Football Helmet Padding to be improved with materials developed at HRL Laboratories

MALIBU, Calif., November 13, 2014 – A team of researchers from UCLA and Architected Materials, Inc. was named a winner of the Under Armour, National Football League, General Electric Head Health Challenge II. The winning technology utilizes the Architected Lattice, a breathable, energy-absorbing material originally developed at HRL and licensed by Architected Materials. The technology looks to revolutionize helmet padding.

This material can be manufactured rapidly and tailored for specific loading conditions, which means it can be designed to help protect against impact on the football field, or as a structural component for making vehicles lighter and more efficient.

The award comes with a grant of $500,000 for UCLA and Architected Materials to continue their work on developing the next generation helmet pad, along with the opportunity to receive an additional $1,000,000 in the next phase. HRL congratulates the team for being one of seven teams selected out of over 450 proposals.

The technology underpinning the Architected Lattice material was originally developed at HRL in 2006 by Dr. Alan Jacobsen, HRL senior scientist and co-founder of Architected Materials. Since then, HRL has continued developing this technology for soldier protection systems and other automotive and aerospace applications. In 2011, the metallic microlattice set the record as the world’s lightest metallic material and the HRL team, along with researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine published their results in Science.

“One of the key innovations with our Architected Lattice technology is that it can be manufactured quickly and cost-effectively, which differentiates our technology from traditional 3-D printing techniques,” said Dr. Jacobsen. Instead of a layer-by-layer method that is characteristic of 3-D printing, the Architected Lattice is formed in a single step by illuminating a 2-D mask from multiple directions. This allows the entire structure to be made in less than 60 seconds.


HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

Architected Materials, Inc. Ventura, California ( is an advanced materials manufacturing company focused on enhancing high-performance products using their patented and innovative technology, Architected Lattice.

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