The parameters of an innovative padding concept were investigated using Finite Element Analyses (FEA) and physical testing. The concept relies on a compliant corrugation embedded in an elastic foam to provide stiffness for force distribution and elastic deformation for energy absorption. The shape of the corrugation cross section was explored as well as the wavelength and amplitude by employing a full factorial design of experiments. FEA results were used to choose designs for prototyping and physical testing. The results of the physical tests were consistent with the FEA predictions although the FEA tended to underestimate the peak pressure compared to the physical tests. A performance metric is proposed to compare different padding configurations. The concept shows promise for sports padding applications. It may allow for designs which are smaller, more lightweight, and move better with an athlete than current technologies yet still provide the necessary protective functions.

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