1992-02-01

An Analytical Model to Study the Infant Seat/Airbag Interaction 920126

As passenger-side airbags are introduced into the vehicle fleet, consideration must be given to the possible interaction of the airbag with children and child restraint systems. Specifically, a rear-facing infant seat may represent an out-of-position occupanVrestraint system in relation to the deploying airbag due to the limited distance between the infant seat and the instrument panel. Current safety standards for child restraints do not address this issue and the potential for serious injury mandates further analysis. Simulation studies can assist in understanding the behavior of such interaction and help to reduce the number of tests to evaluate infant seat performance. New developments in simulation technology offer state-of-the-art tools to simulate a deploying airbag using a finite element model while the occupant, infant seat and vehicle interior are simulated with linked rigid body systems. This paper identifies the effects of selected airbag and belt restraint parameters on the performance of the infanvinfant seat system and discusses assumptions and considerations to perform this simulation. Discussion also includes concerns about seat restraint requirements, limitations for infant seat location, and bag deployment directions.

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