PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1798118 02.08.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001798118
Titel Airbagvorrichtung
Anmelder Takata Corp., Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Nakazawa, Wataru c/o Takata Corporation, Tokyo 106-8510, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 28.11.2006
EP-Aktenzeichen 061249140
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 20.06.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 02.08.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse B60R 21/20(2006.01)A, F, I, 20070522, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a construction technology for an airbag apparatus for use in a motor vehicle mounted on the motor vehicle.

Hitherto, a construction of an airbag apparatus, in which an airbag is developed and expanded in an occupant restraining area at a time when a motor vehicle collision is caused, is known. Further, in JP-A-11-28997 (Patent Document 1) described below, in this kind of airbag apparatus, a possibility, in which a folded shape of the airbag is held by means of providing a holding member constructed of a cloth to hold the previously folded airbag, is shown. However, in such an airbag apparatus, it is difficult to confirm whether a holding operation for holding the folded shape is also securely performed by means of the holding member after the holding member is further mounted, upon securely holding the folded shape of the airbag by means of the holding member. For example, in a case that part of the airbag is held by means of a holding portion formed from the cloth, as the holding member described in JP-A-11-28997 , it is possible to confirm the folded shape of the airbag at a non-holding portion where the holding member does not reach. However, because of a construction provided with a holding portion, it is difficult to figure out the folded shape across the entire airbag without exception. However, when an area of the holding portion is decreased, the area of the holding portion is reduced by this extent although a possibility that the folded shape of the airbag is figured out is increased. At this time, a problem occurs. That is, an original object such as that the folded shape of the airbag is held by means of the holding member, is difficult to achieve.

Accordingly, the present invention is made in consideration of the above-described point of view, and it is a problem to provide a technology effective for being aimed at stabilizing a quality with regard to holding the folded shape of the airbag that is previously folded, in an airbag apparatus for use in a motor vehicle mounted on a motor vehicle.

The present invention is constructed in order to solve the aforementioned problems. Incidentally, the present invention can be applied to a construction technology for an airbag apparatus mounted on various types of motor vehicles, such as, automobile motor vehicles, trucks, buses, electric trains, boats and ships, motor cycles, and so forth.

A first aspect of the present invention for solving the aforementioned problem is an airbag apparatus according to Claim 1. The airbag apparatus according to Claim I at least includes an airbag, an airbag housing portion, an airbag cover, a gas-supplying portion, and an airbag-holding member.

The airbag in the present invention is constructed as an airbag being expanded while developed in a predetermined developing and expanding area at a time of a motor vehicle accident, and restraining bodies inside and outside a motor vehicle. An object to be restrained by the airbag includes an occupant seated in a driver's seat, an occupant seated in a passenger seat, an occupant seated in a seat other than the driver's seat or the passenger seat, such as a rear seat, a pedestrian outside a motor vehicle, or the like. Accordingly, in a developing and expanding area where the airbag according to the present invention is developed and expanded, not only an in-car area where an occupant as the restraining object exists, but also an area outside the motor vehicle where the pedestrian as the restraining object exists are widely included.

The airbag housing portion according to the present invention is constructed to house the airbag in a folded condition being folded in a predetermined configuration, and to include an airbag opening that allows the airbag to be developed and expanded. As the "predetermined configuration" described here, a roll-folding configuration formed in a manner such that the airbag is retracted into a roll shape, a bellows folding configuration formed in a manner such that the airbag is folded into a bellows shape, a folding configuration in which these configurations are in complex with each other, and the like, are listed. The airbag housed in the airbag housing portion protrudes outside the airbag housing portion through the airbag opening at a time when the airbag is developed and expanded. The airbag opening is covered by means of the airbag cover according to the present invention.

The gas supplying portion according to the present invention has a function for supplying the gas for expanding the airbag to the airbag so as to develop and expand the airbag to an occupant restraining area, when the motor vehicle accident occurs. In concrete terms, the gas supplying portion has a construction for generating the gas for expanding the airbag by means of detecting an occurrence of the motor vehicle accident, and for introducing the gas for expanding the airbag into an inside of the airbag.

The airbag-holding member according to the present invention has a function to hold a folded shape of the airbag, while being caused to adhere to an outer surface of the airbag in a folded condition, which is housed in the airbag housing portion, in a partitioned area being partitioned by the airbag housing portion and the airbag cover. In particular, in the present invention, the airbag-holding member is constructed using a translucent film sheet in which a plurality of resin layers is formed in a layer-stack manner with regard to a sheet cross-sectional direction. It is sufficient that the translucent film sheet described here enables visible confirmation through the film sheet regardless of the small or large of a degree of the translucency. As for the film sheet, a transparent film sheet and a half transparent film sheet (translucent white film sheet or colored film sheet) can appropriately be used. That is, the airbag-holding member according to the present invention is provided with a function to enable the folded condition of the airbag to be visibly confirmed (sometimes called "visibility function") at a time of mounting the airbag-holding member, and at a time after mounting the same, in addition to an original function to hold the folded shape of the airbag in the folded condition by using the translucent film sheet.

Incidentally, with regard to the visibility function of the airbag-holding member according to the present invention, a first visibility configuration in which the folded condition is visibly confirmed before the airbag in the folded condition is housed in the airbag housing portion, or a second visibility configuration in which the folded condition is visibly confirmed after the airbag in the folded condition is housed in the airbag housing portion are visualized. In a case that the first visibility configuration is visualized, it is preferable that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet is applied to an entire area of the film sheet. By means of the above-described configuration, it becomes possible to visibly confirm the folded condition from various directions through the film sheet before the airbag in the folded condition is housed in the airbag housing portion. On the other hand, in a case that the second visibility configuration is visualized, it is preferable that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet is applied to at least a portion that is visible from a side of the airbag opening in each of portions of the film sheet. By means of the above-described configuration, it becomes possible to visibly confirm the folded condition from the side of the airbag opening 144 after the airbag in the folded condition is housed in the airbag housing portion. It is natural to say that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet may be applied to an entire area of the film sheet in a case that the second visibility configuration is visualized.

Further, in the present invention, as for a construction in which a plurality of resin layers is formed in a layer-stack manner with regard to a sheet cross-sectional direction, a single film sheet having an integrally formed shape including a plurality of resin layers may be used, or a construction in which a plurality of film sheets formed from each of the resin layers are overlapped on each other in the layer-stack manner may be used.

According to such a construction of the airbag apparatus described in Claim 1, the folded shape of the airbag can be held, and it becomes possible to visibly confirm whether the folded shape of the airbag in the folded condition is maintained without being deformed, through the translucent film sheet by using the airbag-holding member formed from a translucent film sheet. By means of the above-described configuration, the quality with regard to the holding the folded shape of the airbag can be aimed at stabilizing.

Further, according to the present invention, the plurality of resin layers of the translucent film sheet can be constructed as a resin layer having another function in addition to the translucency. For example, in the plurality of resin layers of the translucent film sheets, a first resin layer can be configured to be a resin layer having the translucency and high strength, and a second resin layer can be configured to be a resin layer having the translucency and an environmental deterioration resistance. By means of the construction described above, further functions can be applied to the plurality of resin layers of the film sheet constituting the airbag-holding member in addition to the translucency, resulting in forming a rational configuration.

The second aspect of the present invention for solving the aforementioned problem is the airbag apparatus according to Claim 2. In the airbag apparatus according to Claim 2, the airbag-holding member according to Claim 1 has a construction using a film sheet including a resin layer having translucency and low frictional characteristic for the airbag, as a translucent film sheet. The film sheet is caused to adhere, with the resin layer thereof, to an outer surface of the airbag in a folded condition, being housed in an airbag housing portion. The resin layer having translucency and low frictional characteristic described here is configured to be a resin layer having relatively low friction resistance (friction coefficient) between a synthetic resin-made airbag.

In accordance with such a construction of the airbag apparatus according to Claim 2, the energy loss caused by frictional resistance between the airbag-holding member and the airbag at a time of developing and expanding operations can be suppressed by means of disposing the resin layer having low frictional characteristic at the airbag side of the airbag-holding member, where the airbag that is developed and expanded at a time of occurrence of a motor vehicle accident is directly in contact therewith. As a result, smooth developing and expanding operations of the airbag can be realized.

The third aspect of the present invention for solving the aforementioned problem is the airbag apparatus according to Claim 3. In the airbag apparatus according to Claim 3, the airbag-holding member according to either one of Claims 1 or 2 has a construction using a film sheet including at least a resin layer in a resin layer having the translucency and high strength, and a resin layer having the translucency and an environmental deterioration resistance, as a translucent film sheet. The resin layer having high strength is defined as a resin layer having strength capable of holding a folded shape of the airbag against the force in which the airbag in a condition being once folded back has a behavior to release the folded back condition. Such a resin layer having high strength is effective for further assuredly holding the folded shape of the airbag in the folded condition after the airbag-holding member is mounted as well. On the other hand, the resin layer having the environmental deterioration resistance is defined as a resin layer good at antiweatherability such as, heat resistance, moisture resistance, light stability, and so forth. Such a resin layer having environmental deterioration resistance is particularly effective in the airbag apparatus installed at a place, which is easy to be exposed to the open air environment, such as a motor vehicle.

In accordance with such a construction of the airbag apparatus according to Claim 3, the folded shape of the airbag is held, and the visibility from outside with regard to the folded condition of the airbag is secured. In addition, it becomes possible to provide an airbag-holding member giving consideration to the strength and the environmental deterioration resistance of the airbag-holding member.

The forth aspect of the present invention for solving the aforementioned problem is the airbag apparatus according to Claim 4. In the airbag apparatus according to Claim 4, the airbag-holding member according to any one of Claims 1 through 3 has a construction in which a translucent film sheet is wrapped around and caused to adhere to an outer surface of the airbag in a folded condition being folded in a predetermined configuration with the airbag outer surface including a portion at the airbag opening side. The portion at the airbag opening side described here is defined as a place positioned at an airbag opening side in each of the portions of the airbag in the folded condition.

In accordance with such a construction of the airbag apparatus according to Claim 4, by means of using the airbag-holding member formed from a translucent film sheet that is wrapped around the outer surface of the airbag, the folded shape of the airbag can be held and it becomes possible to visibly confirm whether the folded shape of the airbag in the folded condition is maintained without being deformed, through the translucent film sheet.

The fifth aspect of the present invention for solving the aforementioned problem is the airbag apparatus according to Claim 5. The airbag apparatus according to Claim 5 is constructed such that in the airbag-holding member according to any one of Claims 1 through 3, a translucent film sheet is disposed in a manner so as to cover the airbag opening in the airbag housing portion housing the airbag, and the translucent film sheet is caused to adhere to a portion of the folded airbag at the airbag opening side.

In accordance with such a construction of the airbag apparatus according to Claim 5, by means of using the airbag-holding member formed from a translucent film sheet that covers the airbag opening, the folded shape of the airbag can be held and it becomes possible to visibly confirm whether the folded shape of the airbag in the folded condition is maintained without being deformed, through the translucent film sheet.

As described above, according to the present invention, in the airbag apparatus for use in the motor vehicle mounted on the motor vehicle, particularly, in the partitioned area that is partitioned by means of the airbag housing portion and the airbag cover, by means of disposing the airbag-holding member in an adhering manner to the outer surface of the airbag in the folded condition, and being housed in the housing portion, holding the folded shape of the airbag by the airbag-holding member, and constructing the airbag-holding member using the translucent film sheet in which a plurality of resin layers is formed in a layer-stack manner with regard to a direction of a sheet cross-section, it becomes possible to visibly confirm the folded shape of the airbag being previously folded, even after the airbag-holding member is mounted. Accordingly, this enables to aim at stabilizing the quality with regard to holding the folded shape of the airbag.

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail referring to the drawings:

  • Fig. 1 is a view showing a cross-sectional structure of an airbag apparatus 100 serving as an embodiment of an "airbag apparatus" with respect to the present invention;
  • Fig. 2 is a view showing a condition in which the airbag apparatus 100 in a folded condition with respect to the present embodiment is held by means of an airbag-holding member 160;
  • Fig. 3 is a view showing a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line A-A of the airbag-holding member 160 in Fig. 2;
  • Fig. 4 is a view showing a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line B-B of the airbag-holding member 160 in Fig. 2;
  • Fig. 5 is a view showing a cross-sectional structure of an airbag apparatus 200 serving as an embodiment of an "airbag apparatus" with respect to the present invention; and
  • Fig. 6 is view showing a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line C-C of the airbag-holding member 260 in Fig. 5.
Firstly, a construction of an airbag apparatus 100 of the present embodiment will be explained referring to Figs. 1 through 4. The airbag apparatus 100 is, although not particularly shown, an airbag apparatus that is mounted corresponding to an occupant seated in a driver's seat of an automobile motor vehicle (hereinafter referred to as motor vehicle occupant), and is provided with a construction to be built in a steering wheel for steering a motor vehicle.

A cross-sectional structure of the airbag apparatus 100 serving as "an embodiment of an airbag apparatus" in the present invention is shown in Fig. 1. The airbag apparatus 100 is at least provided with an airbag 110, an inflator 120, a control unit 130, a retainer 140, an airbag cover 150, and an airbag-holding member 160, as basic components.

The airbag 110 is a bag-shaped bag that is developed and expanded so as to restrain the motor vehicle occupant at a time of causing a motor vehicle collision, and is formed by means of stitching a piece of or a plurality of pieces of base cloths of the airbag formed from synthetic resin into a bag shape. Further, the airbag apparatus 100 is housed in a retainer 140 in a folded condition being folded in a predetermined configuration. As the "predetermined configuration" described above, a roll-folding configuration formed in a manner such that the airbag 110 is retracted into a roll shape, a bellows folding configuration formed in a manner such that the airbag 110 is folded into a bellows shape, a folding configuration in which these configurations are in complex with each other, or the like, is a typical configuration. The airbag apparatus 110 described here corresponds to the "airbag" in the present invention.

In the inflator 120, a gas-generating portion 122 generating gas for developing and expanding the airbag 110 is built in an internal space of the airbag 110 constructed to be a bag shape. The gas-generating portion 122 is connected to the control unit 130 via a harness 124, and generates the gas for developing and expanding the airbag 110 by means of being activated by an output of a control signal from the control unit 130. This gas for developing and expanding the airbag 110 generated in the gas-generating portion 122 is to be supplied to an internal part of the airbag 110 through a gas-distributing pathway (not shown). The control unit 130 is composed of a CPU (Central Processing Unit) having a known construction, a ROM, a RAM, an input and output device, a peripheral device (illustration of any of these devices are omitted), and the like. Further, the control unit 130 is connected to a motor vehicle information detecting device 170 serving as a component of a motor vehicle side, and outputs a control signal to the gas generating portion 122 on the basis of information transmitted from the motor vehicle information detecting device 170. Typically, a collision detecting sensor that detects occurrence of the motor vehicle collision on the basis of acceleration or the like applied to the motor vehicle is used, as the motor vehicle information detecting device 170. The inflator 120 described here constitutes a "gas supplying portion" in the present invention.

The retainer 140 is constructed as a box-shaped case member having a bottom provided with a function for housing the airbag 110 having the aforementioned construction, and the inflator 120. In concrete terms, in a housing space 142 of the retainer 140 for housing the inflator 120, the inflator 120 is housed at a lower part thereof, and the airbag 110 is housed above the housed inflator 120. At an upper part of the retainer 140, an airbag opening 144 that opens so as to allow the developing and expanding operations of the airbag 110 in the housed condition is formed. The airbag 110 protrudes in a direction indicated by an arrow 10 in Fig. 1, while being developed and expanded through the airbag opening 144 at a time of causing the motor vehicle collision. The retainer 140 is constructed with using a molded member formed from a metal material or a resin material. The retainer 140 described here corresponds to the "airbag housing portion" in the present invention, and the airbag opening 144 of the retainer 140 corresponds to the "airbag opening" in the present invention.

The airbag cover 150 is constructed as a resin-material made member that covers the airbag opening 144 of the retainer 140 from above in a housed condition that the airbag 110 is housed in the retainer 140. Accordingly, the motor vehicle occupant side of the airbag 110 is covered by the airbag cover 150. The airbag cover 150 is, in concrete terms, provided with a flat plate portion 152 horizontally extending along an opening plane of the airbag opening 144, and a standing portion 154 standing along a wall portion of the retainer 140 from the flat plate portion 152. The airbag cover 150 is attached to and fixed to a retainer 140 side at the standing portion 154. In addition, although not shown, a reduced-thickness portion in which a plate thickness at the flat plate portion 152 and the standing portion 154 is relatively reduced, namely a so-called tear line is provided in the airbag cover 150. The airbag cover 150 is ruptured at the tear line thereof, resulting in allowing the airbag opening 144 to form an open condition by weighting at a time of developing and developing operations of the airbag 110 when causing a motor vehicle accident such as a motor vehicle collision. In addition, the airbag cover 150 allows the airbag 110 to protrude outside the retainer 140 through the airbag opening 144. The airbag cover 150 corresponds to the "airbag cover" in the present invention.

The airbag-holding member 160 is a member provided with a function to hold (or may sometimes be called "to maintain") a folded shape of the airbag 110 by means of providing a film sheet having translucency in an adhering manner, at an outer surface of the airbag 110 in a folded condition being folded in a predetermined configuration. The airbag-holding member 160 described here corresponds to the "airbag-holding member" in the present invention. Here, a condition in which the folded shape of the airbag 110 in a folded condition of the present embodiment is held by means of the airbag-holding member 160 is shown in Fig. 2. Further, a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line A-A of the airbag-holding member 160 in Fig. 2 is shown in Fig. 3, and a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line B-B of the airbag-holding member 160 in Fig. 2 is shown in Fig. 4.

As shown in Fig. 2, the airbag-holding member 160 in the present embodiment is formed from a sheet-shaped film sheet having translucency, and the film sheet is configured to be a wrapped condition, in which the film sheet is wrapped around the outer surface of the airbag 110 in the folded condition, including a portion at an airbag opening 144 side of the airbag 110 in the adhering manner. In the wrapped condition of the airbag-holding member 160, it is preferable to form an overlapping portion 162 such that both end portions of the film sheet are overlapped on each other. In the present embodiment, a construction, in which only a film sheet is merely wrapped around the airbag 110 in a folded condition, may be applied, or a construction, in which each of both end portions of a film sheet is further jointed together by means of a heat fusion bonding, a bond, or the like at the overlapping portion 162 upon merely wrapping the film sheet around the airbag 110 in a folded condition may also be applied. As still further construction, a construction, in which a hole portion is provided at each of end portions of a film sheet, and each of the end portions is attached and fixed to a fixing portion (for example, a stud bolt for fixing) provided at the airbag 110 side by being hooked on the fixing portion, can also be adopted. In this construction, there is no need to provide a portion such as the overlapping portion 162 where both end portions of the film sheet are overlapped together. By means of using each of these constructions, the folded shape of the airbag 110 in the folded condition is to be securely held by means of the airbag-holding member 160.

Further, as shown in Fig. 3, the airbag-holding member 160 of the present embodiment is formed to be a film sheet having a bilayer structure in which a first resin layer 160a and a second resin layer 160b are disposed in a layer-stack manner with regard to a direction of a film cross-section (sometimes called "sheet cross-sectional direction"). The first resin layer 160a is a resin layer of the airbag side where the airbag 110 is directly in contact therewith, and is provided with translucency in a formed condition. Further, the first resin layer 160a is constructed as a resin layer having low frictional characteristic for the airbag 110 formed from synthesized fiber. The resin layer having low frictional characteristic is defined as a resin layer whose frictional resistance (friction coefficient) between the airbag at a time of developing and expanding is relatively low. On the other hand, the second resin layer 160b is a resin layer provided outside the first resin layer 160a, and is not directly in contact with the airbag 110. The second resin layer 160b is constructed as a resin layer having translucency in a formed condition, and is constructed as a resin layer having high strength. The resin layer having high strength is defined as a resin layer having strength capable of holding a folded shape of the airbag against the force in which the airbag in a condition being once folded back has a behavior to release the folded back condition. Incidentally, the film sheet as the airbag-holding member 160 of the present embodiment may be formed of a single film sheet having an integrally formed shape including a portion of the first resin layer 160a and a portion of the second resin layer 160b, or may have a construction in which a film sheet formed from the first resin layer 160a and a film sheet formed from the second resin layer 160b are overlapped on each other in the layer-stack manner.

Further, the present embodiment is constructed such that a portion, in which a reduced thickness portion (sometimes called "weak portion") with regard to a cross-sectional direction is formed in a continuous line manner, namely a so-called tear line 164, is provided in an upper surface of the airbag-holding member 160 in a condition of being wrapped around the airbag 110 in a condition being housed in the retainer 140. As shown in Fig. 4, the tear line 164 is typically formed in the second resin layer 160b in the first resin layer 160a and the second resin layer 160b. As for a method for forming the tear line 164, a method to weaken the second resin layer 164b by means of performing a laser processing for the second resin layer 160b, a method to weaken the film by means of heating by ironing or the like can appropriately be adopted. In this case, a depth of the reduced thickness with regard to the film cross-sectional direction of the tear line 164 can appropriately be set within a limit of the wall thickness of the second resin layer 160b. For example, it is preferable to set the depth of the reduced thickness with regard to the film cross-sectional direction of the tear line 164 so as for the strength of the tear line 164 to fall below the holding force caused by means of wrapping the film sheet for the airbag 110 in the folded condition.

According to the airbag apparatus 100 having the aforementioned construction, since the airbag-holding member 160 is formed from the film sheet having translucency, the airbag-holding member 160 is provided with a function to enable the folded condition of the airbag 110 to be visibly confirmed (sometimes called "visibility function") at a time of mounting the airbag-holding member 160, and at a time after mounting the same, in addition to an original function to hold the folded shape of the airbag 110 in a folded condition. As for the translucency of the film sheet, it is sufficient that the visibility can be obtained through the film sheet regardless of the small or large of a degree of the translucency. As the film sheet, a transparent film sheet and a half transparent film sheet (translucent white film sheet or colored film sheet) can appropriately be used. According to such a construction of the airbag apparatus 100, it becomes possible to visibly confirm whether the folded shape of the airbag 110 in the folded condition is maintained without being deformed, through the airbag-holding member 160 as needed. Therefore, with regard to holding the folded shape of the airbag 110, the quality can be aimed at stabilizing.

At this moment, with regard to the visibility function of the airbag-holding member 160, a first visibility configuration in which the folded condition is visibly confirmed before the airbag 110 in the folded condition is housed in the retainer 140, or a second visibility configuration in which the folded condition is visibly confirmed after the airbag 110 in the folded condition is housed in the retainer 140 are visualized. In a case that the first visibility configuration is visualized, it is preferable that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet is applied to an entire area of the film sheet. By means of the above-described configuration, it becomes possible to visibly confirm the folded condition from various directions through the film sheet before the airbag 110 in the folded condition is housed in the retainer 140. On the other hand, in a case that the second visibility configuration is visualized, it is preferable that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet is applied to at least a portion that is visible from a side of the airbag opening 144 in each of portions of the film sheet. That is, a construction in which the translucency is applied to at least the portion corresponding to the airbag opening 144 in each of the portions of the film sheet can be adopted. By means of the above-described configuration, it becomes possible to visibly confirm the folded condition from the side of the airbag opening 144 after the airbag 110 in the folded condition is housed in the retainer 140. It is natural to say that the visibility function of the translucent film sheet may be applied to an entire area of the film sheet when the second visibility configuration is visualized.

Further, in the airbag apparatus 100 having the aforementioned construction, when the airbag 110 is developed and expanded at a time of causing a motor vehicle accident, developing and expanding force are applied to an internal surface of the airbag-holding member 160. In this case, strength of the tear line 164 of the airbag-holding member 160 is configured to fall below folding force caused by wrapping of the film sheet around the airbag 110 in the folded condition. Thereby, the airbag-holding member 160 is ruptured at the tear line 164 and releases the holding condition for holding the folded shape of the airbag 110. Further, the developing and expanding operations of the airbag 110 toward the airbag cover 150 sides and a protruding operation of the same is allowed. At this moment, the first resin layer 160a having low frictional characteristic is disposed at the airbag 110 side of the airbag-holding member 160 of the present embodiment, where the airbag 110 is directly in contact therewith. Thereby, the energy loss caused by frictional resistance between the airbag-holding member 160 and the airbag 110 at a time of developing and expanding operations can be suppressed, and as a result, smooth developing and expanding operations of the airbag 110 can be realized. On the other hand, the film strength of the airbag-holding member 160 itself becomes possible to be secured by means of disposing the second resin layer 160b having high strength at the other side, and therefore it is effective for further assuredly holding the folded shape of the airbag 110 in the folded condition also after the airbag-holding member 160 is mounted. Thus, in the present embodiment, further functions with regard to the friction and the strength in addition to the translucency can be applied to the first resin layer 160a and the second resin layer 160b of the film sheet constituting the airbag-holding member 160, resulting in forming a rational configuration.

Further, the airbag 110 ruptures the airbag cover 150 at a tear line by the weighting when developing and expanding, and protrudes outside the retainer 140 through the airbag opening 144. Thus, the airbag 110 being developed and expanded at the predeterminate occupant restraining area is to restrain the motor vehicle occupant.

Incidentally, as for a device for holding the folded shape of the airbag 110 in the folded condition, another construction can also be adopted instead of the airbag-holding member 160 having the aforementioned construction. At this moment, an airbag apparatus provided with an airbag-holding member 260 having a construction different from that of the airbag apparatus 160 will be explained referring to Figs. 5 and 6. In Fig. 5, a cross-sectional structure of an airbag apparatus 200 as an embodiment of the "airbag apparatus" in the present invention is shown. Further, a cross-sectional structure with regard to a line C-C of the airbag-holding member 260 in Fig. 5 is shown in Fig. 6.

The airbag apparatus 200, shown in Fig. 5 adopts a construction in which the airbag-holding member 260 is attached to the airbag opening 144 of the retainer 140 instead of wrapping the airbag-holding member 160 around the airbag 110 in the folded condition. The components other than that of the airbag apparatus 200 are identical of that of the airbag apparatus 100, shown in Fig. 1.

The airbag-holding member 260 is constructed with a translucent film sheet similar to that of the above-described airbag-holding member 160. The airbag-holding member 260 is a member provided with a function to maintain the folded shape of the airbag 110 by means of attaching the translucent film sheet to the retainer 140 in a condition of housing the airbag 110, in a manner so as to cover the airbag opening 144, and causing the translucent film sheet to adhere to a portion of the airbag opening 144 side of the airbag 110 in a folded condition. The airbag-holding member 260 described here corresponds to the "airbag-holding member" in the present invention.

As shown in Fig. 6, the airbag-holding member 260 is formed to be a film sheet having a bilayer structure in which a first resin layer 260a and a second resin layer 260b are disposed in the layer-stack manner with regard to a direction of a sheet crass-section. The first resin layer 260a is a film portion at the airbag 110 side where the airbag 110 is directly in contact therewith, and is provided with translucency in a formed condition. Further, the first resin layer 260a has a construction similar to that of the first resin layer 160a having low frictional characteristic for the airbag 110 formed from the synthetic resin. On the other hand, the second resin layer 260b is a film portion provided outside the first resin layer 260a, and is not directly in contact with the airbag 110. The second resin layer 260b has translucency in a formed condition and has a construction similar to that of the second resin layer 160b having high strength. Further, in the airbag-holding member 260, a tear line 264 similar to the above-described tear line 164 is provided in the second resin layer 260b in the first resin layer 260a and the second resin layer 260b. Incidentally, the film sheet serving as the airbag-holding member 260 in the present embodiment may be formed of a single film sheet having an integrally formed shape including a portion of the first resin layer 260a and a portion of the second resin layer 260b, or may have a construction in which a film sheet formed from the first resin layer 260a and a film sheet formed from the second resin layer 260b are overlapped on each other in the layer-stack manner.

According to the airbag apparatus 200 having the aforementioned construction, since the airbag-holding member 260 is formed from the film sheet having translucency, the airbag-holding member 260 is provided with a function to enable the folded condition of the airbag 110 to be visibly confirmed at a time of mounting the airbag-holding member 260, and at a time after mounting the same, in addition to an original function to hold the folded shape of the airbag 110 in a folded condition. According to such a construction of the airbag apparatus 200, it becomes possible to visibly confirm whether the folded shape of the airbag 110 is maintained without being deformed, through the airbag-holding member 260 as needed. Therefore, with regard to holding the folded shape of the airbag 110, the quality can be aimed at stabilizing.

Further, according to the present embodiment, further functions with regard to the friction and the strength in addition to the translucency can be applied to the first resin layer 260a and the second resin layer 260b of the film sheet constituting the airbag-holding member 260, resulting in forming the rational configuration.

The present invention is not limited to only the aforementioned embodiment and various types of applications and modifications are considered. For example, below mentioned each configuration to which the aforementioned embodiment is applied can also be carried out.

In the aforementioned embodiment, a case, in which the airbag-holding members, 160 and 260, are constructed using a film sheet having the bilayer structure in which a first resin layer and a second resin layer are disposed in the layer-stack manner, is described. However, in the present invention, the airbag-holding member may be constructed using a film sheet having a multilayer structure in which still another resin layers are disposed in a film sheet having the bilayer structure, in the layer-stack manner. In this case, as a resin layer to be added, a resin layer having the translucency and environmental deterioration resistance may be used. The resin layer having the environmental deterioration resistance described here is defined as a resin layer good at antiweatherability such as, heat resistance, moisture resistance, light stability, and so forth. Such a resin layer having environmental deterioration resistance is particularly effective in the airbag apparatus installed at a place, which is easy to be exposed to the open air environment, such as a motor vehicle.

Further, in the aforementioned embodiment, although the airbag apparatus that is equipped corresponding to a motor vehicle occupant seated in a driver's seat of an automobile is described, the present invention may also be applied to a construction of the airbag apparatus equipped corresponding to a motor vehicle occupant seated in a seat other than the driver's seat, for example, to a motor vehicle occupant seated in a passenger seat or a rear seat, or further, to a construction of the airbag apparatus equipped corresponding to a pedestrian outside the motor vehicle. As for an airbag apparatus for restraining a pedestrian outside the motor vehicle, the airbag apparatus can typically be mounted on a motor vehicle bonnet portion, a cowl portion, an A-pillar portion, and so forth.

Furthermore, in the aforementioned embodiment, although the description is made with regard to the airbag apparatus mounted on the automobile motor vehicle, the present invention may also be applied to a construction of an airbag apparatus in motor vehicles other than the automobile motor vehicle such as, for example, trucks, buses, electric trains, boats and ships, motor cycles, and so forth.


Anspruch[en]
An airbag apparatus mounted on a motor vehicle comprising: an airbag; an airbag housing portion housing the airbag being folded in a predetermined configuration and including an airbag opening allowing the airbag to be developed and expanded; an airbag cover covering the airbag opening; a gas-supplying portion for supplying the gas for expanding the airbag to the airbag so as for the airbag to be developed and expanded in a developing and expanding area when a motor vehicle accident occurs; and an airbag-holding member for holding a folded shape of the airbag while being caused to adhere to an outer surface of the folded airbag being housed in the airbag housing portion in a partitioned area being partitioned by the airbag housing portion and the airbag cover, wherein the airbag-holding member is constructed by using a translucent film sheet wherein a plurality of resin layers is formed in a layer-staclt manner with regard to a sheet cross-sectional direction. The airbag apparatus according to Claim 1, wherein the airbag-holding member is constructed using a film sheet including a resin layer having translucency and a low frictional characteristic for the airbag, as a translucent film sheet, and is constructed such that the film sheet is caused to adhere, with the resin layer thereof, to an outer surface of the airbag in a folded condition, being housed in the airbag housing portion. The airbag apparatus according to either one of Claims 1 or 2, wherein the airbag-holding member is constructed using the film sheet including at least one resin layer in a resin layer having translucency and high strength and a resin layer having translucency and environmental deterioration resistance, as the translucent film sheet. The airbag apparatus according to any one of Claims 1 through 3, wherein the airbag-holding member is constructed such that the translucent film sheet is wrapped around and caused to adhere to an outer surface of the airbag folded in a predetermined configuration with the airbag outer surface including a portion on the airbag opening side. The airbag apparatus according to any one of Claims 1 through 3, wherein the airbag-holding member is constructed such that the translucent film sheet is disposed in a manner so as to cover the airbag opening of the airbag housing portion housing the airbag, and wherein the translucent film sheet is caused to adhere to a portion of the folded airbag on the airbag opening side.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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