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Cutting Stored Gas Inflator Tubing???

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  • Cutting Stored Gas Inflator Tubing???

    Received this question from a fire officer in Colorado. I get asked this just about every week so I wanted to share this with all of you.

    "I had a question about stored gas cylinders for side impact airbags. I know if you cut into the cylinder you're going to have troubles but what if you cut into a line going from the cylinder to the airbag? Does this also cause any kind of release or is the cylinder isolated?"

    My Reply.....

    No, you can cut the tubing coming from a stored gas inflator module. Only thing is though, you've created a "sawed off shotgun" if the cylinder would accidentally discharge. A focused blast of hot gas at significant pressure as it discharges. I'd take that chance if it were me. Strip the trim, see what you have, make the right decision from there.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  • #2
    Ron,

    Are there any actual cases of this happening... the canisters "rocketing" off, parts flying, etc, either in controlled testing or in the field?

    It seems that these statements are usually based on conjecture and speculation as to what "might happen" if these components were cut, versus what would actually happen. And if the gas is compressed in a cylinder (and not generated via chemical reaction), wouldn't it be cold as it expands versus hot?

    Just curious.
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-24-2003, 11:57 AM.
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