This Video Reveals What Happens Inside an Airbag in Slow Motion

Amateur scientist Giaco Whatever disassembles a Ford airbag to show us what happens inside it.
Jessica Miley

Airbags are standard on most cars now. They have gone from an expensive optional extra to something expected in almost every vehicle. But how are they made and what is inside them? The prince of backyard science, Giaco Whatever, answers this question for you. The Italian tinkerer is determined to get to the bottom of this ubiquitous safety feature. His first step is to buy a box of airbags. From there Giaco does a series of airbag detonations. First, the airbag is detonated just as it comes, inside its plastic steering wheel cover. It is a very impressive explosion. Also very strange to see this object outside of its normal context inside a car.

Next up, Giaco and his assistant Sierra take the airbag out of its casing so they just have the explosive capsule isolated. They detonate this next. In true Giaco style, its well documented by a super slow-mo camera. The blink of an eye explosion looks awesome. But Giaco doesn’t stop there. For the final test, he builds a glass cannon with a wooden projectile of known mass inside to help them collect some data on the strength and power of the airbag explosion. However, the first test doesn't go to plan. The airbag projects the wooden object so fast out of the canon it actually gets lodged inside a metallic box. Piercing the metal and getting stuck inside. Considering the power of these explosions it's incredible that airbags have been so well designed that they save lives.