Design of plastic parts submitted to airbag deployment

Mecaplast is a leader of injection automotive plastic parts. One of its main domain is the interior plastic parts, the trims. Some of trims are submitted to lateral airbag deployment.

There are three different major actors which are trims supplier, airbag supplier and the OEM which participate in the success of these tests. Nevertheless, airbag supplier talks in pressure and time, OEM talks in volume and global success whereas trim supplier needs an effort to design the plastic parts.

Previously Mecaplast used design rules and waited airbag test results to know if the plastic parts succeeded in or failed the test. Sometimes the parts weren't at the target and the parts had to be modified and tested again and again.

With the help of these different results and above all OptiStruct, Mecaplast developed a methodology to design structural plastic parts as ramp to guarantee to be good at the first test.

Now, Mecaplast uses this methodology in all serial projects with success.

With the help of OptiStruct, Mecaplast developed a methodology that allows to make weight saving on safety structural parts.

Moreover, Mecaplast has used OptiStruct to dimension some conditions of its own specific patented airbag retainer.

The Author

Aurore CLAVERIE
Ingénieur Etudes Avancées
MECAPLAST Group