1. #1
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    Default 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.
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    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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    A closer look at the stored gas inflator unit from a BMW roof-mounted airbag system. Hope you find these images of the cut-away inflator interesting and will be able to use them in your extrication training programs.
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    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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    Ron : I am assuming that since you were able to do this with a hacksaw that we should realize that these devises are NOT sawzall proof. Will a simple "Strip before we rip" be sufficent to locate these? Or are they embedded within the structure of the "A" or "B" or "C" posts?
    Zmag

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    All the material that makes up the actual stored gas inflator module is a mild steel or otherwise soft metal. Making a long cut with a recip saw to slice this inflator in half was no problem.

    I prefer to describe these inflators as being mounted "to the pillar" or secured "on the pillar". They aren't actually "inside" a roof post. Once a crew strips away the interior trim, the inflator or its garden hose-type supply tubing will be immediately visible.

    Think of it from a body shop guy's point of view. These inflators have to be positioned after deploying in a crash so that they can be replaced when the vehicle is repaired. Therfore, they are surface-mounted for ease of replacement.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    I printed this out and we had a little discussion at the station this morning and I am now in need of assistance.

    I have a 'stubborn' (to say it nicely) colleague who upon looking at this proceeds to state "with all these ^$#*$^ safety devices where the heck am I supposed to cut these cars without killing myself"

    Now I would have no problem as the Operations Officer saying cut here, spread here.... and so on, but there may come a day when someone such as myself is not present and this guy is on his own with the tools. Is there a rule of thumb that any of you guys use to deal with how and where to cut once you strip away and find one of these things.

    Keep in mind I am dealing with someone who was opposed to us even assuming extrication responsibilities from our ambulance service however many years back that was and is the eternal "devil's advocate" in any tactical discussion.

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    assuming extrication responsibilities from our ambulance service
    Yikes! I have this looming in my future also...

    and my favorite "We been doing it this way for 15 years, why should we worry about something we won't see?"


    Anyhow, if there is room below it, we cut there. If not, then we cut above it through the fill hose.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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