Polyvinyl Alcohol and Polyvinyl Acetate
Basically only ethylene and air are needed for the production of polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) and its polymer analogous products, such as polyvinyl alcohol and polyvinyl butyrate. Polyvinyl acetate serves as the precursor for polyvinyl alcohol and, directly or indirectly, the polyvinyl acetals. Polyvinyl acetate meeting certain specifications is permitted in stated food contact applications, such as packaging, coatings, and adhesives. Polyvinyl acetate can also be used as water-based (latex) paints, wood glue, white glue, paper adhesive during paper packaging converting, envelope adhesives, and wallpaper adhesives. When employed in coatings or adhesives, PVAc is often partially hydrolyzed to a water-soluble polymer known as polyvinyl alcohol. Water-based emulsions are, by far, the most common form in which polyvinyl acetates are used in the adhesive market. Other vinyl esters have been synthesized, either by direct polymerization or by ester interchange between polyvinyl acetate and other esters/acids.