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Yarn, airbag and method

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

Michael W. Gilpatrick, Charles E. Willbanks

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A lightweight airbag cushion for deployment in opposing relation to a vehicle occupant is provided. In one embodiment, the cushion is formed from a body of wound yarn which has an enhanced elongation to break. The body includes an interior, a face portion for contact with the occupant and a rear portion including an inlet port for the introduction of an inflation medium. The body is formed by the continuous winding of yarn around a mandrel such that the yarn is spread across the face and is disposed preferentially across the back in the area surrounding the inlet port so as to provide added strength in that region.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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

FIG. 1A is a cutaway view of an inflatable cushion according to the present invention and inflation module housed within the steering column of a vehicle.

FIG. 1B illustrates a cutaway view of an inflatable cushion according to the present invention in deployment between a passenger and the steering column.

FIG. 2 illustrates the yarn winding operation for forming the airbag according to the present invention.

FIGS. 3-5 are plan views of the airbag winding operation carried out according to the potentially preferred practice of the present invention.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are, respectively, elevation views of the rear and front of an airbag cushion formed according to the potentially preferred practice of the present invention.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are, respectively, exemplary depictions of weave patterns or fabrics, especially suited for use in airbags, in accordance with other embodiments of the present invention.

Claims

1. A lightweight airbag cushion for deployment in opposing relation to a vehicle occupant during a collision event, the cushion comprising: a body of wound yarn including an interior, a face portion for contact with the vehicle occupant and a rear portion including an inlet port for the introduction of an inflation medium into the body, wherein the body is formed by windings of at least one yarn which possesses at least one of an elongation at break of at least about 14.6% when tested according to ASTM Standard Test Method D 2256-97, published by American Society of Testing Materials, and a breaking toughness of at least about 0.4 gram per denier (gpd) where the breaking toughness is defined as the energy to break divided by the product of the denier and the sample length, and wherein the yarn is evenly distributed across said face portion of said body.

2. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein the yarn has a tenacity of less than about 10.0 gm/denier (gpd).

3. The airbag cushion according to claim 2 wherein the tenacity is less than about 4.0 gram/denier.

4. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said body includes a flexible permeability blocking coating of material.

5. The airbag cushion according to claim 4, wherein said flexible permeability blocking coating of material is an elastomeric adhesive.

6. The airbag cushion according to claim 5, wherein said elastomeric adhesive is applied as a curable dispersion applied across the surface of said cushion subsequent to winding of said yarn around said mandrel.

7. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said breaking toughness is at least about 1.0 gram/denier.

8. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said elongation at break is at least about 30%.

9. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, further comprising a film disposed across at least a portion of the interior of said body.

10. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said windings comprise a plurality of yarns.

11. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said yarn is a yarn formed from polymeric materials selected from the group consisting of polyester, Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, Nylon 4.6, and blends thereof.

12. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said yarn has a linear density in the range of about 40 to 400 denier.

13. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein said yarn is disposed preferentially across the back of said body in the area surrounding the inlet port so as to form a localized region of enhanced thickness around the inlet.

14. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein the yarn possesses an elongation at break of more than 30%.

15. The airbag cushion according to claim 14, wherein the yarn possesses a breaking toughness or more than 1.0 gram per denier (gpm).

16. The airbag cushion according to claim 1, wherein the yarn is at least one of Nylon 6, Nylon 4.6, and combinations thereof.

17. A lightweight, inflatable airbag cushion for deployment in opposing relation to a vehicle occupant during a collision event, the cushion comprising; a body including an interior, a face portion for contact with the vehicle occupant and a rear portion including an inlet port for introduction of an inflation medium into the body, wherein the body is formed by substantially continuous windings of at least one yarn disposed around a rotating collapsible mandrel of a shape substantially corresponding to the final desired shaped of the airbag cushion, using at least one yarn which possesses at least one of an elongation at break of at least about 14.6% when tested according to ASTM Standard Test Method D 2256-97, published by American Society of Testing Materials, and a breaking toughness of at least about 0.4 gram per denier where the breaking toughness is defined as the energy to break divided by the product of the denier and the sample length, and wherein the yarn is evenly distributed across said face portion of said body.

18. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein said yarn has a tenacity of less than about 10.0 grams/denier.

19. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, having a spheroidal shape wherein the ratio of depth to equatorial diameter is about 0.5 to 0.7.

20. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, further including a flexible, permeability blocking coating layer of elastomeric adhesive holding the yarn in place.

21. The airbag cushion according to claim 20, wherein said elastomeric adhesive is applied across the surface of said cushion in the form of a curable dispersion subsequent to the substantially continuous winding of yarn around said rotating mandrel.

22. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, further comprising a film disposed across at least a portion of the interior of said body.

23. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein said windings comprise a plurality of yarns.

24. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein said yarn is a yarn formed from polymeric materials selected from the group consisting of polyester, Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, Nylon 4.6, and blends thereof.

25. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein said yarn has a linear density in the range of about 40 to 400 denier.

26. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein said yarn is added while systematically shifting the angle of placement of the yarn with respect to the equatorial plane of said mandrel such that the yarn is spread across said face.

27. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein the yarn possesses an elongation at break of more than 30%.

28. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein the yarn possesses a breaking toughness or more than 1.0 gram per denier (gpm).

29. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein the yarn has a tenacity 5 of less than 4.0 grams per denier (gpd).

30. The airbag cushion according to claim 17, wherein the yarn is at least one of Nylon 6, Nylon 4.6, and combinations thereof.

31. An inflatable restraint made of yarn which possesses at least one of an elongation at break of more than 30% when tested according to ASTM Standard Test Method D 2256-97, published by American Society of Testing Materials, and a breaking toughness of more than 1.0 gram per denier where the breaking toughness is defined as the energy to break divided by the product of the denier and the sample length, and a tenacity of less than 4.0 grams per denier (gpd).

32. A yarn for an inflatable restraint, comprising a yarn which possesses at least one of an elongation at break of more than 30% when tested according to ASTM Standard Test Method D 2256-97, published by American Society of Testing Materials, and a breaking toughness of more than 1.0 gram per denier where the breaking toughness is defined as the energy to break divided by the product of the denier and the sample length.

33. In a method of making an airbag, the improvement comprising a yarn which possesses at least one of an elongation at break of more than 30% when tested according to ASTM Standard Test Method D 2256-97, published by American Society of Testing Materials, and a breaking toughness of more than 1.0 gram per denier where the breaking toughness is defined as the energy to break divided by the product of the denier and the sample length.