PETG Tubing - The Clear Alternative to Acrylic Tubes

    Acrylic has long been known as the glass substitute and acrylic tubes are consequently used in a wide variety of applications including POP displays, indoor signage, storage containers, packaging, shelving, fixtures, and light protectors.   Acrylic has gained widespread acceptance as it is stronger, safer, insulates better, and is not as heavy as glass.  It is, however, more expensive than glass and cannot be fabricated without applying heat, which can weaken the material and generate burn spots.

    Still, due to its positive attributes, Acrylic became very popular material and has been branded under such familiar names as Lucite and Plexiglas.  Because of this popularity and these highly recognized brand names, substitute options are rarely considered. PETG, however, is one of those overlooked material options…and for many applications it may be the more practical solution.

    PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol) has many of the same characteristics of acrylic.  Both are highly impact resistant and have excellent clarity.  Each has a high level light transmission rate (90% PETG and 92% Acrylic).  PETG, however, has many other features that make it an ideal alternative to acrylic tubes:

    • It is very easy to fabricate.  
    • It can be laser cut, routed, welded, drilled, die-punched, bent (hot or cold), and joined by screws, rivets or bolts.
    • It can be cut with conventional table, band or radial-arm saws with blades common to plastic.
    • Its edges can be polished.
    • It can be printed or decorated using screen-printing, painting, and hot-stamping techniques. 
    • Surface scratches and scuffs can easily be removed with a heat gun.
    • It forms strong, clear bonds with adhesives and solvents, yet has good chemical resistance.
    • It is odorless.
    • It resists chipping and cracking and will not crystallize or haze.

    The most compelling reason to consider PETG, however, is typically its affordability. The outstanding degree of strength of PETG material makes it possible to consider the use of lower gauge thickness for some applications. The consideration of this feature - known asdowngauging - makes it possible to use less material therefore reducing costs to produce a product. In many circumstances, this is a powerful influence to selecting PETG as the alternative to acrylic.

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