Frangible materials are engineered to break apart in a controlled manner upon significant force. Such circumstances include during collisions or in extreme weather situations. So how does this relate to sports? Well, frangible materials can actually be a huge benefit in many sporting situations. Frangibility in sports equipment refers to the equipment breaking or fragmenting upon impact, which is highly advantageous for safety reasons.

Here are some specific examples of frangibility in sports equipment across various sports:

Equestrian Sports

Frangible pins are used in eventing jumps to reduce the risk of rotational falls. These pins are designed to break away when a horse hits the jump, helping to prevent serious accidents.

Frangibility in sports including equestrian - horse and rider jumping a fence

Auto Racing

In motorsports, certain barriers and track elements (such as energy-absorbing barriers or collapsible barriers) are made of frangible materials. This absorbs energy and reduces the impact on drivers in the event of a crash.


Helmets for cycling and other sports are designed to absorb impact energy. They may include frangible components that deform or break upon impact, reducing the force transmitted to the wearer’s head.

Snow Sports

Ski bindings are designed to release when a certain amount of force is applied. This reduces the risk of leg injuries during falls. The release mechanism can be considered a form of frangibility, allowing controlled breakage to enhance safety.


Goalposts in football/soccer may be designed to break away or collapse upon impact. This is especially useful in youth or recreational settings, to reduce the risk of injuries during collisions.

American Football

In American football helmets, there are systems designed to absorb impact energy and reduce the risk of concussion. Some components may deform or break upon impact to mitigate the forces experienced by the player’s head.

Two American football players

Rock Climbing

Climbing gear such as carabiners and anchors may be designed with frangible features. These prevent catastrophic failure under extreme loads, hugely enhancing safety for climbers.

Frangibility plays a crucial role in sports safety by helping to manage and dissipate energy during impacts or collisions. It is important that frangible components are designed and tested rigorously first. This will ensure they function as intended without compromising overall equipment safety and performance. Once these frangible elements have passed the safety tests, they will significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries in the future of sport.

Contact us to see how our frangible products could help in your sporting activities.

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