I know this is humor but things like this give people a false knowlege of how an airbag works and what it takes to set one off...gizmo2004 said:As far as the tap is concerned, I can believe that. It doesn't take much force in just the right place to set it off. I don't know about the white powder.
However, bottom line is, it is humor, not rocket science.
There are three parts to an air bag that help to accomplish this feat:
The bag itself is made of a thin, nylon fabric, which is folded into the steering wheel or dashboard or, more recently, the seat or door.
The sensor is the device that tells the bag to inflate. Inflation happens when there is a collision force equal to running into a brick wall at 10 to 15 miles per hour (16 to 24 km per hour). A mechanical switch is flipped when there is a mass shift that closes an electrical contact, telling the sensors that a crash has occurred. The sensors receive information from an accelerometer built into a microchip.
The air bag's inflation system reacts sodium azide (NaN3) with potassium nitrate (KNO3) to produce nitrogen gas. Hot blasts of the nitrogen inflate the air bag.
The inflation system is not unlike a solid rocket booster (see How Rocket Engines Work for details). The air bag system ignites a solid propellant, which burns extremely rapidly to create a large volume of gas to inflate the bag. The bag then literally bursts from its storage site at up to 200 mph (322 kph) -- faster than the blink of an eye! A second later, the gas quickly dissipates through tiny holes in the bag, thus deflating the bag so you can move.
Even though the whole process happens in only one-twenty-fifth of a second, the additional time is enough to help prevent serious injury. The powdery substance released from the air bag, by the way, is regular cornstarch or talcum powder, which is used by the air bag manufacturers to keep the bags pliable and lubricated while they're in storage.
Sorry gizmo, but you might just a well give up now. He's young, we aren't, we'll never be able to keep upgizmo2004 said:Thanks, Ex-Miata Man. I'm trying to catch up with dori-san, who has been nominated as the funniest on the Solstice Forum, as shown in the following link: