Multi Directional Impact System: is a Swedish invention, designed to increase safety by absorbing some of the rotational forces to which the brain is subjected after an oblique blow to the head. The system – visible as a yellow shell under the liner - consists of two layers that can move slightly, independently of each other. Mips reduces the risk of tearing inside the brain, which may occur as an effect of the kinetic energy generated by a diagonal impact. When it comes to the brain, very small differences can have big, significant consequences.
Facts about Mips
A standard riding helmet protects the head by absorbing the energy of a hard hit using several layers of material. Helmets are often tested by simulating impacts head-on against the helmet. This works excellently if the helmet is of good quality; the shock is spread through the layers of materials and distributed over the helmet. The head will not break, even if the helmet does.
A helmet with Mips works in the same way - but also adds a system to absorb the forces that occur when the head is subjected to an oblique impact. A blow from an angle contains kinetic energy that also has a direction. A hard, oblique blow causes the head to be violently jolted following the impact, exposing the brain to rotational violence. The sudden motion of the head may cause the brain to suffer a contortion.
Impacts with rotation are the most damaging
Forces of this kind can have severe consequences, leading to major damage by subjecting the brain to internal tearing. The brain is particularly sensitive to deformation of this type, and the shock-absorbing fluid around the brain is not enough to compensate for a blow that contains a lot of kinetic energy.
This is where Mips becomes effective - by enhancing the protection offered by the cerebrospinal fluid. Like the fluid-filled space inside of the skull, Mips absorbs some of the forces of rapid rotation. When the head can move in the direction of the movement, inside of the helmet, the forces affecting the brain become slightly less abrupt. Hence, Mips take into account both the physiological characteristics of the brain and the way physical forces act upon it. Thanks to these qualities, Mips can help mitigate the consequences of an accident.
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