The Function and Types of Car Bumpers

A ‘bumper’ is a part of a car present in the front and rear ends to protect both the ends from receiving damage from a collision. According to safety regulations, a bumper is a compulsory part of an automobile today.

What are bumpers made of?
Bumpers are made of material that can withstand collision pressure. They are made of steel, aluminum, fiberglass composite, or a plastic. A bumper should also possess the ability to absorb the shock it suffers in collisions. For this, polypropylene or plastic honeycomb is also sometimes used. To offer protection, it is compulsory that the bumper and the metal part of the vehicle it is supposed to protect have a distance between them.

Types of bumpers
Bumpers differ according to the size and requirements of the vehicle. They are standard, deep drop, roll pan bumper, step bumper and tube bumper.

Deep drop bumper
This kind of bumper is chrome plated and is usually found only in older trucks. Deep drop bumpers have a heavy towing capacity and a low ball height. The height up to the bottom of the frame is usually 10 to 12 inches.

Roll pan bumper
Roll pan bumpers are usually found in compact vehicles. The hitches for towing are in the middle behind the bumper.

Step bumper
Step bumpers usually are a feature used in trucks, vans and SUVs. Step bumpers get its name from the fact that the small cutout in the center looks like a step. The bumper also has holes for hitch balls and lightweight trailers can be towed with this.

Tube bumper
This kind of bumper is typically used in jeeps.

Strength of bumpers – The Five miles per hour benchmark
‘Five miles per hour is a benchmark that is followed for the strength of the bumpers. It means that if a vehicle that has a bumper that comes under a ‘five miles per hour benchmark’ crashes at five miles per hour, then there would be no damage at all except for cosmetic damages. This is calculated in barrier tests. The five miles per hour benchmark does not however indicate that the bumper will protect the vehicle’s parts only if the car collides at or below five miles per hour. The strength of the bumper would apply upwards as well. For instance, even if it crashes at 15 mph, the effect would still apply and reduce repair costs.