PETG vs ABS:Which Is Better? - FOW Mould

PETG vs ABS:Which Is Better?

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Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, commonly known as ABS, is one of the mainstream materials used in the 3D printing domain employing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology.

Its multifunctional characteristics make it suitable for producing a wide range of common products, from mechanical parts to LEGO bricks.

The emergence of PETG has disrupted this filament’s dominance in the industry, quickly becoming a versatile choice for creators.

But how do we differentiate between ABS and PETG materials?

In the following discussion, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison of the capabilities of PETG vs ABS to uncover the essence of their differences.

Overview Of ABS And PETG

ABS plastic is a material produced from three chemical components: Acrylonitrile (A), Butadiene (B), and Styrene (S). It typically appears as light yellow granules or opaque bead-like resin, boasting high strength and toughness.

Similar to ABS, PETG is also a polymer synthesized from three monomers.

However, the monomers for PETG are Terephthalic Acid, Ethylene Glycol, and 1,4-Cyclohexanedimethanol.

Compared to PET, which only differs by the addition of 1,4-Cyclohexanedimethanol, PETG exhibits significantly different properties from PET.

PETG Material for Plastic Products
PETG Material for Plastic Products

PETG vs ABS:Performance Description

PETG is recognized for its excellent optical properties as a non-crystalline or low-crystalline material, boasting high surface glossiness and transparency, making it ideal for manufacturing thick-walled containers or sheets.

It features chemical resistance, impact resistance, and ease of processing, finding widespread use in construction, medical, and industrial fields.

PETG has become one of the most popular building materials on the market, replacing traditional materials like PVC and PC.

On the other hand, ABS plastic, known for its ivory-colored translucency in granular or powder form, is renowned for its high strength and rigidity.

It has a thermal deformation temperature range of 93 to 118°C and can be used within temperatures of -40 to 100°C, exhibiting good electrical insulation.

However, ABS is sensitive to ketones, aldehydes, and chlorinated hydrocarbons, and susceptible to stress cracking when exposed to ice acetic acid and vegetable oils.

Here are the general performance metrics for both materials:







Shrinkage rate(%)



Tensile Strength (MPa)



Melting Point (℃)



Glass Transition Temperature (℃)



ABS Plastic Properties
ABS Plastic Properties

PETG vs ABS:Processing Methods

PETG plastic is suitable for traditional forming methods such as extrusion molding, injection molding, blow molding, and thermoforming, making it widely applicable for the production of sheets, films, high-performance shrink films, bottles, and profiles.

Additionally, PETG meets the U.S. FDA standards for

food container storage, making it a safe and reliable material choice for food packaging and medical health sectors.

PETG plastic products
PETG plastic products

For ABS, injection molding is one of its most common processing methods, enabling the efficient production of parts and products with complex structures, high precision, and stable performance.

This processing advantage, combined with its excellent mechanical properties and heat resistance, has led to the widespread use of ABS injection molding parts in the automotive, electronics, and toy manufacturing industries, among others.

Both materials are also mainstream in the 3D printing field. In the PLA vs PETG article, we learned that PETG filament prints extremely well.

The printed product has high gloss, high strength, smooth surface, the product is not easy to break, and has a translucent effect.

ABS uses the FDM process, where the material is heated and extruded through a fine nozzle to build designs in layers of 250 microns.

Objects printed with ABS exhibit slightly higher strength, flexibility, and durability.

It serves as an excellent material for prototyping, easily processed through machining, sanding, gluing, and painting.

PETG Filament for 3D Printing
PETG Filament for 3D Printing

PETG vs ABS:Pros and Cons

In the above, PETG and ABS each demonstrate unique properties and application potential, which allows us to compare the advantages and disadvantages of these two materials in depth.

Advantages of PETG

Excellent Mechanical Properties: PETG exhibits outstanding wear resistance and impact resistance, maintaining integrity under high strength and pressure environments for extended periods.

Environmentally Friendly: It is one of the few environmentally friendly materials available (with certifications like SGS, FDA, MSDN), producing only CO2 and water upon combustion.

High Transparency: PETG boasts excellent transparency and light transmission, suitable for visually appealing applications.

Fire Resistance: PETG has a high level of fire resistance, capable of achieving a B1 fire rating or higher.

Disadvantages of PETG

In addition to the numerous advantages mentioned above, PETG also has some shortcomings.

For instance, PETG has a lower heat distortion temperature, which may lead to deformation at higher temperatures. Furthermore, the material itself is not very hard, making it susceptible to scratches, and it cannot withstand heavy loads, thus requiring careful consideration during use.

PETG Manufacturer
PETG Manufacturer

Advantages of ABS

Impact Resistance: ABS plastic has good abrasion resistance and dimensional stability, along with oil resistance, making it suitable for bearings under medium loads and at low speeds.

Electrical Insulation: ABS plastic exhibits good electrical insulation properties that are unaffected by temperature, humidity, and frequency, allowing its use in most environments.

Low-Temperature Resistance: ABS shows certain toughness at -40°C and can be used within a temperature range of -40 to 100°C.

Excellent Surface Finish: ABS products have a smooth surface that is easy to paint or bond, enhancing aesthetic appeal.

Disadvantages of ABS

During printing and melting, ABS produces strong fumes accompanied by an unpleasant odor.

Inhalation in poorly ventilated areas can be harmful to human health, so proper ventilation is necessary during processing.

Additionally, ABS has poor weatherability and easily degrades under the influence of ultraviolet light.

After six months outdoors, its impact strength can decrease by half.

PETG vs ABS:Practical Applications

Due to the excellent chemical stability and biocompatibility of PETG copolyester, it is widely used in manufacturing medical devices and packaging, such as surgical instruments, infusion bottles, and medical syringes.

Transparent household items, furniture accessories, and bathroom fixtures also benefit from the use of PETG plastic. Its clarity creates a minimalist, stylish appearance while offering durability and impact resistance for a better user experience.

Moreover, PETG copolyester meets hygiene standards and is harmless to food safety, making it an ideal choice for manufacturing transparent food packaging due to its outstanding transparency.

petg plastic bottle
petg plastic bottle

As for ABS material, its main application fields are in the automotive and electrical industries.

Its strength and heat resistance are broadly utilized in the automotive industry for dashboards, interior trims, and exterior parts.

Thanks to the electrical insulation of ABS plastic, it is used to manufacture casings, plugs, switches, and circuit board supports for electronic devices.

This ensures safety while providing sufficient mechanical strength and wear resistance to protect sensitive electronic components.

Furthermore, ABS’s ease of processing and molding makes it widely used in consumer products like toys (LEGO bricks are a classic example), household appliances, sports equipment, and office supplies.

Its ease of painting and adhesiveness also grant it greater design flexibility in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

abs plastic automotive parts

How To Choose Between PETG And ABS?

When we need to choose between PETG and ABS materials for our project, we should evaluate from the following perspectives:

1.Mechanical Performance and Durability

PETG is known for its excellent toughness and impact resistance, making it suitable for products requiring durability and flexibility.

ABS has higher strength and rigidity, capable of withstanding high stress or strain, ideal for making general mechanical parts and wear-resistant components.

2.3D Printing Characteristics

In 3D printing, ABS tends to warp during cooling, making it challenging to print large parts without adequate temperature control and a heated print bed.

Compared to ABS, PETG has lower viscosity and excellent adhesion properties, resulting in parts with smooth surfaces and rich details, making it an excellent choice for creating components, decorative items, and artworks.

3.Environmental Impact

PETG is considered an environmentally friendly material due to its recyclability and lower emission of harmful gases.

Although ABS can be recycled, its raw materials come from fossil fuels, which can cause environmental pollution if not managed properly.

In summary, both PETG and ABS have their unique features.

The final material choice should be based on a comprehensive consideration of the product performance, application, and processing method required by the project.


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