This is a new age of composite materials. Modern vehicles are pursuing a full measure of performance in both lightweight and high strength. Fiber-reinforced thermoplastic is more and more valued than metal materials in car bodies. Kinds of composite panels are becoming the main products. Today let’s see two of their application.
One of the core requirements is temperature control. To keep warm in winter and cool in summer, the carriage material plays the most important part. PU foam sandwich panel is the most suitable material for heat insulation. Its thermal conductivity is less than 0.022W/m*k. (XPS about 0.029 W/m*k, EPS about 0.042 W/m*k)
In addition, MPP is also a good choice for motor home panels. It is thermal composite and self-adhesive. The heat insulation of MPP is not that good as PU foam.
As for the exterior surface of motor homes, it is suggested to use wood grain and stone skin. They are both lightweight and decorative.
Converted Cars (Dry Cargo & Cold Van)
It is popular that many types of vehicles (mostly IVECO) are converted into cold vans and dry cargo vans.
In dry cargo vans, honeycomb panels can be used as aerodynamic skirts to promote fuel efficiency. It is preferred to use CFRT (thermoplastic) skin panels rather than FRP ones. CFRT is 1.5 times stronger than FRP (usually thermo-setting) ones. They are lightweight and strong enough to prevent the chassis in case of a crash. CFRT sheets are also very flexible. The core of dry cargo van panels can be honeycomb, PVC, plywood, and MPP.
As for cold vans, sometimes also called refrigerated trucks, PU foam comes again to show its skill. Such kinds of special vehicles are extremely critical in temperature keeping.
If the thickness of your car body panel is asked to be as thin as possible, you can also choose the MPP panel. It is uneasy to tear and able to keep performance in less than 25mm thickness.