Carbon Fiber Bumper: Pros and Cons
A car or truck can be beefed up with many aftermarket parts from new engine headers to a carbon fiber bumper. Carbon fiber is created out of millions of tiny fibers that are pressed and treated in a sort of plastic to make it maintain a shape. There are many kinds of bumpers you can buy but a carbon fiber bumper represents a higher class of aftermarket addition. Do not confuse fiberglass with carbon fiber as they are different. The preparation and molding methods are quite similar though so it is easy to confuse them. The following article will help to answer the question if a carbon fiber bumper is worth the time and money.
A carbon fiber bumper is much lighter than any other bumper you will find on the market. Many vehicles have a metal bumper and others will utilize fiberglass. Having lightweight pieces on your vehicle has some benefits you may not be aware of but also some negatives. A vehicle that weighs less will save you more money on gas, and you will be able to get to an optimum speed much quicker with less effort. One negative is that lighter cars will have more chance of getting into accidents in bad weather. Essentially less tire is touching pavement so the traction is not present to prevent accidents.
Incredibly Strong but Brittle
A carbon fiber bumper is the Superman of aftermarket parts. Carbon fiber is actually stronger than steel by five times. It is also flexible. This means it can take a lot of abuse while giving you maximum protection. But it's important to note that a carbon fiber bumper is also brittle and if struck with enough force at the correct angle, it can fail catastrophically.
A carbon fiber bumper is just one item you can add to your car but you could have the entire car made from carbon fiber. There are companies creating solid bodies for vehicles which include a carbon fiber bumper fabricated to it all as one piece. This type of construction is prevalent in NASCAR racing cars.
Cost of Progress
The biggest problem with carbon fiber is the cost. The process to make a carbon fiber bumper is a long and arduous one. All of this time and efforts trickles down to the consumer as an added cost. A regular bumper could cost a maybe $200 but a carbon fiber bumper could tip the scales at $600 or more. If you have the money and you want your vehicle to look expensive and tricked out, carbon fiber is the way to go. It is also a way to go if you want to save money on fuel costs by increasing its efficiency.
It is important to note that a carbon fiber bumper (or any other aftermarket carbon fiber part) will not catch fire. This is one of the main reasons it is used in professional racing. If you are in an accident, you will not have to worry about fire taking hold and engulfing you.