This SAE Recommended Practice establishes a ballistic tank test procedure for evaluating inflator assemblies used in inflatable restraint systems. It is intended to be a general procedure for repetitive testing and suggests only general guidelines for the safe conduct of tests and data correlation. Uniform test requirements, test procedures, and data recording requirements are specified. The intent of the document is to provide a procedure employing a ballistic tank test method for determining the ability of an inflator to meet requirements for deploying inflatable restraint systems. A ballistic tank test is described which will yield repeatable and comparable results for evaluating a given inflator configuration's pressure output versus time. Use of the ballistic tank test for comparison of various inflator technologies may be of limited value due to differences in gas temperature, gas composition and mass flow effects on airbag performance as it relates to occupant protection.
Purposes of this revision to SAE J2238 are to clarify data acquisition system / instrumentation requirements for inflator tank testing, to update some the terminology used to describe inflators including some the newer systems that have been introduced since the revision to this specification.