Polyvinyl Alcohol - Uses


Polyvinyl alcohol is the raw material to make other polymers like:

  • Polyvinyl nitrate (PVN): It is an ester of nitric acid and polyvinyl alcohol.
  • Polyvinyl acetals: Polyvinyl acetals are prepared by reacting aldehydes with polyvinyl alcohol. Polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and polyvinyl formal (PVF) are examples of this family of polymers. They are prepared from polyvinyl alcohol by reaction with butyraldehyde and formaldehyde, respectively. Preparation of polyvinyl butyral is the largest use for polyvinyl alcohol in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Polyvinyl alcohol is used as a emulsion polymerization aid, as protective colloid, to make polyvinyl acetate dispersions. This is the largest market application in China.

In Japan its major use is vinylon fiber production.

Some other uses of polyvinyl alcohol include:

  1. Paper adhesive with boric acid in spiral tube winding and solid board production
  2. Thickener, modifier, in polyvinyl acetate glues
  3. Textile sizing agent
  4. Paper coatings, release liner,
  5. As a water-soluble film useful for packaging. An example is the envelope containing laundry detergent in "liqui-tabs".
  6. Feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products as a biodegradable plastic backing sheet.
  7. Carbon dioxide barrier in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles
  8. As a film used in the water transfer printing process
  9. As a mold release because materials such as epoxy do not stick to it
  10. Movie practical effect and children's play putty or slime when combined with borax
  11. Used in eye drops and hard contact lens solution as a lubricant
  12. PVA fiber, as reinforcement in concrete
  13. As a surfactant for the formation of polymer encapsulated nanobeads
  14. Used in protective chemical-resistant gloves
  15. Used as a fixative for specimen collection, especially stool samples
  16. When doped with iodine, PVA can be used to polarize light
  17. As an embolization agent in medical procedures
  18. Carotid phantoms for use as synthetic vessels in Doppler flow testing
  19. As agent in artificial Tears for treatment of dry eye.
  20. See more specific polyvinyl alcohol uses

The North Korean-manufacture fiber Vinalon is produced from polyvinyl alcohol. Despite its inferior properties as a clothing fiber, it is produced for self-sufficiency reasons, because no oil is required to produce it.

Read more about this topic:  Polyvinyl Alcohol

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