A vinyl compound is any organic compound that contains a vinyl group (also called ethenyl), −CH=CH2. These are derivatives of ethylene, CH2=CH2, with one hydrogen atom substituted with some other group.
A related phrase is vinylidene which stands for the vinyl residue in an organic compound for instance in 1,1-dichloroethene.
Because of the covalent bond, vinyls can be made to polymerize, forming vinyl polymers. In these polymers, the double bonds of the vinyl monomers turn into single bonds and the different monomers are joined by single bonds. This is an instance of addition polymerization. There are no vinyl groups in the resulting polymer. It is also important to ascertain the absence of unreacted vinyl monomer in the final product when the monomer is toxic or reduces the performance of the plastic.
- Main article: Vinyl polymer
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is made by polymerization of the monomer vinyl chloride (chloroethene) CH2=CHCl
- Polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) is made by polymerization of vinyl acetate. In a water suspension, this is used as a glue.
- Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is produced by hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate. (Not by polymerization of the monomer vinyl alcohol or ethenol, which is an unfavored keto-enol tautomer of acetaldehyde.)