a synthetic fiber formed from solutions of polyvinyl alcohol, mainly by wet spinning.
Polyvinyl-alcohol fibers, depending on the technology of their production, have various physical properties. As a rule, they are durable and resistant to abrasion and wrinkling. Some polyvinyl-alcohol fibers are more hygroscopic than any other synthetic fiber. The fibers are resistant to light, microorganisms, sweat, and various chemical reagents (acids, alkali bases, oxidizers in moderate concentrations, low-polarity solvents, and petroleum products).
Staple polyvinyl-alcohol fibers are used (in pure form or in blends with cotton, wool, linen, or other chemical fibers) in the production of fabrics for clothing, linens, and curtains. They are also used in the manufacture of felt, canvas, tarpaulins, and filter materials (including bonded materials). Water-soluble staple polyvinyl-alcohol fibers serve as an auxiliary component in blends with other fibers in the production of openwork items, delicate fabrics, and guipure. Industrial fibers made from polyvinyl alcohol are used to reinforce rubber items and plastics and in the production of cables and fishing equipment.
Polyvinyl alcohol fibers are produced in many countries under the trade names Vinol (USSR), Vinylon and Kuralon (Japan), and Winalon (People’s Democratic Republic of Korea). In 1973, world production of polyvinyl alcohol fibers exceeded 100,000 tons.