Expire airbags in the car

Explosive detonator causes airbag to "explode"

In the event of a frontal collision with a car at 40 kilometers per hour, an airbag must be inflated after seven hundredths of a second in order to optimally protect the driver. The time is so short that the crash pilot doesn't even have time to scream.

Nevertheless, complex operations between the sensor, electronic control and airbag ignition take place within this range. Modern cars have up to eight air bags that have to meet different requirements in this tiny reaction time. New detonators are proving to be of great interest to manufacturers of side airbags.

Chemnitz researchers worked together with industrial partners to develop microchips coated with explosives, which make airbags "explode" much faster than conventional solutions. “Our element, which ignites with very low energy, can be perfectly integrated into a concept in which all safety-relevant systems in the car communicate with one another via a so-called bus system,” explains Mario Baum.

He is a member of a research group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) and the Center for Microtechnologies (ZfM) at the TU Chemnitz. The scientists from both research teams will be presenting these and other innovative solutions from sensor technology and microsystem technology from April 19 to 24, 2004 at the Hanover Fair.

(idw - Chemnitz University of Technology, April 6, 2004 - DLO)

April 6, 2004