Since its invention in early 1990s, the side curtain airbag has become an important part of the occupant restraint system for side impact and rollover protection. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is often used to help side curtain airbag design. Because of the unique characteristics of side curtain airbag systems, the simulation of side curtain airbag systems faces different challenges in comparison to the simulation of driver and passenger airbag systems.
The typical side curtain airbag CAE analysis includes, but is not limited to, cushion volume evaluation, cushion coverage review, cushion shrinkage and tension force review, deployment timing review and seam shape and location review. The commonly used uniform pressure airbag models serve the purpose in most cases. But for analysis such as cushion deployment timing evaluation, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) integrated airbag models have to be employed because the uniform pressure airbag models are not able to simulate the deployment time difference among various parts of the airbag cushion. In this paper, most types of the above-mentioned analysis are integrated into a typical side curtain airbag design cycle. Both uniform pressure airbag models and CFD integrated airbag models are used complementarily to help the side curtain airbag design. The CAE-based side curtain airbag design procedure helps to reduce the material cost and time duration of the airbag design process.