Numerical simulation of passenger-side automotive airbag inflators

P. Barry Butler, Herman Krier, Ernst M. Faigle, John H. Semchena, Richard Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper discusses a computer simulation of the transient, thermochemical events associated with ignition and combustion of an automotive airbag gas-generator unit. Following a brief description of the model development and physical assumptions made in the analysis, calculations are presented for a series of test cases that are characteristic of the standard, passenger-side, 60-L experiments conducted at TRW-VSSI. Pressure and temperature profiles generated by the airbag combustion program are presented and compared with experimental data for a special test case. The calculations show excellent agreement with experimental data obtained in the TRW-VSSI test apparatus. The results presented in this paper also demonstrate the usefulness of the airbag combustion program in assessing the sensitivity of airbag pressure curves to various design parameters. A short discussion is also provided on experimental data which must be collected for model development and verification requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Congress and Exposition - Detroit, MI, United States
Duration: Feb 24 1992Feb 28 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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