Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich., has introduced a new textile coating that it claims can improve
the performance of side-curtain airbags in automobiles.
According to the company, the coating allows side-curtain airbags to remain inflated longer
after deployment, providing more protection to passengers in rollover accidents. It also allows
airbags to be folded into a narrow area above a vehicles door, thus facilitating design and
assembly of the vehicle.
Dow Corning said the new silicon-modified organic coating, which was developed in
collaboration with an airbag manufacturer, can control airbag inflation and deflation timing and
dependability, retains flexibility and resilience in wide temperature and humidity ranges over
extended periods of time, and has a high resistance to gases. These are important factors because
during rollover accidents, side-curtain airbags need to retain air pressure for several seconds in
order to provide head-cushioning protection. The airbags must then deflate to allow post-crash
access and exit.