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The materials used for bodykits

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The materials used for bodykits

Post  SARIPDOL BODYKIT on Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:45 am

As most of us know, the materials used for bodykits include (in layman terms): PU, glass fiber, rubber, carbon fiber.... some even use metal panels such as aluminum.

what i want to clarify is the terminology used, i'll try to use layman terms as my best.

1. "PU" - or polyurethane.
A composite type of material. It comes in mostly black or white. The black variety was actually filled with carbon black pigment for both strength and color. White variety was due to the tiny close-cell pores. Plain PU would be way too soft, therefore either black or white PUs are generally filled with long glass fiber for strength. The PU matrix usually contains low % of close-cell pores. This type of polyurethane + fiber type of materials are usually, and mistakenly termed as PU, and are used mainly for bumper, side skirts, lips etc.

However, there are some PU part that is not filled with (or low in) glass fiber and contain higher % of pore. For the filled materials, the fiber is normally much shorter (not more than 5 cm). However, to achieve practical strength, the part must be thick enough. This type of polyurethanes are normally and mistakenly termed as RUBBER, and are mainly used for rear spoiler. The weight has limited it usage as skirting.

2. "FIBER"
Also a composite-type of material. More accurately "glass fiber-filled epoxy resins". Normally transparent or white in color. Glass fibers are good in tensile strength but are fragile, thus week upon side impacts. However, it's cheap. Epoxy resin has no mechanical strength, thus are reinforced by the glass fiber. The resin matrix form the shape of the part, and the fiber strengthen the part. "FIBER" parts are fragile, less flexible but lighter than "PU" part. The fiber content in epoxy resin is also higher than those in the PU foam.

The term "carbon fiber" is actually refers to the fiber, not the composite material. Similar to "FIBER", it's a composite materials consists of epoxy resins filled with carbon fibers. However, unlike glass fibers, the carbon fibers are braided in sheet foam, and laid on top of each other, "glued" together with the resin, thus forming impressively light and strong material. Mainly used for wings and parts that require extra tensile and impact strength, also used in replacing body panels as a weight reduction solution.

4. PP - polypropylene
Usually, and mistakenly grouped together with PU. It's actually a thermoplastic (polypropylene) filled with various type of fillers and pigments such as clay, carbon black, small amount of glass fiber, color pigments, etc for strength re-inforcement, weight and cost reduction and finishing color. Flexible, not too soft, easily automated-injection-moulded (unlike the above materials that are generally hand-made). Used in almost every OEM parts, including the bumpers, skirting, dashboard, center console, bla bla bla....

also a composite material made mainly of rubber matrix filled with various type of filler. Seldomly used in modern cars for the bodypart construction material due to the low climax resistance, low chemical resistance and heavy weight.


Please take note that all the mentioned materials above are COMPOSITES. Differentiating them appart from the other is actually pretty simple and straight foward.

Hope these helps. Actually could have written more but i don't want to get everyone bored. I don't want to spoil my key board too. Non of the above info is copied from other source, all from my memory. Correct me if i'm wrong on certain particulars.

*Article from by DREXCHAN.


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