Physics I paper
Eric Pevehouse, GPISP97, 10-26-00
I believe that the rationale of Robert E. Resh s article is quite simple: He tries to establish the brief history of air bags in his audience s minds. He commences his paper with the concept of an old school air bag. Resh enlightens us that the notion of air cushions first came about during World War II as an inflatable crash landing device for airplanes. He then goes on to inform the readers of the impediments that these life-saving devices have encountered since their creation.
Resh goes on to explain that the problem that kept the premature air bags from being publicly accessible during the early days was the price. Because the technology was new and far from being perfected, the potential benefits were simply not worth the cost. The primitive designs contained numerous weaknesses involving the means of the storing and discharging the compressed air. The engineers that devoted their time to the project just did not know what effects time, temperature, and a small storage space would have on the of the efficiency of the cans.
After presenting the tribulations that the engineers faced involving the first air bags, Resh proceeds with the improvement made during the 1970s that allowed air bags to become more common. The improvement was the small propeller inflator that starts a chemical reaction, which includes the release of hot nitrogen gas. This small inflator can still be found in today s air bags.
After reading and understanding this article I ve learned several things: first, the origin and history of the air bag and, second, the basic components involved in inflating the air bag during an accident. Also, even though air bags saved approximately 600 lives in 1995, engineers are still developing more efficient air bags with smaller inflators that can be recycled and possibly use different gases for the inflating reaction air bags are continually being improved. Which is to say, more saved lives.
Resh, R.E., (1996). Air bags. Scientific American, v. 274(2), 116.
- I obtained the article from the library