Airbag System is one of the most important safety components of the today’s cars. It is a technology whose proper deployment ensures safety of the passengers during a crash. Like seat belts, airbag – a soft pillow to land against in a crash – has been around for many years. In 1980’s, first commercial airbags appeared in the automobiles.
How exactly do they work?
Well, the Airbag system is extremely complex and needs to activate in milliseconds after a crash occurs to ensure safety of the passengers.
The most important part of the airbag system is “Crash Sensors” which has been designed to tell when the vehicle has been damaged in an accident. They respond to several different sets of stimuli, including sudden stopping, increased pressure as pieces of the car are moved due to the force of the collision, and more.
Airbag control unit located in the front portion of the cabin; monitors different types of sensors measuring wheel speed, seat occupant status, brake pressure and impact, and other vehicle status indicators. Airbag control unit then analyzes the situation and activates the features like seat belt lock, airbag deployment and automatic door lock etc.
Airbag is a system consisting of a flexible fabric envelope designed to inflate rapidly during an automobile collision. It contains a mixture of Sodium Azide (NaN3), KNO3 and SiO2. The reactions, in order, are as follows.
- 2NaN3 → 2Na + 3N2 (g)
- 10Na + 2KNO3 → K2O + 5Na2O + N2 (g)
- K2O + Na2O + 2SiO2 → K2O3Si + Na2O3Si (Silicate Glass)
How fast does an airbag deploy?
An airbag can deploy in about 55 milliseconds, according to the engineering study. This is about the same amount of time it takes you to blink your eyes or sneeze, means airbag deployment is very quick and responsive.
How much does an airbag cost?
If you want to replace or repair an airbag in your vehicle, the cost will vary depending on the type of car, as well as which airbag needs to be replaced. Generally, budget between $400-$800 for a driver’s side airbag. A passenger side airbag can cost up to $1,000. (The cost varies from car to car.)
How to know if my car has faulty airbags?
If your vehicle has an airbag light, and it is lit up, this could indicate faulty airbags or a problem with the airbag system otherwise there is no real way of knowing if the vehicle has a faulty airbag. If the airbag light comes on, it is best to have the vehicle checked out by a professional.
That’s a short description on working of airbags in cars.
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