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Seat Belt Pretensioner

What Is Seat Belt Pretensioner?

A seat belt pretensioner is a device that is used to hold a passenger firmly in their seat just before and at the start of a collision (especially in a front or head on collision) and then allow that passenger to come into contact with the inflated airbag in a controlled way. With a seat belt there is still a small space between it and the passenger. If a frontal collision occurs, the passenger’s body moves forward quickly but the seat belt stiffens up to restrain the passenger from any further forward movement. The passenger’s body can also compress against the seat belt in the slight forward movement. Pretensioners tightens and reduces slack in seat belts to protect occupants from rapidly moving forward in the event of a crash.


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Pretensioner devices can be added to any of the belt anchorage points and there are typically three different types of seatbelt pretensioners.


Retractor pretensioner

The idea of a retractor pretensioner is to tighten up any slack in the belt webbing in the event of a crash. The main part of the pretensioner consists of a small pyrotechnic cartridge packaged inside the retractor, the buckle assembly, or the outboard anchor assembly. Retractor pretensioners may be in the B-pillar or in the seat.

Buckle pretensioner

Buckle pretensioners are attached to the inboard side of the front seat and is operated mechanically. It is usually connected to the seat belt buckle assembly with a long powerful spring that is compressed in a tube and is kept compressed by a latching mechanism. If an accident occurs the impact causes the latch to release the spring which pulls on the buckle assembly and tightens the seat belt.

Anchor pretensioner

Anchor pretensioners are usually attached to the outboard side of the front seat, or they may be attached to the floor, next to the outboard side of the front seat.

Seat Belt Pretensioner Products