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Car and Truck Bumpers

A bumper is the structure that’s found on the rear and front ends of a car or truck to absorb impact in the event of a minor collision. It is usually made of plastic, rubber, aluminum, or steel. As a way of maximally absorbing shock, some front bumpers and rear bumpers use brackets or energy absorbers, while others have a foam cushioning material.

What is the purpose of a bumper?

It is designed to reduce or prevent physical damage to both the rear and front end of trucks and cars in low-speed collisions. They are ideally designed to be structural components that contribute to occupant protection and vehicle crashworthiness during a rear or front collision. In addition, they are designed to protect the trunk, hood, grille, cooling system, and exhaust. They also protect safety equipment, including headlights, taillights, and parking lights. Bumpers can also act as add-ons to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your automobile.

What is a bumper cover?

A bumper cover is a sturdy strip of molded urethane, metal, or plastic attached to the stock bumper. It protects the bumper underneath so that it won't easily get dented or grazed during a low-impact collision.

What type of plastic is used for bumpers?

Most are made out of reinforced, thermoplastic olefins. This gives way to impact and is easy to make, acting as a form of cushioning to absorb energy. However, there are many other forms of thermoplastic that have been used in the manufacture of truck bumpers. This material usually covers a denser, honeycomb-like composite plastic that is fitted onto a metal frame and mounted to the car or truck chassis. This type of cover absorbs a lot of energy on impact, thus protecting passengers and the vehicle itself.

What are the materials used in bumper reinforcement?

  • Layered fiberglass: This is made in such a way that a highly-dense core forms at the intersection of the fiberglass layers. It is strong enough to prevent any trauma from showing on it even upon subjecting the car to a great force of impact.
  • Urethane: Normally used interchangeably with rubber, this is a type of elastic polymer. For truck bumpers, it is often mixed with carbamate particles. It is one of two types, either ester-based or ether-based urethane. This material is very resistant to impact damage and scratches.
  • Vinyl-ester resins: This resin is strong and moisture-resistant. Its particles bond together tighter those of fiberglass. However, it is often combined with fiberglass to make for a very tough reinforcement on a bumper.

What are the different types of car and truck bumpers?

Cars and trucks come equipped with an array of bumper types.

  • Deep-drop bumpers: These parts are chrome-plated and usually found on old trucks. These accessories have a lower ball height and a heavy-duty towing capacity.
  • Step bumpers: Usually found on SUVs, and vans, this type of car bumper has a central cutout that resembles a step. It has hitch holes that can be used when towing lightweight trailers.
  • Roll-pan bumpers: Usually found on custom trucks, these bumpers have a trailer hitch that sits behind or in the middle of the bumper.
  • Tube bumpers: These are often found on Jeeps.