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April 13,2007

The Quarterly Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

This is the forty-fifth edition of the Foundation's quarterly newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry.                            pdf  version 

In This Issue

  1. Annual Snell Certified Manufacturers Meeting
  2. Interlab Comparison Testing Snell
  3. Snell/FIA Children's Helmet Standard Update
  4. FIA 8860 and 8858 Helmet Testing Capabilities
  5. Snell M2010 Draft Helmet Standard
Comments and Suggestions

Who to Contact at Snell


 Annual Snell Manufacturers Meeting

The Foundation hosted its annual manufacturer’s meeting on February 16, 2006 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. More than 30 Snell certified manufacturers’ representatives attended the meeting. Dr. Harold A. Fenner, President of Snell, opened the meeting and announced that the Snell/FIA CM2007 standard was finalized. Dr. Daniel J. Thomas highlighted the major changes intended for the next Snell motorcycle helmet standard in 2010 and briefly updated on Snell/ FIA collaboration in super helmet testing and the new Snell/FIA CM2007 standard for children’s motor sport activities. Mr. Ed Becker gave a PowerPoint presentation on the technical details of the Draft Snell M2010 standard and the new Snell/FIA CM 2007 standard. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this Powerpoint presentation, please contact Ed Becker at

Snell Interlab Testing Comparison

These days, many laboratories are equipped to perform Snell type testing. Some Snell certified manufacturers have set up Snell type test equipment in order to evaluate     production     while others can turn to commercial labs offering Snell type testing services. This is a positive development, no one should have to cross an ocean to develop a new helmet or to perform adequate quality control on a helmet in production. However, if all this testing capability is to be of real use, the test results must be comparable. A helmet manufacturer or developer needs to know that the test results he obtains locally will compare well with the results we get here at Snell.

There are two reasons this could fail: the local facility might have a problem or, much worse, there could be a problem here at the Snell lab. In order to help commercial and in-house labs evaluate their Snell test capabilities and to establish reasonable confidence in our own capabilities, we propose to organize a series of round robin tests. At first, we intend to look at impact testing and face shield penetration but, in the future, we hope to cover all the tests in the Snell Standards.

We are preparing a more detailed announcement to be circulated to all the Snell certified manufacturers and to anyone else who is interested. If you would like to receive a copy of the announcement and an invitation to participate, please contact Ed Becker.

Snell/FIA Children’s Helmet Standard Effort Update

FIA, the Fédération Internationale de l’ Automobile, and the Snell Memorial Foundation have issued a joint Snell/FIA standard for children’s motor sports helmets, the Snell/FIA CM2007 standard. A copy of the standard and a copy of the news release regarding this new standard are posted on the Snell web site.

Certification for the CM2007 is similar to current Snell certification programs and will include an RST enforcement component. For certification testing, it is expected that manufacturers will be able to submit helmets to certain test labs in Europe or to the Snell laboratory in California but all test results will be reviewed at the Snell office in California before certification is awarded. Certification labels will be available from the Snell office. The projected label fee is expected to be $2.00. $1.00 of which will go to Snell and the other to FIA.

Go to CM2007 

FIA 8850 and 8868 Helmet Testing Update

The Foundation has made a lot of progress toward FIA 8860 and FIA 8858 capability. These FIA standards apply to Formula 1 helmets and to HANS® tether hardware. The Snell lab expects to receive FIA authorization to test to these standards in the summer of 2007.

The new test capabilities include two ECE 22-05 tests: the point “S” test for chin bar impact and the “method B” test for surface friction and projections. Other tests include the Barcol® hardness test, a dynamic crush test for the helmet shell and a tension test for the HANS® tether mounts. The lab has acquired all the necessary hardware and is busy formulating procedures for its use.

 Snell M2010 Draft Helmet Standard

The draft M2010 Standard has been posted on the Snell web site. We are proposing some big changes for the impact testing. These include adopting the ECE head form mass specifications, adding a new “C” size head form with a circumference of 52 cm, and changing the impact velocities for the second impacts to reflect the differing demands the new head form mass specifications will place on current helmet materials and technology. Although an SA2010 draft has not yet been posted, we expect the same changes for that standard as well.

We urge all Snell certified manufacturers to take a hard look at the draft and at the impact demands. Done right, these next Snell Standards may allow a single helmet configuration to meet Snell and European requirements. Done wrong and we will have absolute chaos. Please help us get this right the first time.

Go to Draft M2010 Standard

Your Comments and Suggestions

If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints about any aspect of the Snell programs or services, please contact Ed Becker


Who to Contact at Snell

Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 1-888-SNELL99 (1-888-763-5599) or 916-331-5073
Fax: 916-331-0359

Editor: Hong Zhang, Director of Education

WebEditor:  Steve Johnson

copyright 2007, Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. - HeadsUp Issue 45