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Polyethylene Terephthalate G Copolyester (PETG) is classified as an engineering resin. Engineering resins offer exceptional strength and durability in demanding lab applications. For specific uses, they are superior to polyolefins.  

PETG is similar to many other engineering resins; however, its glass-like clarity, toughness, and excellent gas-barrier properties make it an outstanding choice for storing biologicals.

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Tests have shown PETG to be biologically equivalent to, or better than, Type 1 borosilicate glass bottles for cell culture applications. In tests using a wide variety of cell lines, PETG was determined to be non-cytotoxic, and media stored in PETG bottles demonstrated proliferation and morphological characteristics comparable to control media. In fact, the PETG bottles allowed growth of good monolayers directly on the surface of the bottle.  

PETG can be sterilized with radiation or compatible chemicals, but it cannot be autoclaved. Its chemical resistance is inferior to that of the polyolefins with a rating of “fair.”

Due to its strength, clarity, surface qualities, and low cost, PETG is used to make sterile, single use disposable, containers for cell culture and media storage applications.

Popular products Made with Polyethylene Terephthalate G Copolyester (PETG)

Physical properties






HDT[1]: 60℃–71℃ 

Max Use[2]: 70℃



UV light: fair resistance

Moderate flexibility


Microwaveable[13]: Marginal[3]

Specific gravity: 1.27


cc.-mil/ 100in2-24hr.-atm
N2: 10.00
O2: 25.00
CO2: 125.00

cc.-mm/ m2-24 hr.-Bar
N2: 3.89
O2: 9.71
CO2: 48.57

Autoclave: no

EtO: yes

Dry heat: no

Radiation: yes

Disinfectants: some


Non-cytotoxic[6]: yes

Suitable for food & bev use[7]: yes[14]

Regulation Part 21 CFR: 177.1315

Chemical compatibility

The following table contains general use exposure ratings at 20°C. The ability of plastic materials to resist chemical attack and damage is also dependent on temperature, length of exposure to the chemical, and added stresses such as centrifugation. For more detailed chemical resistance ratings for Nalgene products and materials, please consult the resources referenced at the bottom of this page.

ClassGeneral rating
Acids, dilute or weakG
Acids*, strong and concentrated N
Alcohols, aliphaticG
Hydrocarbons, aliphaticG
Hydrocarbons, aromaticN
Hydrocarbons, halogenatedN
Ketones, aromaticN
Oxidizing agents, strongF

*Except for oxidizing acids; for oxidizing acids, see "Oxidizing agents, strong."

 E  30 days of constant exposure causes no damage. Plastic may even tolerate for years.
  Little or no damage after 30 days of constant exposure to the reagent.
  Some effect after 7 days of constant exposure to the reagent. Depending on the plastic, the effect may be crazing, cracking, loss of strength, or discoloration.
 N  Not recommended for continuous use. Immediate damage may occur including severe crazing, cracking, loss of strength, discoloration, deformation, dissolution, or permeation loss.

Nalgene products made from Polyethylene Terephthalate G Copolyester (PETG)

Application tips for Nalgene PETG products

[1]. Heat Deflection Temperature is the temperature at which an injection molded bar deflects 0.1” when placed under 66 psig (ASTM D648) of pressure. Materials may be used above Heat Deflection Temperatures in non-stress applications; see Max. Use Temp.
[2]. Max. Use Temp. °C: this is related to the maximum continuous use temperature, ductile/brittle temperature, and glass transition temperature, and represents the highest temperature at which the polymer can be exposed for the matter of minutes to 2 hours where there is little or no loss of strength.
[3]. The plastic will absorb and retain significant amounts of heat resulting in an unexpectedly hot surface.
[4]. STERILIZATION: Autoclaving (121°C, 15 psig for 20 minutes)—Clean and rinse items with distilled water before autoclaving. (Always completely disengage thread before autoclaving.) Certain chemicals which have no appreciable effect on resins at room temperature may cause deterioration at autoclaving temperatures unless removed with distilled water beforehand.
     EtO Gas—Ethylene Oxide: 100% EtO, EtO:Nitrogen mixture, EtO:HCFC mixture
     Dry Heat—exposure to 160°C for 120 minutes without stress/load on the polymer parts
     Disinfectants—Benzalkonium chloride, formalin/formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, etc.
     Radiation—gamma or beta irradiation at 25 kGy (2.5 MRad) with unstabilized plastic
[6]. “Yes” indicates the resin has been determined to be non-cytotoxic, based on USP and ASTM biocompatibility testing standards utilizing an MEM elution technique with WI38 human diploid lung cell line.
[7]. Resins meet requirements of CFR21 section of Food Additives Amendment of the Federal Food and Drug Act. End users are responsible for validation of compliance for specific containers used in conjunction with their particular applications.
[12]. The brittleness temperature is the temperature at which an item made from the resin may break or cracked if dropped. This is not the lowest use temperature if care is exercised in use and handling.
[13]. Ratings based on 5-minute tests using 600 watts of power on exposed, empty labware. CAUTION: Do not exceed Max. Use Temp., or expose labware to chemicals which heating will cause to attack the plastic or be rapidly absorbed.
[14]. Acceptable for:
     Alcoholic foods containing not more than 15% (by volume) alcohol; fill and storage temperature not to exceed 49° C (120° F)
     Non-alcoholic foods of hot fill to not exceed 82° C (180° F) and 49° C (120° F) in storage
     Not suitable for carbonated beverages or beer or packaging food requiring thermal processing


Technical support

For assistance choosing products appropriate for your application, please speak with a Nalgene technical support representative team by phone at +1-585-586-8800 or (1-800-625-4327 US toll free), or email your request to

In Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom please contact technical support by phone at +800-1234-9696 (toll free) or +49-6184-90-6321, or email your request to

Regulatory support: for regulatory documentation of product or material claims, please contact Nalgene regulatory support at


Request printed resources
  • Break the Glass Habit Brochure
  • Bottle and Carboy Selection Guide
  • Plastic Properties Reference Magnet
  • Plastic Labware Chemical Resistance Wall Poster

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California Proposition 65 Warning: Products manufactured with polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) or polystyrene (PS) contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.