This is a listing of some of the standards, specifications and directives that guide testing at Leatt®. They cover neck braces, body protection gear, helmets, and testing best practice.
Most of these documents are copyrighted material so can’t be made available for download. Web links to sites where they may be obtained will be included at a later date.
We have also included extracts and links to some relevant and interesting articles.
APPROACH TO STANDARD SETTING
USA and Europe - the two largest markets for motorcycle protection gear - we have extracted sections from a webBikeWorld article that discusses the issue rather than re-invent the wheel. The full article may be accessed here.
“There are no official U.S. government standards setting organizations per se; the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world where the government is not in the business of setting standards. The standards organizations in the U.S. are all private sector based and the adoption and use of standards is market driven.
In the U.S.A., anyone can set a standard; for example, if I wanted to develop and publish a new standard for light bulb threads I could do so. However, whether anyone would adopt my standard or not is questionable. But there’s nothing stopping me from developing and publishing the webBikeWorld Light Bulb Screw Thread standard.
This has its pros and cons; other countries use their governmental powers to develop and adopt standards as a strategy for capturing market share for their manufacturers. This is a huge discussion that is debated all the time at the various international trade meetings.
Although the U.S. government does occasionally create, adopt or set a standard for a specific item, there is a law that says something to the effect that market based standards should be used if at all possible. This was formally proposed in the National Standards Strategy for the United States, which was approved in August 2000. The document “reaffirmed that the U.S. is committed to a sector-based approach to voluntary standardization activities”, according to ANSI, which is a private sector standards organization and is not a U.S. government agency.
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act became law in March 1996. It “directs Federal agencies with respect to their use of private sector standards and conformity assessment practices. The objective is for Federal agencies to adopt private sector standards, wherever possible, in lieu of creating proprietary, non-consensus standards.
The Act also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to “bring together Federal agencies, as well as State and local governments, to achieve greater reliance on voluntary standards and decreased dependence on in-house standards.”
Since the U.S. government isn’t going to do it any time soon, why don’t various organizations like the clothing and helmet manufacturers get together and form a motorcycle clothing safety standards organization in the U.S.? This is a good question and one for which I don’t have an answer, although it may just be simpler if we adopted the CE standards.”
European CE Personal Protective Equipment Directive and Standards for Motorcycle Clothing
The European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive of 1989 requires that “any clothing or personal equipment sold as providing protection from injury must comply with the relevant European Standard”. Personal protective equipment is defined as “are unique products as far as the user buying it buys protection encountered at home, work and leisure”.
Proof of compliance requires the gear to be independently tested and certified. The manufacturer is then issued with a CE (Conformité Européene or European Conformity) label, otherwise known as “CE Marking”, which indicates that the item conforms to the relevant European or ECE standard. The item must carry a permanently attached CE marking label with the number of the Standard.”
NECK BRACES - STANDARDS AND CE CERTIFICATION
In neither the USA nor European Union is there a performance testing standard for neck protection devices (neck braces) used on motorcycles i.e. where the body is unrestrained.
In the USA, a private standards body does publish a standard for neck protection devices used in racing cars (i.e. where the body of the rider is restrained
In the EU there is a general EU Directive that covers all Protective Equipment known as 89/686/EEC.
For other motorcycle products such as chest guards, elbow & shoulder guards and back protectors EN Test Standards have evolved from this directive that measure compliance to measures of performance. All that is needed for certification where a test standard exists is to demonstrated that your products meets the requirements of the EN standard and to meet the health, safety and marking requirements of the directive.
For the neck brace where no EN Standard exists Leatt® was required by the CE Notifying body to follow the alternative route to certification. This meant Leatt®, in addition to complying with the Heath, Safety and Marking requirements of the directive also had to convince the Notifying Body of the soundness of our design philosophy, appropriateness of the manufacturing specification and quality processes and that the extensive testing was appropriate and sufficient to back up the claims Leatt® make of our brace. Only then was a CE certificate awarded.
Fortunately testing has formed an integral part of the research, prototyping and development of the Leatt-Brace®.
Initial formal testing was done in South Africa and followed by testing at an international testing facility. Results were combined with field studies by professional motorcyclists, bicycle riders and medical authorities and the ride and comfort of the brace was evaluated by professional riders.
EN 14021: 2003
Stone Shields for off-road motorcycling suited to protect riders against stones and debris. Requirements and test methods.
The standard for body protectors worn while riding off road to protect against minor impacts such as from small stones thrown up during off road riding includes tests for design, dimensions, impact performance and ergonomics.
Stone shields are required to cover a specified minimum area of the wearer’s body, particularly in important zones (such as across the chest). The breast guard in particular must cover the anterior (front) portion of the rib cage including the sternum. Shoulder, bicep and back guards must also cover specific areas of the body if included in the garment. Where areas are covered, the guards are checked for significant gaps in the protective area using a 15 mm diameter tapered probe (the probe should not be allowed to pass through any ventilation holes in the shield).
Shields are subjected to an ergonomic assessment, in which they are checked for any significant hindrance to freedom of movement when worn, as well as checks for any potentially dangerous projections or causes of discomfort. In addition, any restraints used for holding the shields in place, or holding additional components (e.g. shoulder guards), are subjected to tensile strength tests to ensure the shield is unlikely to detach from the garment in use.
Stone shields are subjected to an impact test performed in a similar manner to that specified in EN 1621-.1 The test is intended to register only the force transmitted over a small area on the wearer’s body rather than distributed over the area of the shield (e.g. a point-load). Therefore, a shield which does not significantly deform under impact will register no force in this test. A hemispherical impactor of mass 1 kg is dropped onto the sample so as to produce impact energy of 10 J . The sample is mounted on a solid guard ring, which surrounds a shallow domed anvil which is mounted onto a force transducer. This ensures that the force transducer registers force through the material only after it has deformed to the point where it makes contact with the inner anvil. The transmitted force through the stone shield and padding should not exceed 27 kN. This test is intended to simulate typical forces exerted on the shields from small objects impacting at relatively high velocities, i.e. stones thrown up from ground surfaces during riding.
EN 1621 - Motorcyclists’ Protective Clothing against mechanical impact
EN 1621-1 Requirements and test methods for impact protectors
The principle of the EN 1621-1 test used to assess the protective qualities of armour worn on the limb joints while riding a motorcycle involves the sample being placed over a rigid metal hemispherical anvil of radius 50 mm which is connected to a rigid and massive base via a high speed force sensor. A 5 kg impact or with a flat strike face 80 mm x 40 mm is then dropped onto the sample from a height necessary to generate an impact speed of 4.47 m/s - This equates to an impact energy of 50 joules. Then during the impact the force transmitted through the sample to the anvil is measured by the high speed force transducer. The lower the force the more protective a product is considered to be. To pass the standard the mean maximum transmitted force must be below 35 kN and no single value should be over 50 kN. This standard is currently being revised and the latest draft versions of the standard include additional tests to assess performance in high and low temperature environments plus after storage in humid conditions.
EN 1621-2 - Requirements and test methods for motorcyclists back protectors
EN 1621-2 is a second part to EN 1621 written to specifically cover back and lumbar protectors. It uses similar design and test methodology to part 1 for testing of limb protectors except that the geometry of the anvil and striker are different to better simulate the way back protectors are intended to work. It is also in the process of being revised and the latest draft versions of the standard include additional tests to assess performance in high and low temperature environments plus after storage in humid conditions.
Source http://www.satrappeguide.com/EN1621.php accessed 2011-05-09.
With regard to the first of the two new projects, prEN 1621-3 covers chest protectors (‘pr’ means that the document has the status of a draft standard that is still under development). The current proposal includes provision for two sizes of chest protector similar in principle to EN 1621-1 – two templates (Type A and Type B) of two different fixed sizes, rather than defining minimum dimensions of the protective coverage area based on specified percentages of key body dimensions of an intended wearer (such as used for assessing the size of back protectors in EN 1621-2). The chest protector draft standard also includes requirements for one-piece and two-piece (those items with a divided front) chest protectors, with a defined maximum size of gap in protection at the centre (fastening) area of divided protectors.
The impact test equipment proposed in the early stages of development was the same as that in the current EN 1621-2 back protector standard, albeit with lower performance requirements. This may now be replaced by a test more akin to that used in EN 14021 (European Standard for Stone Shields – see the Spotlight article ‘Motorcycle stone shields’). Due to the configuration of the sample support guard ring and anvil, performance in the test is also dependent on the load spreading/dynamic stiffness of the protector, as some studies have shown this to be an important feature in providing protection (figure 1).
Some other interesting articles on standards:
M2005, DOT, BSI 6658-85 Type A and Regulation 22 Rev. 5, also known as EN 22/05. M2005 and the current DOT Standard (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218) apply largely to helmets intended for the US and Canada. EN 22/05 applies to helmets for sale in Europe and BSI 6658 Type A is the premium level of the helmet requirement once mandatory in England.
Although all four standards differ in details, in order of severity they rank firstly Snell M2005, then BSI 6658-85 Type A, then DOT and, lastly, EN 22/05.
www.smf.org accessed 2011-05-09.
CHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND OTHER TESTING
SFI Spec 38.1 Flame Resistance Test Certification
EN 340 CE certified protective clothing – General requirements
The standard describe general performance requirements for ergonomics, innocuousness, size designation, ageing, compatibility and marking of protective clothing and the information to be supplied with the protective clothing.
TEST AND ANALYSIS PROCEDURES
ISO13232-1 to -8 Motorcycles – Test and analysis procedures for research evaluation of rider crash protective devices fitted to motorcycles