In today’s market for bumper lips there are so many manufacturers using different types of material to maximize profits it’s hard to tell who makes a reliable bumper lip. Abs plastic bumper lips seems to be the most common on the market today, but there are also polyurethane and fiberglass lips. Let’s get familiar with these three types of materials. Abs which stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid, molded products such as musical instruments, golf club heads, automotive body parts, and protective headgear. ABS plastic is considered superior for its hardness, gloss, toughness, and electrical insulation properties. However, ABS is flammable when it is exposed to high temperatures, such as a wood fire. It will burst spectacularly into intense, hot flames. Bet you didn’t know that about ABS plastic. Feels like you’re back in science glass doesn’t it?
Polyurethane, commonly abbreviated PU, is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization by reacting a monomer containing at least two isocyanate functional groups with another monomer containing at least two hydroxyl groups in the presence of a catalyst. Polyurethanes are widely used in high resiliency flexible foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, gaskets, automotive suspension bushings, and hard plastic parts. Due to it’s nature polyurethane bumper lips are very flexible, which can be bent without it having to crack.
Last, fiberglass is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. Just as it sounds in it’s name. It is used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products; the resulting composite material, properly known as glass-reinforced plastic or fiberglass. Fiberglass is used for thermal insulation, electrical insulation, reinforcement of various materials, tent poles, high-strength fabrics, crossbows, translucent roofing panels, automobile bodies, hockey sticks, surfboards and boat hulls. It has been used for medical purposes in casts. Fiberglass is extensively used for making FRP tanks and vessels.
From personal experience, I would place polyurethane bumper lips at the top of my selection then abs plastic and fiberglass last. Polyurethane is very flexible so if you ever hit something it would not crack easy. Fiberglass on the other hand is delicate and chips in paint is very common. I personally just don’t like the look of a fiberglass bumper lip kit. Abs plastic is also tough and thus won’t shatter when rubbed against a curb, but fitment on Abs plastic is sometimes poor. So if you got the money, spend a little extra on a polyurethane bumper lip kit to save yourself the trouble of replacing it.
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