Testing of Airbag Connectors
Airbags are one of the most important safety components in an automobile. The demands for a perfect deployment in case of an emergency are correspondingly high. Today, eight to twelve airbags are installed in a vehicle, and it must be ensured that the connectors latch safely and that the necessary electrical contact is made. During the component development phase, Delphi Connection Systems Deutschland GmbH, a leading global manufacturer of connector systems, performs tests to verify the mechanical and electrical properties of the connectors.
Airbag connectors make a characteristic noise (audible feedback) when they are latched. However, this is not sufficient to ensure that electrical contact has also been made. For this, companies rely on synchronized mechanical, electrical, and optical testing. The connection is tested using a Zwick AllroundLine testing machine. The AllroundLine series was developed for demanding testing situations, a key feature being its flexible expansion options. When connecting, a PCIe card installed in testControl II performs time-synchronous measurement of the current, while generating a graphic indicating the presence or absence of electrical contact. In parallel, the moment of latching is recorded optically for safety reasons. In addition, the essential components of the connector, such as springs and clamps, are filmed from two different angles. Zwick's Multi-Capture function was developed for applications such as this and it delivers detailed, synchronized videos from two different angles. If necessary, as many as four video cameras can be connected. All incoming data is processed by the testControl II measurement and control technology. It provides quick, measured value acquisition for monitoring switch contacts and maximum modularity through a large number of free slots.