Cut-Away Stored Gas Inflator
Here's a look at a stored gas inflator unit that I sawed in half.
It is held in a vice for the photo. The wiring comes in at the bottom of this unit.
The smaller grey metal unit with thick walls is the actual pressurized vessel. It sits inside the inflator unit's outer housing.
When the airbag is meant to activate, the 'squib' ignites into flame in that small chamber you can see at the bottom of the inflator. This "pops the cork" on the pressurized vessel.
What is interestering though, is that as the Argon and Helium gas is released, it actually makes a U-turn. It vents out the bottom of the small steel vessel, goes through a mesh filter, and then actually turns around and flows upward into that narrow space between the inner pressure vessel and the outer metal of the inflator.
The airbag hose is connected to the top of this unit. The gases vent out into the hose and cause the airbag to inflate and deploy.