What Is PVA Glue? Everything You Need To Know


Glue is among the most commonly used items in several areas such as woodworking, stationery making, plumbing, shoe manufacture or repair and even in the field of automobile assembly and repair. Several types of glue have over the course of time been chanced upon; by natural discovery or artificial means and used for varied purposes. PVA glue is considered a “staple glue” thanks to its versatile uses that seem to cut across all fields and divides. What is PVA glue? This article aims to shine some light on this type of glue, its numerous applications and what makes it so special.


What Is PVA Glue?

Polyvinyl Acetate, also known as PVA, is an aliphatic synthetic polymer belonging to the polyvinyl esters family. The compound has been termed as being a type of thermoplastic material; solidifies below a specified range of temperatures and is pliable at a higher set of temperatures. The compound is a high molecular weight substance which explains its viscous and rubbery nature. The compound is used for adhesive purposes (duh, it has the name “glue” affixed to it).

The glue goes by various names such as wood glue, school glue, Elmer’s glue, white glue and carpenter’s glue. PVA glue goes by the general formula (C4H6O2)n. Polyvinyl acetate was first discovered in Germany in the year 1912 by Fritz Klatte, a chemist.

what is pva glue?

Via en.wikipedia.org

PVA is primarily prepared by the polymerization of vinyl acetate monomers via the free radical vinyl polymerization of the monomer vinyl acetate. Fritz Klatte produced the monomer, vinyl acetate, on an industrial scale by the addition of acetic acid to acetylene in the presence of a mercury salt. The process is today made possible primarily via a palladium catalyzed the oxidative addition of acetic acid to ethylene. PVA glue has a boiling point of about 112 degrees Celsius and a density of 1.19 g/cm3.

What Is PVA Glue Used For?

PVA glue has a wide range of application which as mentioned earlier has rendered it a “staple glue.” PVA is water soluble and forms an emulsion which is particularly useful for gluing various porous materials, such as wood, paper, and cloth. PVA does not incorporate solvents and also acts as a useful consolidate for other porous building materials such as sandstone. PVA glue is flexible and delivers a strong bond and, unlike many other polymers, it is not acidic. PVA glue uses are as follows below:

pva glue
  • The glue is used in arts and crafts such as simple mosaics.
  • PVA is popularly used as a wood adhesive. This glue is most preferred by carpenters because it dries clear and doesn’t yellow over the course of time compared to other glue types.
  • It is also used fabric, paper and leather adhesive in bookbinding and leather product manufacture. The glue does not give off noxious fumes compared to other glues such as hypochlorite based types of glue. The glue allows for books to be properly bound without altering the pH balance of the paper material in books.
  • Other simple uses are as envelope adhesive, wallpaper glue and as a drywall primer.
  • PVA glue is also used as a filler by simply adding sawdust.
  • The glue is also used in paint mixtures and formulations.
  • Polyvinyl acetate PVA, has been around from the year 1912. Newer formulations have over time made it stronger by altering a few building blocks. In addition, PVA glue is non-flammable, does not exude harmful fumes and is relatively non-toxic; unless ingested.

Some Types Of PVA Glue Are As Below

1. Polyvinyl Acetate Glue: This type of glue is often used for bookbinding, box sealing, and a few other paper-related tasks. This glue is also used in paints and is often white in color. It is permanent and retains flexibility even after drying as opposed to becoming brittle over time.

2. PVA Wood Glue: This glue is a slightly yellow tinged glue used for wood-to-wood joining. This glue seeps into wood since the material is porous. It is recommended to clamp together the two pieces of wood to allow for an even tighter and neater fit.

3. PVA Water Resistant Glue: This particular variant of glue is resistant to mildew and moisture. This property is considered a major benefit of using this particular type of PVA glue. However, what most people get wrong is that water resistant glue is not necessarily waterproof. Water resistant PVA glue can withstand of all kinds of weather.


PVA is perhaps the most common type of glue available out there. However, not many people really know what goes into the manufacture of PVA glue and its subsequent uses. It is a versatile glue who uses transcends beyond many basic tasks regular glue performs. As mentioned, the glue is mostly harmless and odorless. Ingestion is however ill-advised. So there you have it, PVA glue demystified.

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Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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