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How Airbags Works

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How it works The inflation of airbags requires a lot of chemistry. They are inflated from the products of a chemical reaction. Inside the airbag is a gas generator which contains a mixture of NaN3, KNO3, and SiO2. (“Gas Laws,” n.d.) The airbags have a sensor that contains a steel ball attached to a permanent magnet or a stiff spring. The spring or magnet holds the ball in place through minor accidents when an airbag is not needed—for example, if a car is slightly bumped by another car in a parking lot. When a car goes through a severe collision, a series of three chemical reactions inside the gas generator produces nitrogen gas (N2) that fills the airbag and decomposes the sodium azide (NaN3). The role of the potassium nitrate (KNO3) and silicon
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