Demand for Diaphorm Technologies LLC's lighter, stronger, reinforced-composite combat helmets is forcing the company to double its production.
The Salem, N.H., company uses a proprietary quick-cycle molding process to produce a continuous fiber-reinforced composite helmet that it claims weighs up to 10 percent less than the Advanced Combat Helmets now used. Diaphorm has been averaging 100 units a day, but is planning to increase that number to 200 units per day by May.
``The new ACH helmet is just going into production - we had been doing a police helmet,'' Diaphorm President Bob Miller said in a recent telephone interview. ``Demand has been so strong that it tapped out our current capacity,'' he said.
He did not want to reveal details of the process, but noted that the company will be adding about five workers. It currently has 21 employees in Salem and 37 overall.
Miller said the new helmet exceeds ACH specifications for impact and greatly reduces shock transference to the wearer. It is marketed through Diaphorm's subsidiary, Max Pro-Police & Armor.
In standardized ACH tests, the company said, the helmet transferred one-third less impact to the dummy head than other helmets tested.
The company has been making a police helmet that is being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 10,000 of the earliest helmets have been used by U.S., Iraqi and Afghanistan security services. The new helmet is made with the same proprietary molding process and is of similar construction.
The firm plans to expand production quickly, Miller said, and will produce both helmets.
Diaphorm uses the same basic process to produce automotive and recreational parts. Some of the products that it makes include engine manifolds, solenoid caps, industrial caps and kayak structural beams.