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By , ARIEF MUJIYANTO and , Ir. Imam Prasetyo, M.Eng., Ph.D.


Airbag has long been mandatory safety equipment in car. Its production will continue to grow along with the continued increase in the number of cars produced. In addition to its benefits to reduce the risk of injury to the rider, airbag may have environmental impacts during their life cycle. In a country with high environmental awareness, a mass-made product such as airbag, have to go through a holistic and comprehensive environmental impacts study, which started from raw materials extraction, production, use and disposal. Airbag was manufactured from several components. Each component has the potential to contribute to environmental impacts. In addition, when the airbag was used in the vehicle, the weight of airbag will increase the car's weight, the consequences will increase its energy needs. The purpose of the study are to determine the environmental impact of the airbag of the whole life cycle using the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The methodology was chosen because until recently, LCA was recognized by the International Standard Organization (ISO) as a standardized scientific method for systematic analysis of environmental impacts associated with a product. The study began with determining the scope of research. The next step is collecting data for each constituent component of the airbag, which are label, nut, cover, can, cushion and inflator. The data collected includes data on the number of raw materials used and discarded, the energy and water consumed, wastes which to be disposed of, as well as emission data released during the life cycle of airbag. Emissions data are then grouped according to the environmental impacts caused by the emissions and subsequently weighted in accordance with the level of danger in the environment. The results of this study indicate that during the life cycle of airbag has a global warming potential equivalent to 31.42 kg of CO2, acidification equivalent to 44.14 g of SO2, eutrophication is equivalent to 32.82 g of NOx, toxic effects on aquatic environment equivalent to 399 m 3 of contaminated water, and the impact of human toxicity equivalent 57.53 g bodyweight. The entire life cycle of airbag is also produces 4.93 kg of waste and consumes 561.67 MJ and 79.24 kg of water. While the most dominant phase in the life cycle is the production stage steering wheel airbag, because it becomes the dominant source of 4 of the 5 categories of environmental impact. At the production stage, the dominant process is the production of iron and nylon. While the use phase is contribute mostly for global warming, where the airbag is adding fuel consumption during car use. Therefore, the improvements that can be done for example by reducing the heavy metal components, thereby reducing the environmental impact of the use phase. In addition, the reduction of environmental impact nylon material can be done by reducing the severity or by substitution with other polymeric materials. The results of this study are to be used as starting knowledge in product development research airbag smaller environmental impacts

Topics: ETD
Publisher: [Yogyakarta] : Universitas Gadjah Mada
Year: 2011
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