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Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering

BMFB 3313


SESSION 2018/2019





Muhammad Sofwan Bin Mohd Azmin B051610250
Chan Yit Quan B051610114
Ej Roger Sumail B051610143
Mohamad Aizat Bin Jufri B051610146
Siti Najiha Binti Mohd Amin B051610066
Fakhira Nur Adila Binti Hasmat B051610084



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1.0 Introduction 1

2.0 Material for Car Bumper 2

3.0 The selection of Car Bumper Material 3

3.1 Analysis of required properties 5
3.2 Design requirement of car bumper 5
3.3 Range of alternative materials 6
3.4 Evaluation of candidates 6
3.5 Selection of the best material for car bumper 9

4.0 Postscript 9

5.0 Conclusion 10

6.0 Reference 11
1.0 Introduction

Figure 1: Front car bumper

Bumper is a part of an automotive designed that had at a vehicle. Bumper is divided in

two types, they are front bumper and rear bumper. Main function both of them are for
absorbing impact by reducing damage and to the potential for bodily injury during an

The car bumper has been made from all types of material. For many decades,
bumpers were made of chrome plated steel, which offers a decent amount of protection
but is easily dented and quite heavy and expensive. Since the advent of plastics, car
bumpers have been made almost exclusively from reinforced thermoplastic olefins.
Thermoplastic is easy to form and gives way on impact, acting as a cushion to dissipate

The outer shell of the modern car bumper is made of any of a number of
thermoplastics. The thermoplastic shell usually covers a denser, almost honeycomb-like
composite of dense plastic which is mounted on a metal frame, which is mounted to the
chassis of the vehicle. The dense plastic honeycomb is crushed during an impact,
absorbing a great deal of energy to protect the rest of the vehicle and the passengers.

A thermoplastic is a plastic which can be heated multiple times and retains its
plasticity, or ability to be molded while hot. Thermoplastic has many of the properties of
a plastic bottle, which can be thrown across a room and remain undamaged. Thermoplastic
olefins are a type used in the automotive industry because of their energy absorbing
qualities, ease of manufacture and low cost. Most bumpers today are made of

2.0 Material for Car Bumper

Front and rear bumpers became standard equipment on all cars in 1925. At that time, the
simple metal beams have been introduce as the material for car bumper to protect the
vehicle from low speed collisions. Nowadays, plastic have been introduce as a material
for car bumper because of its advantage that offer to the designer and drivers.

Plastic bumpers contain reinforcements that allow them to be as impact-resistant

as metals while being less expensive to replace than their metal equivalents. Plastic car
bumpers generally expand at the same rate as metal bumpers under normal driving
temperatures and do not usually require special fixtures to keep them in place. The modern
plastic car bumper system are made of thermoplastic olefins, polycarbonates, polyesters,
polypropylene, polyurethanes and polyamides. They also use glass fibre for strength and
structural rigidity.

Besides that, the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is being used at the company like
Hyundai and Ford. The Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a copolymer made by
polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene. The styrene gives
the plastic a shiny, impervious surface. The butadiene, a rubbery substance, provides
resilience even at low temperatures. A variety of modifications can be made to improve
impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance.

3.0 The Selection of Car Bumper Material

In order to choose the best material for car bumper, we need to do the material selection
procedure. Material selection is the process of choosing the best material for a particular
design. They have 4 steps to do the material selection process to get the best material.

Figure 2: The strategy of material selection

The first step is translate design requirement. In this step, we need to know the
function of the product. Then, list out the constraints of negotiable and non-negotiable
conditions that must be met. After that, investigate and observe the objective that should
be minimized or maximized. Then, identify the parameter of the problem that the designer
free to change on free variables.

The second step is screen using constraints. This step require to eliminate the
material that cannot do the job and accept the material that do the job best. The Cambridge
Engineering System (CES) software provides a systematic approach based on the work of
Professor Mike Ashby. By using the CES selector, it can identify the material that meet
the requirement and study the trade off between different objectives.

After that, the third step is rank using objective. The solution for third step to
achieve the goals are using selection matrix and scoring table. This two table can find the
screen material that do the job best.

Finally, seek documentation. After ranking process, we get the material that we
want to use. We need to do research and observe the family history of the material that we
choose. The properties of the material can be found by using the material portal, ASM
Hand book and suppliers’ data sheet.

In this study, in order to find the better material for car bumper, we need to use the
material selection process. The following steps are used for the material selection.

Figure 3: The bubble chart of young’s modulus, (E) against density, (ρ)

3.1 Analysis of the required properties

From the background we read, there are some information that we can get to find a better
material that we can produce to make a quality car bumper. Below consist the features
that fit in the bumper car:

 Design must be flexible enough to reduce the passenger

 Stay intact in low-speed impact
 Less fuel consumption
 Less weight design of car bumper
 Good rust resistance
 High strength
 High volume manufacturing
 Easy to shape
 Material for car bumper must low cost

3.2 Design requirement of car bumper

Table 1: Design requirement of car bumper.

Function Car bumper

Constraints Easy to manufacture
High fracture toughness
Low cost
Light weight
High volume manufacturing
Good rust resistance
Objective Minimize weight
Minimize material cost
Free variables Choice of material

3.3 Range of alternative materials

There are five material are possible to be manufactured the car bumper which are:

 Polycarbonate (PC)

 Polyester

 Polyurethane (tpPUR)

 GFRP, epoxy matrix (isotropic)

 Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

3.4 Evaluation of candidates

Evaluation of the candidate materials can be done by using the ranking step which are
construct the selection matrix and scoring table. In selection matrix table, we list out the
material and the details of their properties. The properties of the materials can be collected
in the CES selector. After we collect the data, we rank the material based on their
performance in properties. We put the score 1 to 10 to describe their performance. If the
material is fully consistent with the required properties, 10 points are given as a score,
otherwise in a worse condition only 1 point can be given for the candidate material.

Table 2: Material and properties of car bumper
(e3) (GPa ) (MPa.M0.5)

Polycarbonate 1.14 - 2 - 2.44 2.1 - 4.6 Non- 4-5 11.9-

(PC) 1.21 corrosive 13.1

Polyester 1.04 - 2.07 - 4.41 1.09 – 1.69 Non- 3-4 12.7-

1.40 corrosive 13.9

Polyurethane 1.12 - 1.31 - 2.07 1.84 – 4.97 Non- 3-4 15.9-

(tpPUR) 1.24 corrosive 17.5

GFRP 1.75 - 15 - 28 7 – 23 Non- 4-5 60.5-

1.97 corrosive 66.7

Acrylonitrile 1.01 - 1.1 - 2.9 1.19 – 4.29 Non- 4-5 7.36-

butadiene 1.21 corrosive 8.11
styrene (ABS)

GFRP being eliminated from the list of material for car bumper. It have the highest
stiffness with high fracture toughness but the price is really high and being eliminated as
the objective is to minimize cost. Polycarbonates have higher density than other materials
which it have to be eliminated to fulfill the next objective which is minimize weight.

Table 3: Selection matrix for car bumper material


(kg/m³ ) RESISTIVITY (RM/kg)
MATERIAL (GPa ) (MPa.M0.5)

Polyester Non-
1.22 3.24 1.39 3.5 13.3

Polyurethane Non-
1.18 1.69 3.41 3.5 16.7
(tpPUR) corrosive
butadiene 1.11 2 2.74 4.5 7.74
styrene (ABS) corrosive

Table 4: Scoring for car bumper material


MATERIAL (GPa ) (MPa.M0.5)

9.1 10 4.1 10 7.8 8 49

9.7 5.2 10 10 7.8 4.6 47.3
styrene 10 6.2 8 10 10 10 54.2

Figure 4: Bar chart of density, (ρ) of materials

Figure 5: Bubble chart of fracture toughness, KIC against density, (ρ)

3.5 Selection of the Best Material for Car Bumper

From the table 4 in scoring table, the highest score we got is 54.2 point which is represent
by ABS. ABS has the best performance due to the density, corrosion resistivity,
moldability and the price of the material. From this material, we achieve the main
objective which is to minimize weight and cost. In the second rank, polyester got 49 point
followed by polyurethane which is 47.3 point. Although the polyester get the highest point
in young’s modulus and corrosion resistivity, but it has lower point of density and price.
The polyester and polyurethane also got the difficulty of manufacturing due to their lower
point of moldability.

4.0 Postscript

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is tough, resilient, and easily molded. It is usually
opaque, although some grades can now be transparent, and it can be given vivid colors.
ABS-PVC alloys are tougher than standard ABS and, in self-extinguishing grades, are
used for the casings of power tools.

ABS has the highest impact resistance of all polymers. It takes color well. Integral
metallic are possible (as in GE Plastics' Magix.) ABS is UV resistant for outdoor
application if stabilizers are added. It is hygroscopic (may need to be oven dried before
thermoforming) and can be damaged by petroleum-based machining oils. ABS can be
extruded, compression molded or formed to sheet that is then vacuum thermo-formed. It
can be joined by ultrasonic or hot-plate welding, or bonded with polyester, epoxy,
isocyanate or nitrile-phenolic adhesives.

ABS is a terpolymer, one made by copolymerising 3 monomers: acrylonitrile,

butadiene and syrene. The acrylonitrile gives thermal and chemical resistance, rubber-like
butadiene gives ductility and strength, the styrene gives a glossy surface, ease of
machining and a lower cost. In ASA, the butadiene component (which gives poor UV
resistance) is replaced by an acrylic ester. Without the addition of butyl, ABS becomes,
SAN -a similar material with lower impact resistance or toughness. It is the stiffest of
the thermoplastics and has excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, salts and many solvents.

The acrylonitrile monomer is nasty stuff, almost as poisonous as cyanide. Once

polymerized with styrene it becomes harmless. ABS is FDA compliant, can be recycled,
and can be incinerated to recover the energy it contains.

5.0 Conclusion

The intention of this research is to study the selection of material for car bumper. Based
on the experiment finding the material, it show the result that Acrylonitrile Butadiene
Styrene (ABS) is the most suitable for car bumper material. In this study, we use the step
of material selection to come out the result which consist of 4 steps, translate design
requirement, screen using constraints, rank using objective and seek documentation. From
the study, we propose 5 different material which are polycarbonate (PC), polyester,
polyurethane (tpPUR), GFRP and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) to do the
experiment. The final result we got from material selection step is ABS. We found that
ABS has achieve our main objective which are minimize weight and cost compare to other

6.0 Reference

1. M. F. Ashby, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, Butterworth-Heinemann,

Oxford, UK, 3rd edition, 2005.
2. J. A. Charles, F. A. A. Crane, and J. A. E. Furness, Selection and Use of
Engineering Materials, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, 3rd edition, 1997.