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PET vs Clear Plastics (Acrylic, Polycarbonate)

When it comes to polymer clarity, Polycarbonate and Acrylic polymers are equally popular and compete with PET for certain applications. While PC has the characteristics of good impact resistance and used to manufacture bottles, cans and various forms of containers for packaging beverages but at the same time it has a very poor stress cracking performance. Therefore, if your application has potential where polymer can fail under stress then your decision to choose PET might be meaningful. PET has better mechanical strength and its film strength is three times better than PC.

Also, if your application involves exposure to certain oils and chemicals, then you would prefer to choose PET over PC. PET is chemical resistant to household cleaners, graffiti-resistant, resistant to alcohol and acid, and overall has a greater resistance to a broader range of chemicals than polycarbonate. PC does have chemical resistance, but it is limited, and overall is less desirable for harsh environment use.

At the same time, acrylic does not have the impact strength of either PET or polycarbonate. While PET products are usually food grade but cannot be used if exposed to UV rays. Acrylic is inherently UV resistant with as little as 3% degradation outdoors over a 10-year period.