The material used in Crash Pads was found to be the BEST for Reducing the Risk of Spinal Injury in U.S. Military testing. The Crash Pad uses a special material to slow the high-speed downward motion and provide the space for the driver's body to slow. The Shock Absorbing Material (SAM) is a high-density open cell specially designed material that evenly slows motion and distributes forces. ITS THE RIGHT STUFF! It works by expelling air from the convoluted, irregular open cell paths. The Crash Pad outer covering is a special 4-way stretch material selected to stretch with the shock absorbing material without impairing its function.
The Crash Pad shock absorbing material is categorized as self-extinguishing and the upholstery is hospital/military grade.
The Shock Absorbing Material will quickly recover to its original capability as soon as extreme forces are removed, and it’s ready to go again and again. The Shock Absorbing Material is a material that is different from foam rubber and pushes back with a constant resistance but does not spring back. Foam Rubber “springs back” and can actually ADD G-forces to an impact. See below for more info on the wrong stuff to use.
It is important to have the right stuff! The material has to react correctly in high speed impact (lasting as little as 1/10th of a second). Some materials become rigid in high speed compression, some lose resistance at high speed compression, and some spring back. Don't use the wrong stuff, just because it feels okay when you squeeze it. Like a racing shock, you can't tell what you have without the correct design and testing.
The Shock Absorbing Material used in Crash Pad has been tested in high speed bottom impact of a seated, belted, and helmeted crash test dummy and the dummy's internal spinal loads were measured. This Shock Absorbing Material was found to be BEST of all materials tested for Reducing the Risk of Spinal Injury.
Truths About "Other" Stuff
Foam Rubber can make an impact worse. It compresses with increasing spring rate and then recoils back which actually drives the spine upward into the still downward moving head. Tests have found that Foam Rubber can add 2 or more G’s to a 10 G impact, making the impact worse than having nothing at all in the seat.
GelCels may help reduce pressure points and make the seat more comfortable but they are a sealed hydraulic system that will become as rigid as the seat bottom in high speed impact. GelCels are equal to nothing at all in a crash.
Foam in Place / Expanding Foam inserts are a closed cell material designed to fill all the gaps around the driver but typically do not provide sufficient space under the driver’s butt for impact absorption. Closed cell materials cannot provide the same response as open cell materials. Some very expensive inserts are a one-time use and must be replaced after a crash.
The Crash Pad and Shock Absorbing Material is intended to reduce impact and the risk of spinal injury. Installation recommendations are provided but the ultimate responsibility for correct use, adjustments, measurements and installation rests with the purchaser and or user of the product. The product should not be used if the installation compromises the recommendations for the use of other safety components or measurements. Pad thickness may raise the driver to a height that compromises the recommended helmet to top of roll cage clearance. In this case, adjustments must be made.