PETG vs PET. Things You Need to Know!

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: December 12, 2021

3D printing enthusiasts always question if there is any difference between PET and PETG.

PETG vs PET

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Both are thermoplastic plastic polymers. They look almost the same, and most 3D printer users get confused when comparing PETG vs PET.

PETG vs PET Comparison

The two thermoplastic materials have fundamentally different chemical properties. PET results from combining two monomers.

Also, PETG has identical monomers. However, it enjoys the presence of an additional chemical property called glycol.

Overall, this makes PETG (view on Amazon) enjoy different chemical properties to PET; as such, PETG turns out as an upgrade of PET. It has a better shock resistance to PET (view on Amazon) and does better in higher temperatures as well.

This well-researched article attempts to answer most of the concerns raised by 3D printing hobbyists regarding PETG vs PET properties. Which one is the better option? So keep reading!

What Is PETG Filament (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)?

PETG, polyethylene terephthalate glycol, is a thermoplastic polymer that offers significant chemical resistance, durability, and formability for manufacturing.

It remains an adoption of its predecessor, the PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate. However, PETG enjoys an additional molecular property known as glycol.

As such, PETG combines the chemical properties of PET and glycol, forming a more robust polymer, seen in many 3D printing quarters as a significant upgrade of PET.

Features and Properties of PETG

Advantages of PETG Plastic Material

Applications of PETG Plastic Material

Is PETG the Same as PET?

PETG filament is not the same as PET filament though they may look quite identical in most aspects. Therefore, if you are out in the market looking for plastic filament and zero down on the two, you will be required to compare their chemical or molecular properties.

PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol) consists of glycol that gives it an additional molecular property making it an upgrade of PET.

Also, regular PETG enjoys better impact resistance. However, PET boasts superior technical properties that include tensile strength, environmentally friendly benefits as it remains 100% recyclable.

More information about PET plastic filament follows below to give you a better chance to make the best comparisons between PETG and PET.

What is PET?

PET, polyethylene terephthalate, also referred to as PETE, is a chemical name for polyester. It remains a clear, strong, and lightweight plastic recommended in consumer and commercial applications such as cooking oil containers.

PET is a thermoplastic polymer that belongs to the polyester family of polymers.

A thermoplastic polymer resin is known for its excellent properties such as mechanical, thermal, very good chemical resistance, and dimensional stability.

Properties of PET

Benefits of PET

Common PET Products

Can PETG be recycled with PET?

Unused and broken plastic littering every part of the world remains an eyesore and a serious environmental issue that needs tackling by everyone. More so for people in the 3D printing industry.

Recycling plastics from the environment to be processed and used as fresh raw material for the plastic industries helps solve this phenomenon global challenge.

When you take plastic material to the recycling center, it gets washed, sorted, shredded, and then melted. It, therefore, results in tiny pellets of plastic that can be used as raw material in manufacturing new products.

PETG and PET remain chemically identical, although the presence of glycol in PETG makes the two fundamentally different materials when comparing chemical properties.

As such, PETG is excluded from recycling by many recycling programs. The chemical similarity of PETG to other types of PET makes PETG plastic, combined with its low forming temperatures, makes it an annoying contaminant during recycling with PET.

It remains so difficult to differentiate between PETG and PET. Also, mixing the two during recycling won’t work as PETG reduces the temperature stability of PET; hence they are not compatible to be recycled together.

Is PETG Food Safe?

PETG remains a food-safe plastic material. That is why it is used for food containers and beverages.

Additionally, it will be helpful if manufacturers get separate FDA approvals. Material food safety determines whether or not it can come into contact with food and not cause any harm to the health of the people.

Furthermore, when different materials come into contact, molecular particles tend to move from one particle to the other.

So if plastic materials contain chemicals that are not good for people’s health, people need should not use them in food containers as they may transfer the chemicals to our bodies.

Still, PETG can be sterilized as they do in the medical field. As such, sterilizing helps solidify it as a food-safe material.

Always check the safety data sheet to get specific data on the safety of the brand you are using.

Is PETG Harder Than PET?

PETG enjoys identical properties to PET. However, the additional molecular property called glycol makes it a flexible, softer, and brittle thermoplastic filament than PET filaments.

More significantly, PETG remains a thermoplastic polymer with significant chemical resistance, durability, and excellent manufacturers’ formability.

Additionally, glycol makes the PETG plastic filament more shock-resistant than PET.

Furthermore, PET combines two monomers that are crystalline and harder. PET enjoys a higher working temperature than PETG means it has a compact molecular structure that allows it to remain harder than the PETG plastic filament.

Conclusion

PETG vs PET plastic filaments is a comparison that helps out 3D printing hobbyists to choose the plastic filament that best suits their needs. PETG and PET plastic filaments enjoy many similarities.

However, PETG is an upgrade with glycol properties but a softer and brittle filament between the two.

This article provides well-researched information that serves as a guideline to 3D printing hobbyists keen on using either of the two plastic filaments.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.