Polyethylene Terephthalate

PET (also abbreviated PETE) is the major polyester used for food packaging. The amorphous form of PET (APET) is used mostly as injection blow-molded bottles for carbonated soft drinks, water, edible oil, juices, and similar products. PET bottles are stronger and clearer and provide a better gas barrier than HDPE bottles, although they are more expensive.

APET is also used to produce films that have high strength, a high melting point (267°C), high scuff resistance, good clarity, good printing characteristics, and excellent dimensional stability. Because of their poor heat sealability, PET films are often laminated or extrusion coated with a heat-sealable layer such as PVDC and LDPE.

The crystallized form of PET (CPET) can withstand temperatures up to 220°C without deformation. Thus CPET food trays are used in microwave/conventional dual ovens. PETG is a copolymer of PET and 6% cyclohexane dimethanol that is used in thermoforming applications.

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