In ceramic manufacturing, binders are crucial for imparting strength and integrity to ceramic bodies before they are fired. Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) and its derivative, Gohsenol, are prominent binders known for their excellent adhesive properties and water solubility. This article delves into the characteristics, applications, and benefits of PVA and Gohsenol, shedding light on their significant roles in enhancing ceramic processing and product quality.

Understanding Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)

Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a synthetic polymer produced by the polymerization of vinyl acetate followed by hydrolysis. PVA is well-regarded for its solubility in water, high adhesive strength, and film-forming abilities. These properties make it an essential binder in various industrial applications, including ceramics.

Key Properties of PVA

  1. Water Solubility: PVA dissolves readily in water, facilitating easy mixing with ceramic slurries and ensuring uniform distribution of the binder throughout the mixture.
  2. Adhesive Strength: PVA exhibits strong adhesive properties, which help in binding ceramic particles together, providing necessary green strength before firing.
  3. Film Formation: PVA forms a flexible and robust film around ceramic particles, contributing to the overall structural integrity of the ceramic body.
  4. Clean Burn-Out: Upon heating, PVA decomposes cleanly, leaving minimal residues, which is crucial for maintaining the purity and performance of the final ceramic product.
  5. Adjustable Viscosity: The viscosity of PVA solutions can be adjusted by varying the concentration and the degree of polymerization, allowing for optimization in different ceramic processes.

Gohsenol: A Specialized PVA Derivative

Gohsenol is a brand of PVA developed by Nippon Gohsei, known for its high performance in various industrial applications, including ceramics. Gohsenol inherits the advantageous properties of PVA while offering enhanced characteristics tailored for specific needs.

Key Features of Gohsenol

  1. High Purity: Gohsenol is produced with high purity standards, ensuring minimal impurities that could affect the quality of the ceramic product.
  2. Enhanced Solubility: Gohsenol offers improved solubility in water, allowing for more efficient and uniform mixing with ceramic powders.
  3. Superior Film-Forming Ability: The film-forming ability of Gohsenol is enhanced, providing stronger binding of ceramic particles and improved green strength.
  4. Thermal Stability: Gohsenol exhibits excellent thermal stability, ensuring clean burn-out during the firing process without leaving significant residues.
  5. Versatility: Gohsenol is available in various grades, each tailored to meet specific requirements of different ceramic applications.

Applications of PVA and Gohsenol in Ceramics

Both PVA and Gohsenol are utilized in a wide range of ceramic applications, enhancing the quality and efficiency of ceramic processing.

Traditional Ceramics

In traditional ceramics, such as tiles, bricks, and pottery, PVA and Gohsenol serve as effective binders. They provide the necessary green strength to the ceramic bodies, ensuring they maintain their shape during drying and handling.

Advanced Ceramics

In advanced ceramics, including materials like alumina, zirconia, and silicon carbide, PVA and Gohsenol are used to produce high-precision components. Their strong adhesive properties and ability to form uniform films are particularly beneficial in these high-performance applications.

Ceramic Coatings

PVA and Gohsenol are employed in ceramic coatings, where their film-forming abilities ensure smooth and even application. This is crucial for enhancing the protective and functional properties of ceramic coatings.

Additive Manufacturing

In the growing field of additive manufacturing or 3D printing of ceramics, PVA and Gohsenol are used due to their water solubility and binding properties. They facilitate the printing process and can be easily removed by water dissolution, simplifying post-processing.

Mechanisms of PVA and Gohsenol as Binders

The effectiveness of PVA and Gohsenol as binders in ceramics can be attributed to several mechanisms:

  1. Hydrogen Bonding: Both PVA and Gohsenol molecules form hydrogen bonds with ceramic particles and other polymer chains, contributing significantly to the cohesive strength of the green body.
  2. Film Formation: Upon drying, PVA and Gohsenol form continuous films around ceramic particles, acting as glue and providing mechanical strength.
  3. Plasticization: PVA and Gohsenol can act as plasticizers, imparting flexibility to the ceramic green body, which is essential during handling and machining stages.
  4. Controlled Viscosity: The viscosity of PVA and Gohsenol solutions can be controlled, optimizing the rheological properties of the ceramic slurry and improving the processing and shaping of the ceramics.

Benefits of Using PVA and Gohsenol in Ceramics

  1. Improved Green Strength: The strong adhesive properties of PVA and Gohsenol enhance the green strength of ceramic bodies, reducing the risk of breakage during handling and machining.
  2. Uniform Particle Distribution: Their solubility and film-forming abilities ensure uniform distribution of ceramic particles, leading to consistent quality in the final product.
  3. Clean Burn-Out: Both PVA and Gohsenol decompose cleanly during firing, leaving minimal residues and ensuring the purity of the ceramic product.
  4. Versatility: The versatility of PVA and Gohsenol makes them suitable for a wide range of ceramic applications, from traditional ceramics to advanced technical ceramics and additive manufacturing.
  5. Environmental Safety: PVA and Gohsenol are non-toxic and biodegradable, making them environmentally friendly options compared to other synthetic binders.

Comparative Analysis: PVA vs. Gohsenol

While PVA and Gohsenol share many common attributes, certain differences make each suitable for particular applications:

  1. Purity and Performance: Gohsenol is produced with higher purity and offers enhanced performance characteristics compared to standard PVA, making it more suitable for high-precision and high-performance ceramic applications.
  2. Solubility and Film Formation: Gohsenol provides improved solubility and superior film-forming ability, which can be advantageous in applications requiring uniform and strong binding of ceramic particles.
  3. Application Specificity: PVA is widely used in general ceramic applications due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness, while Gohsenol is preferred for specialized applications requiring higher purity and performance.


PVA and Gohsenol are essential binders in the ceramics industry, offering unique properties that enhance the quality and efficiency of ceramic processing. Their water solubility, adhesive strength, and clean burn-out make them invaluable in various ceramic applications, from traditional pottery to advanced technical ceramics. As the ceramics industry continues to evolve, the role of these innovative binders will remain crucial in driving forward the development of high-quality, sustainable ceramic products. By leveraging the strengths of PVA and Gohsenol, manufacturers can optimize their processes and produce superior ceramic materials that meet the demands of modern applications.