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Polyvinyl alcohol is used in papermaking, textiles, and in a variety of coatings. It is used as an emulsion polymerization aid to make polyvinyl acetate, as a protective colloid, as a film used in the water transfer printing process, as a surfactant for the formation of polymer encapsulated nanobeads, as an embolization agent in medical procedures and as a fixative for specimen collection. It is an important raw material for polyvinyl nitrate (PVN). It is used in protective chemical-resistant gloves, in eye drops (such as artificial tears to treat dry eyes) and in hard contact lens solution as a lubricant and in 3D printing as a support structure that can then be dissolved away.
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