What is an Airbag, How Does It Work? In Which Situations Does Airbag Not Open?

What is an airbag? How does it work?
What is an airbag? How does it work?

Airbag (Airbag, Auxiliary Protection System / SRS), a protection system made of a flexible material that opens very quickly in the event of a collision in automobiles and prevents injury to the passenger by inflating with a gas or air. A typical airbag deploys in less than 1/10 of a second, then deflates after a few seconds, making it easier for the passenger to move and get out of the vehicle.

Air Bag Working System


When the front part of your vehicle is hit in the event of any accident, there is an instant decrease in speed and slows down. Noticing this instant loss of speed, the accelerometer detects the change in vehicle speed. The electronic sensor determines the acceleration amount of the vehicle and measures the change in the speed of the vehicle. In other words, the accelerometer system tries to determine the exact size of the impact. If the force applied causes the deceleration system of the vehicle to operate, the airbag circuit starts to operate. The amount of damage plays an important role here. In other words, the airbag system is activated when the vehicle's deceleration system is activated. This is the reason why this airbag system does not activate in a normal brake. The airbag circuit, which is activated through the sensors, passes a certain amount of current through a certain heating element. The heating element enables a chemical explosive to be activated here. Shortly after this stimulation occurs, your vehicle's airbag system is in working condition for an estimated 20 milliseconds. And in a very short time, the airbag is activated and inflated.

While the chemical that provides swelling is sodium acid in old type vehicles, different chemicals can be used in new productions. With the stimulation of this system, the material that has the ability to explode shows combustion and the nylon-structured cushion placed in a compressed state at the back of the vehicle steering wheel becomes a gas filling with high speed and without any harm to human health. Nitrogen or argon gas can generally be used for this gas. With the spread of the excited and ignited material, the airbag begins to inflate with great speed in the front of the driver. According to the data, the airbag is inflated within 30-40 milliseconds after the accident. The hunting cushions in the vehicles are surrounded by a chalky material such as talcum powder. The reason why he hugs this way; to make the airbag assembly work smoothly. In the event of an accident with the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle goes to the front of the vehicle, where the driving head hits the airbag and the severity of the accident is reduced. The gas contained in airbag systems is discharged thanks to very small parts present in certain parts of the airbag system.

Until the vehicle slows down, almost all of the gas in the airbag is discharged. In fact, 30-40 milliseconds, which is said to be the full inflation time of the airbag, is equivalent to a very small amount of time. According to researches, when it is known that our blink time is approximately 100-200 milliseconds, it is quite noticeable how low this time actually is. However, it is worth noting that in addition to the airbags in the vehicles, seat belts also have a very important value. Vehicle belt and airbag are mechanisms that work systematically. Having one without the other is not a situation that will provide you with much security.

In Which Situations Does Airbag Not Open?

  • In mild severe collisions,
  • When the vehicle is overturned
  • If the vehicle rolls over,

air bags do not deploy.

History of Airbag

The first airbag solutions appeared in the early 1950s. However, these were ideas that could not be considered mature. A patent filed in 2012 was similar to today's airbag in terms of system. The key difference of the system was that the driver had to open the airbag at the push of a button! Another controversial issue with this technology was the use of some kind of cartridge to fill the airbag with gas. Here, it was discussed how the cartridges should be stored in the factory and what security measures should be taken after they were mounted on the car. The first airbag of the currently used type began to be used in the Mercedes-Benz W1980 S-Class series in 126 under the name Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS). The first passenger airbag was used in 1987 with the driver airbag on the Porsche 944. Over the years, the airbag has become widespread and has become a standard equipment in almost every car.


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