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Multiple panel airbag and method

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Ramesh Keshavaraj

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An airbag cushion for use in a vehicle restraint system is provided. The airbag cushion is formed from a notched body panel and a rectilinear center panel by a series of substantially straight seams which reduces substantially the elongation of the air bag cushion upon impact on collision of the vehicle in which it is installed. A method of forming the cushion according to the present invention is also provided.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate several potentially preferred embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a cutaway view of the inflatable cushion of the present invention in deployment between a passenger and a dash panel;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the cushion according to the present invention with its seams on the exterior wherein the term “front” is meant to designate that portion of the cushion which is intended to be impacted by a person or object to be protected;

FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate the body panel sections and center panel of a first potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention;

FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate the body panel sections and center panel of a second potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention for use in an environment where an expended curved profile is desirable to meet depth requirements;

FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate the body panel sections and center panel of a third potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention for use in covering substantial elongated areas as may be desired in full body or side impact applications;

FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate the body panel sections and center panel of yet a fourth potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention which provides for an expanded frontal surface for impact by a person or occupant to be protected;

FIG. 6D illustrates the front view of the center panel and body panel sections of FIGS. 6A-6C with the panels joined together;

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrates various potentially preferred mouth configurations for use in the cushion according to the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of the cushion according to another embodiment of the present invention with its seams on the exterior wherein the term “front” is meant to designate that portion of the cushion which is intended to be impacted by a person or object to be protected;

FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate the body panel sections and center panel of another potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention and FIG. 8;

FIGS. 10-10C illustrate the body panel section panels and center panel of yet another potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention for use in an environment where an expanded curved profile is desirable to meet depth requirements;

FIGS. 11A-11C illustrate the body panel section panels and center panel of still another potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention for use in covering substantial elongated areas as may be desired in full body or side impact applications;

FIGS. 12A-12C illustrate the body panel section panels and center panel of another potentially preferred embodiment of the cushion according to the present invention which provides for an expanded frontal surface for impact by a person or occupant to be protected;

FIG. 12D illustrates the front view of the center panel and body panel section panels of FIGS. 12A-12C with the panels joined together;

FIGS. 13A-13C illustrate various potentially preferred mouth configurations for use in the cushion according to the present invention;

FIGS. 14A-14C illustrate the top, center (body), and bottom panel sections of another embodiment according to the present invention;

FIGS. 15A-15C illustrate the top, center (body), and bottom panel sections of yet another embodiment according to the present invention;

FIGS. 16A-16C illustrate the top, center (body), and bottom panel section panels of FIGS. 14A-14C in accordance with another embodiment;

FIGS. 17A-17C illustrate the top, center (body), and bottom panel section panels of FIGS. 15A-15C according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 18A-18D represent the respective panel sections of another embodiment of the present invention with a loop pocket to hold an inflator;

FIGS. 19A-19D illustrate the panel section panels of FIGS. 18A-18D according to yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a schematic view of a notched body panel in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21 is a schematic view of a notched body panel in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 is a schematic view of a center (or front) panel for use with the body panel of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a schematic side view representation of an inflated airbag having the front and rear panels shown in FIGS. 21 and 22 with the notches sewn shut to provide the desired profile or depth;

FIG. 24 is a schematic view of a notched body panel in accordance with still another embodiment of the present invention; and,

FIG. 25 is a schematic view of a center (or front) panel adapted to be used with the body panel of FIG.

24.

Claims

1. An airbag cushion for use in a vehicle restraint system, the cushion comprising:

2. The cushion as recited in claim 1, wherein said rectangular center panel is substantially square.

3. The cushion as in claim 1, wherein said rectangular center panel is of an elongated rectangular geometry wherein said geometry has a length dimension greater than its width dimension.

4. The cushion as recited in claim 3, wherein said length dimension is at least 30 percent greater than said width dimension.

5. The cushion as recited in claim 4, wherein said length dimension is at least twice as great as said width dimension.

6. The cushion as recited in claim 1, wherein said body panel and said center panel each comprise a woven fabric.

7. The cushion as recited in claim 6, wherein the woven fabric which comprises said body panel exhibits permeability characteristics which differ from the fabric which comprises said center panel.

8. The cushion as recited in claim 6, wherein the woven fabric which comprises said body panel is an uncoated fabric and the woven fabric which comprises said center panel is a coated fabric.

9. The cushion as recited in claim 8, wherein said coated fabric is coated with a disperse polymer having a dry add on weight of not greater than about 0.4 ounces per square yard.

10. The cushion as recited in claim 6, wherein the fabric which comprises at least one of said body panel and said center panel is woven from a plurality of multifilament synthetic yarns wherein the filaments forming said synthetic yarns are characterized by a linear density of about 4 denier per filament or less.

11. The cushion as recited in claim 10, wherein said multifilament synthetic yarns are characterized by a yarn linear density of about 840 denier or less.

12. The cushion as recited in claim 6, wherein the woven fabric which comprises said body panel is uncoated, and the woven fabric which comprises said center panel is uncoated.

13. The cushion as recited in claim 6, wherein the woven fabric which comprises said center panel is characterized by an air permeability of about 1-3 cubic feet per minute per square foot of fabric at a differential pressure of 0.5 inches of water.

14. The cushion as recited in claim 1, wherein said notched body panel includes first and second notches that are V-shaped.

15. The cushion as recited in claim 14, wherein each of said first and second notches have an apex angle of not greater than about 90 degrees.

16. The cushion as recited in claim 1, wherein said body panel is made up of a plurality of panel sections.

17. In a vehicle restraint system, the improvement comprising the cushion of claim 1.

18. In an airbag module, the improvement comprising the cushion of claim 1.

19. The cushion of claim 1 in which the body panel is longer than it is wide and the notches are in the sides of said body panel.

20. The cushion of claim 1 wherein an inflator opening is located in said body panel between said notches.

21. The cushion of claim 20 wherein said notches are of substantially equal size.

22. The cushion of claim 21 wherein the apex of each notch is located substantially along a center line of said inflator opening.

23. An airbag cushion for use in a vehicle restraint system, the cushion comprising:

24. The cushion as recited in claim 23, wherein said rectangular center panel is substantially square.

25. The cushion as in claim 23, wherein said rectangular center panel is of an elongated rectangular geometry wherein said geometry has a length dimension greater than its width dimension.

26. The cushion as recited in claim 25, wherein said length dimension is at least 30 percent greater than said width dimension.

27. The cushion as recited in claim 26, wherein said length dimension is at least twice as great as said width dimension.

28. An airbag cushion for use in a vehicle restraint system for protecting an occupant of a vehicle, the cushion comprising:

29. The cushion as recited in claim 28, wherein said rectangular center panel is substantially square.

30. The cushion as in claim 28, wherein said rectangular center panel is of an elongated rectangular geometry wherein said geometry has a length dimension greater than its width dimension.

31. The cushion as recited in claim 30, wherein said length dimension is at least 30 percent greater than said width dimension.

32. The cushion as recited in claim 31, wherein said length dimension is at least twice as great as said width dimension.