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Dow Corning expert to present innovative solutions for automotive airbag design and fabrication challenges at Airbag 2012

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN, USA: Dow Corning airbag application expert William Blackwood will present a technical poster at Airbag 2012 in Karlsruhe, Germany, showing how proven silicone technology and innovative thinking can help meet increasingly stringent airbag performance requirements in spite of economic constraints.

Airbag 2012, the 11th International Symposium & Exhibition on Sophisticated Car Occupant Safety Systems, takes place December 3 through 5 at the Karlsruhe Congress Center in Karlsruhe, Germany. Blackwood will present his poster, “Silicone Technology for Innovative Airbag Solutions,” from 12:10 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4. Dow Corning experts will be on hand throughout the event to answer questions about the company’s product offering for airbag applications.

Attendees will see how silicone materials, such as silicone fabric coatings and seam sealers, can be tailored to meet the technical challenges brought on by new regulatory requirements and new airbag applications. They also will learn how advanced silicone heat shield technology can reduce layers and weight, improve module assembly efficiency and productivity, and help maintain post-deployment bag integrity.

The global airbag industry is facing more challenging performance requirements than ever before. Some of these stem from regulatory demands, such as the FMVSS 226 Ejection Mitigation requirements, which call for greater pressure retention in a higher-volume inflatable curtain. Others come from new applications, such as the seat belt airbag and the pedestrian protection airbag, which must address module size and how to protect the occupant from the inflation device.

Balancing the need to meet these new requirements with the economic constraints facing OEMs and their suppliers today requires engineered solutions that align with the technologies in the various system components and deliver a synergistic result.

“From a silicone technology perspective, this means materials must be designed for stability in extreme-temperature conditions,” Blackwood said. “They must be compatible with both polyester and polyamide 6,6 fabrics. And they must deliver the performance required to position the airbag quickly when using aggressive inflators.”

Blackwood believes providing the optimal silicone technology requires nontraditional approaches and “outside-the-box” thinking.

“This is best achieved by collaborating directly with OEMs and suppliers of silicone-coated fabrics to ensure that the resulting solution is compatible, not only with existing fabrication equipment but also with the assembly process, so costly waste can be reduced,” he said.

Blackwood is an associate industry scientist with Dow Corning’s Airbags Application Engineering and Technical Services group. A leading expert in silicone technology for airbag design and fabrication, he possesses specific expertise in the development of solutions for airbag processing problems. Blackwood has been a member of the Automotive Safety Council since 2006 and the ASTM and SAE Inflatable Restraints committees since 2008.

Dow Corning provides an array of innovative technologies for automotive applications, including proven silicone technologies for airbag coating and seam sealing. The company also offers customized choices to help find exact solutions to complex automotive challenges, plus collaborative problem-solving and extensive technical support. Complete information is available at

About Dow Corning
Dow Corning ( provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services through the Dow Corning® and XIAMETER ® brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

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