How does Eastman Spectar™ copolyester compare to other thermoplastics?

The two plastics most commonly compared to Spectar are acrylic and polycarbonate. For starters, Spectar is GREENGUARD® Certified, which provides assurance that it meets the requirements of the GREENGUARD Certification Program and helps to create healthier indoor environments. Spectar also provides superior thermoforming through lower thermoforming temperatures and better part definition, as well as superior chemical resistance (see TRS-211) and heat bending capabilities compared to both materials. Additional details follow to help you choose the best plastic for your application.

Spectar vs. acrylic

  • Spectar has greater impact strength than both general-purpose acrylic—typically 15–20 times tougher—and impact-modified acrylic—typically 2–5 times tougher. This impact strength helps reduce the risk of shattering during fabrication processes and allows for downgauging to thinner-gauge sheet.

  • The effortless fabrication of Spectar reduces the amount of time needed for heat bending by half that of acrylic and allows for cold bending without stress whitening. Spectar can also be solvent bonded by using the proper technique.

  • Touching up surface scratches on sheets of Spectar is also easier than acrylic. Surface scratches can be removed by simply using a heat gun.

Spectar vs. polycarbonate

  • When compared to polycarbonate, Spectar is easier to machine saw, drill, and route.

  • Spectar is superior to polycarbonate for thermoforming in many ways.
    • No drying is required before thermoforming sheet of Spectar.
    • Thermoforming cycles are faster with Spectar than polycarbonate.
    • Decorative vinyl film is easily thermoformed with Spectar.
    • Lower temperatures can be used during thermoforming while creating more detailed definition when compared to polycarbonate.
    • Sheet of Spectar can be flame polished and laser cut.

Spectar Comparison


You can view videos on many of the processes mentioned in the preceding text at our Spectar video gallery.

For additional tips, download our Fabrication Guide.