We all know that the airbag is a safety element for vehicles and one of the main protection systems, both for the driver and for passengers. But do you know how it works?
What are airbags?
Airbags, as the name implies, are “air bags” that fill up quickly when sensors detect any impact on either side of the vehicle. This air bag protects passengers and the driver of the vehicle in the accident by creating a soft bag between the interior of the car and the person ,preventing injuries. This system can work in conjunction with the seat belt when you have tensioners installed. However, contrary to what many think, the airbag is only a complement to the seat belt and does not replace it in any way.
The airbag consists of 5 components and all of them must be reviewed periodically in a reliable workshop in order to ensure a good condition so that it can fulfill its function when necessary. The airbag components are as follows:
The impact sensors are the elements placed on the outside of the vehicle and are the ones that communicate to the UCE (Electronic Control Unit) the impact and intensity of it.
Electronic Command Unit
THE UCE is the point of connection between all. It is the most important component of the airbag, since this is the one that will receive the impulse of the sensors and react in a fraction of a second to protect passengers.
Airbags are the component that will protect you in the event of an accident. They have the function of creating a smooth physical barrier between the passenger and the rigid parts of the vehicle .
Occupancy sensors communicate to UCE if a seat is occupied by someone so that in case of impact activate or not the airbag avoiding unnecessary airbag shots. These sensors are relatively recent and only some brands use this system.
The gas generator is the element that makes the chemical reaction within itself and sends to each of the airbags the result of that same reaction.
How does the airbag work?
The airbag system is activated when the vehicle suffers a strong impact. The airbag “explosion” mechanism starts with the impact sensors detecting the shock and communicating to the UCE. The sensors are strategically spread across the car (front, center, side and rear), identify impact and emit a signal to the system control unit. The UCE identifies through the sensors which part of the vehicle has been hit and activates the airbag(s) required to protect passengers.
How fast does the airbag go?
One of the most frequently asked questions is the moments when the airbag can open. All this depends on manufacturer to manufacturer and not all airbags are the same. In general, they fire at a speed between 80 and 90 m/s.
What types of airbags are there?
All types of airbags have the function of protecting passengers, with the exception of the pedestrian airbag which, as the name implies, is intended to protect the pedestrian in the event of a hit-and-run. Here are the other types of airbags and what their functions are:
- Front airbag: Modern cars come equipped with two front airbags. One for the driver (located on the steering wheel) and one for the front passenger (mounted on the top of the front panel). This airbag prevents impact with the steering wheel and dashboard.
- Side airbag: It is located on the back of the front seat of the car or on its entire side and is used to protect the chest and head of passengers.
- Knee airbag: It is installed on the steering wheel for the driver and under the glove compartment for the front passenger and prevents impact between the knees and the spine.
- Curtain airbag: Occupies the entire side of the vehicle minimizing trauma in side collisions, preventing pieces of glass from reaching passengers.
- Central airbag: It is located on the front seat armrest or in the central part of the rear seat backrest and prevents shock between the driver and the passenger.
Airbag light on: What to do?
Poor condition of airbag components can compromise passenger safety. If the instrument panel marks the anomaly light on the airbag, it must be checked as soon as possible in a specialized workshop.
The airbag is an essential safety element so, regular maintenance and inspections must be done .
In addition to other tools and equipment, KROFtools offers a range of instruments for the maintenance of airbags.
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