The Chemistry Of Air Bags


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The goal of air bags is to restrain the passengers during collision with as little damage as possible. An air bag slows the passenger’s speed during collision thus preventing the passenger from getting head injuries that can be serious if not treated immediately.

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The Chemistry Of Air Bags

  1. 1. The Chemistry Of Air BagsWhen it comes to road safety, it is not only enoughto trust your life to seat belts. In fact, high impactcollision tests have revealed that seat belts cannotprevent the passengers from hitting the dashboardand for this reason air bags are encouraged. Today,all modern cars are equipped with airbags.
  2. 2. The goal of air bags is to restrain the passengersduring collision with as little damage as possible. Anair bag slows the passenger’s speed during collisionthus preventing the passenger from getting headinjuries that can be serious if not treatedimmediately. Air bags are definitely important buthow well do you know about them?Knowing about air bags is very important so that youwill be able to understand how they work.Moreover, you will also be able to know how to buyair bag kits or air bag replacements should you needto change your old one. Knowing about how airbagswork will make you appreciate this particular deviceeven more.Air bags are made from sturdy material which caneither be polyester or other air tight fabric. When anair bag is inflated, it is not inflated by a compressedgas source but it is compressed due to chemicalreaction. Air bags are inflated by the breakdown ofSodium azide. When Sodium azide breaks down, itreleases Nitrogen gas which causes the air bag toinflate.
  3. 3. In most cases, air bag kits and air bag replacementscontain 130 grams of Sodium azide which, whenbroken down, can produce 67 liters of nitrogen gas.This explains why the bags inflate at a largeproportion.There is another chemistry involved in air bags.Another product produced during the breakdown ofSodium azide is Sodium which is a highly reactivemetal that reacts to water in order to form Sodiumhydroxide. The air bags are connected to a sensor infrom of the vehicle that detects collision.Upon near collision, the sensors send electricalsignal to the container where the Sodium azide iscontained and the electrical charge detonates an
  4. 4. igniter compound that breaks down the Sodiumazide to Sodium and nitrogen so that it easilyinflates. The entire process takes about 30milliseconds to complete.There is cool science behind how airbag works andso when you buy replacements for your old ones,make sure that it has enough Sodium azide so that itcan easily inflate should you encounter accidents.