Intro airbags
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Intro Airbags - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Intro—Airbags. How do airbags work in your car?. There is a Nylon bag inside your steering wheel That bag contains solid sodium azide (NaN 3 ) which is ignited with electricity when a crash sets off a trigger 2 NaN 3 (s)  2 Na (s) + 3 N 2 (g)

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How do airbags work in your car
How do airbags work in your car?

  • There is a Nylon bag inside your steering wheel

  • That bag contains solid sodium azide (NaN3) which is ignited with electricity when a crash sets off a trigger

  • 2 NaN3 (s)  2 Na (s) + 3 N2 (g)

  • The nitrogen gas created in this reaction then fills the airbag!!

How Does An Airbag Work??? Watch this!

Problems with this reaction
Problems with this reaction?

  • It produces sodium metal, which reacts with water to form hydrogen gas & it also produces enough heat to ignite the hydrogen gas

  • The reaction produces heat, so the gas is very hot inside of the airbag

  • NaN3 is very toxic

    What Solutions did we see in the video???

Why do we use it
Why do we use it?

  • It produces the gas very quickly, but not so quick that it’s more of a hazard

  • Reactants are small and easier to store before needed

  • The amount of dangerous chemical is minimal

  • Heat from the reaction is absorbed, in part, by the physical components of the airbag system (nylon bag, steering wheel etc.)


  • Particles are closely packed together

  • Particles vibrate in place – in fixed positions

  • Particles can’t switch places

  • Have a definite shape

  • Have a definite volume


  • Particles more spread out than solid

  • Particles are free to move past each other – fluid

  • Slightly compressible

  • Definite volume

  • No definite shape – take shape of container


  • Particles very spread out – they can be poured

  • Rapid, random motion

  • Highly compressible

  • No definite volume—they will fill container

  • No definite shape—take shape of container

Changes in state


Boiling or



Increasing molecular motion (temperature)







Changes in State

Temperature of state changes
Temperature of state changes

  • Freezing point = melting pint

  • Boiling point = condensation point

Example: Water will freeze or melt at 0°C – it just depends upon the direction of heat flow. If we are adding heat at 0°C then it will melt. If we take away heat at 0°C it will freeze! 

What s between the particles
What’s between the particles?


Nothing! There is absolutely nothing between the particles!