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July/August 2009
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Inflatable Restraint Cushions

Side curtain airbags are usually mounted in the roof of a vehicle and burst through the headliner to cover the side window area in the event of a side impact or rollover accident. ASTM International Committee D13 on Textiles is currently developing a proposed new standard for the testing of such side curtain airbags, WK23227, Test Method for Determining Pressure Decay of Inflatable Restraint Cushions.

According to John Sollars, research associate, Milliken & Co., and chair, Subcommittee D13.20 on Inflatable Restraints, various tests are used in the industry, both to develop and judge the effectiveness of rollover-capable bags.

“There are currently compressed air leakage types of tests that have been developed by both customers and suppliers,” says Sollars. “Some of these have been incorporated into customers’ specifications.” Sollars notes that over time, many of these tests have evolved to have common characteristics, which led the subcommittee to conclude that a method should be standardized but still be flexible enough to accommodate testing differences among customers.

WK23227 is being developed by Subcommittee D13.20 to be an inexpensive screening test to judge the ability of a rollover side curtain airbag to maintain needed pressure over time. Suppliers of the airbags would be the primary users of the standard.

Sollars says that after the proposed standard has been approved, the subcommittee would like to expand the number of laboratories participating in precision testing for it. Subcommittee D13.20 has jurisdiction over 11 practices relating to inflatable restraints and welcomes participation in its standards developing activities.

CONTACT

Technical Information: John Sollars, Milliken & Co., La Grange, Ga.

Phone: 706-880-5633

ASTM Staff: Jennifer Rodgers

Phone: 610-832-9694