Undoubtedly, the passive safety system (SRS) is a necessary attribute of modern cars. Not many people know that the original airbag appeared in the twenties of the last century. And its history is by no means connected with cars, but with the aviation industry.
Arthur Hughes Parrott and Harold Round on February 17, 1920 received a patent for the invention of an air cushion in various designs. This invention was supposed to protect the pilot from severe injuries in disasters, which were not so rare at the dawn of aviation.
However, the case stalled due to one drawback: the pillow remained constantly inflated and, instead of a savior, could often turn into a barrier to salvation. Nevertheless, it is from that pad that the history of modern airbags begins.
Trial and error time
The first applications for the invention of an inflatable airbag for cars were filed thirty years later. 10/06/1951German inventor W alter Linderer received a patent. Following him, across the ocean, on August 5, 1952, the American John Hetrick applied. True, he was able to obtain a patent only on August 18, 1953. Hetrick proposed a system consisting of a portable compressed gas cylinder with an adjustable valve. And how many airbags were supposed? Already three! The supplied gas was distributed into inflatable bags: on the steering wheel, on the dashboard and in the glove box. But, unfortunately, the necessary requirements for an extremely short filling time of the bags turned out to be an insurmountable obstacle for those years. An attempt to use compressed air was unsuccessful.
And in 1961, another American, Allan K. Brad, introduced the first more modern airbag that meets many requirements. The design was entrusted to car manufacturers. The General Motors concern developed the Air Cushion Restraint System and offered it as an additional option for a certain extra charge, but the hype did not work out. It is likely that customers reacted to the new technology with distrust, which is not surprising, since the manufacturers themselves were not completely sure of it. In Europe, they also came to the conclusion that a compressed air cylinder, together with a system of pipelines, valves, valves, fittings, etc., would be a very cumbersome device in terms of design. It was necessary to find an energy-intensive, small-sized design.
In fact, the pyrotechnic gas generators currently available date back to 1968 to 1969from Mercedec-Benz from Stuttgart. The decisive step was taken before 1971 by a group of defense industry scientists. A squib was developed.
After numerous tests, in 1981 in Germany, Mercedes began production of Mercedes-Benz W 126 (S-class) cars equipped with an airbag, which was also surcharged.
It is clear that this innovation was not affordable for everyone, but the effectiveness of this option guaranteed her a great future. What happened next. The only thing that changed was the material of manufacture, the number of airbags installed on the car, and their placement.
Having made an excursion into history, we will return to our days. So, what are modern airbags? How many of them should be installed on the car to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers? Which accessories work in parallel with the airbags?
Sustained Restraint System (SRS)
Modern cars are equipped with SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) - a passive safety system consisting of airbags, seat belts, a control unit and numerous sensors. The work of the system is complex, the links (SRS) complement each other, providing a complex protection of a person from the tragic consequences of serious traffic accidents. Here it is worth dwelling on seat belts.
Equipmentseat belts have undoubtedly saved the lives of countless people. With the development of technical capabilities, these devices are also being improved. So, modern cars are equipped with inertial belts and with a pretensioner (tensioner). The seat belt tensioner is used to timely prevent the inertial movement of a person forward (in the direction of the car) in traffic accidents or during emergency braking.
This is achieved by forcibly winding the belt and ensuring a snug fit. It should be added that they (tensioners) are equipped with a belt tension force limiter to loosen under certain loads. Pretensioners are installed primarily in conjunction with the seat belt buckle mount.
Integral attribute of the passive protection system are seat belts. Proper use of them determines the effective operation of the complex system as a whole. In the event of an accident, if you ignore the seat belts, front airbags can do more harm than good. And this is the truth.
Consider the passive safety system on various car models. Let's start with Japanese manufacturers.
Car "Mazda 3". Class of 2003
In 2013, the third generation of the Mazda 3 received the coveted 5 stars according to the Euro NCAP crash test! How many airbags in the Mazda 3 did the developers install to achieve this result? Installationairbags are manufactured in the locations below.
Two front impact airbags:
- Steering wheel.
- Front panel (passenger side).
Two side impact airbags:
Front seat backs (exit side)
Two air curtains:
- Pillars (front and rear).
- Ceiling side edges (left and right).
This arrangement of pillows is the most optimal for the safety of those in the vehicle. So how many airbags does the Mazda 3 have? The total number of front and side inflatable elements is six units. Which is very decent equipment for a base model.
The fact that the Toyota Corolla brand has eleven generations on its "family tree" and the twelfth is already "looming" speaks volumes, if not everything. Debuting in 1966 in Japan, this brand quickly conquered the world space. In its more than 50-year history, Toyota Corolla has experienced many ups and downs, the range of reviews is multicolored rainbow, but with all this, the brand always stays afloat, managing to turn annoying minuses to its advantage.
Let's find out how things are with the last, eleventh model with passive safety. It is worth mentioning here that during the Euro NCAP crash tests, the model received the highest 5 stars. The basis of security "Toyota-Corolla" is a high-strength body that provides maximum absorption of the force of impacts of various directions.
"Bold" emphasis was placed on the design features of the front segment of the car, giving it the ability to more effectively distribute the shock load. Strengthening the spars and crossbars ensured maximum repayment of side impacts. So how many airbags did it take for a Toyota Corolla to get the highest 5 stars in a crash test?
The vehicle is equipped with seven airbags:
- Two frontal (driver, front passenger).
- Two side airbags (front).
- One knee (driver).
- Two curtain airbags.
The seats are fully equipped with three-point seat belts, special changes have been made to the design of the front seats to help avoid injury to the cervical spine. For small passengers, the car is equipped with an ISOFIX restraint system.
Hyundai Solaris car
This car conquered the Russian market, forcing Lada to make room. It almost claims to be the "people's car". So what is remarkable about the Hyundai Solaris security system? How many airbags does the car have? Depending on the configuration, it can be equipped with a different number of inflatable elements - from one to six. In vehicles with a complete set of airbagslocated:
- Two front (front) - in the center of the steering wheel and front panel on the passenger side,
- Two side (front) - in the backs of the front seats on the side of the doors.
- Blinds - over the openings of the side doors under the ceiling lining.
In the event of a side impact during an accident, the curtains open along the window openings, protecting against glass fragments, from hitting the pillar and other protruding parts of the interior of the car. This vehicle is one of the most effectively protected in its segment. But what is depressing is how many airbags are in the base Solaris. Only two front.
Car "Nissan Qashqai"
In 2004, the Qashqai concept (J10) was presented in Geneva, but experts reacted to this event rather cool. Despite this, production began in Sunderland at the end of 2006. The first cars went on sale in February 2007. Since then, the second generation of Qashqai (J11) has appeared, sales in Russia are about 300 thousand copies. Since 2015, Qashqai production has been launched in St. Petersburg. This crossover is given great attention in the field of safety. So, for example, it is equipped with a belt tensioner, which has already been described above. Together with pillows, the system works more efficiently. How many airbags "Qashqai" fit in itself? Oddly enough, the same six inflatable devices:
- Two frontal (driver and frontpassenger).
- Two side (front).
- Two curtain airbags.
Kia Rio car
It's the turn of the next "Korean". Kia Motors entered the European market with its Kia Rio small car in 2000. For 18 years, she managed to release four generations of this brand. Currently, representatives of the last two generations are being released in parallel.
In Russia, the production of Kia-Rio cars started at the Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg in August 2011. Speaking about the Kia Rio security system, it should be noted with regret that manufacturers save on security. So how many airbags are in the Kia Rio? Since 2011, two front airbags (driver, front passenger) have been installed on the Kia Rio 3. And other "benefits of civilization", such as curtains and side airbags, are available only to owners of the "Prestige" and "Premium" trim levels.
Kia Rio's pretensioner seat belts act asynchronously with airbags (advance).
Next, let's try to find out how many airbags European car manufacturers have.
German "Opel Astra"
At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991, Opel exhibited its next Cadet model, only under a new name - Opel Astra.
When designing the machine, all the stiffness elements were calculated using computer technology, as a result of which it was possible to achieve high strength characteristics of the body. For an additional fee, a single airbag for the driver was installed. A couple of years later, since 1996, two frontal pillows were included in the package. How many airbags are in the Opel Astra today? It's been 22 years and side airbags and a curtain for this vehicle are optional. True, active head restraints were added as an element of passive safety.
Czech "Skoda Octavia"
Although it's a stretch to call it "Czech" at the moment, Skoda itself has almost a century of history. Since the 1990s, it has passed into the hands of the German concern Volkswagen. In 1996, at the Paris Motor Show, the show of the Octavia car was the pinnacle of success for the Skoda company. Over twelve years, more than one million vehicles have been sold. The security system is given great attention. Front belts - with pyrotechnic pretensioners. Rear belts - inertial. Let's deal with inflatable devices in the Octavia. How many airbags are provided? Seven pillows! However, in the basic version, only two front airbags are installed (opposite the driver and passenger). As additional options, you can purchase side pillows, knee, curtains, but for an additional fee.