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PVA Rope

firewatch

Publication 10394

Price: FREE

Ropes of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) can be produced from aqueous solutions of PVA and acetone. PVA is soluble in water but insoluble in acetone. Layering acetone over a 4% solution of PVA creates a white interface of PVA fibers which can be pulled upwards through the acetone to produce a PVA rope. This demonstration is similar to the nylon demonstration but it is less expensive and uses less hazardous materials. Polyvinyl alcohol is a polymer with a repeating vinyl alcohol unit. Its molecular weight can range from 25,000 to 300,000 depending on its viscosity. {10394_Introduction_Figure_1} PVA is the world’s largest volume, synthetic, water soluble plastic. It is used in many adhesives, films and elastomers. Its most popular use in schools is the preparation of slime. (See Flinn Chemfax #608.00)