Volvo Develops Inflatable Curtain (IC) for Cabriolets
By Mike Hanlon
July 25, 2005
July 26, 2005 Volvo’s Inflatable Curtain (IC), introduced in 1998, helps to protect the belted occupant’s head during a side impact or rollover scenario. IC has been developed for and is fitted as standard in Volvo’s sedans, wagons and XC models. This essential safety technology has been specifically adapted for the unique use in a cabriolet. The Inflatable Curtain will be available on Volvo's C70 hardtop cabriolet – a world-first safety development. In a fixed roof vehicle, the IC is fitted in the inner roof edge and is activated downward between the side window and the occupant’s head. This location has thus far made it impossible to fit the IC system in a cabriolet since there is no fixed roof for its installation.
Volvo Cars has now solved the problem by turning the Inflatable Curtain upside down and fitting it inside the door panel of the all-new C70. In a side impact, the curtain will inflate and push itself upward. As in the roof-mounted version, this takes place within a split second in a smooth, unfurling motion. The Inflatable Curtain elevates itself between the side window and the occupant's head as effectively as possible.
The door-mounted Inflatable Curtain has a unique, extra-stiff design that helps keep it upright. This rigidity has been achieved with dual vertical rows of cells that are somewhat offset in relation to each other.
The Inflatable Curtain is designed to offer protection even if the side window is open or broken. The curtain deflates slowly to offer protection in the event of a rollover accident.