Polyurethane composites consist of paper honeycombs which are covered by a mixture of polyurethane and reinforcing fibers. Thanks to its particular stability, the composite material is ideal for body shell parts of more than two square meters in size. The exterior surfaces are covered by a grained, thermoformed, weatherproof film, and the inside surfaces are flocked to match the vehicle's interior design.
A roof system made of this fiber-reinforced composite was mass-produced for the first time in 2015 for the Jeep Renegade. This comprises two roof elements, made of polyurethane composites, that can be completely removed from the vehicle frame and stowed in the trunk. Alternatively, it can also be used as a roof-shell, for instance on a convertible with a retractable hardtop.
In addition to weighing more than 50 per cent less than steel, further advantages are the excellent 3-D moldability and good acoustic and heat-insulating properties of the material. Thanks to the low tool costs, this lightweight construction technology is particularly suitable for small or medium order volumes.