PET is the abbreviation of a particular plastic material belonging to the family of polyester, a word deriving from the Greek prefix 'poly', meaning 'many', and '-esters', the compounds formed by the reaction of alcohol with acid through a chemical bond known as an ester bond. PET polyester is composed of ethylene glycol alcohol [EG] and terephthalic acid [TPA], and its chemical name is Polyethylene terephthalate or PET.
The raw materials of PET derive from crude oil.Crude oil is refined and separated into various oil derivatives to obtain the two intermediate compounds of PET or monomers, which are purified and mixed in a large sealed container like a pressure cooker, and heated up to 300°C in the presence of a catalyst. Each intermediate compound has two identical reaction points and is, therefore, capable of forming chains linking together various individual molecules to form a polymer the monomers of which are linked by ester bonds.
Advantages of PET
Since PET is easy to process with injection moulding and blow moulding or by extrusion when it is in the molten state, it can be adapted to meet virtually any need. Typical applications include:
Bottles for soft drinks, fruit juices and mineral waters. It is especially suitable for carbonated soft drinks, cooking and table oils, sauces and condiments, and detergents.
Trays and wide-neck containers, jams, compotes, fruit and dry foods.
Trays for pre-prepared meals ready to heat in a microwave or conventional oven. Pasta, meat and vegetable based preparations.
Sheets for pre-cooked meals, snacks, dried fruits, and short and long-life confectionery.
Other products in PET with reinforced oxygen barrier for beer, fresh products in vacuum packaging such as cheeses, meats, wines, condiments, coffee, sweets and syrups.