Felters R&D in the application of nonwoven textiles to safety products has resulted in the development of several unique materials for use in automotive airbags.
Airbags are a one of the key components responsible for the major reductions in death and serious injury to drivers and passengers in automotive accidents, as a result all new vehicles are fitted with multiple airbags creating a demand of over 500million airbags per year.
The operation of an airbag requires a virtually instantaneous deployment and inflation, this is effectively achieved by an internal controlled explosion that results in both high temperatures and gases expanding at many times the speed of sound. While needing to be inherently safe, the internal environment of an airbag is hostile to the materials used which must also deliver exceptional levels of predictable, reliable quality and performance. Felters intial patents were to substitute nonwoven PET materials for existing woven Polypropylene solutions resulting in performance improvements and lower cost to the airbag producers. Subsequent developments have seen the introduction and patented application of new component materials to improve perfomance.
Felters supply airbag materials to 12 countries and is the world wide source for PET 85 and 140 gsm Pointbond cushion wrap and hanger material for the market leader. It's new patented needled nonwoven PET seam tape is also now being specifed by the market leader for world wide use, again delivering both performance and cost benefits.