MIPS is an acronym for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System and represents an innovative technology that can be used to equip helmets for a variety of different purposes.
Mips® was designed to make helmets safer in oblique impact situations, both in recreational and outdoor sports (climbing, mountain biking and motorbike riding) but also in the workplace. In practical terms, Mips® is a moving layer that is integrated on the inside of the safety helmet – close to the head. The sliding layer is not rigidly fixed but can move back and forth by 10 to 15 millimetres. In the event of lateral impact, this range of motion enables the helmet design to deflect acting rotational forces from the wearer’s head and brain using a sliding movement.
Safety helmets that are equipped with Mips® therefore offer a higher level of protection for the helmet wearer than conventional helmets.
Want to find out more? Then watch the following video:
WATCH Video: How the system reduces rotational forces acting on the helmet
Reliable head protection against rotational forces
In what kind of situations can rotational forces occur?
In areas where helmets are mandatory, the greatest danger can usually be found high above. Namely, in the form of falling objects. In principle, these objects can strike the wearer’s helmet in three different ways:
Coming vertically from above, the centre of the helmet is hit (axial impact).
Coming vertically from above, the helmet is hit laterally – and therefore off the centre of the helmet.
The object hits the centre of the helmet but has an oblique trajectory – it comes from the side.
The first case described here is the only one in which the applied force does not lead to a rotational movement. Compared to the other two, this case is also usually the exception.
In addition, we would like to point out the possibility of falls, which also pose a risk on uneven, muddy or slippery ground. If the wearer is unfortunate enough to have a fall, the helmet may crash or hit against an obstacle such as a kerb or ridge. In this case, rotational movements will also occur, which can be transferred to the head.
uvex Mips helmets: how the Mips safety system reduces rotational forces acting on the helmet
Comparison: safety helmets with and without Mips® technology
Conventional helmets are designed and tested for straight and relatively central impacts, which clearly complies with standard DIN EN 397. However, the reality is that in most cases, the impact is either lateral or has an oblique acting force, which results in a rotational impulse that can of course be transferred to the head. Conventional helmets are excellent at absorbing the impact but to a large extent, they will pass on the rotational force.
Safety helmets with Mips®
The Mips® system complements the impact absorption of a conventional helmet with its ability to also deflect rotational forces from the head. If there is an oblique impact to the helmet or a vertical impact that hits the helmet on the side, the low-friction moving layer ensures that only the outer helmet shell bears the brunt of the rotational impulse, while the inner shell receives the rotational movement but with significantly less force, which in turn reduces the impact on the wearer.
Safety system that mimics the brain
The brain typically reacts more sensitively to rotational movement than linear movements because it has a similar shear strength to water or gel. When rotational movement causes different parts of the brain to move in an offset way to each other, the tissue can be stretched, which causes concussion and other brain injuries.
Rotational movement is a common cause of concussion and more serious brain injuries from an oblique impact to the head. The Mips system consists of a low-friction layer that is fixed on the inside of the helmet. This low-friction layer is constructed in such a way that it slides slightly in the helmet in the event of an accident, so that forces can be directed away from the head. It should therefore help to reduce the risk of brain injuries.
Cerebrospinal fluid is our natural protective system that allows the brain to move in a way that is offset to the skull.
When you equip yourself and your team with innovative Mips® helmets, you provide a considerable level of extra safety by significantly reducing the risk of head and brain injury.
uvex safety helmets with Mips safety system
We have equipped uvex safety helmets with the Mips safety system, which uses a technology that redirects dangerous rotational movements that could otherwise be transferred to the head in the event of an accident.
Among others, we offer our well-known work safety helmet uvex pheos S-KR in a version with Mips, certified according to EN397 and available in the highlight colour hi-vis orange. In addition to the standard features, the Mips version of the helmet has an enlarged contact area.
The Mips safety system has also been incorporated into a completely new industrial climbing helmet. The uvex pronamic alpine Mips is fully certified in accordance with EN397 and EN12492, features a versatile adjustable head ring, generous ventilation openings and further accessories. The helmet was specially designed for accident prevention in industry, construction, working at heights and in other manual trades.