Plastics for buses, railcars, campers, RVs, emergency vehicles, and off-road equipment

Plastic materials are used for a wide variety of transportation applications including glazing, interior wall panels, partitions, headliners, and light diffusers. Thermoplastics offer a number of advantages over metals, wood, and fiberglass including outstanding aesthetics, durability, and sound insulating properties. Plastics are also extremely lightweight, which contributes to improved fuel economy.

Thermoplastics have the additional advantage of having color throughout the volume of the material, which eliminates the need for secondary painting. Unlike metals and wood, plastics are moisture resistant and they will not rot or rust.

Benefits of Plastics for Transportation Applications Include:

  • Outstanding aesthetics, available in virtually any color
  • Durability
  • Easy to form into complex parts
  • Moisture resistant, will not rust like metal
  • Acoustical insulating properties
  • Lightweight for improved fuel economy
  • Grades available that are resistant to fuels, lubricants, and cleaning chemicals
  • Outdoor weatherable grades available
  • Grades available that meet vehicle flammability standards
  • Grades available that comply with ANSI Z26.1-1996

Plastic Materials for Transportation Applications



Outstanding impact resistant low cost plastic, easy to machine, and thermoform.



High strength, stiff, low friction engineering plastic with good wear properties.



Outstanding strong, stiff, clear plastic available in a variety of brilliant colors and finishes.


Aluminum Composite Material (ACM)

Low-cost ACM offers good dimensional stability and a metallic look, at half the weight of aluminum.



Durable, versatile, low cost, abrasion and chemically resistant plastic material.

KYDEX® Thermoplastic sheets in various colors stacked and fanned out

KYDEX® Thermoplastic Sheet

High impact, thermoplastic sheet that is tough, durable, and easy to form.



Strong, stiff engineering plastic often used to replace metal bearings and bushings.



Transparent, strong and stiff thermoplastic with outstanding impact resistance.

two stacked sheets of white polypropylene


Low cost, chemical resistant plastic with excellent aesthetic qualities.


SentryGlas® Interlayer

Structural interlayer material for storm, blast, ballistic, and single-point supported glass applications.



Extremely tough abrasion resistant, low cost plastic, used for a wide range of wear applications.


Tapes, Fabrics, & Belts

Specialized industrial tapes, fabrics, belts—for bonding, heat sealing, wear surface, and masking applications.


MOMENTIVE® Silicone Adhesives

Silicone adhesives with excellent temperature performance, dielectric properties, and weatherability.

Plexus® Methacrylate, Structural Adhesives in various sizes

Plexus® Methacrylate, Structural Adhesives

Structural adhesives for difficult to bond plastics, that cure rapidly and speed assembly.


Expanded PVC

Lightweight, durable, moderately expanded closed cell sheet material.


Polycarbonate Film

Transparent, general purpose plastic film with excellent ink adhesion.

Plastic Applications for Transportation:

  • Bezels
  • Cargo carriers
  • Cabinets
  • Driver Partitions
  • Exit signs
  • Golf cart windshields
  • Headliners
  • Instrument panels
  • Interior wall panels
  • Light diffusers
  • Luggage bins
  • Modesty panels
  • Rain and insect deflectors
  • Seating
  • Spare tire covers
  • Storage containers
  • Truck bed liners
  • Vehicle glazing
  • Wear pads
  • Window shrouds

Transparent Partitions Plastic dividers attached to seats on a train

Transparent partitions made from acrylic and polycarbonate sheet are lightweight and impact resistant. Standard colors include clear, bronze, and gray.
These plastics are available in a number of different formulations depending on the requirements for transparency, color, scratch resistance, and flammability.

Private and public transit companies are taking precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19 and provide safer transportation by retrofitting their buses with protective barrier shields made from durable plastic materials.

Transparent barriers made of TUFFAK® DG (Driver Gard) polycarbonate provide outstanding impact resistance and optical clarity. TUFFAK® DG is easy to clean, allows drivers to interact freely with passengers, and conforms to FMVSS 205/ANSI Z26.1, AS4.

LED Light Diffusers

Many vehicle manufacturers now specify LED lighting for interior illumination due the reliability and energy efficiency of LED lamps. LEDs can be challenging for vehicle designers since they create intense pinpoints of light that can detract from the appearance of a vehicle. Curbell supplies a number of plastic film and sheet materials that are engineered to diffuse LED light while still maintaining high levels of light transmission.

KYDEX® Thermoplastics for Interior Components - Wall Panels, Opaque Barriers, Seating, Tray Tables, and Window Shrouds

Vehicle designers often specify KYDEX® Thermoplastic sheet for interior applications including wall panels, tray tables, and window shrouds. KYDEX® sheet has outstanding aesthetics and durability as well as excellent flammability characteristics. KYDEX® Thermoplastics are available in virtually any color with low minimum order quantities and short lead times. There are a number of KYDEX® sheet grades available with enhanced antimicrobial properties for more demanding applications. Graffiti resistant grades of KYDEX® are also available.

Want to learn more? Read our article KYDEX® Thermoplastic Sheet for the Transportation Industry.

Hard-Coated TUFFAK® Polycarbonate Sheet for Vehicle Glazing

Hard-coated TUFFAK® BG and TUFFAK® TG polycarbonates are the materials of choice for bus and railcar windows. These products have unmatched durability, transparency, and scratch resistance. They are available in a number of different colors including clear, bronze, and gray. Curbell Plastics is registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation as a fabricator of vehicle glazing. We can supply TUFFAK® polycarbonate windows cut and routered to your specifications.

Storage Cabinets

Ambulances and non-transporting EMS vehicles often have storage cabinets made from high performance plastics. KYDEX® Thermoplastic sheet is durable and it resists cleaning chemicals. It is often used for the white surfaces of emergency vehicle cabinets. Acrylic and polycarbonate sheet materials are typically specified for cabinet doors due to their transparency, durability, and light weight.

Continue Your Research

Not sure which materials best fit your needs?

Our experienced sales and technical teams are available to assist you with material selection challenges.


Can I order plastic sheet materials in custom colors?

Do plastic materials meet the flammability requirements for transportation applications?

Can tapes and adhesives be used to assemble vehicle components?

Can plastics stand up to outdoor environments?

What types of plastics can be used as LED light diffusers?

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