Printing on PETG

PETG has become one of the most commonly used rigid clear plastics for use across retail. When a rigid clear plastic is needed, PETG is a common choice because it’s great for machining, offers impressive durability, has good chemical resistance, and accepts printed inks well. 

PET-G or PETG is short for polyethylene terephthalate glycol and is a thermoplastic polyester.  The addition of glycol makes a considerable difference in terms of chemical properties. This is why PETG has superior strength, impact resistance, and heat resistance than its counterpart, PET.   Due to the durability and cost of this clear plastic, PETG is found frequently in consumer packaging, store fixtures, and point of purchase display graphics.

There are a select few material options for printing directly onto a clear rigid plastic, where signage is frequently cut from.  PETG is among the most economical while also offering impact resistance that far exceeds that of acrylic.  Wide-format UV Screen printers or Digital flatbed printers recommend PETG because it’s easy to fabricate, has good ink adhesion, and generally inexpensive to polycarbonate alternatives.

Why Should You Use PETG Plastic? 

Printed graphics on PETG has a lot of benefits and excels over many different clear plastic alternatives, such as polycarbonate and acrylic that can’t match PETG’s properties.  Here are some of the most important advantages: 

Superior Impact Resistance

When dealing with the public, using safe material is a top priority.  PETG is much less brittle than acrylic, and in fact, is 3x-7x stronger. PETG is softer than acrylic allowing it to flex before breaking, where glass or acrylic are brittle causing sharp edges. While PETG doesn’t have quite the same impact resistance as polycarbonate, it is more cost-effective and serves the purpose intended for most applications.  

The exceptional strength of this material and its resistance make it perfect for display units, glazing, and signage. It won’t break easily, twist, or deform in any way. 

Clarity

While acrylic offers unmatched optical clarity, PETG is often confused with the untrained eye.  It has a slight tint but for most applications, PETG meets the necessary levels of clarity.  

Fabrication and Machining

The ease of machining a material is a factor in keeping printed costs low.  PETG is extremely easy to fabricate and finish to size since it can be die-cut, router cut, heat bent, bonded, or molded.  Materials that are easy to cut or shape can be produced at faster rates and thus cost less to produce.  

Versatility

PETG printing can be used for many different applications because of its unique transparency. In addition, it has strong durability so that it can even be used for mechanical applications, but it can be used to create toys, packages, face shields, signage, and so on.

It has a glossy finish that looks smooth, making it attractive for different kinds of applications.  

Sterilized and Food Grade

Compared to filaments like ABS or polycarbonate, PETG standard resins are made from FDA-approved resin.  This makes it perfect for those applications that require sterilization, like food.  In addition, it doesn’t give off any chemicals, nor does it do any harm to users when touched.  In fact, PETG was the preferred material of choice through COVID when face shields were in short supply for the medical field.  

Recyclable and Reusability

PETG is one of the easiest plastics to recycle, making it friendly to the environment.  Also, depending on the application and graphics PETG is built to last.  Due to the durability of the material, signage made from PETG can last much longer adding the potential to reuse signage if possible.  

Bottom line

PETG is perfect for a variety of applications ranging from point of purchase graphics, retail signage, machine guards, workplace safety, face shields, and food packaging.  If you aren’t sure whether it would be a good option for your needs, contact NGS Printing and consult with our printing experts. 

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