Impact-absorbing Materials in Reducing Brain Vibration Caused by Ball-to-head Impact in Soccer

Zahari, Taha and Mohd Hasnun Ariff, Hassan and Hasanuddin, Iskandar and Mohd Azri, Aris and Anwar, P. P. A. Majeed (2014) Impact-absorbing Materials in Reducing Brain Vibration Caused by Ball-to-head Impact in Soccer. Procedia Engineering: The Engineering of Sport 10, 72. pp. 515-520. ISSN 1877-7058. (Published)

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (767kB)


There has been a long debate among researchers on whether soccer heading is capable of causing brain trauma. A recent study suggests that headings exceeding a threshold level of 855 to 1,550 per year, results in microstructural abnormalities in the brain's white matter. This shows that brain trauma is caused by cumulative effect of repetitive headings. The use of protective headgear is one of the suggested preventive measures to protect the brain especially for younger players. Researchers have tested several commercial headgears and found that they are only effective in head-to-head impact, but ineffective in attenuating impact caused by heading. This is due to the fact that soccer ball is compliant in nature relative to the head. The aim of this study is to investigate materials that can be utilised to minimise the acceleration of the brain caused by soccer heading. A vertical drop ball test was conducted on an instrumented dummy skull. The inner cavity of the skull is filled with ultrasound gel that represents the brain. Six impact-absorbing materials were tested to determine the most effective material that reduces the acceleration of the brain substitute. The speed of the ball before and after impact as well as impact duration were measured using high-speed camera. Coefficient of restitution was calculated to ensure the material is not only capable of reducing the brain acceleration, but also maintains heading performance. It was found that polymer kneepad foam is the most effective material that minimises the acceleration of brain substitute whilst maintaining the speed of the ball after impact.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Presented at Engineering of Sport10 conference, Sheffield Hallam University, 14-17 July 2014.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering
Depositing User: Noorul Farina Arifin
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 08:09
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 08:22
Download Statistic: View Download Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item