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Polyethylene terephthalate  commonly abbreviated PET, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications.
Depending on its processing and thermal history, polyethylene terephthalate may exist both as an amorphous (transparent) and as a semi-crystalline polymer. The semicrystalline material might appear transparent or opaque and white depending on its crystal structure and particle size.
The majority of the world's PET production is for synthetic fibers (in excess of 60%) with bottle production accounting for around 30% of global demand. In discussing textile applications, PET is generally referred to as simply "polyester" while "PET" is used most often to refer to packaging applications. The polyester industry makes up about 18% of world polymer production and is third after polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
Because PET is an excellent barrier material, plastic bottles made from PET widely used for soft drinks (carbonation).
Biaxially oriented PET film can be aluminized by evaporating a thin film of metal onto it to reduce its permeability, and to make it reflective and opaque (MPET). These properties are useful in many applications, including flexible food packaging and thermal insulation, such as "space blankets". Because of its high mechanical strength, PET film is often used in tape applications, such as the carrier for magnetic tape or backing for pressure sensitive adhesive tapes.
Non-oriented PET sheet can be thermoformed to make packaging trays and blisters. If crystallizable PET is used, the trays can be used for frozen dinners, since they withstand both freezing and oven baking temperatures.
PET can be semi-rigid to rigid, depending on its thickness, and it is very lightweight. It makes a good gas and fair moisture barrier, as well as a good barrier to alcohol (requires additional "barrier" treatment) and solvents. It is strong and impact-resistant. It is naturally colorless with a high transparency.
One of the most important characteristics of PET is referred to as intrinsic viscosity (IV).
The intrinsic viscosity of the material, measured in deciliters per gram (dℓ/g) is dependent upon the length of its polymer chains. The longer the polymer chains, the more entanglements between chains and therefore the higher the viscosity. The average chain length of a particular batch of resin can be controlled during polycondensation.
The intrinsic viscosity range of PET is classified as below:
Fiber grade
0.40 – 0.70 dℓ/g Textile
0.72 – 0.98 dℓ/g Technical, tire cord
Film grade
0.60 – 0.70 dℓ/g BoPET (biaxially oriented PET film)
0.70 – 1.00 dℓ/g Sheet grade for thermoforming
Bottle grade
0.70 – 0.78 dℓ/g Water bottles (flat)
0.78 – 0.85 dℓ/g Carbonated soft drink grade
Monofilament, engineering plastic
1.00 – 2.00 dℓ/g

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