Insights Into Hazard From Airbag Inflation Noise Gained Through the AHAAH Model 2005-01-2397
To understand the mechanisms by which airbags produce hearing loss, predict the epidemiology and to find ways to ameliorate the hazard, inflation noises were examined with the AHAAH model. The data for one and two bag deployments in open, closed and sealed compartments were processed as well as impulses from combo and curtain bags.
Hazard is a function of the bag, its environment, azimuth with respect to the ear and the state of the occupant of the vehicle. The curtain airbag and open compartment were clearly the most hazardous, especially for the “unwarned” ear. The projection from these data is that 17% of the ears exposed will have some permanent hearing loss.
Reducing energy in the mid-range, controlling the dynamics of bag unfolding, and low frequency pressurization of the passenger compartment act to make for safer exposures. Depending on specific conditions, multiple bags can result in more, the same or less hazard.