1988-02-01

Materials Substitution Trends in Global Automotive Bumper Systems 880459

The materials and fabrication process candidates for the three key elements of a bumper system (fascia, reinforcing beam, energy absorber) are identified and compared. North American bumper systems are designed to resist 5 MPH (8 KPH) damage in specific pendulum and barrier tests. This voluntary practice has significantly affected bumper materials selection and systems design. The globalization of automotive designs and the manufacturing presence of Japanese automotive producers and their suppliers are likely to result in increased homogenization of bumper materials selection and design.
Plastics have reached high penetration in fascia, but reinforcing beams and energy absorbers remain dominated by metals. Rollformed steel offers major cost saving potential on some bumper systems. The key competitors in reinforcing beams will be S-RIM, GMT's and injection molded ETP's. The economics of current and future S-RIM and PP-GMT rebeams is compared. Differences in bumper materials usage in North America, Europe and Japan are identified, and the size of the global bumper market for plastics is estimated.

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