Polycarbonate vs. PETG 

When most of people think plastics the first thing that pops into their head is Acrylic. 

What a lot of people don’t realise is that there are many other types of plastic that can be fabricated.  So today I thought I’d blog about our two high performance clear plastics and their unique advantages in certain applications. 
 

Both of these materials are known for their toughness and great optical clarity.  

These key features make them ideal replacements for standard acrylic or glass in a number of environments where safety and security are primary concerns.  
 

Although they may seem very similar in the first instance, these materials have key differences which make them more appropriate for certain applications. 
 

Polycarbonate is a terrifically high performance material with incredible strength and durability whilst retaining its aesthetic qualities. As much as 200 times stronger than glass, polycarbonate sheet is virtually unbreakable and also has very high impact strength. This makes it a superb choice of clear plastic for the most demanding of environments; and it is commonly used to create security screens, boat screens and factory machine guards. All of which we have provided here at S&D. 
 

Polycarbonate is also a very versatile material and can be thermoformed, cut, drilled and welded to suit almost any requirements. 
 

Although a fantastic material, polycarbonate is less easily worked than some other sheet plastics and is less cost-effective than some materials, and this is where PETG displays its own unique advantages as a great alternative to polycarbonate.  

 

PETG is an easy to mould clear plastic material with about 70% of the impact strength of polycarbonate, but it is still fantastically strong when compared with acrylic or glass.  

 

It is more cost-effective than polycarbonate which makes it a popular choice of material in more general purpose applications, and it is suitable for hot line bending and welding.  

 

Cut to size PETG is most commonly used in commercial applications such as making factory machine guards, high strength display units and impact resistant glazing. 

 

Each of these materials is preferred to clear acrylic because of their high strength and resistance to impact. This makes them a great choice for any application where security is a primary concern. PETG, unlike Polycarbonate, is produced as a food grade material making it a great choice for guarding any human consumption product production lines. Here at S&D we regularly produce PETG chutes for packaging food products. 

 

It is possible to buy Food Grade Polycarbonate, however this is quite a rare material. S&D are one of the only companies in the UK to have stocked 3mm Food Grade Polycarbonate for chute fabrications. 

 

Both Polycarbonate and PETG are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and guarantee a superb length of service when looked after correctly. 

 

For more information on fabricating PETG and Polycarbonate please get in touch with our team or feel free to pop by and visit us. 

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