Polyvinyl Alcohol: Structure, MW, Solution, Uses and More!

Have heard about different types of the alcoholic compound but still is unaware of what is polyvinyl alcohol.

Here I am with a brief detail of the product.

Read the full blog and make the best use of the product in your everyday life.

Polyvinyl alcohol or PVOH, PVA, or PVAL is a water-soluble, synthetic polymer. It is obtained by the polymerization of vinyl alcohol.

Having different roles in commercial and industrial applications it is effective in film-forming, emulsifying, and adhesion. Polyvinyl Alcohol molecular weight lies between 26,300 to 30,000 with a degree of hydrolysis of 86.5% to 89%.

It does not have any odor and is resistant to grease, oil, and other solvents. Polyvinyl alcohol solutions are found in ophthalmic solutions and act as a lubricant to prevent lubrication and relieve dryness to eyes.

Polyvinyl Alcohol Slime

PVA, when allowed to react with borax, forms a crosslinked polymer network bound together by the weak hydrogen bonds. This type of polymer composed of strands of PVA whose side is linked by loosely bounded borate molecules.

Here is the procedure of how the polyvinyl slime is prepared

Step 1: Two tablespoon of the polyvinyl polymer solution is added into a cup.

Step 2: To it, one-fourth of the Borax solution is added, and the mixture is mixed properly with the wooden stick.

Step 3: Touch the product and make sure that the product turns slimy.

The final slime product can be liquid or solid and therefore it is also known as “viscoelastic”.

Polyvinyl Alcohol Uses

Polyvinyl Alcohol formula is (C2H4O)n. It is a strong polymer in which the molecules are bonded together by the strong covalent bond. Due to its nature, it is quite useful and is widely used in many industrial applications like strengthening textile yarn and papers.

Some of the common uses of Polyvinyl Alcohol are discussed below.

#1. In Freshwater Sports Fishing: Since PVA is soluble in water it is added into bags filled with oil-based or dry fishing bait and is attached to hook. When the bag is landed on the water body, it breaks down and leaves the hook bait surrounded by pellets and ground bait. The fish get attracted to the hook bait and are caught easily.

#2. Coating Agent in Food Supplements: PVA is non-toxic and is widely used as a coating agent for food supplements. It is used for food packaging and prevents foodstuff from moisture attack thus keeping it fresh.

#3. Preparation of Other Resins: PVA is a natural or synthetic organic compound made up of viscous substances. It has been widely utilized for the creation of other resin compounds like polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or polyvinyl formal (PVF).

#4. Laminating Safety Glass: Due to its water-resistant property, it is used to laminate safety glass for vehicles.

#5. Coating Medicinal Tablets: PVA has many health benefits and is, therefore, gaining its demand in the pharmaceutical market. It is used to coat the medicinal tablets.

#6. Polyvinyl Alcohol Glue: Among all the applications and uses of PVAl, the most prominent is its use as adhesive. Generally, PVAl is found on the back of stamps and other stickers. Wet it little to attach it to the surface. PVA is not a cheap material and therefore it is mixed with other additives to reduce its final cost.

Polyvinyl Alcohol MSDS

Although Polyvinyl Alcohol is not poisonous, it is good to follow some of the safety measures while using it. Here are some of the ways by which PVC can interact with our body cells and might cause irritation. It is therefore good to make the rightful use of the product and follow the safety measure for using it.

Some of the ways by which it enters our body are:

Inhalation: When the chemical is heated at a certain temperature it may form dust. When PVC is heated above 200 degrees Celsius, fumes are formed that might irritate eyes, nose, throat. This displays some symptoms like tears and redness in eyes, burning pain in the nose and throat, etc. 

If ever face inhalation symptoms, it is recommended to move towards fresh air. If having difficulty in breathing, then it is good to ask for medical aid without delay.

Ingestion: If the chemical is ingested through food products then it might cause some health hazards.

Contact with Skin: The exposure of skin to the chemical does not cause any harmful effects. But sometimes irritate. Wash the area with soap and cold water to prevent any severe effect.  

Eye Contact: Although PVC slime is used to keep contact lens soft and Polyvinyl solution is to prepare eye solutions then sometimes it may cause mechanical irritation.

It is good to wash thoroughly with running water and take medical advice if much irritation develops.

Chronic Exposure: Some of the animal studies conducted so far, the exposure to Polyvinyl Alcohol can result in a drop-in haemoglobin and erythrocytes and eventual inhibition to coagulation. Also, it has a carcinogenic effect. 

Polyvinyl Alcohol Eye Drops

Polyvinyl alcohol is commonly known as artificial tears offer relieve from eye dryness and soreness. It works by offering good moisture to the eye and lubrication thus make the person feels comfortable. You can easily avail of the eye drops at the pharmacy, but it is always good to be cautious while using it.

Things to Consider Before Using Polyvinyl Alcohol

Since it is all about your eyes, it is good not to take the risk. Take advice from the doctor before using the drops. The doctor will examine your eyes and help you to guide by telling you whether the eye drops are safe to use by examining your past experiences with other eye drops.

How to Use the Polyvinyl Alcohol Eyedrops

Here are some of the safety tips for making the best use of the eye drops.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Remove the cap from the bottle and tilt your head back. Pull your lower eyelid to form a pocket.
  • Pressurize the bottle so that a single drop releases in your eyes.
  • Close your eyes for a minute or two and press the side of the nose where the corner of eyes meets your eyes to prevent draining of eye drop from eyes.
  • Repeat the same steps with another eye and store the bottle for future use.

Storage Tips

  • Storing the bottle in the right place at the right temperature keeps it fresh and usable for long.
  • Store at the place with 20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius temperature.
  • Keep it away from heat
  • Protect it from freezing
  • Keep the lid tightly closed.

Preparing Polyvinyl Alcohol Solution 

  • PVA is soluble both in hot and cold water and its solution is prepared by following the right steps discussed below:
  • The powder is added to the cold water slowly to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • As more PVA is added it becomes sticky and the formation of lumps takes place. It is therefore good to use water at the temperature lower than ambient temperature.
  • Let the powder get dispersed fully.
  • Heat the mixture to the temperature ranging from 194 to 280 degrees Fahrenheit and let the polymer get completely solubilized.
  • As the powder gets completely soluble the PVA solution is obtained.

Make the best use of Polyvinyl alcohol and its product. Bring it in everyday use and reap its benefits.

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