Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Airbags Will Become Even More Secure

08.02.2005


Russian researchers, specialists of the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, suggest the way to make motor-car airbags even more secure. Their theoretical and practical investigations allowed to determine which the compounds should be included in the powder that burns at the moment of blow during the accident so that the airbags were instantly filled up with gases not dangerous to human beings and environment. The researchers’ effort was supported by the International Science and Technology Center.



"Despite the fact that motorcars of established companies have long ago been equipped with airbags, gas generating compositions in them are still far from perfect", says David Lempert, Ph.D. (Chemistry), one of the development authors. The problem is that the requirements to these compositions are rather firm, multiple and sometimes difficult to combine.

Evidently, the airbag powder should burn down instantly, i.e. within 50-60 milliseconds. Along with that, sufficient volume of gases should be formed to fill in the airbag and to protect a person from a blow. At the point of accident, the powder should instantly ignite and burn down at the predetermined combustion rate, i.e. this should be absolutely safe for the car and the passengers, and during all the rest of the time it should preserve exceptional stability – during the 10 to 15-year shelf life, in rainy, frosty and hot weather at the temperature of up to + 110 degrees C it should remain invariably ready, but be insensitive to shaking, friction and blows. Besides, it is necessary that the compositions burned down producing no smoke and detrimental products, such as nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, and making minimal amount of steam.


Multiple requirements did not discourage the researchers. It is no wonder, as the specialists of the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, possess unique experience in creating common powders and solid propellants. It is clear that the powder for motorcars should be based on atoms of only four elements - carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The software developed by the authors for mathematical modelling of the powder composition provided several potentially suitable structures. Some of them have already been synthesized and approbated, the synthesis and testing of others is still forthcoming.

It has turned out that there is no better foundation than ammonium nitrate (sold in any fertilizer shop) for such powder yet. This is unsurpassed oxidant for self-burning smokeless compositions, although it has some drawbacks. However, the difficulty is that this compound absords moisture during its shelf life, so it may cake or petrify. The problem has been a concern of all ammonium nitrate storehouses for a long time. This is in general the trouble with ammonium nitrate – i.e. it can exist in various phase states, characteristics of which, and most importantly density, vary significantly.

“We tried to overcome such instability by creating the so-called cocrystallizer of ammonium nitrate with its other compound - ammonium formate, explained David Lempert. In essence, this is a new substance, its characteristics being different from those of base salts. Detailed investigations showed that it performs oxidant functions no worse than the base ammonium nitrate does, but it does not cause the “phase state” difficulties. Crystals of the new compound have no phase transformations in the range of -50 through +80 degrees C, and it makes ammonium formate a very good candidate for gas generating composition, its storage temperature condition being up to 80 degrees C.”

However, the researchers did not limit their effort to the development of chemical composition of smokeless and nontoxic powder for motorcar airbags. They also invented the way to form the charge so that that it could burn down in fractions of a second. Nevertheless, the fuel charge structure suggested by the authors is a secret they do not disclose. The conducted experiments prove – they have managed to increase combustion rate by several times. So the “inflatable defence” developed in a new way by Russian researchers will work quicker and more reliably than the traditional one. Although in case of an accident the passenger or the driver will have to spend a short period of time inside the car, there will be neither smoke nor toxic gases from the airbag, so they would not do any harm.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>