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HomeHelmet TechnologyFiberglass or Carbon Fiber: Which Material is Best for Your Helmet?

Fiberglass or Carbon Fiber: Which Material is Best for Your Helmet?


When shopping for a helmet, it's common to focus on factors like price, paint, and comfort accessories, often overlooking the critical importance of its design and materials in providing protection during accidents.


The material of the helmet shell significantly impacts its durability, weight, and most importantly, safety. That's why our airborne sports helmets are exclusively crafted from fiberglass and carbon fiber, ensuring the highest levels of protection. We avoid materials like ABS, resin, thermoplastic, or polycarbonate due to their inferior protective qualities.


Understanding the main differences between fiberglass and carbon fiber can aid in selecting the optimal helmet.




Both fiberglass and carbon fiber helmets are manufactured using a similar process, with differences lying in the chemical compositions of the materials used. Layers of fibers are gradually built up inside a mold, with each layer sealed in place by resin. The fibers in each layer run at various angles, enhancing torsional strength between layers.




Carbon fiber is notably lighter than fiberglass, a feature prized in aircraft, sports cars, and military equipment. A lighter helmet enhances pilot safety by reducing fatigue. However, helmet design often involves a trade-off between weight and strength. While a lighter helmet is easier to wear, excessive lightness may compromise its durability.




While fiberglass offers robust protection, it is comparatively more brittle than carbon fiber. Fiberglass helmets tend to disintegrate upon impact, dispersing the energy. In less complex accidents, this is sufficient for pilot safety. However, in high-impact scenarios common in air sports, fiberglass may break prematurely, exposing the wearer to further injury. Carbon fiber's superior flexibility ensures better protection in such situations, minimizing the risk of injury.


Thermal Expansion:


Carbon fiber possesses a negative coefficient of thermal expansion, meaning it expands as temperatures decrease. This quality makes carbon fiber helmets more suitable for year-round use compared to fiberglass counterparts, which are less adaptable to temperature variations.


Operating Time:


Over time, helmet shells are subjected to various external factors like temperature, UV radiation, and moisture, leading to gradual degradation of the material. Carbon fiber exhibits greater resistance to aging compared to fiberglass. NAVCOMM advises replacing fiberglass helmets every 3 to 5 years and carbon fiber helmets no later than 7 years, depending on usage intensity.




Fiberglass helmets have historically been more budget-friendly than their carbon fiber counterparts. Carbon fiber's prestige status comes with a higher price tag due to its costlier production. This aligns with market demand, with high-performance riders opting for carbon helmets for enhanced protection in high-speed crashes, while fiberglass helmets suffice for slower machines and minor spills.


Crucial Consideration:


DEKRA experts highlight the potential impact of gluing or painting helmets, as solvents in stickers and varnishes can damage the shell's surface, compromising stability. Similarly, additional holes drilled into the shell, such as those for camera brackets, can have the same destabilizing effect.

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