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I was trying to remove the helmet padding to wash it and the two layers separated. Helmet padding split

Instead of replacing the helmet which is wastful, can anyone suggest ways (non-toxic glue?) of repairing the padding?

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  • There is a type of (usually) clear silicone based adhesive used for crafts and children's artwork. It is mostly odorless, dries in about an hour. Non water soluble once dried. It is non destructive on foam and may give good results on fabric too. I do not know a generic name for all countries, but here it is sold as "UHU universal glue" and other brands too. The little bottle I have now says "Liquid silicon".
    – Jahaziel
    Jun 21 at 14:23
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    Depending on the maker of the helmet, some sell replacement padding.
    – Carel
    Jun 21 at 15:33
  • @Carel indeed. There are also "generic" pads available. Many helmets have little patches of hook side of hook and loop (a.k.a. velcro) that make the generic pads stay in place. The ones I have used do not have the specific shape but close enough. I have also made my own replacement out of "foamy" (from the arts and crafts store). Not as comfy but lasted longer than the commercially available ones.
    – Jahaziel
    Jun 21 at 15:46
  • @Jahaziel The adhesive used for children's artwork is usually PVA glue. Could you identify the UHU product you're referring to from their products page? Some of them contain solvents which will attack plastics. Jun 21 at 19:13
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    Be also aware that glue may possibly dissolve PE foam (helmet material) quite dramatically fast.
    – Carel
    Jun 21 at 19:36
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Use a needle and some thread to sew the two layers together in a couple of spots. I'd reinforce all the other sections too like this, if the factory adhesive is prone to coming undone.

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  • Agreed - a glue tends to have thickness or texture when cured, which interferes with the padding function of the foam. Additionally some glues react badly with skin even when cured, and the moist area of one's eyeball is heavily affected by glue fumes for multiple days. Personally I'd go with a sewing machine, but only because I have one. Hand sewing is slow and results in larger stitches.
    – Criggie
    Jun 21 at 11:07
  • Another option is for OP to cut and sew a new "pillow-case" from suitable soft fabric for the existing foam, which has doubtless become thin and squashy over time.
    – Criggie
    Jun 21 at 11:09
  • That's how I fixed padding on my favorite helmet when the cloth layers started to split. Jun 22 at 10:09
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I have had some success in the past with fabric glue.

You need to choose a solvent-based, rather than water-based, glue, and try to avoid having the glue come out at the edges, as it can be rather scratchy when dried. To protect the rest of the helmet, take the pads out for repair, and don't fit them until the glue has fully dried.

It will fail again eventually, but by that time the helmet tends to be getting past its best.

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