Having a "Blow Out"
The high pressure airbag pictured below experienced a blow out while under pressure, & under load. Airbag failures are extremely rare. In fact, in more than 20 years in the fire service, today was the first time I ever experienced one. Airbags are susceptible to other types of failures as well. They can be easily punctured or torn by jagged or sharp metal such as screws or bolts typically found under vehicles. They will burn through when exposed to heat in excess of 220 degrees. In order to prevent these types of failures we should be protecting our airbags by placing a wood or neoprene pad on top of the bag, in between the bag & the load. The blow out experienced by the bag pictured here was a result of age. Older bags, such as this one, are subject to dry rotting when they are not routinely exercised. Airbags have a recommended shelf life of 10-12 years. Over time the butyl rubber begins to degrade, becomes less pliable, and begins to dry rot. To avoid this situation, exercise your bags regularly under load, keep them clean & dry, and insure that they have not exceeded their service life.