Rawlings S100 Baseball Helmet

Rawlings S100 Baseball Helmet

CLIENT: Rawlings


SERVICES: Design, Engineering, Prototyping

Setting the Standard
In the world of baseball, the Rawlings name is trusted, respected and has set the bar for protective gear from the beginning. As players become stronger, balls are pitched faster and hit further, their protective gear must also evolve. Without a current standard in place, Rawlings wanted to set the new helmet standard in Major League Baseball and implement a MLB batting helmet to protect against high-speed pitches up to 100mph.

Baseline Drive

Priority Designs worked with Rawlings’ design team to develop the S100 helmet. Both teams understood the internal helmet structure had a direct impact on the exterior design process. The challenge of designing a traditional helmet, maximizing protection, while maintaining a low profile, was at the forefront. Integration of design and engineering was paramount. Form followed function where protection was less crucial. The aggressive lines surrounding the helmet capture the true speed and intensity of being in the batter’s box. The ventilation holes were placed across the crown for optimal air circulation. Purposeful emphasis was placed on the composite insert that absorbs the energy in high impact areas. By revealing the internal helmet structure, it immediately communicates the method of protection to the batter. This internal housing is constructed using the Advanced Impact Management System (AIMS), comprised of Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) liner and a composite insert built into the frame that enables the retention of the protective oval shape. The combination of the EPP and Poron® XRD™ materials offer maximum protection to absorb high impact force, while a composite inset supplements durability in critical impact locations. The AIMS also includes Outlast® and Pro-Dri® foam padding technologies that work together to keep the batter cool, dry and comfortable throughout the game.

Sliding into Second

Understanding that Rawlings was in fact setting new MLB requirements for helmet protection, Priority Designs’ Engineering team built an in-house air cannon that shoots a 100mph ball to refine (and continue testing) the original S100 helmet design. Numerous materials and composites were evaluated after impact; results were analyzed, recorded and re-tested. Witnessing the immediate effects of the 100mph impact gave clarity to the material direction and enabled our engineering team to make confident decisions for refinement.

Changing the Game

MLB saw the benefits of the design and the S100 helmet is now required equipment for all Minor League Baseball players as of spring 2010. This helmet later inspired the design for the new Rawlings S100 Pro Comp helmet that is actively used among MLB professional athletes.

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