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shades9323

Helmet padding, can you explain it to me?

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Can anyone explain the different helmet paddings for me? Can you show me pictures of each one or direct me to a helmet with each one so I can find pics of the helmets?

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From reading through threads here I've gathered that there's two kinds of foam in helmets, VN and EPP, though there seems to be some controversy as to which is better. EPP seems to be in the higher-end helmets, for example the NBH 9500, but lots of pros still use VN foam. One helmet that has VN is the NBH 4500.

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http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/rust...et/IMG_0721.jpg

EPP is a hard, closed cell foam that will take a single direct impact and deform. It is said to have better impact dispersion properties, I believe. Helmet makers try and make it more comfy with gel pads that have a little forgiveness to the fit. The entire helmet needs to be replaced after a serious impact or if any of the EPP foam forms a crack, compromising the shell.

VN is a softer foam. It can take repeated impacts and will spring back to shape. Can be compressed and flexed to give the helmet a lot more forgiveness for fit. It can absorb water and get smelly over time, older foams can get hard and lose their protective properties without much warning (there won't be cracks or anything. Also hardens in the cold, so if you keep your equipment out for the winter make sure to warm the bucket to room temperature before playing.

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EPP (expanded polypropylene) is the hard padding used in most bicycle and ski helmets it is utilized as it has a characteristic where it will crush under a heavy impact (think crumple zones in cars) it is not very resiliant however, meaning if you take a hard hit to it the helmet will need to be replaced. It is often considered less comfortable and will always have some sort of comfort padding associated with it to actually fit next to the head. It is viewed by most experts as providing better protection against very hard direct impacts that have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries.

VN (vinyl nitrile) is a softer type of padding that is considered more comfortable by many players. It will not necessarily need to be replaced should you take a big hit but is seen by some to provide better protection for slightly lesser impact hits. I do not believe that there have been any verifiable studies as to the true injury protection comparison however. The one thing about VN helmets is the foam tends to absorb mor sweat than a typical EPP helmet and some are considered hotter or provide poorer air flow.

In the end it typically comes down to personal preference.

Damn Rustspot was quicker on the trigger.

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If you do the work, majority of e-tailers offer the type of foam in the product descriptions (IE: IceWarehouse.com) and even offer multiple pics of the helmet's interior.

The emphasis on the "if".

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i just bought a new helemt. i tried on a bunch with both kinds of foam. i went with the bauer 5500. it is epp with comfort pads. one of the reasons i went with that helmet is because i was used to the fit since i had a 5000 and they did upgrade the pads which made it very comfy. the vn helmets did not fit as well and always seemed to ride up.

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The one thing I've never understood about the advantages of EPP is; being that it can be potentially cracked(therefore losing it's effectiveness) from a compression of the shell/foam or possibly an extreme temperature change(I've hear it can but havent seen evidence so that's a semi-mute point), if it can loose it's effectiveness that easily, how can it be more protective? Wouldn't it be more dangerous to wear if a hit that would allow you to continue in the game can damage the helmet?

I think it's simple physics that the breaking of the foam is good for taking away the energy from your head and sending it to the foam... but that is good for a SINGLE hit. What about a check where your head hits off the boards/shoulder(breaks the foam) then your head hits the ice as you fall?

I think the variables here are just too vast to be able to outright say one is better than the other for safety. Therefore it's left to what just about every other piece of equipment comes down to, personal preference.

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Good points TBLfan. Do you buy to protect from the one big hit or lots of little ones?

A pro may go for comfort and use the VN - as many do. After all they get as many lids as they want so when the VN stinks too much it's on to the next one. I have seen a few players like Matt Cullen who have had concussion issue go with a EPP lid. ( Easton in his case).

The question is at what level of impact does EPP go bye -bye. I have a CCM with EPP and it's had its share of impacts. I don't see any structural deformities. While I think you can never be too careful with the head, does the beer league player ever need to worry about which one will protect? And since we don't get free helmets wouldn't it make sense to buy one that will resist stinking longer, assuming you find one that is comfy? Maybe at a recreational level comfort and finances decide which type to get.

signed bored at work on the day after Thanksgiving

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Most bike helmets use EPS (expanded polystyrene), not EPP. EPP is a multi-impact foam; EPS is not.

EPP is pretty resilient. It's not a one and done thing like you guys are making it out to be. Obviously, it needs to be replaced if there is a crack or some other major deformation, but it takes a lot to do that.

Speaking from experience, I had a guy pull my legs out from underneath me from behind in a race for the puck, probably no more than 30 feet from the endboards. I ended up going in head first in an Intake. I completely gutted the helmet to inspect the shell after the impact, and it was undamaged. Now maybe I wasn't going all that fast, but my neck sure told me otherwise.

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If you do the work, majority of e-tailers offer the type of foam in the product descriptions (IE: IceWarehouse.com) and even offer multiple pics of the helmet's interior.

The emphasis on the "if".

Would the e-tailer tell me the difference of the foams? You know, "if" I choose to do the work.

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Most bike helmets use EPS (expanded polystyrene), not EPP. EPP is a multi-impact foam; EPS is not.

EPP is pretty resilient. It's not a one and done thing like you guys are making it out to be. Obviously, it needs to be replaced if there is a crack or some other major deformation, but it takes a lot to do that.

Bingo. Big difference between the two.

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It still fractures under heavy impact, we've already had that discussion... EPP is in high end bike helmets.

We don't know when it fractures and if the fractures are even able to be seen, they could be internal and cells can be damaged which would weaken the helmet.

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If you do the work, majority of e-tailers offer the type of foam in the product descriptions (IE: IceWarehouse.com) and even offer multiple pics of the helmet's interior.

The emphasis on the "if".

Would the e-tailer tell me the difference of the foams? You know, "if" I choose to do the work.

Your initial post really didn't specify that you were looking for feedback and benefits of the various types of foam. Are you inquiring in terms of comfort, or protection?

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We've had long discussions about the EPP or VN liners and the verdict is still out about the advantages and negative characteristics of both. As already stated it is more of a personal preference issue with a lot of players because both types are sanctioned by the safety standards companies in North America and Europe. ( CSA, HEPP and CE ) The main point is both offer adequate protection for the game so it's up to you to decide what you prefer.

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From reading through threads here I've gathered that there's two kinds of foam in helmets, VN and EPP, though there seems to be some controversy as to which is better. EPP seems to be in the higher-end helmets, for example the NBH 9500, but lots of pros still use VN foam. One helmet that has VN is the NBH 4500.

next year the 9500 will be avaible with vn padding as the 5100. i've trid one on and loved it very light and comfortable

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i know this may not be the best place to ask, but without starting a whole new topic, is there anywhere to buy new VN foam (the beige stuff)? yes, i know a certified helmet would not be certified if you took the epp out and put VN in.

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