Competitive TPV Grades for Airbag Cover Applications 2002-01-1325
Driver and passenger safety continues to grow in importance due to regulatory and market drivers. Driver and passenger airbags have saturated most vehicle models being introduced today. Also, more advanced airbag technology is penetrating other areas of the vehicle to include occupant protection for side and rollover collisions.
The increasing demands in airbag technology have challenged the materials specified for these applications to extreme levels. The evolution of material and design solutions has been met thus far with thermoplastic olefins or TPO, co-polyetherester elastomers or COPE, and styrenic-block-copolymers or SEBS material offerings. The use of thermoplastic vulcanisates or TPVs has been limited because of their inability to address all critical temperature dependent airbag requirements with a single grade of material. However, recent material developments in TPVs lend themselves to providing total airbag performance solutions.
This paper examines the use of TPVs for airbag design and development in the context of providing useful analytical tools for establishing the suitability of TPVs and also in comparing TPVs to other material offerings.