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TRW starts production of new roof airbag

TRW has started production of its latest roof airbag technology on the Citroen C4 Cactus. The new ‘bag in roof’ replaces passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel and can allow for improved interior design aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality, while saving space in the instrument panel. The airbag unit comprises a cushion, a gas diffusion channel and a gas generator, within a housing that is fixed onto, or beneath, the headlining above the windscreen. Upon deployment, the bag unfolds along the windscreen in front of the seat occupant, rather than towards them, helping to restrain front seat passengers of varying shapes and sizes. For automakers, the product offers easy assembly with opportunities for standardization, as some of the components are common to all TRW airbag applications.

The roof airbag’s new design concept also helps to enhance development efficiency. By eliminating the need to package a passenger airbag in the instrument panel, it can significantly reduce the development costs of the dashboard, as there is no need to design and test a specific ‘door’ that opens with the airbag deployment. It is also functionally compatible with a wide range of vehicle architectures. Dirk Schultz, engineering director for TRW’s inflatable restraint systems division, explained, “Interior design requirements have evolved significantly over the last decade, with some manufacturers looking for more instrument panel space for the latest multimedia technologies, or a means of increasing storage, or are proposing more open and airy cockpit environments. Our new roof airbag system is a unique development and provides enhanced styling flexibility for future vehicle interior requirements, in combination with excellent restraint performance.”

April 4, 2014

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