1992-11-01

Investigation of Airbag-Induced Skin Abrasions 922510

Static deployments of driver-side airbags into the legs of human subjects were used to investigate the effects of inflator capacity, internal airbag tethering, airbag fabric, and the distance from the module on airbag-induced skin abrasion. Abrasion mechanisms were described by measurements of airbag fabric velocity and target surface pressure. Airbag fabric kinematics resulting in three distinct abrasion patterns were identified. For all cases, abrasions were found to be caused primarily by high-velocity fabric impactrather than scraping associated with lateral fabric motion. Use of higher-capacity inflators increased abrasion severity, and untethered airbags produced more severe abrasions than tethered airbags at distances greater than the length of the tether. Abrasion severity decreased as the distance increased from 225 to 450 mm. Use of a finer-weave airbag fabric in place of a coarser-weave fabric did not decrease the severity of abrasion.

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