05 June 2019
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Safety helmet makes a real impact!

It is not every day that adhesive specialist Chemique Adhesives is involved in a potentially lifesaving revolution.

But every now and then, a call comes along that challenges the company’s development team and helps with the creation of a brand-new product that solves a costly and dangerous problem. That’s exactly what happened in the case of… Hedkayse, a cycling helmet innovator with a unique proposition.

Hedkayse was set up in 2015 by Tony Walker and Andy Creak, a visionary who wanted to design a resilient cycling helmet that could be worn time and again, even after impact. The polystyrene used in traditional helmets deforms during impact to provide what’s known as sacrificial protection. Consequently, it’s important never to drop a polystyrene helmet. This is the reason why manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet even after a simple knock – which can prove costly.

Hedkayse set out to address this shortcoming by developing a lightweight helmet that can be dropped, knocked, even hit with baseball bat – without impairing the protection it provides. This is an industry first, as George Fox, technical director at Hedkayse, explains: “When we were developing Hedkayse One, robustness and reliability were our key aims, which meant we needed an adhesive that would guarantee a strong and dependable bond between our proprietary impact-absorbing material, Enkayse, and the flexible exoskeleton of the helmet. To help us achieve this high-performance bonding we got in touch with Chemique Adhesives and, after carrying out trials, they delivered a bespoke product that exactly matches our needs.”

Protak UNI2HV is a customised water-based polyurethane dispersion with high viscosity that can simply be brushed on, without the need for complex applicators or extraction fans for vapours.

“Hedkayse approached us about their new helmet concept and we were able to work together and provide a water-based adhesive from our Protak range that offers excellent performance as well as ease of application,” said Slin Bangar, laboratory manager at Chemique Adhesives.

The newly developed helmets have received an enthusiastic response in the industry. They have been proven to comply with the requirements of the European Personal Protective Equipment Directive (PPE: 89/686/EEC) and specifically to the European standard EN 1078, “Helmets for Pedal Cyclists and for Users of Skateboards and Roller Skates, which specifies requirements and test methods.

“We are extremely proud to have achieved compliance with European safety standards and Chemique Adhesives has played a big role in helping us with this,” enthuses Fox. “The team at Chemique has been a pleasure to work with – they share our ethos for innovation and have delivered quick turnaround for each version of the prototype. Their unique formulation will help us get our product to market on time – the helmets will be available from spring 2019 – and we couldn’t be more excited!”

Brian Wall

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