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The Sassy Hats Project


The Sassy Hats Project is a NESTA supported feasibility study which enables us to work with a professional clothing designer to create prototypes for a new generation of soft, stylish protective headwear. We envisage these hats being used for medium risk activities such as winter hill walking, recreational skiing and energetic child play.


Protecting young brains
The occasional broken limb is a price worth paying for the awareness of risk learned in adventure child play. But head injuries are different; they can result in lifelong brain injury.

Traditional "woolly hat "design

Kids don't have to look different because they are wearing protective headwear.





Engineering features that make SALi based head protection unique

This photograph shows the type of SALi padding used in the prototype hats. The capsules are expanded polystyrene beads in a thick viscous fluid.. The beads can be quite stiff, similar to the foam used in hard shelled helmets, but the fit is far more comfortable, because the pads mould to the shape of the wearers head.
Weight reduction: We can mix the liquid with polymeric microspheres, to reduce the liquid weight.
Cool heads for active sports:  phase change waxes that soften just below body temperature can be used as the matrix fluid. Further softening and eventual melting will occur as the wax absorbs body heat during vigorous activity.

Could Sassy hats offer a comfortable alternative, to conventional, rigid cycling helmets?

The risk of brain damage to cyclists involved in traffic accidents is high. The risk is reduced, but not eliminated by wearing a helmet. Sassy Hats may be superior to conventional hard helmets for some types of accidents, but research must be done, to verify this.

The logjam preventing development: We are waiting for the PedSALi and CrashSALi projects to deliver research results on the impact energy absorbing performance of different SALi filled bag designs, before applying for further research funding, to look at the potential benefits of Sassy Hat type cycling helmets.

If you have a professional interest in this project please contact us.

 Other SALi pages: CrashSALiPedSALi