Design Improvement on Thermal and Aerodynamic Performance of a Bicycle Helmet

Nowadays, cycling has become a popular sport which can be professional or recreational purpose, the cycling sport is even most popular sport for kids nowadays. However, cycling is reported as a third most risky mode of transportation, leading in accidents including head injuries. At the same time, the bicycle sport has the most serious among accidents and the most head injury sports among kids ages below 14. The main reason of the public unwilling to wear a helmet is because of the irritation of thermal discomfort and even the rider performance affect by the aerodynamics drag of the helmet. The initial step of this research is to select an off the shelf kid helmet design and it is labelled as base design. The based design will be scaled down to 0.725% so that it can be fitted inside a wind tunnel. The parameters measured from the wind tunnel test are 3-axes aerodynamic forces, moments and pressure difference. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation model will be developed to replicate the wind tunnel test and the results will be validated with the measured data. CFD visualization plots for example temperature contour, pressure contour and streamline will be used to identify the areas around the based helmet that can be improved. The base design improvement will be carried out by using SolidWorks. The validated CFD simulation model will be used to analyze the improved helmet design. The iteration process will be conducted between the design and simulation steps until the desired result is achieved 30% of improvement. The expected outcome for this project is to beneficial for the rider in terms of thermal comfort and aerodynamics performance of the rider. Moreover, it will increase the rate of willingness of public to wear a helmet which eventually can reduce the potential of serious injuries and death during accident.