A Pneumatic Airbag Deployment System for Experimental Testing 970124
This paper examines an originally designed airbag deployment system for use in static experimental testing. It consists of a pressure vessel and valve arrangement with pneumatic and electric controls. A piston functions like a valve when operated and is activated pneumatically to release the air in the tank. Once released, the air fills the attached airbag. The leading edge velocity can be controlled by the initial pressure in the tank, which can range up to 960 kPa. Three different test configurations were studied, which resulted in leading edge deployment speeds of approximately 20 m/s, 40 m/s, and 60 m/s. In experiments using this system, seven types of airbags were tested that differed in their material, coating, and presence of a tether. Data for each series of tests is provided. High speed video and film were used to record the deployments, and a pressure transducer measured the airbag's internal pressure. At 960 kPa initial tank pressure, the maximum leading edge velocity was 71 m/s. The maximum internal pressure of the airbag ranged from 88 kPa to 120 kPa. In addition to cost savings, the primary advantage of this system is its ability to quickly change the internal pressure while avoiding the hazards associated with the use of pyrotechnics. However, the leading edge velocity was typically below the average published values for common airbags. This discrepancy may be corrected in future designs by changing the orientation of the valve portion of this system.