Chemistry of airbags

Paper Rating: Word Count: 375 Approx Pages: 2

Car accidents can prove to be fatal. However, with the proper safety measures, fatality can be avoided. Seatbelts can save your life, as well as airbags. An airbag is a big that undergoes a chemical reaction to burst out and causes a stop in motion, pillowing you into it. Airbags are complex, and a necessity to life.

When two or more cars collide, force is exerted. This force is measured in an electronic sensor in the tunnel of the car. If the car decelerates at more than twenty-eight kilometers per hour, then the ignitor will trigger the gas generator, which will start a chemical reaction in the airbag. The airbag is connected to a capacitator which will make it possible to ignite up to one hundred milliseconds after the power of the battery has been cut, possibly due to an accident.

There are a number of different chemical reactions that go on in an airbag. An airbag contains the highly toxic sodium azide, a mixture of sodium and nitrogen. After a collision, the sensor triggers and electric circuit, which heat up the bag. The sodium azide decomposes into metal sodium and nitrogen gas. The nitrogen gas expands in the airbag at over two hundred miles per hour causing the nylon fabric (airbag) to fill very quickly. The nitrogen makes the sodium aide into harmless gas. Potassium nitrate and silicon dioxide are present to remove the potent sodium metal, a potential explosion. The process described takes only about one-twenty-fifth of a second.

To determine how much silicon azide is needed in an airbag, scientists use the ideal-gas laws. The ideal-gas law states that collisions between atoms and molecules are elastic and one in which there are no intermolecular forces. The kinetic theory of gases allows researchers how much the gas is responsible for the pressure within the airbag. The kinetic theory of gases states that molecules move randomly, molecules undergo elastic collision, and molecules are large in number.

Page 1 of 2 Next >

Related Essays