Polyvinyl Alcohol is used as an emulsion polymerization aid, as protective colloid, to make polyvinyl acetate dispersions.
Uses of polyvinyl alcohol include:
- Paper adhesive with boric acid in spiral tube winding and solid board production
- Thickener, modifier, in polyvinyl acetate glues
- Textile sizing agent
- Paper coatings, release liner
- As a water-soluble film useful for packaging. An example is the envelope containing laundry detergent in “liqui-tabs”.
- Feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products as a biodegradable plastic backing sheet.
- Carbon dioxide barrier in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles
- As a film used in the water transfer printing process
- As a form release because materials such as epoxy do not stick to it
- Movie practical effect and children’s play putty or slime when combined with borax
- Used in eye drops (such as artificial tears to treat dry eyes) and hard contact lens solution as a lubricant
- PVA fiber, as reinforcement in concrete
- Raw material to polyvinyl nitrate (PVN) an ester of nitric acid and polyvinyl alcohol.
- As a surfactant for the formation of polymer encapsulated nanobeads
- Used in protective chemical-resistant gloves
- Used as a fixative for specimen collection, especially stool samples
- When doped with iodine, PVA can be used to polarize light
- As an embolization agent in medical procedures
- Carotid phantoms for use as synthetic vessels in Doppler flow testing
- Used in 3D printing as support structure that can then be dissolved away.
- Polyvinyl alcohol dust is mildly irritating to the eyes and causes discomfort if inhaled.
- Treat as a nuisance dust and avoid inhalation or contact with eyes.
- There are no known detrimental effects arising from short-term polyvinyl alcohol exposure either as a solid or in solution with water.
- Can cause coughing & chest discomfort