Case Studies

TIVILON™ materials seal the VW airbag system

VW Sealing TPE Airbag System O-ring styled seal element

Perfect protection for a safety airbag system 

Our customer TRW (now part of ZF Friedrichshafen AG) requested a TPV material for an O-ring styled seal element to protect the bag of an airbag system from the steel arm – similar to a head bag seal used in a side airbag system.

Airbags are passive safety systems developed to prevent head injuries in accidents. It is indispensable that each part in the airbag system fits perfectly into this sensitive system and works without any issues. The O-ring styled seal element is being produced with a centering and detection skin providing additional protection for the airbag, because the bag textile material is sensitive to possible damages in this specific section. 

VW Sealing TPE Airbag System O-ring styled seal element

Obviously, the TPV material for the side airbag inflator seal has to meet many requirements. It has to guarantee perfect functionality at a temperature range from - 40 to + 90°C. For quality reasons, the seal must be visible when mounted and must be produced in two colors: beige and brown. As a result, the relevant TPV must be colorable with specific color masterbatches.

TIVILON™ M 70 DE 4 is the material of choice 

TIVILON™ M 70 DE 4 meets these and other requirements and is therefore the material of choice for side airbag inflator seals. All our TIVILON™ products are based on dynamically Vulcanized Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPVs) and demonstrate properties comparable to vulcanized rubber whilst maintaining total recyclability.

The typical features of TIVILON™ TPVs are: 

  • Good hardness range: 30 ShA – 60 ShD
  • Temperature usage range from - 40°C  to 130°C depending on the grade
  • Good compression set over a large temperature interval
  • Good resistance to UV and aging
  • Recyclability

TIVILON™ M 70 DE 4 is considered as a very good material, particularly for applications requiring an easily colorable TPV with high technical performance in varying conditions.

The small sealing element is in use in all airbag systems in smaller VW models with engines of 4 cylinders or less and in models which are built based on VW Group's strategic MQB Platform (Modular Transversal Toolkit) characterized by transverse-mounted engines.

VW Sealing TPE Airbag System O-ring styled seal element

"This collaboration and other successful common projects emphasize how trustful and important our partnership with TRW/ZF Friedrichshafen AG has become during the last years," explains Andrea Mascotto, Project Manager TPE – Automotive & Engineering. "We are really happy that we could strengthen this partnership with projects such as the airbag cover and the side airbag inflator seal. Our cooperation with TRW/ZF Friedrichshafen AG has consistently grown steadily and is also goes beyond airbag applications. It also includes TPE solutions for other automotive applications such as safety belt components."

Learn more about this case and about our TIVILON™ product family – please contact Andrea Mascotto, Project Manager TPE – Automotive & Engineering at andrea.mascotto@apiplastic.com.

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