Igniter kit for motor-vehicle release unit
Kind Code:

An explosive igniter having firing wires is contained and hermetically sealed in a blister pack.

Schmid, Gunther (Rothis, AT)
Dablander, Michael (Wangle, AT)
Application Number:
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Filing Date:
Hirschmann Automotive GmbH
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KF ROSS PC (Savannah, GA, US)
We claim:

1. In combination: an explosive igniter having firing wires; and a package containing and hermetically sealed around the igniter and its wires.

2. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the package is formed by a base foil formed with a pocket holding the igniter and its wires; and a cover foil sealed to the base foil around the pocket.

3. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the igniter and its wires are secured in the pocket.

4. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the foils form a blister pack.

5. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the base foil is elongated and formed with a row of such pockets each holding a respective igniter and its wires, the cover foil being complementarily elongated and overlying the base foil.

6. The combination defined in claim 5 wherein the pockets are spaced sufficiently far apart that explosion of an igniter in one of the pockets will not set off an igniter in an adjacent pocket.

7. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the base foil is plastic.

8. The combination defined in claim 7 wherein the cover foil is metal.

9. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein one of the foils is metal.

10. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein one of the foils is of cellulose or wood.



The present invention relates to an igniter for a motor-vehicle release unit. More particularly this invention concerns a kit containing an igniter such as used in a motor-vehicle air bag.


Igniters, also called primers, of safety-related features such as air bags, belt tighteners and comparable features are known. Such igniters consist of an electrically ignitable material (particularly small block of sodium axide) and usually have two connecting leads, contact tags or the like, by means of which they are connected to a controller that, depending on specified parameters, feeds current to the igniter that then explodes. Then another propelling charge of an air bag, belt tightener or comparable feature in the vehicle is ignited and the air bag for example is inflated to prevent injury of the passengers.

Usually the automotive manufacturers do not produce such igniters themselves, but get them from specialized suppliers. The production of such igniters is carried out under strict safety precautions, and similar precautions must be taken in the subsequent storage or transport of the finished igniters, since the connecting leads are exposed and it is possible that they are unintentionally electrified, so that in such a case the igniter can explode and cause great damage, particularly personal injury.


It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved igniter kit for motor-vehicle release unit.

Another object is the provision of such an improved igniter kit for motor-vehicle release unit that overcomes the above-given disadvantages, in particular that eliminates the initially described disadvantages, particularly making sure that unintended ignition is avoided during storage and transport of the igniters.


This object is attained by the combination of an explosive igniter having firing wires with a package containing and hermetically sealed around the igniter and its wires.

According to the invention it is intended that the igniter is placed in a package for the purpose of storage and transport. This package entirely protects the igniter against outside influences. In the most basic version, the package is a plastic bag in which the igniter is contained after being produced, with the plastic bag being closed, if applicable, under vacuum action. In this manner the igniter is efficiently and entirely protected against outside influences so that it cannot be energized and explode. An igniter packaged like this can be stored long term and transported at any time and is not removed from the package until the appropriate safety precautions have been undertaken for the further installation of the igniter, which then avoid the unintended explosion of the igniter.

Usually, such igniters are mass-produced and be made, stored and transported in large quantities (several thousands or more). Thus according to a further feature of the invention the package is comprised of an elongated base foil having a row of pockets each holding at least one igniter. The pockets are sealed by means of a cover foil. This makes it possible to provide a package with pockets in the required number, so that the igniters do not have to be stored and transported individually, but can be handled in large quantities. This improves the logistics and furthermore has the advantage that only those igniters need be removed from the package that can be installed at that time. The other igniters still in the package remain entirely protected against outside influences. The handling of this package is particularly easy, since the cover foil only has to be removed step by step to reveal the pocket in which the igniter is located.

For an increase in security, means can be present which specify the igniter in the pocket. Such means can e.g. be a particular seat formed in the pocket that prevents movement of the igniter in the pocket. Such means can e.g. be webs or an outside shape of the igniter corresponding to the inner shape of the pocket. These means can also consist of an elastically deformable material (e.g. cellular material), in which the igniter is embedded in the pocket. Furthermore, the packaging is effected such that after closing a pocket with the cover foil, an fairly strong vacuum prevails in the pocket to also warrant the long-time-stability of the igniter. This can be done by doing the sealing under substantial subatmospheric pressure.

In a special embodiment of the invention, the package is in the form of a blister pack in which the base foil with the pockets consists of plastic and the cover foil is permanently vacuum-sealed to the base foil by fusing, adhesive bonding, embossing, or the like. Lifting the cover foil off the base foil, exposes one igniter at a time for removal from the respective pocket. Although above only one igniter is discussed per pocket, it could also be possible to put more than one igniter, i.e. several igniters in one pocket.


The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing whose sole figure is a side view of the combination according to the invention.


As seen in the drawing a package 1 consists of a base foil 2 a thermoplastic. This base foil 2 has one or several pockets 3 in each of which is held at least one igniter 4 having firing or connecting leads or wires 5. After manufacture of the igniters 4 (primers), they are put in the pockets 3 of the base foil 2, preferably automatically, to avoid unintended explosions of the igniters 4 and the resulting injury of staff. After the igniters 4 have been deposited in the pockets 3, the base foil 2 is closed by a metallic cover foil 6, which is why the cover foil 6 is connected with the receptacle 2 in web regions 7 in such a way that the pocket 3 with the igniter 4 in it is entirely protected against outer influences, but despite that, for the withdrawal of the igniters 4 from the pocket 3, the cover foil 6 can be removed, preferably by irreversibly damaging the destruction of the base foil 2 or the cover foil 6.

Removal of the igniter 4 from the pocket 3 when the package 1 is a blister pack by manually or automatically applying pressure on the bottom of the respective pocket 3 and thereby forcing the igniter 4 up through the cover foil 6. This way the cover foil 6 is ripped open by the igniter 4 so it can be removed from the pocket 3. It is also possible that the cover foil 6 is manually or automatically removed from the base foil 2 in sections, for which case, when looking at the very right on the drawing, the cover foil 6, is shown to be lifted at a small section from base foil 2. In this example, several igniters 4 are arranged successively in a row in the package 1, and in fact two or more rows can be present next to each other.