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Airbag (safety airbag) is an element of the passive safety system, designed to minimize injury risk in case of a road accident.

Airbag types

  • Front type. Modern cars are equipped with two front airbags – for the driver (mounted in the steering wheel) and the passenger of the front seat row (mounted in the upper part of the front panel). The airbags, which deploy in two or more stages, in accordance with impact force, are called adaptive. The front passenger airbag can be disabled in most cases.
  • Side type. Most of all, they are located in the front seat back. Some car trim levels include the side airbags for the rear seat passengers. Modern airbags consist of two chambers – firmer and softer ones. The first one is designed for the pelvis protection, the second – for a chest.
  • Knee type. One for the driver is installed under the steering wheel, for the front passenger – under the glove box.
  • Curtain type. According to the car model and trim level they can be mounted in the front or rear roof part, as well as between the pillars.
  • Center type. It is mounted into the front seats armrest or the central part of the rear seats back.
  • Pedestrian type. It is designed to reduce injury level of a pedestrian in case of collision with the car.

Airbags principle of operation

The components of the airbag are:

  • elastic capsule filled with gas;
  • gas generator;
  • control system.

The elements of the control system are:

  • control unit;
  • impact sensors.

A squib and solid fuel charge are encased into the gas generator body. When the sensors pick up impact, force of which exceeds the allowed value, signal is transmitted to the control unit. The latter analyzes information and if necessary, activates the gas generators of corresponding airbags. The airbags are single-use elements.