Acrylic vs PETG – A Complete Comparison

Acrylic vs PETG – A Complete Comparison

When you decide to choose materials for POP, it is common to find acrylic and PETG on the list. Both materials come with their own unique uses, pros, cons, applications, and properties. This article will cover all of these areas. Read on for more information.

What is Acrylic?

Acrylic is a material that is highly unique and versatile. It can be found in the makeup of different applications and products. Another name for acrylic is plexiglass. It is made to come in unique sizes, thickness levels, etc. Most of these materials come in cast and extruded acrylic sheets.

Acrylic Formula
Acrylic Formula

What is PETG?

Polyethylene terephthalate glycol, or PETG, is a unique polyester (thermoplastic) that offers unique strength alongside high chemical resistance. PETG thermoforms with great ease.

PETG Structure
PETG Structure

Acrylic vs. PETG – Comparing Their Properties

· Impact Resistance

In comparing the resistance of both materials, PETG has more impact resistance than acrylic does. Acrylic can easily get cracked with little impact, while PETG is very durable as well as flexible.

· Clarity

Acrylic comes with optical clarity that is indeed the best, which PETG cannot come close to (although PETG has a reasonable amount of optical clarity too).

· Transparency

Acrylic is very transparent, which allows almost 92% of clear light to pass through. On the other hand, PETG allows about 90% of light to go through it.

· Temperature Tolerance

Where temperature tolerance is concerned, you should know that acrylic has lower resistance when compared to PETG. At a temperature of 160°C, acrylic becomes soft and starts deforming. This means it cannot be used in environments with higher temperatures. Meanwhile, at temperatures of 70 to 80°C, PETG is able to stand without major deformation.

· Chemical Resistance

Here, PETG offers the best chemical resistance features when the two are compared. PETG has the ability to withstand pressure from various chemicals better than acrylic.

· Weight

Acrylic is lighter compared to PETG as far as weight is concerned. So, acrylic moves around quicker compared to PETG.

Comparing the Features: Acrylic vs. PETG

· Colors

PETG comes in colors that can be made to meet your specific user needs, while acrylic comes in unique standard shades (can also be colored to meet your production needs).

· Cost

Acrylic, compared to PETG, is cheaper. The cost of PETG is centered around its use, while the cost of acrylic is centered around the thickness of the material.

· Workable Nature

Both materials have a perfect, workable nature. Cutting them with tools such as circular saws, jigsaws, and others is very easy. You just must ensure all blades are sharp to do the job well.

In the area of bonding, any normal glue can be used to bond acrylic, while superglue and a few bonding agents will work where PETG is concerned.

· Durable

Although very flexible, acrylic can be broken when much pressure is put on it. However, PETG is difficult to break, but not impossible to break.

· Cleaning

Both materials do not require harsh cleaning. So, alcohol-based cleaners do not help because they make cracks evident in them. Gently rubbing with a mild soap and water mixture and rinsing with water is best.

· Strength

PETG is almost seven times stronger than acrylic. Also, PETG resists impact damage and falls better. Acrylic bends a lot and doesn’t break, but it breaks when it falls.

· Stableness

PETG has more stability compared to acrylic as far as flexibility is concerned.

· Safety

PETG has more or higher safety features compared to acrylic.

· Food

Acrylic is food-safe compared to PETG (this is because when 3D prints are introduced, it complicates stuff).

· POS Look

Acrylic has more shiny edges and is very clear compared to PETG.

· Scratches

Acrylics have a high level of scratch resistance compared to PETG, and they do not get scratched with ease. However, PETG comes with a higher chance of getting scratched.

· Environmental Features

PETG is known to be friendlier to the environment than acrylic. This is because PETG is recyclable, and when acrylic is produced, some greenhouse gases are released.

Acrylic vs. PETG – Advantages

PETG Sheet
PETG Sheet

Advantages of acrylic:

  • Superb optical clearness or clarity
  • Ideal for indoor use with reduced ultraviolet exposure
  • It is easy to fabricate and polish
  • It is reasonably priced
  • Can be obtained in different shades and thickness levels

Advantages of PETG:

  • It is shatterproof
  • Has a higher level of impact resistance
  • It is possible to thermoform into complicated shapes
  • Has great chemical resistance
  • Safe and secure to use
  • Can be recycled and is friendly to the environment
Colored Acrylic Sheet
Colored Acrylic Sheet

Limitations: Acrylic vs. PETG

Limitations for acrylic:

  • Cannot take much heat
  • High impact can lead to cracks
  • Has low chemical resistance
  • Doesn’t do well in outdoor environments

Limitations of PETG:

  • Is high in cost
  • Doesn’t have very high optical clearness
  • Doesn’t have many colors available


Applications of Acrylic:

  • Protective panels
  • Greenhouses
  • Water-resistant paint
  • Kitchen splashback
  • Retail displays
  • Aquariums
  • Fiber optic cabling
  • Furniture, etc.

Applications of PETG

  • Packaging cosmetics and food
  • Signage
  • Plastic bottles
  • Display unit
  • Machine guards
  • Medical uses like implants, medical device packaging, etc.
  • Planters
  • Tissue engineering, etc.


With all the information regarding PETG and acrylic available, you can now make your decision with ease based on your production needs.

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