Since its inception in 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation has independently tested the manufacturer's helmets. Its first helmet protection standard was issued for motor racing in 1959. Subsequently, motorcycles, equestrian sports, bicycles, roller skates and skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing, and other specific helmet standards for karting were also released. These standards relate to performance, not to specific materials or designs, and the Foundation regularly uses them. Specially designed test equipment to upgrade the specifications of its helmet performance characteristics to keep up with advances in materials, helmet technology and design.
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ATIC will support manufacture to understand the SNELL standards and procedures. Manufacture submits a number of helmet samples to the Foundation for testing, any failure on any sample is a cause for rejection.
Random Sample Test (RST)
The Foundation acquires helmet test samples directly from stocks of helmets that are meant for sale or distribution to the general public, or specific groups of users, usually from retail or distribution sources. The number of samples we will buy is based on the quantity of Snell certified helmets the manufacturer has produced. At Snell laboratory technicians inspect and test each sample to check that the helmets used by the public continue to meet the Snell Foundation's high standards.
RST Follow-up (RSTR)
If it is found that RST helmets fail to meet the testing criteria, three more samples are obtained and tested to confirm the findings of the failed RST test. If any of these three follow-up tests results in failure, the Foundation first demands that the manufacturer discontinue production of these helmets as Snell certified products.
Once a helmet model is certified, the manufacturer cannot make any design change. Any structural modification automatically invalidates existing certification, because it could affect the performance quality of the helmet. Snell keeps a helmet archive of every certified helmet model for future inspection and verification.
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Before a helmet can be Snell-certified, it is tested in Snell's state-of-the-art test facility. Snell technicians conduct a variety of tests to determine the helmet's performance and ability to stay on the head in different environmental conditions - ambient, wet, heat, cold. Depending on the application and the standard, each helmet must pass all or some of the following tests.
Positional Stability (Roll-Off) Test
Dynamic Retention Test
Chin Bar Rigidity Test
Shell Penetration Test
Faceshield Penetration Test
Flame Resistance Test
Frontal Head Restraint Test
Chin Bar Impact Test