on the market are designed to just pass the specific CE-Norm test. However, this means that low energy impacts are transferred almost directly to the body. Our VPD back protector functions progressively and adapts itself to the force of the impact.
TO FURTHER IMPROVE properties the back protector uses a dual density combination, with extra protection covering the spinal area. This way we maximize both the freedom of movement and the shock absorbing characteristic of the protection.
Multi impact hard shell system
TO MAXIMIZE ENERGY absorption POC’s back armor with hard panel shields has a multi impact core. Unlike many other back protectors, the EPP and EVA cores also withstands multi-impact without losing the energy absorbing abilities.
An individual system
WE HAVE A FLEXIBLE PATENTED back-protection system which allows you to choose your protection degree at all times from various components. This means you can tailor the degree of protection, depending on how you ride for the day or to meet different rules and restrictions applying to the competition you enter. With the Cervical and Coccyx you can be sure to gain protection for the upper part of the spine, including vertebrae C1 – C7, as well as the lowest part including the caudal area. The uppermost part of the spine – the vertebrae C1 – C7, is the most important region to protect as damages here may result in serious irreparable injury or even death.
THE ARMOR IS NOT ONLY DESIGNED to give you the highest possible level of protection, we have also done everything we can to make the armor as comfortable to wear as possible. You will feel how the protection anatomically and ergonomically follows the shape of your back. At the same time, the protection is supple, giving you complete freedom of movement. Another major advantage of the POC armor is the highly efficient ventilation technology.
TO SUM IT ALL UP, POC’S BACK PROTECTION will give you unsurpassed levels of comfort and safety. Looking at our range we hope that you will find a product for your personal need, regardless of how you like to ride, whether it be DH racing or pulling back flips in the park.
Both goggles and performance eyewear are developed to optimize need, function and protection, depending on activity and conditions. along with protecting your eyes from snow, ice, rain, slipstream, uv-rays, branches etc as well as assisting your vision in different light conditions, we have worked on optimizing the fi eld of view, for better periphery perception, fast reaction and therefore promoting safety.
ALL GOGGLES have a cellulose propionate inner lens to optimize anti fog properties. double lenses have an outer polycarbonate lens for durability and penetration resistance. All POC lenses have a state of the art anti-scratch and anti-fog treatment. NXT lenses are used in our performance eyewear and goggles and was initially developed for fighter jet canopies. The properties include extreme impact, temperature and chemical resistance, together with superior optical performance versus existing technologies, i.e polycarbonate.
Since different properties are prioritized for different users, POC has developed and employs a range of lens types in our goggles and eyewear.
Injected goggle lenses
THESE DOUBLE LENSES have an injection molded outer lens. This allows for a great variation of the shape and geometry, allowing optimized coverage and 3D shape of the lens. This results in better field of vision as well as better optics, since the shape can be optimized for the frame and the resulting distance from the wearer’s eyes.
Die-cut goggle lenses
THIS TYPE of double lens is die-cut. This means that the lenses are cut out from a sheet, allowing for a highly efficient production process plus great possibilities to change the tint and VLT of the lenses.
Anti-fog protected single goggle lenses
RACE SKIERS demand minimum refraction error, which is why race-specific lenses are made using only a single lens. Single lenses are generally known to havempoor anti-fog protection, but the base material and coatings chosen for POC ́s race goggles are the best available.
NXT lenses for protective and perfomance eyewear and goggles
ALL OUR NXT LENSES are equipped with a color vision boosting filter - HCD (High Chromatic Definition) which has an extreme contrast enhancing effect and takes goggle lens clarity to a new dimension. To help you keep your lens clean and clear you will also find an excellent Oleophobic/Hydrophobic treatment as well as an Anti-scratch/Anti-fog treatment. Except for these unique “basic” features we also added a Photochromatic filter. The Photochromatic filter enables the lens to change the tint color depending on the current light conditions.
VLT – VISIBLE LIGHT TRANSMISSION
VLT is a measurement that specifies the percentage of light coming through the lens, reaching your eyes. A clear lens for dark conditions has around 90% VLT whilst a very dark mirrored lens, for sunny conditions, may have lower than 10% VLT. Most all round lenses have between 30–60% VLT.
COLORS VS. LIGHT CONDITIONS
The color spectrum runs from blue to red, with many shades in between. Color sensation and perception is individual, which leads to a very subjective choice of lens color for varying conditions
However, there are some basic rules within the color spectrum that can enhance contrast e.g. when choosing a lens with a yellow, orange, pink or red color it will block out more of the blue end of the color spectrum. This will enhance contrast, enabling you to more clearly make out shapes, objects and bumps in the terrain. These lenses are suitable in low light, fog and flat light, but also in moderate light. By using a blue tint some people may also experience enhanced contrast by blocking the other end of the color spectra. In bright light, dark tints will keep your eyes more comfortable.
There is also the option of choosing a brighter tint, but with a mirror coating to block some of the light. Some prefer a green lens, since it dampens the color spectrum evenly. This leads to a natural feel where the color spectrum will be experienced as normal.
All our NXT lenses are equipped with a color vision boosting filter - HCD (High Chromatic Definition) which has an extreme contrast enhancing effect and takes goggle lens clarity to a new dimension. To help you keep your lens clean and clear you will also find an excellent Oleophobic/Hydrophobic treatment as well as an Anti-scratch/Anti-fog treatment. The Photochromatic filter enables the lens to change the tint color depending on the current light conditions.
Double vs Single lens
In all our PC double lens constructions, the outer lens is made of Polycarbonate, which has the best anti scratch treatment available. All models with the Polycarbonate lens are 100% (99,9%) UV blocking and they also provide good penetration resistance. In our single lens construction, Iris Comp, the lens is made in Cellulose Propionate with a anti fog coating. The single lens is used to minimize the optical distortion and in this case the lens will not have the same high degree of protection against scratches nor fog as the double PC lens. So only choose the Comp version if you are a competitive racer who really prioritize to minimize the optical distortion.