PETG: for Innovation in Design and Manufacturing


Polyethylene terephthalate glycol modified (PETG) is an important thermoplastic polymer that has made a significant impact in the plastics and fabrication industries. PETG is an adaptation of the very common polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, with an added glycol modifier that provides enhanced properties.

Unlike PET, which can be brittle, PETG has improved ductility and impact strength while maintaining many of PET's benefits like clarity, chemical resistance, and easy thermoforming. The glycol addition gives PETG enhanced characteristics that make it suitable for a wide variety of applications from packaging to furniture to medical products and displays.

PETG brings an optimal balance of fabrication ease, durability, optical clarity, and cost-effectiveness that sets it apart from other thermoplastics. Its range of appealing properties and industrial usefulness has established PETG as a rising star among go-to plastics for manufacturing. With versatility across thermoforming, machining, and finishing processes, PETG presents an opportunity to innovate product design and functionality.

What is PETG?

PETG stands for polyethylene terephthalate glycol modified. It is a thermoplastic polymer resin derived from PET (polyethylene terephthalate). The "G" indicates glycol has been added during the manufacturing process. This glycol addition results in key differences between PETG and standard PET.

PETG contains two base components - PTA (purified terephthalic acid) and MEG (nonethylene glycol). During production, these raw materials combine to form polymer resin. The additional glycol makes the chemical structure of PETG slightly different from PET.

Whereas PET forms into long polymer chains arranged in ordered sequences, the glycol in PETG causes a higher degree of branching and randomness. This amorphous structure is a key factor contributing to PETG's enhanced material properties compared to crystalline PET.

The glycol modification gives PETG improved ductility, low temperature impact resistance, and reduced brittleness. As a result, PETG has emerged as an adaptable material for various manufacturing applications requiring durability, detailed forming ability, and ease of fabrication. It provides an optimal balance between the properties of standard PET and more rigid materials.

Properties and Advantages of PETG

PETG has several unique properties that make it advantageous for many applications. Some of the key properties and benefits of PETG include:

  • High Impact Strength - PETG has excellent impact resistance and durability. It has high tensile and flexural strength, allowing it to withstand impacts and resist cracking or fracturing. This makes it suitable for applications that require toughness and durability.
  • Chemical Resistance - PETG offers good chemical resistance and can withstand exposure to many common solvents, acids, and oils. It has better chemical resistance than other thermoplastics like acrylic. This chemical resistance allows PETG to be used for applications like medical devices and chemical equipment.
  • FDA Compliance - PETG complies with FDA regulations for food contact. This means it can safely be used for food packaging and containers, as it does not contaminate food. PETG does not contain bisphenol A (BPA).
  • Durability- In addition to impact strength, PETG also has high tensile strength and retains its mechanical properties under repeated impacts. This durability makes it suitable for high-wear applications. It also has good scratch resistance.
  • Thermal Stability - PETG retains its properties and shape at relatively high temperatures. It has a high heat deflection temperature of up to 70-80°C. This allows PETG to withstand boiling water and other elevated temperature conditions.

The combination of high impact strength, chemical resistance, durability, and thermal stability make PETG an adaptable material for a wide variety of fabrication applications, from packaging to medical devices and durables. Its FDA compliance also makes it safe for food contact applications. PETG offers distinct advantages over other thermoplastics.

Applications of PETG

PETG has a wide range of applications across many industries due to its desirable properties and ease of fabrication. Some of the top uses of PETG include:


PETG is commonly used for packaging applications where its clarity, gloss, and impact resistance make it ideal. PETG packages maintain excellent transparency, so products are clearly visible. PETG is often thermoformed into clamshells, trays, blister packs, and other transparent packaging. It provides good protection and retains its shape through distribution. PETG is also suitable for food packaging applications as it complies with FDA regulations.

Medical Devices

The biocompatibility and sterilizability of PETG makes it useful for medical applications. PETG can be injection molded, thermoformed or machined into components for medical devices and instruments. Its durability allows PETG to withstand repeated sterilization methods. PETG has high chemical resistance, preventing interactions between the material and medications or bodily fluids.

POP Displays

PETG is the material of choice for eye-catching point-of-purchase (POP) displays. Its thermoforming capabilities allow PETG to be shaped into dynamic display components. PETG also readily accepts printing, painting, and other decorating techniques, allowing for attractive graphics and visuals. The lightweight durability of PETG makes it perfect for freestanding, countertop and hanging POP displays.

Store Fixtures

PETG's aesthetic qualities and fabrication versatility make it well suited for store fixtures and displays. PETG can replicate glass and acrylic aesthetics at lower cost. PETG fixtures maintain transparency and resist yellowing over time. PETG also withstands heavy use, spills, and cleaning. Common PETG store fixtures include shelves, cabinets, wall paneling, display cases and signage. PETG is easy to sanitize, an important property for retail applications.

Comparison with Other Materials

PETG stands out from other thermoplastics like acrylic and polycarbonate due to its unique blend of physical properties and fabrication versatility.

Case Studies

PETG has been utilized for a wide array of successful products and projects that highlight its versatility and capability. Here are some real-world examples where PETG has demonstrated its advantages:

  • Cellphone Cases and Accessories - PETG has become a go-to material for protective yet stylish phone cases and accessories. Its impact resistance and durability keep devices safe from drops and bumps, while its optical clarity shows off phones' sleek designs. Companies like Speck and Otterbox use PETG for high-quality phone cases.
  • Medical Equipment - The FDA compliance and sterilization resistance of PETG has made it ideal for medical devices and lab equipment. PETG's clarity provides visibility, while its smooth surfaces prevent fluid adhesion. Products like blood analyzers, PCR thermocyclers, and multichannel pipettes utilize PETG enclosures.
  • Retail Displays - With its ease of fabrication and decoration, PETG is commonly used for eye-catching retail displays and signage. Thermoforming PETG allows complex product forms to be created. Painting, printing and hot-stamping provide high visual impact. Companies like Fusion Sign Systems leverage PETG for impactful and durable retail displays.
  • Protective Masks - During the COVID-19 pandemic, PETG emerged as an effective material for protective face shields and masks. Its optical clarity doesn't distort vision, while its durability withstands repeated cleaning and disinfection. Makers across industries utilized PETG to rapidly manufacture PPE as the crisis emerged.
  • Food Packaging - PETG complies with FDA regulations for food contact, making it an ideal choice for drinkware, food containers, and other food packaging applications. This has led major brands like Starbucks, Rubbermaid and LocknLock to utilize PETG for items like tumblers, water bottles, and storage containers.

By exemplifying these varied uses, it's clear PETG can serve many fabrications needs across industries while delivering visually appealing and high performance results.


PETG is a versatile thermoplastic that offers unique benefits for fabrication and manufacturing applications. As discussed throughout this article, its blend of properties makes it well-suited to a wide range of uses where durability, chemical resistance, and ease of fabrication are priorities.

Key takeaways about PETG include:

  • PETG combines strength, rigidity, and durability with ductility and impact resistance. This gives it an advantage over materials like acrylic or polycarbonate for applications needing both toughness and fabrication versatility.
  • PETG is resistant to many chemicals and can withstand repeated exposure to harsh conditions. This makes it a go-to choice for components exposed to oils, solvents, and other chemicals.
  • With its ability to be die cut, thermoformed, machined, and decorated, PETG is highly adaptable to different manufacturing processes. It has excellent formability and retains structural integrity even with complex designs.
  • PETG complies with FDA regulations for direct food contact, opening up possibilities in food packaging and preparation items. It provides a safe and hygienic material option.
  • From packaging to medical devices, POP displays to lab equipment, PETG serves many industries with its unique set of properties. It enables innovation in product design and functionality.

The value of PETG in fabrication and manufacturing is clear. Its properties allow for cost-effective production of durable and functional parts across a wide spectrum of applications. As more designers and engineers recognize its potential, PETG stands ready to become an even more ubiquitous material strengthening the products of tomorrow.

Leverage Laird Plastics' full-service approach to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth for your company. Their knowledgeable customer service teams provide technical consultation to identify the optimal materials and fabrication methods. With custom sheet size and color matching, global distribution capabilities, and value-added services like CNC cutting and kitting, Laird delivers comprehensive solutions tailored to your unique application.

Explore the possibilities with PETG and make your next project a success story. Find A Laird Plastics Supply near you today! 

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