AirBelt Systems LLC Announces 'Smart' Air Bag Inflator
New Variable-Output `Smart' Air bag Inflator Offering Extra Passenger Safety Protection Developed By AirBelt Systems LLC SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 17 -- AirBelt Systems LLC has developed the first low-cost, environmentally-safe air bag system that answers the industry's call for a friendlier air bag inflation technology -- without relaxing current air bag performance requirements mandated by the FMVSS 208 federal standard, a move which could jeopardize passenger protection during more severe crashes. AirBelt Systems' IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system takes a quantum leap forward in air bag inflator technology, allowing for infinitely variable inflation of an air bag -- with a lower, safer release of gas in the beginning of deployment and then achieving desired bag fill. "This results in a more controllable air bag deployment, which can reduce the risk of injuries and air bag-related deaths among children and adults," according to Company President, Chuck Fenton. The IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) inflator employs a proprietary, high-performance gas-flow regulator device that can be adapted to fit many existing air bag systems. It controls air bag inflation rate and fill- pressure by tailoring not only the critical early onset of bag deployment, but also by modulating the complete flow of gas throughout the entire deployment event to accommodate for different size, weight, and out-of-position passengers. The IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system is a break-through technology that provides a low-cost solution to a problem facing the air bag industry today -- making a "smart" air bag inflator that can use "smart sensor" information to customize an air bag's inflation rate in real-time according to passenger- specific criteria. In a move to reduce the risk of injury to children from the aggressive deployment of air bags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on August 1, 1996 proposed changes to the federal air bag requirement to encourage the introduction of new "smart" air bag technology that will enable the air bag to deploy safely when an unbelted or out-of-position passenger is present. Although 'smart sensor' technology exists to determine the size, weight and proximity of a passenger, current air bag inflators used by the auto industry are unable to make use of such sensors to vary their inflation outputs in real-time for cost-effectively controlling air bag inflation rates. "The IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system is completely temperature compensating and can deliver a real-time response to a crash event within 1-2 milliseconds, based upon "smart sensor" input. In effect, this means that the air bag will fill accordingly with just the right amount of gas, at just the right timing, to protect small children and large adults alike," says Larry Shultz, Chairman of AirBelt Systems. Within the last three years, air bag manufacturers have introduced hybrid inflators that combine solid pyrotechnic and compressed gases to deploy an air bag. While these systems are regarded as an improvement over previous inflator technologies, the IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system represents the next generation of air bag technology, providing greater protection to vehicle passengers. Unlike compressed-gas inflator systems tested in the 70's, which had an aggressive air bag deployment, the IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system offers a quantum improvement over this technology, using pressure vessels (perfected by the aerospace industry) capable of storing gases for extended periods at safe operating pressures well above current requirements. The optimized IntelliFlow(TM) Care Bag(TM) system fills an pressure vessel with cold, inert Helium gas. Upon deployment, the Helium gas is released into the air bag through the Intelliflow(TM) regulating system which controls flow- rate by filling the air bag in a smooth and controlled manner in air bags as large as 170 litres -- achieving optimal "S-curve" inflation performance for maximum safety.