PETG has become popular in commercial and consumer 3D printing because it offers the strength and durability of plastics like ABS while being as easy to work with as PLA. Parts made with PETG are more flexible and impact resistant than PLA and can be used in load-bearing applications. Unlike ABS, PETG adheres well and does not emit fumes that require ventilation.
In its pure state, PETG is colorless and translucent which allows for unique applications. It also makes adding colors and blends to create Hatchbox PETG filament straightforward. There is much more to know about PETG and why it is such a popular choice for businesses and makers alike.
HOW WAS PETG FIRST MADE?
The mid-20th Century saw a revolution in polymer chemistry as scientists discovered how to produce new materials that could replace traditional organic sources. Polymers of phthalic acid were already being used in paints and varnishes but they were too soft and soluble to be used as fibers. Similarly, glycol-based synthetic fibers had low melting points that made them useless as textiles.
In 1941, British scientistsJohn Whinfield and James Dickson found they could combine these two substancesto create polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE). They heated glycols with terephthalic acid in a process of esterification to create long-chain molecules of PETE that could be turned into fibers with high melting points and that did not dissolve easily. PETE was commercialized in fiber form under brand names like Dacron and in film form as Mylar.
HOW IS PETG MADE TODAY
PETE’s properties have made it among the most commonly used plastics today, but it does have some disadvantages. At high temperatures, crystallization turns a PETE-based object opaque and weaken its structure.
Polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified, or PETG, stops the crystallization by replacing ethylene glycol in the molecular chain with a larger monomer, cyclohexane dimethanol. The new structure prevents PETG molecules from collecting together as readily as PETE, lowering its melting point and inhibiting crystallization.
As a result, PETG can withstand high-temperature processes like thermoforming or 3D printing without losing its properties. Resistant to impacts, heat, and solvents, PETG has applications in many industries. You will find PETG in retail packaging, medical packaging, advertising displays and used as electronic insulators.
IS PETG EASILY RECYCLABLE?
The high volume of containers made from PETE makes recycling the plastic very economical. On the largest scales, recycling companies can use a chemical process to break the PETE polymer chains back into its original glycol and terephthalic acid components. Plastic manufacturers can then use these components as raw materials to produce new PETE.
More commonly, however, plastics recyclers grind used PETE into flakes to be sold to manufacturers as feedstock. However, the potential for contamination means this PETE cannot be used for food or medical applications.
Although just as recyclable as PETE using the same techniques, PETG’s lower melting point means PETG and PETE cannot be processed together. Some facilities have the technology needed to separate the two plastics, but others will send PETG to landfills with ABS and other plastics.
IMPACT OF PETG
IMPACT OF PETG
PETG INDUSTRIAL USES
PETG EVERYDAY USERS & HOBBYISTS
Hatchbox PETG printing has become more popular as more consumer-grade printers ship with heated print beds. Stronger and more flexible than PLA, PETG is more appropriate for everyday objects like smartphone cases. And unlike ABS, PETG does not require ventilation to remove noxious fumes making it safe for kids and pets to be around.
PETG BENEFITS &
SIZE AVAILABILITY: 1.75MM | 3.00MM
RECOMMENDED EXTRUSION TEMPERATURE: 230°C - 260°C
PLATFORM ADHESION: Blue Painters Tape/ Kapton Tape or Hairspray
RECOMMENDED BUILD PLATFORM TEMPERATURE: 55°C - 85°C