News Flash Home
The original item was published from 12/9/2021 9:49:00 AM to 2/17/2022 12:05:04 PM.

News Flash

Navy News

Posted on: November 17, 2021

[ARCHIVED] NUWC Newport Researcher Helps With New Football Helmet Design

211110-N-BZ518-1005

211110-N-BZ518-1005



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              November 16, 2021

Release #2154                                                     Point of Contact—Jeffrey Prater (401) 832-2039

 

NUWC Division Newport researcher explores how cavitation reduces impact, leading to a new football helmet design

 

When Dr. David Jesse Daily, a mechanical engineer in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Sensors and Sonar Systems Department, was in graduate school at Brigham Young University, a co-worker shared a party trick where someone puts water in a glass bottle and hits the top of the bottle quickly and the bottom of the bottle shatters.

 

This piqued Daily’s interest so he used high-speed cameras to capture the moment of impact. He observed that bubbles were created at the bottom of the bottle by the impact and the collapse of those bubbles broke the bottle. 

 

“The impact created a distinct type of cavitation based on acceleration, which occurs when liquid suddenly accelerates and changes to a vapor state — seen as bubbles,” Daily said. “The collapse of the cavitation bubbles is what causes the bottle to break.”

 

Eventually this research led Daily to design a football helmet that mitigates frontal impacts reducing the incidence of concussion. 

 

Daily built special sudden motion activated cavitation (SMAC) tubes that allowed him to test his theories and applications of acceleration-based cavitation. 

 

For part of his doctorate dissertation, Daily derived a new cavitation number based on acceleration. He completed that work in graduate school and, years later, he presented his work at Division Newport’s informal “Intellectual Storytime” as a solution in need of a problem. Following his presentation, he began to work with Dr. Jesse Belden and Aren Hellum, of the Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles, and Defensive Systems Department, on possible applications for this acceleration-based cavitation. 

 

During acceleration-based cavitation, the kinetic energy of the impact is transferred into cavitation bubbles until the bubbles reach their maximum size. The cavitation bubbles then begin to collapse and transfer their energy back into kinetic energy, reaccelerating the bottle. The entire process takes between 5 and 20 milliseconds. 

 

When applied to an object like a football helmet, a cavitation device — for example, a tube containing water — may lessen the severity of an impact and possibly the severity of a traumatic brain injury. Daily looked at common impact locations on football players’ helmets; these locations differed based on the player’s position. Daily’s helmet is designed to mitigate the frontal impacts most commonly received by linemen. The cavitation tubes were able to lengthen the overall duration of the impact by 20 percent, which could theoretically allow the cerebral-spinal fluid to more effectively cushion the brain and prevent traumatic brain injury. 

  

A common cause of injury is when the head suddenly snaps back and then whiplashes forward causing the brain to impact the front of the skull and then rebound and impact the back of the skull. This type of impact, known as a “coup contrecoup,” is believed to be one cause of concussions. 

 

Daily’s “quiescent cavitation” device could potentially slow down and lessen these impacts, thereby reducing the incidence of concussion. While a cavitation feature on a helmet will not eliminate effects of an impact, it could provide some reduction of impact as a compact, passive device. This cavitation device could add just enough additional protection to be a game changer.

 

Daily’s research has three different objectives:

  • Understand the physics and how acceleration impacts are lengthened due to cavitation
  • Understand potential applications (e.g., adding water-filled tubes to football helmets)
  • Understand industrial applications (e.g., adding a cavitation chamber to traditional shock absorbers)

For now, that research is on hold but a patent for parts of his quiescent cavitation work has been filed [https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11%2c098%2c784.PN.&OS=PN/11%2c098%2c784&RS=PN/11%2c098%2c784] and Daily hopes to continue that research in the future. 

 

I would like to build more cavitation prototypes to investigate the potential for reducing traumatic brain injury as well as using cavitation in various automotive and safety applications,” Daily said.

 

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

 

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

###

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Navy News

EEE

RIDEM Urges Caution With EEE

Posted on: September 29, 2023
BPAC Spanish

Evento De Seguridad En Bicicleta

Posted on: September 27, 2023
MHS Tours-2

Public Tour Of Middletown High

Posted on: September 26, 2023
Unknown-6

Gaudet Open House Fun

Posted on: September 22, 2023
Gaudet Tours-2

Gaudet Middle School Public Tours Available

Posted on: September 21, 2023
Unknown-1

Middletown Police Open House

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Lee

Prelude To Hurricane Lee

Posted on: September 15, 2023
VIN1 Billy

Weather Makes For Tough Opening Of School

Posted on: September 19, 2023
ebcap-logo-full

Early Childhood Programs Available Now

Posted on: September 20, 2023
MPC logo_cmyk

Family Day Is On The Way

Posted on: September 18, 2023
MPC logo_cmyk

Tips For Parents

Posted on: September 14, 2023
Hurricane Season-3

Prepare For Hurricane Season

Posted on: September 9, 2023
VIN2 Shannon

Teaching Is Tough In An 85 Degree Classroom

Posted on: September 13, 2023
Sept. 11-2

Middletown Remembers

Posted on: September 11, 2023
BC Vacancies-2

Board & Committee Members Needed

Posted on: September 12, 2023
BPAC

Bicycle Safety Event

Posted on: September 11, 2023
School Safety

School's Open -- Drive Safely

Posted on: September 8, 2023
Unknown

Tips For A Successful School Year

Posted on: September 7, 2023
DSC00404

Welcome To Forest Avenue School

Posted on: August 10, 2023
Bulk

Welcome To Aquidneck School

Posted on: August 9, 2023
DSC09656

Welcome To Gaudet Middle School

Posted on: August 8, 2023
DSC01643

Welcome To Middletown High

Posted on: August 7, 2023