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Vinyl Acetal Polymers

  1. Jerome W. Knapczyk

Published Online: 4 DEC 2000

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.2209142511140116.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Knapczyk, J. W. 2000. Vinyl Acetal Polymers. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. .

Author Information

  1. Monsanto Company

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 DEC 2000


Poly(vinyl acetal) resins are made by the acid-catalyzed acetalization of poly(vinyl alcohol) with aldehydes. The reaction favors formation of the 1,3-dioxane ring, which is a characteristic feature of this class of resins. As of this writing (ca 1997), only poly(vinyl butyral) and poly(vinyl formal) are made in sizable commercial quantities. Most poly(vinyl butyral) is plasticized and made into interlayer for vehicle and architectural safety glazing. The primary use for poly(vinyl formal) is as an important component in coatings for electrical wire and cable insulation. Applications for poly(vinyl butyral) and poly(vinyl formal) resins make use of their toughness, resilience, optical clarity, high pigment/filler binding capacity, and the high adhesion the resins may provide when appropriately formulated.

The history and general characteristics of poly(vinyl acetal) resins are briefly reviewed. Chemical and physical characteristics, manufacture, and principal applications are discussed. Special attention is given to poly(vinyl butyral) and its use for safety glazing interlayer, because glazing interlayer is by far the largest single application for the poly(vinyl acetal) class of resins.


  • Vinyl acetal polymers;
  • Poly(vinyl alcohol);
  • Poly(vinyl butyral);
  • Butvar resins;
  • Laminated glass;
  • Poly(vinyl formal);
  • Wire insulation