Helmets Made with Mycelium Fungus and Hemp
Summary: Researchers have developed helmets made with hemp fiber and mycelium fungus. If the result
can be developed into a commercial product it would mark a big advance in making helmets with sustainable materials.
Researchers at the MOMLab in the Netherlands
have been working
with Italy's Politecnico di Milano experimenting with bio-manufacturing based on mycelium. Mycelium is the root network
of a fungus that feeds on hemp flakes. Briefly heating this mixture stops the growth process, resulting in a material
with properties similar to EPS, the foam liner in many bicycle helmets. This liner is paired with a woven hemp shell and
hemp retention straps, then allowed to continue growing together until all the parts are mated.
There is no mention of the buckle or triglide strap connectors, almost always plastic on conventional helmets.
MOM website photo
If an actual production helmet can eventually be made this way it would advance the sustainability of the helmet industry
and bring us closer to a circular business practices concept.