Corrugated roof for SUVs. Why do they do it?

Have you ever noticed that the roof of many (if not most) SUVs have ribs, while the roof of other cars, such as sedans – smooth. Knowing this “feature”, many will wonder: why do engineers even make a corrugated roof. Is it an ordinary design element, or does such a construction also have some practical meaning?

In fact, there are no special roofs for SUVs and sedans. All cars can have a variety of roof surfaces, both smooth and corrugated. The way designers perform the upper part of the body is not related to its type. Some motorists mistakenly believe that the corrugated roof is an additional stiffening ribs, which in turn are needed to increase the strength of the body. However, this is not true. The strength of the body is achieved through such an element as the rack.

Knowing this, it may seem that the ribs on the roof are a common design element to increase the attractiveness of the car. This is also not true, at least in full. The corrugated roof has a utilitarian and economic purpose. Each of the two provisions should be discussed separately.

First of all, strange as it may seem, it is much easier to make corrugated roofs (with ribs) than flat and perfectly smooth roofs. You can spend less materials on a corrugated roof, which means they will be cheaper to produce. As a result, the cost of the whole car is reduced. A smooth roof made of a thin sheet of metal will not work. However, this is the second point.

Many people forget that the body vibrates during the trip. The thinner the material in a particular place, the stronger the vibration. The stronger the vibration, the higher the risk of noise. The corrugated thin roof will not vibrate much, and therefore make noise. But the smooth thin sheet on the roof of the car is guaranteed to vibrate strongly and make a noise like a jackhammer. In order to eliminate the negative consequences in this case, you will have to use additional insulating materials. And this, in turn, is an additional cost of production, not only due to the increase in the number of materials used, but also the complexity of the procedure for assembling the car.

Thus, a corrugated roof is easy, cheap and angry. Here they are, the subtleties of engineering!