Pros and Cons of Common Body Kit’s Materials: ABS, Carbon, Polyurethane and Fiberglass

The desire to own a car that will be noticeably different from the production model is simply ineradicable for many car owners. Thanks to the external tuning body kit and you have a pretty wide selection. You should decide on the material for its manufacture. It must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Provide the necessary strength and rigidity of the structure.
  • The material should have a low density, be light and affordable.
  • Have good adhesion characteristics in relation to paints.
  • Have the ability to restore their geometry after insignificant deformations.

1. ABS Body Kit

ABS Body Kit

ABS is a form of impact-resistant plastic based on acrylonitrile with added styrene and/or butadiene. ABS plastic is quite popular and is used in various fields – in the manufacture of furniture, household appliances, and of course, automotive parts. Domestic manufacturers of car body kits use this material, perhaps more often than others.

Pros
  • Low cost when compared with polyurethane and even more carbon fiber.
  • Good impact resistance with good flexibility, which allows it to withstand minor deformations, returning to its original shape.
  • Good adhesion characteristics.
Cons
  • A slight deviation from the optimal manufacturing technology, as well as violations of the chemical composition, cause a sharp increase in fragility at negative temperatures.
  • Weak resistance to heat (corrugation appears at 90 degrees and above).
  • Insufficient resistance to aggressive substances.

2. Carbon Body Kit

Carbon Body Kit

Carbon is a modern composite material, a member of the extensive family of carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The technology of manufacturing carbon plastics is characterized by the use of carbon elements as a filler, which is glued together with resins. Carbon has the best weight-to-strength ratio, which has led to its widespread use in the design of carbon e bike and racing cars, including Formula 1.

Pros
  • Original easily recognizable appearance.
  • Relatively low weight (40% less than steel, 20% less than aluminum).
  • With good strength.
Cons
  • Higher cost than ABS plastic or fiberglass.
  • Low tensile index, which makes it fragile and susceptible to directional mechanical shock loads.

3. Polyurethane Body Kit

Polyurethane Body Kit

The chemical formula of polyurethane includes a chain of macromolecules with inserts of the -NH-CO-O- type, representing a group of urethanes, which gave the name to the material. Currently, two varieties of polyurethane: rubberized and foamed.

3.1 Rubberized Polyurethane Body Kit

Pros
  • Characterized by a very high-quality indicator for almost all important criteria.
  • Excellent impact resistance.
  • The inclusion of rubber fillers in the material makes it elastic and flexible;
  • An excellent combination of strength and flexibility allows polyurethane products to withstand rather serious mechanical stress without collapsing, and in case of serious deformations – return to their original shape.
  • It is very difficult to break a product made of this material.
  • High accuracy of the casting of body kit parts.
  • Has good adhesion to hold paint.
Cons
  • High cost

3.2 Foamed Polyurethane Body Kit

Pros
  • In quality, it is slightly inferior to the rubberized counterpart.
  • High impact resistance.
  • Usually, with no installation problems.
  • EP thickness is greater than other materials, with low weight and high density.
Cons
  • Insufficient resistance to fracture.
  • High cost.

4. Fiberglass Body Kit

Fiberglass Body Kit

Made of fiberglass by resin impregnation, it is considered one of the most demanded materials in external and internal car tuning.

Pros
  • The most affordable cost.
  • Its quality is not inferior to either polyurethane or ABS plastic.
  • Lightweight.
  • Ease of Processing.
  • Good flexibility.
Cons
  • Manufacturing accuracy is inferior to other materials. During installation, it requires careful adjustment of the body kit;
  • Fiberglass is considered a toxic material due to the presence of epoxy resins in its composition. When working with it, compliance with TB is required (it is recommended to use a respirator).