Tag Archives: Deakin UNiversity

New motorcycle clothing standard (Pt 1)

Part 1 – The new European Standard EN17092.

Over the past seven years, Europe has developed a new clothing protection standard (EN17092).

We have asked Dr Chris Hurren to explain the new European standard and what it means for Aussie riders.

Dr Hurren is a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory works on protective motorcycle clothing. He worked with Dr de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime.

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

This is the first in a four-part series explaining the new standard and what you will see in store.

New standard

Increasing numbers of motorcycle garments are appearing in our stores labelled as being certified to a new standard – EN17092 or sometimes to Directive 89/686/EEC.

Australian and New Zealand riders are likely to see a lot more gear with this labelling on it. What is going on? How can riders interpret the five-level classification system of this new standard?

Many riders would be aware of the European standards for motorcycle protective clothing, including EN13595 for motorcycle jackets and pants.

Although in force for almost 20 years, until recently few manufacturers were submitting their garments for CE certification because the standards were not enforced in Europe.

That situation changed in April 2019 when the European Commission made it mandatory for all motorcycle clothing sold in Europe to be independently tested for CE certification.

In response to industry pressure, a new standard for motorcycle jackets and pants was developed (EN17092 1:2020) which allows for a wider range of protective performance than those of the original standard EN13595.

The two standards will operate in parallel until 2023, but many manufacturers are already choosing to work to the new standard.

There is much debate amongst manufacturers that the original European Standard EN13595 was set too high.

It was developed back in the days when leather was king and street clothing had not even been thought of. Most companies did not produce clothing that complied with it because it was not easy to achieve.

Now we appear to have the opposite with a standard that is set quite low with most products already in the market passing it.

A low standard will see everything certified but is this an advantage or disadvantage to riders?

Click here for the next article which explains the different levels of the standard.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New motorcycle clothing standard (Pt 2)

Part 2 – The new levels of the standard.

Over the past seven years, Europe has developed a new clothing protection standard (EN17092).

We have asked Dr Chris Hurren to explain the new European standard and what it means for Aussie riders.

Dr Hurren is a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory works on protective motorcycle clothing. He worked with Dr de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime.

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

Clothing standard: Levels

This is the second in a four-part series explaining the new levels. Click here for part 1.

The new standard EN17092 specifies the testing protocols for the required protection levels for five classes of garment.

  • AAA – Heavy duty protective garments
  • AA – Medium duty protective garments
  • A – Light duty protective garments
  • B – Light-duty abrasion protection garments (no armour)
  • C – Impact protector ensemble garments

Class AAA garments are designed to be most protective with the highest requirements for impact abrasion, tear and seam strength. Class AA have a lesser requirement for abrasion, tear and seam strength. Class A has the lowest requirements for protection with abrasion measurement only being required for the zone 1 and 2 areas. The Class B garments have the same requirements as Class A but do not have to be fitted with armour. Class C garments are armour-only garments such as off-road protection vests or knee braces. Class AA and AAA must be fitted with armour in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Class A garments also must have armour in the shoulders, elbows and knees however the fitting of hip armour is optional. If the armour is not in the garments hanging in the store ask the salesperson for them as they are meant to be there.

EN17092 covers the same range of factors as those in EN13595, including impact abrasion resistance, seam tensile strength, fabric tear strength, impact energy absorption of armour, restraint system effectiveness and the positioning of protective components. It also outlines that the garment should be tested for materials innocuous to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals present and no running dyes. Tear strength, ergonomics, restraint and armour testing are the same as were in the previous standard EN13595 whereas impact abrasion resistance, seam strength and risk zones are now measured and defined in a new way. Each of the new methods are detailed in the three other parts of this series.

As you read the last two parts you may ask yourself is this standard set high enough? The biggest concern with a low standard is that manufacturers will build to it. An example of this would be why put a para-aramid layer into protective denim pants when the right denim by itself will achieve the “Class A or AA” rating. It costs less to manufacture and while it is not the highest rating it is still achieving certification. It is evident from the changing quality of garments in Australian and New Zealand stores, that a number of manufacturers are already doing this and it is not just limited to denim. Unfortunately change in this space is slow with riders replacing their gear infrequently so it will take a number of years before any reduction in protection would show as increased injury numbers.

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched target canstar choose textile pants covert secretiveMotocap ratings

The best step forward for riders is to be careful in what you buy. Use common sense, advice from other riders and tools such as MotoCAP to help you make the right choice. Remember if the product feels too thin or seems too good to be true then it is probably not protective. Be especially wary of “Class A” rated garments. As riders, we can show manufacturers that products with reduced safety levels are not acceptable by not buying them. This movement has already been seen in the UK where riders are avoiding the thin single-layer denim jeans because they just don’t feel safe in them.

The next article looks at the differences in impact abrasion resistance measurement.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New motorcycle clothing standard (Pt 3)

Part 3 – Impact abrasion resistance.

Over the past seven years, Europe has developed a new clothing protection standard (EN17092).

We have asked Dr Chris Hurren to explain the new European standard and what it means for Aussie riders.

Dr Hurren is a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory works on protective motorcycle clothing. He worked with Dr de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime.

Dr Chris Hurren explains use of one of the uni’s testing machines ratingsDr Hurren with a clothing testing machine

This is the third in a four-part series explaining the new method of impact abrasion resistance measurement. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

Clothing standard: Abrasion resistance

The biggest difference in EN17092 is that it utilises the Advanced Abrasion Resistance Tester (AART) more commonly known as the Darmstadt method for evaluating the impact abrasion resistance of garment materials at specified riding speeds.

This test machine was developed 30 years ago at Technische Universitat Darmstadt. A short video was created by the university to show the test:

The test is a rotary system with three arms spinning around a drive shaft above a 900mm diameter concrete test surface. Material samples are attached to test heads at the end of each arm which are spun up to the test speed at 10mm above the test surface.

On reaching test speed, the drive shaft disconnects allowing the spinning arms and fabric samples to drop spinning freely in contact with the abrasive surface until they stop.

The test is given a pass at the given test speed if there are no holes formed in any of the three samples. A hole is deemed a hole if it is greater than 5mm in diameter. Test starting speeds are 120, 75, 70, 45 and 25km/h.

Darmstadt clothing standardOriginal Darmstadt test machine (Image: SKL – automotive engineering)

As this test starts at a high speed and slows to a stop over the duration of the test it may appear to riders to be more realistic than the Cambridge impact abrasion method (CAM), which is carried out at a constant speed. Unfortunately there is very little information available on the test machine or method especially in relation to validating the performance of the test against crash damage to clothing in real world crashes. The test surface used is concrete and is not designed to be periodically replaced, which suggests the surface may lose it abrasiveness over time. The surface is also prepared to resemble asphalt which is predominately used in urban environments. The question must be raised as to how representative is it of the chip seal roads that make up the majority of Australia’s rural and other higher speed road network.

While the use of specific test speeds in the AART is intuitively appealing, there are valid questions as to whether it does test for all riding environments. Research needs to show that the AART test covers all riding and is not just aimed at low speed urban riders. There are many questions yet unanswered. Is the test surface abrasive enough? Will the test surface clog during testing? Does it polish and become less aggressive over time? How do the test results relate to actual road injury? These really need to be answered about the test method to give riders confidence in its results.

At Deakin we have made simple comparisons between the CAM and AART tests with a piece of 12oz denim similar to that found in a pair of Levis 501 jeans. Samples were sent and tested on two AART machines in Europe. On both AART machines the denim passed the 75km/h test speed. On the CAM it achieved 0.6 seconds equating to approximately 5 metres of slide distance. This would mean that if the other parameters such as seam strength and tear were adequate a pair of the same jeans with armour in the knees and hips could meet “Class AA“ certification. While this might be enough protection for a scooter rider in a 20km/h crash how would it fair in a crash on any of our iconic riding roads?

The last part of this series will look at seam strength testing and changes to the risk zone template.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New motorcycle clothing standard (Pt 4)

Part 4 – Seam strength and risk zones.

Over the past seven years, Europe has developed a new clothing protection standard (EN17092).

We have asked Dr Chris Hurren to explain the new European standard and what it means for Aussie riders.

Dr Hurren is a research scientist at Deakin University in Geelong where he and his laboratory works on protective motorcycle clothing. He worked with Dr de Rome and others to produce the protocol that is used by MotoCAP for their testing regime.

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris HurrenDr Chris Hurren

This is the final in a four-part series explaining the new method for seam strength and new template for risk zones. Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Clothing standard: Seam strength

Seam strength of jackets and pants under EN17902 is tested using the same method as used for gloves in the European Standards for motorcycle gloves – EN13594. The test involves pulling a seam apart using a tensile testing machine and measuring the force it takes for the break to occur. The failure mechanism of this test is slightly different to that of the hydraulic burst method used in EN13595 for jackets and pants, so manufacturers have had to change some seam styles to achieve a pass. Significant comparison testing done with other published garment research has shown that there is a reasonable relationship between the two tests and that the newly set pass criteria appears to be fit for purpose. The introduction of EN 17092 should see improved seams appearing in garments getting Class AAA ratings as these seam strengths are relatively high. As the majority of motorcycle clothing on the market has previously not been certified for seam strength achieving this standard should see an improvement in seams.

The other big change introduced into EN17092 is the modification of the injury risk zones from the well know four zone system developed by Dr Woods into a new three zone system.

Zone 1 is defined as an area of high risk of damage such as to impact, abrasion and tearing (figure 1 a). This is still the location of impact protectors and higher performing protective materials. Zone 2 is defined as an area of moderate risk of damage to abrasion and tearing (figure 1b). Zone 3 is classed as an area of low risk to damage such as tearing.

It is unclear why the standard has downgraded the higher risk to abrasion areas of the buttocks, sides of the leg and parts of the arm. This appears to be contrary to scientific consensus validated by research both in Australia and abroad that show these areas to be of a high risk. An example of this is the Class AAA garment requirements for abrasion. The very small zone 1 area must meet the 120km/h AART test speed whereas the bulk of the body that is identified as zone 2 must achieve 75km/h. This is similar with the Class AA garment where the Zone 1 area must meet 70km/h and the Zone 2 area 45km/h. Considering that a piece of denim can achieve 75km/h this means that the minimum abrasion protection levels of the bulk of the Class AAA garment is relatively low and the Class AA even lower.


Images showing the new three Zone system (EN17092:2020)

There is also a different risk zone template for the AAA garment compared to the other garments. This increases the Zone 1 area for abrasion and tearing risk to cover some of the buttocks and crotch area. While this is an improvement in providing protection for some of the higher risk areas of the lower body it does not cover all the previously well-defined risks. It is also unclear why this injury risk is only present in the AAA garments and not in any of the other garment classes.

Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand the new standard. Enjoy your ride.

Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Multiple material layers are safer for riders

Riding gear with multiple layers usually rates higher for abrasion safety than comparative gear, according to the MotoCAP safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves.

For example, leather alone provides about four seconds of protection before failure, but backing the leather with foam, 3D mesh or a leather patch can improve resistance up to 10 seconds.

The Doc explains multiple layer protection

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

Dr Chris Hurren who works at MotoCAP’s National Association of Testing Authorities-accredited laboratory at Deakin University, explains:

The reason it works is because when a garment hits a moving surface it is partially damaged by the initial contact with the road. If there is more than one layer and the outer layer is able to withstand bursting open on initial impact. It then protects any further layers from being damaged and the result is that the combination lasts longer.

MotoCAP, which was launched in September last year, has now rated 201 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 61 pairs of gloves.

Last year MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

Dr Hurren provides a more scientific explanation for how layers of material offer better rider protection.

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched targetMotoCAP testing equipment at the Deakin Uni Geelong campus

Physics wise, the failure of protective materials is from ripping out of fibres by the macrostructure of the road. This is the same for leather and textiles as leathers are also made up of fibres.

Abrasion damage is affected most by force and area. A small force on a large area will have low abrasion, the same force on a smaller area will have increased abrasion. So considering a glove our body puts a fixed amount of force down the arm on to the ground. If we have the palm of our hand in contact with the ground then the area involved in abrasion is much larger than if we have only the side of the hand and little finger even though the force remains the same.

This is why a little finger in a glove should have a double layer of leather to better protect it than the palm where the force is spread over a larger area. 

Alpinestars GP Plus 2R glovesAlpinestars GP Plus R2 motorcycle gloves are only the second pair of gloves to be awarded a full five stars for safety by MotoCAP.

When we first hit the road the downward force is very high as we are falling from some height to hit the surface either in a low or high side crash. Of course a high-side crash will have more downward momentum than a low side. This results in large initial tearing of fibres from the surface of the outer material that leads to premature failure.

Once our downward momentum is stabilised and turned into forward momentum only the weight of our body is applying force to cause abrasion. When we have two layers the first one is damaged in the initial hit with the road and then the second layer when exposed is pristine and can withstand a longer abrasion time. It may also have sample of the previous layer present at the early stages of the second layer abrasion further helping abrasion resistance. 

Now all of this does not work if the outer material is weak or really stretchy. In both of these cases the outer layer bursts open on impact and the second layer is loaded up and stressed as well. This is why we see a number of the protective layer lined hoodies and ladies leggings performing poorly in MotoCAP. The outer layer bursts open on impact loading the protective layer up to forces it was not designed to be exposed to.

GoGo Gear Kevlar armoured leggings from BikieChicLeggings

An example of this would be a para-aramid liner gets 3 seconds abrasion time under a piece of denim but only 0.8 seconds under a hoodie fleecy fabric. Stretch causes problems because it lengthens the time and force of the initial road impact causing larger forces to be put through the outer fabric. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Lithium-ion batteries made lighter and safer

Electric motorcycles could benefit from Deakin University research which makes lithium-ion batteries smaller, lighter and less likely to burst into flame.

Research fellows at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials Research, Dr Fangfang Chen and Dr Xiaoen Wang, say their discovery means lithium-ion batteries would no longer pose a fire risk.

They have achieved this by replacing highly volatile liquid electrolytes with a solid material made from common industrial polymers. 

Lithium on fire!

While lithium batteries in Tesla and some laptops and phones have exploded in flame, the only known issues with electric motorcycles have involved overheating chargers.

The issues recently caused Harley-Davidson to temporarily suspend production of its electric LiveWire and sparked a fire which destroyed all the Energica MotoE racing bikes earlier this year(image top of page).

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways
LiveWire on a fast charger

The Deakin Uni finding has the potential to be applied to all lithium-ion batteries, including those used in electric motorcycles.

Dr Wang says almost all electric vehicles using lithium batteries are based on liquid electrolytes.

“If we use solid-state electrolytes in these applications, we will definitely make these batteries safer, with the potential to affect all applications where batteries are used, including motorcycles,” he tells us.

He says it does not specifically address the Energica and Harley charging issue.

But will it add to the cost, size and weight of batteries?

“We are at a finding stage,” Dr Wang says.

“Currently, there’s no all-solid-state battery available on the market that’s free from flammable components, and there’s still many challenges to make solid-state batteries competitive with current batteries in terms of price point.

“Our focus is developing one of the components for solid state batteries, which is the key to making them safer for everyone and hopefully a game changer in the lithium-ion battery world.

“The batteries will be lighter and smaller on the basis of the same energy. So, the same size battery that is in a phone now, using our findings, could last double the time, or alternatively, the batteries could last the same time as now – but be half the size.”

That’s a boon to electric motorcycles where size and weight is more important than in larger vehicles.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle lithium
Harley-Davidson LiveWire lithium-ion battery

How it works

The Deakin researchers have “reinvented the way polymer interacts with lithium salt, removing the normally highly flammable properties of traditional lithium batteries”, says Dr Chen.

They say they’ve used existing commercial polymer materials to create the new process, meaning the formulation could be applied commercially with little difficulty.

“All of the products that we’ve used to make this safer battery process already exist in the market,” Dr Wang says.

“Polymers have been used as battery conductors for over 50 years, but we’re the first to use existing commercial polymer in an improved way.

“We’ve done this by weakly bonding the lithium ion with polymer, creating solid polymer electrolytes. We believe this is the first clear and useful example of liquid-free and efficient transportation of lithium-ion in the scientific community.”

So far they’ve proven the process in coin cell batteries, similar to a watch battery size, with the next step being to scale up the batteries to bigger applications – such as for a mobile phone.

It may be some time before they are used in electric motorcycles and other electric vehicles.

Their research is now published by Joule.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com