When you look at your truck, what do you see? Most truck owners see the sheer power and strength of their vehicle. Yet behind the shiny metal exterior, you may be surprised to learn that there is quite a bit of plastic. Because plastics are so much lighter than metals, they help keep trucks aerodynamic and fuel efficient, and modern plastic technology increases the strength and durability of these components. Plastics are having a tremendous impact on the manufacturing process of today’s trucks, and here are some places where you will see this impact.
Interior Panels, Trim and Other Elements
Even when they look like wood, many of today’s trucks use plastic for their interior panels and trim. Plastic is easily mold able into the desired shape for the aesthetics of the interior, and it provides superior comfort and noise reduction over other materials. It is durable, fade-resistant and easily customized, all of which make it ideal for interior panels on a truck. With plastics, manufacturers can get quite creative in the look of a truck’s interior.
Yet it’s not just the visible interior elements that contain plastics. The seat and the seat bases are often made from plastic as well. Plastic will hold up well under repeat use, does not rust and is a lightweight option to help keep the interior elements from weighing down the truck, and all of this makes it an ideal element to incorporate into truck seat designs.
Many truck owners with a modern truck are surprised to see how many of their truck’s engine components are made from plastic. Plastic is tough and light weight, and many polymers and thermoplastics are also flame retardant. It will not conduct electricity, even when placed near the truck’s battery or other electrical elements. In addition, plastic avoids corrosion and will not rust. For this reason, many covers, shrouds and housings in truck engines are made from plastics. To protect important components in a vehicle, plastic is a superior element over metal.
Truck Beds and Bed Liners
The truck’s bed is an important functional element in the truck’s overall design, and many trucks feature plastic elements in the bed or the bed liner. The durability of plastics eliminates the risk of scratched paint or rust spots when the truck is used for rugged work. With plastic in the bed of the truck, you can put in load after load without damaging the look of your vehicle.
The next time you take a good, hard look at your truck, look for the plastic. You will quickly see how this material is changing the way trucks look and function, and for the good! With plastics impacting the manufacturing process, the modern truck will continue to deliver superior performance and enjoy increased fuel efficiency.