Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. John DesJardins

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory Batt

Committee Member

Dr. Jason Avedesian


This research addresses the role of facemasks in helmet systems, focusing on their dynamic impact performance and material properties. A total of 150 facemasks from 30 types and five helmets were tested both quasi-statically and dynamically. The facemasks were grouped by style and helmet type for comparison. Dynamic testing involved three different locations and two speeds, with data collected for maximum angular velocity and linear acceleration. Quasi-static stiffness, performed at two locations, was compared with collected dynamic results to determine the strength of relationship. A concussion metric, HARM, was calculated from collected data and compared across style groups.

Significant differences were found between facemask styles regarding HARM; however, the overall HARM range was less than one. Differences in HARM were also found across all helmet types, impact locations, and speeds. Twenty correlations were found across stiffness, linear acceleration, and angular velocity, with only six being significant and five positive.

The study concludes that protective headgear protocols need updating to account for facemask performance differences during dynamic impacts. However, there’s no substantial relationship between facemask impact results and its quasi-static stiffness, indicating the need for further investigation into facemask-helmet stiffness optimization.

Available for download on Saturday, May 31, 2025