Airbags have become a common fixture in the majority of passenger vehicles manufactured around the world. One key component is the inflator, the size of an size N battery, that until now was comprised of a metal cylinder packed with an explosive material into which wires are inserted. The latest initiators, however, are now being insert-molded using vertical injection presses and polyamide (PA) 6 as the encapsulant.
"Late model vehicles typically incorporate five airbags, and each of these needs an initiator," notes Koji Maeda, sales director at Sodick Korea Co. (Seoul). "Previously, these were assembled manually but with insert molding, productivity has improved dramatically." Maeda was speaking to PlasticsToday at the recent Koplas show in Seoul.