– A helmet is cool for the same reasons that a car is cool. It’s a beautiful thing that has a job. When F1 drivers unveil their helmet, it’s almost as big as when
they unveil their car. It’s as iconic as a leather jacket. Technically they’re both safety equipment. But they look badass. Darth Vader in a helmet, is the most iconic, scariest villain in cinematic history. But then you take it off, and he looks like your
toe after a long bath. (gags) As cool as they are, helmets exist to keep
our heads from exploding when they hit things. (hip hop music) Pop! This is cars down to the atom. Science! The first helmets were leather, and they were more about
keeping your head warm, and protecting your ears from noise, which I guess is better than nothing. But in 1956 Pete Snell
died in a racing accident. His buddy, George Snively Jr. was like, – “Dang, I miss Pete. I just wish there was something he could have put on his head that was harder than my jacket,
my couch, or my shoes.” – Snively incorporated the
Snell Memorial Foundation in 1958 and published the
first Snell Safety Standards for Protective Headgear. They smack them on machines. They hit ’em on anvils. And they burn them with torches like a Frankenstein monster. (monster screams) So this one claims that
it meets Department of Transportation standards. Technically it’s illegal
to put DOT on helmet unless it meets their standards but, as far as we can find it’s kind of like an honor code. Snell on a helmet, that’s the Snell Foundation, telling you they tested this helmet and it meets their standards. A Snell approved helmet is
tested by the Snell Foundation. I guarantee it. – So Bart, how does a helmet work? – Pretty well James, pretty well. Now you may have heard someone
say a helmet absorbs impact. Physics tells us that energy
can’t be destroyed or created. So in the helmet biz, they say managed. The helmet has to take the
energy of an impact and manage it by spreading it out, so it doesn’t hurt you. The energy of the impact has
to be distributed through a number of layers of different materials, so that it doesn’t get distributed into your skull. The better the materials are, the better the energy management is. The hard stuff manages the impact, the soft stuff cushions your head. Armadillo…arma-pillow. – Ha! – Alright, let’s do some “science stuff”. This is my friend Brian. He’s going through a divorce
and just bought a motorcycle and decided to cheap out and
get a discount helmet online. Brian’s like “Hey, I got this
bike, I need to get a helmet. 40 bucks, I’m legal.” Colin spent 400 bucks and
got a medium grade helmet. Alright, bear with me, I
haven’t done this in a while. This is a shock pad. It’s designed to burst when
it experiences 75 Gs of force. Government scientists say
that is you experience 75 Gs of force, you’re gonna be severely injured. Or dead. Here goes Brian in the 40 dollar helmet. Good luck Brian. (helmet thuds) And now Colin in the
more expensive helmet. Good luck Colin. (helmet thuds) Let’s see how my buddy Brian
did in his 40 dollar helmet. Oh Jesus Brian, (slurp) you feeling OK, huh? How are you…oh Brian. You’ve experience over 75 Gs. I don’t know how to tell you this buddy, no, you’ll be fine, don’t worry. We’ll get you some help. He cracked his melon. Alright now let’s see how Colin did. Hey buddy, you hear about Brian? He didn’t make it. Colin’s fine! And look at this guys, the shock watch didn’t burst. That means this helmet kept
it under 75 Gs on his head. That means Colin’s not severely injured. That’s pretty cool. I mean, this is a melon. Both helmets look the same on the outside, so the answer must be on the inside. – You good? – So let’s find out what’s on the inside! (saw motor whirring) Something smells bad,
like stuff was melting. That’s not good. Let’s crack her open. What in the… It’s just one solid piece. It’s got a weird lining,
it’s got packing tape. And now, the more expensive helmet. (saw motor whirring) Whoo! Look! This is Princess Leia’s
helmet when she was on Endor. (motorcycle noises) Dude, that’s totally how that happened. It’s pretty obvious that
the more expensive helmet is better in this case. This shell is thin and
is just made of plastic. It even melted under the grinder. Where the Snell helmet has
a proprietary thick liner, this inexpensive helmet has a
foam that’s much less dense, and I couldn’t tell you what it’s made of. I can tell you that it also
melted under the grinder. If you’re in a car accident, you don’t want stuff melting to your head. If you look at the most
expensive Snell certified helmet, it’s really easy to see
why it was so effective. First, the diamond blade
made a nice clean cut. Nothing in here melted,
and that’s a good sign. This shell is a thick,
layered fiberglass composite with a fire retardant
resin and enamel coating. And beneath that is this
two tiered, bead all liner. These things together are
what saved Colin’s melon. The visor is a three millimeter
thick piece of Kevlar. That’s the stuff in bullet proof windows. Helmets started as
glorified winter racing hats made out of cows butt skin. But over the years
they’ve evolved into these well thought out, high tech life savers. You can see the difference
between a more expensive, certified helmet and a budget helmet. So wear a good helmet like a good car boy. Thanks for watching Science Garage! I had a great, great time
cutting these helmets open. This was one of your ideas, so thanks. Give me more ideas about stuff
you think I should cut open, or blow up, or I don’t know, drink. Follow Donut on Instagram
at Donut dot Media. If you’re thinking about
getting into racing check out Tony’s video on the best tuner cars under 10 grand. You wanna know more about helmets? Check out this video we did on the evolution of racing helmets. Hit that like button. Hit that subscribe button. Check back every Wednesday
to learn more science. Don’t tell my wife I did this. Bye guys!