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SPI-Chem™ Vinylec® (Formvar®) Resins

SPI is the source for information about Formvar resins and their applications


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Explanation of Hazardous Labels

Appearance: White to straw colored free flowing powder
Chemical Name: Polyvinyl formal
Odor: Slightly pungent
CAS#: 63450-15-7 (all four grades)
Specific Gravity: 1.23

R=C3H7
At one time, Formvar® was the registered trade name of the polyvinyl formal resin produced by Monsanto Chemical Company in St. Louise, MO USA. In recent years, that business unit was sold, as part of a plan of divestiture of certain businesses, and is now manufactured under the name Vinylec®.

From all that we can determine, the properties and characteristics of the new Vinylec grades are indistinguishable from the earlier Formvar grades. We obviously can not guarantee that to be the case, so if you have in the past been using one or the other of the Formvar grades, you will have to be the one to do the testing to confirm that what you are purchasing now as Vinylec is indeed "plug in compatible" with the former Formvar grade designations. We do know that the Vinylec resin is made in an entirely different plant than where the Formvar resins were originally made.

We are often times asked questions about Formvar resins that involve applications outside of the electron microscope application. We therefore offer this overview on Formvar resin. However, we do not have molecular weight information for any of these Formvar resin materials.

Formvar is a registered trade name for polyvinyl formal, which is a family of polymers formed from polyvinyl alcohol and formaldehyde as copolymers with polyvinyl acetate; another description is "modified polyvinyl acetal resins". They have found diverse applications, including wire insulation, coatings for musical instruments, adhesives and support films for electron microscopy. The specific compositions used by various wire manufacturers are generally not disclosed, and the details of exactly what is in a particular formulation are closely guarded, so it is difficult to say whether the specific type that is used for electron microscopy support films is the same as a particular wire manufacturer uses to coat copper wire.

However, the polymer has been long used as a principle ingredient in enamels used to provide electrical insulation on magnetic wire. It is also being used for the coating of magnetic tape. The polymer has a high softening point, excellent electric insulation characteristics, flexibility and abrasion resistance.

And because it is completely halogen free, it offers some additional benefit from an environmental standpoint.

Four different grades of the resin are available. Originally called Formvar, it seems that there is a slow conversion to its new name, of Vinylec.

The "key" for the conversion between the old Formvar designations vs. the new Vinylec designations is the following table:
Vinylec E = Formvar 15/95E
Vinylec H = Formvar 7/95E
Vinylec L = Formvar 6/95E
Vinylec K = Formvar 5/95E
Although these four resin products are similar chemically, they do differ in some important ways as well, including specifications and other important characteristics, chemical properties, physical properties, applications and solubility/compatibility characteristics.

Water solubility:

We are sometimes asked about a "water soluble" form of Vinylec. Such a material does not exist. If you have a water soluble polymer, then it is in all probability, not Vinylec. However if you think you do have such a material that you would like to have duplicated, we would suggest obtaining an IR spectrum of it, and comparing it with the spectrum of any of the Vinylecs; we are certain you will find them to be dramatically different.

Dust-explosion potential

Vinylec resins are combustible and may cause dust explosions. Exposure to heat, sparks, and flame should be avoided. Avoid creating a dust cloud when handling, transferring or cleaning up.

Formvar Vinylec Resins
Selection of products


Vinylec K
Formvar 5/95E
SPI #EachIn Stock
Bottle, 400 g 02492-RA $69.91 Add to cart Yes
Kraft Bag, 15 kg
Not eligible for flat rate shipping programs
02492-BF 815.63 Add to cart No

Vinylec L
Formvar 6/95E
Bottle, 400 g 02493-RA   69.91 Add to cart Yes
Kraft Bag, 15 kg
Not eligible for flat rate shipping programs
02493-BF 815.63 Add to cart No

Vinylec H
Formvar 7/95E
Bottle, 400 g 02491-RA   69.91 Add to cart Yes
Kraft Bag, 15 kg
Not eligible for flat rate shipping programs
02491-BF 815.63 Add to cart No

Vinylec E
Formvar 15/95E
Bottle, 400 g 02490-RA   69.91 Add to cart Yes
Kraft Bag, 15 kg
Not eligible for flat rate shipping programs
02490-BF 815.63 Add to cart No


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Thursday October 30, 2014
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