The following criteria are evaluated for Ice Hockey Players helmets: area of coverage, extent and form of protective material, strength and elongation of the retention system, and shock absorption. The standard utilized for assessment of players helmets is ASTM F1045 "Standard Performance Specification for Ice Hockey Helmets." This standard requires minimum areas of the head that the helmet must cover and protect. In addition to the coverage requirements, the standard stipulates where and how large openings in the helmet can be.
The helmet's performance is evaluated by testing the chinstrap for strength and elongation and by testing the impact absorption properties of the helmet liner. All tests are performed using helmets attached to headforms that simulate different sizes of the human head. For the retention system, the helmet is placed on a headform and a load is applied using a device to simulate the chin bone structure. The strength and elongation properties of the helmet strap are evaluated. Dropping a helmet (with the headform inside) onto a flat hard surface tests the impact absorption properties. When dropped onto the flat surface, instruments in the headform measure the force transmitted through the helmet to the headform. This test is performed at ambient, hot and cold conditions. At each of these conditions the helmet must absorb a minimum amount of energy in order to meet the requirements of the standard.
Full Face Protectors
ASTM F513 "Standard Safety Specification for Eye and Face Protective Equipment for Hockey Players" is the specification used to evaluate full face protectors. The Full face protectors are assessed for area of coverage, field of vision, stick blade penetration, impact resistance and compatibility with helmets. The face masks are tested by mounting the face mask onto helmets listed as compatible in the user instructions provided by the manufacturer. Each face mask and helmet combination are mounted onto a headform to ensure the proper facial coverage is provided, there is a sufficient field of vision and to ensure the stick blade cannot penetrate into the mask and touch the face of the headform.
The impact testing is performed by again mounting the helmet and face mask combination onto the test headform and firing a hockey puck at the face from an air cannon. The impacts are aimed at each of three locations: the center of the eye, the center of the mouth, and the side of the face underneath the center of the eye. The puck firing speeds are determined by the intended use of the face mask. None of this testing applies to face masks worn by goaltenders (see goaltenders section for information). For youth masks (ages 10 years and younger), the puck is fired at 32 mph and the mask cannot contact the headform and there can be no fracture of the mask. For all other masks (except goaltenders) the facemask is first impacted at 63 mph to ensure no contact between the face mask and the headform, an additional test is performed at 74 mph to ensure that the mask does not fracture. All of the impact testing is performed at both the cold and ambient conditions.
Headgear used by goaltenders only is evaluated to ASTM F1587 "Standard Specification for Head and Face Protective Equipment for Ice Hockey Goaltenders." This standard uses a combination of the testing performed on players helmets and full face protectors. Minimum requirements include; area of coverage, field of view, chinstrap strength and elongation, face mask impact resistance and helmet liner impact absorption.
The helmet/mask combination is mounted to a test headform to ensure the headgear provides the proper area of coverage and field of vision. A simulated stick blade is used to ensure that no contact can be made with the face through the face mask openings. The masks are then cold conditioned for the puck impact testing. A puck is fired at the mask at 80 mph to test for breakage of the cage portion of the mask. The impacts are aimed at the center of the eye, the center of the mouth, and the side of the face underneath the center of the eye.
The helmet portion of the mask is tested for chin strap strength and elongation by applying a load to the chin strap using a simulated chin bone structure. Measurements are taken to evaluate the properties of the chin strap to ensure proper release and slip/stretch. The impact absorption properties are testing by dropping a helmet (with the headform inside) onto a flat hard surface. When dropped onto the flat surface, instruments in the headform measure the force transmitted through the helmet to the headform. This test is performed at ambient, hot and cold conditions. At each of these conditions the helmet must absorb a minimum amount of energy in order to meet the requirements of the standard.
Visor testing is similar to the full face protector testing in that the product is tested for area of coverage, impact resistance and compatibility with helmets. The difference is the standard used to evaluate the product, visors are evaluated to CAN/CSA Z262.2. Each visor and helmet combination listed as compatible in the manufacturers user instructions is mounted onto a headform to ensure the proper facial coverage and field of vision.
The impact testing is also performed in the same manner as the face protectors, with a couple of exceptions. All visor impacts are aimed at the center of one of the eyes of the headform. The impact speeds are also different, the contact test is performed at 22 mph and during the impact, the visor is not allowed to contact the headform. The toughness test, is performed at 63 mph and like the face protector standard does not allow for any fracture of the visor. Again, as is in the face protector testing, all impacts are performed at both the ambient and cold condition.