Is vinyl a type of alcohol?

I can recall my daughter once making a superball from a camp experiment where the ball was made a gooey liquid which hardened over time into a superball. As I recall, the liquid was something like acetyl-vinyl alcohol. Is that what vinyl essentially is? An alcohol? …Is that true for many of our household polymeric materials we take for granted?

For example, is that what nylon basically is? (I know nylon can be yielded from a high school chemistry experiment, but I never got to do it.)

  • Jinx

Telemark’s link gives the fundamental definition of what a vinyl group is in chemistry - nothing to do with alcohols. That wiki page on ‘vinyl’ is fairly poor as it goes, but should give you the gist.

Everyday materials containing the word vinyl are often polymers. Pvc, polystyrene etc all take a starting vinylic compound and polymerise it. The polymer product doesn’t contain the vinyl group anymore, as it has reacted in the polymerisation. If you take vinyl acetate and polymerise it to polyvinylacetate, then add water, you get polyvinylalcohol which is a commercial glue - sounds like the sort of thing your daughter may have used to make a ‘superball’.

Nylon is an amide polymer, so no alcohol functionality there.

the closest polymer (plastic) to “acetyl-vinyl alcohol” would be a poly(vinyl acetate)-poly(vinyl alcohol) copolymer, These are often what is found in PVA glues. When mixed with borax, these form a rubbery mix that sets hard and is a common science class project.

Note that the polymer used is an “alcohol”, but totally different to drinking alcohol and cannot get you drunk!