Patent Number: 6,168,193

Title: Inflatable curtain with tensioning device

Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) comprises a vehicle occupant protection device (14) which is inflatable away from a vehicle roof (28) into a position extending along a vehicle side structure (16) between the side structure and a vehicle occupant. An inflator (24) provides inflation fluid for inflating the vehicle occupant protection device (14). The inflation fluid rotates an impeller (180) which moves a tensioning member (154) in a linear direction. A flexible elongated member (54) has a first end (70) connected to the side structure (16) of the vehicle (12) and an opposite second end (72) connected to the tensioning member (154). The flexible elongated member (54) is connected to the vehicle occupant protection device (14). The flexible elongated member (54) is tensioned by the tensioning member (154) when the tensioning member moves in the linear direction. The flexible elongated member (54) resists movement of the vehicle occupant protection device (14) away from the side structure (16) of the vehicle (12) when the vehicle occupant protection device is inflated.

Inventors: Shirk; Bryan W. (Mesa, AZ), Cuevas; Jess A. (Scottsdale, AZ), Al-Amin; Ahmad K. (Higley, AZ), Swann; Timothy A. (Mesa, AZ), Van Wynsberghe; Roy D. (Mesa, AZ)

Assignee: TRW Inc.

International Classification: B60R 21/26 (20060101); B60R 21/16 (20060101); B60R 22/195 (20060101); B60R 22/18 (20060101); B60R 021/22 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018