Vehicle Roof Inflatable Impact Bladder (VRIIB)

by Donald Middlebrook; John Jude; Jason Peck


In order to reduce the frequency and severity of warfighter head, neck, and spine injuries associated with military vehicle underbody IED and AVL blasts, crash, and rollover, Hy-Tek Manufacturing Co. Inc. (HMC) has designed, fabricated, tested, and optimized its Vehicle Roof Inflatable Impact Bladder (VRIIB). Comprised of two (2) thin and impermeable airbags separated by semirigid force distribution plates; the VRIIB is designed to be mounted on the interior roof panel of military combat vehicles in a deflated state. During IED or AVL detonation, the VRIIB inflates by means of a COTS airbag inflator to provide a significant reduction in the rate at which a warfighter’s head or neck decelerates against the rigid vehicle roof panel. The VRIIB is designed to remain inflated and functional for a protracted period of time after its initial actuation in order to protect vehicle mounted warfighters from follow-on blast related roof impacts, subsequent vehicle rollover and/or vehicle roof impacts against the ground or other structures. The stowed (uninflated) VRIIB has a thickness of only 1.0-inch and is designed to deploy by means of well-established commercial airbag collision sensor and inflator technology. When fully inflated, the VRIIB has a thickness of ~3.5-inches. The thin profile of the inflated VRIIB, along with its moderate gas inflation pressure, makes it an efficient and flexible platform for integration onto the interior surfaces of any military vehicle, especially those having an already limited space claim.