Two prototype pneumatic boxing gloves of different design were compared against conventional 10 oz (Std 10 oz) and 16 oz (Std 16 oz) gloves in terms of ability to reduce impact forces delivered to a target. One of the pneumatic gloves (SBLI) contained a sealed air bladder inflated to a pressure of 2 kPa. The other (ARLI) incorporated a bladder that allowed release of air to the external environment upon contact with a target, followed by rapid air reuptake. Each glove was placed on to a mechanical fist and dropped 10 times on to an in-floor force plate from each of nine heights ranging from 1.0 to 5.0 metres, with the 5-metre drop generating a peak pre-impact glove velocity close to the reported maximum for elite boxers. Compared to the conventional gloves, the ARLI glove substantially reduced peak impact forces at all drop heights, with the reduction exceeding 30% even at the 5-metre level. The SBLI glove was as effective as the ARLI glove in reducing peak impact forces at drop heights of up to 2.5 metres, but its performance then progressively diminished, and at drop heights of 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 metres it produced peak force readings similar to those recorded for the Std 10 oz and Std 16 oz gloves. The superiority of the ARLI glove was even more evident in relation to peak rate of force development, with reductions relative to the Std 10 oz glove being ~60% at drop heights up to 3.5 metres and still ~47% at 5 metres. Peak rate of force development for the SBLI glove exceeded that for the ARLI glove for all drop heights of 2.0 metres and above, and at 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 metres it was higher than the readings for the Std 10 oz and 16 oz gloves. The protective effect of the ARLI glove was associated with an increase in impact compliance and prolongation of contact time between glove and target. It is concluded that a pneumatic boxing glove that provides for air exchange with the external environment can greatly reduce impact magnitudes across the whole range of pre-impact glove velocities likely to be encountered in boxing, thereby mitigating risks associated with the sport. While acceptance of the gloves by the boxing community is uncertain, opportunity may exist for almost immediate uptake in modified boxing programs.
Perkins, P., Jamieson, A., Spratford, W., & HAHN, A. (2018). Evaluation of Ability of Two Different Pneumatic Boxing Gloves to Reduce Delivered Impact Forces and Improve Safety. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 6(2), 457-491. https://doi.org/10.4236/wjet.2018.62028