|Title of Invention||
A SANITARY NAPKIN
|Abstract||Sanitary napkin comprising a fluid permeable topsheet, a fluid permeable backsheet, and an absorbent core disposed therebetween is disclosed. The sanitary napkin can be a pantiliner. The absorbent core comprises relatively hydrophilic material defining a core outer periphery. The topsheet and the backsheet comprise relatively hydrophobic nonwoven material, at least one of the topsheet and the backsheet defining a sanitary napkin outer periphery that is substantially larger than the core outer periphery. The area between the core outer periphery and the sanitary napkin outer periphery is a breathable zone. The sanitary napkin further comprises a fluid impermeable barrier between the backsheet and the absorbent core, the fluid impermeable barrier being disposed within the core outer periphery.|
|Full Text||FIELD OF THE INTENTION
This invention relates to disposable absorbent devices and more particularly to such
devices intended for use by women, such as sanitary napkins, pantiliners and the like.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Sanitary napkins are used by women principally during their menstrual periods to receive
and contain menses and other vaginal discharges to protect their garments from soiling. Sanitary
napkins typically have adhesive attachment means to temporarily adhere the device to the crotch
region of the user's undergarment, normally her panty.
- Pantiliners serve much the same purpose as sanitary napkins; the distinction is primarily
in the overall size, including thickness. Pantiliners are generally less bulky and are designed to
protect the user's clothing from relatively small quantities of vaginal discharges.
Many women have developed the habit of wearing an absorbent device between their
menstrual periods to protect their clothing from any vaginal discharges, including light urinary
discharge, and sometimes anal discharge. Because a sanitary napkin is generally too bulky for
constant wear, such user's generally utilize pantiliners.
Most pantiliners have a non-breathable backing layer, commonly referred to as a
backsheet. The backsheet of typical pantiliners can be a fluid impermeable polymer film, for
example. A fluid impermeable layer prevents fluids absorbed into the device from wetting
through to the user's garments. However, the fluid impermeable layer also makes the pantiliner
hot and uncomfortable, due to trapped moisture in the absorbent core.
Pantiliners are also known to provide a breathable backing layer, such as a breathable
polymer film or nonwoven web backing layer. Generally, such backing layers are fluid
impermeable, vapor permeable layers that allow the exchange of vapor while preventing the
soiling of the user's garments. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,059,114 issued to Richards on Nov.
22,1977, discloses a disposable garment shield having a moisture barrier ply constructed of a
blown microfiber web which is fluid impermeable but vapor permeable. Also, U.S. Pat. No.
4,681,587 issued to Anderson et al. on July 21,1987 discloses an absorbent article such as a
pantiliner provided with at least one ventilation area which allows the passage of vapor to provide
cooling and drying effects so that the pantiliner is more comfortable to wear.
While these breathable pantiliners do provide some measure of improvement over the
more common impermeable pantiliners, comfort, garment soiling, dryness, and vapor exchange
(breathability) remain as key design considerations. Accordingly, absorbent devices providing for
the better retention and absorption of liquids while providing for the more efficient passage of
vapor have been sought.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A sanitary napkin comprising a fluid permeable topsheet, a fluid permeable backsheet,
and an absorbent core disposed therebetween is disclosed. The sanitary napkin can be a
pantiliner. The absorbent core comprises relatively hydrophilic material defining a core outer
periphery. The topsheet and the backsheet comprise relatively hydrophobic nonwoven material,
at least one of the topsheet and the backsheet defining a sanitary napkin outer periphery that is
substantially larger than the core outer periphery. The area between the core outer periphery and
the sanitary napkin outer periphery is a breathable zone. The sanitary napkin further comprises a
fluid impermeable barrier between the backsheet and the absorbent core, the fluid impermeable
barrier being disposed within the core outer periphery.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a partially cut away perspective view of a pantiliner of the present invention.
FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the cross section 2-2 in on one embodiment of a
pantiliner as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the cross section 2-2 in another embodiment of a
pantiliner as shown in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A preferred embodiment of an absorbent article of the present invention, a sanitary napkin
which can be a pantiliner 10 is shown in partially cut-away perspective view in FIG. 1 and cross
section in FIGS. 2A and 2B. While the invention is disclosed in a particularly preferred
embodiment of a pantiliner, the described invention can also be considered as a sanitary napkin,
and all descriptions below with respect to pantiliners can be sanitary napkins as well, with the
difference being one of degree rather than kind. The invention can also be an adult incontinence
device, an anal discharge pad, an interlabial pad, or the like.
The pantiliner has two end regions 12 and 14 and a middle region 16. The pantiliner 10
has a body-facing side 15 that is in contact with the use's body and a garment facing 17 side that
is in contact with the inner surface of the user' undergarment. The garment facing side 17 can
have thereon pressure sensitive adhesive (not shown) for affixing to a wearer's undergarments.
Typically, such adhesive is covered with a release strip which is removed before affixing to the
While the pantiliner 10 may have any shape known in the art, a preferred shape is
generally "hourglass" shaped, tapering inwardly from a relatively greater transverse width in a
portion of one of the end regions to a relatively smaller transverse width at the middle region.
Transverse width is generally defined as the dimension perpendicular to the dimension, which is
defined as length, running from end region 12 to end region 14 parallel to longitudinal centerline
L. Pantiliner can also be provided with lateral extensions known commonly in the art as "flaps"
or "wings" (not shown) intended to extend over and cover the panty elastics in the crotch region
of the user's undergarment.
Pantiliner 10 has an absorbent core 20 to absorb and store bodily fluids discharged
during use. Absorbent core 20 can be formed from any of the materials well known to those of
ordinary skill in the art. Examples of such materials include multiple plies of creped cellulose
wadding, fluffed cellulose fibers, wood pulp fibers also known as airfelt, textile fibers, a blend of
fibers, a mass or batt of fibers, a web of polymeric fibers, and a blend of polymeric fibers. In a
preferred embodiment, absorbent core 20 is relatively hydrophilic. By "relatively hydrophilic" is
meant that the core 20 is hydrophilic with respect to the portion of the sanitary napkin 10 in the
breathable zone (discussed below), which is relatively hydrohobic. Hydrophilicity can be
determined by any number of means known hi the art, including by reference to contact angles of
fluid on a surface. In the present invention, however, what is important is relative hydrophilicity,
such that surface tensions in the napkin/fluid system tend to drive fluid deposited on the sanitary
napkin into the absorbent core 20.
In a preferred embodiment absorbent core 20 is relatively thin, less than about 2 mm in
thickness, preferably less than about 1 mm, and more preferably less than about 0,5 mm in
thickness. The absorbent core can comprise absorbent gelling materials (AGM), including AOM
fibers. In a one embodiment, the absorbent core 20 is an airlaid cellulose material having a basis
weight between about 50 gsm to about 100 gsm. In one embodiment the absorbent core is a 63
gsm (60 gsm airlaid + 5 wt % AGM in fiber form) available from Concert GmbH, Germany,
under the designation VH063.200.B001. In another embodiment the core can be an airlaid
carded, nonwoven material having a basis weight between about 50 gsm and about 100 gsm. In
one embodiment, the absorbent core is an 80 gsm carded airlaid nonwoven web comprising 2.2
dtex hydrophilic polypropylene fibers and 10 dtex superabsorbent fiber, available from Sandier
under the name Sawabond 24-00-32.
Absorbent core 20 is cut to a shape, the outer edges of which define a core periphery 30.
The shape of absorbent core 20 can be generally rectangular, circular, oval, elliptical, or the like.
Absorbent core 20 can be generally centered with respect to the longitudinal centerline L and
transverse centerline T.
To provide a degree of softness and vapor permeability for the garment-facing side of
pantiliner 10, a vapor permeable outer layer, referred to herein as backsheet 22, is provided
adjacent the absorbent core 20 on the garment-facing side of the absorbent core 20. The
backsheet 22 can be formed from any vapor permeable material known in the art. Backsheet 22
can be a microporous film, an apertured formed film, or other polymer film that is vapor
permeable, or rendered to be vapor permeable, as is known in the art. A preferred material is a
soft, smooth, compliant, liquid and vapor pervious material, such as a nonwoven web. A
nonwoven web provides for softness and conformability for comfort, and is low noise producing
so that movement does not cause unwanted sound.
In a preferred embodiment, backsheet 22 is a nonwoven web having a basis weight
between about 20 gsm and about 50 gsm. In one embodiment the backsheet is a relatively
hydrophobic 23 gsm spunbonded nonwoven web of 4 denier polypropylene fibers available from
Fiberweb Neuberger, under the designation F102301001.
To provide for softness next to the body, pantiliner 10 can have a body-facing layer,
referred to herein as topsheet 26. Topsheet 26 can be formed by any soft, smooth, compliant,
porous material which is comfortable against human skin and through which vaginal discharges
can pass. Topsheet 26 can comprise fibrous nonwoven webs and can comprise fibers as are
known in the art, including bicomponent and shaped fibers. In one embodiment, is a relatively
hydrophobic 15 gsm spunbonded nonwoven web comprising bicomponent fibers of the sheath
core type (PP/PE) available from Pegas a.s., Czech Republic, under the designation
breathable region surrounding the absorbent core, the garment-facing side of the sanitary napkin
backsheet 22 has more surface area available for adhesive attachment to be adhered to the
In one embodiment, the absorbent core 20 is located symmetrically with respect to the
longitudinal centerline L, but placed more toward one of either the first end region 12 or second
end region 14. In this manner, more of the breathable zone 32 can be disposed over the anal
region of the wearer, for example.
The greatest length dimension of sanitary napkin 10 as measured parallel to the
longitudinal axis L can be at least about 6 cm, or at least about 10 cm, or at least about 15 cm, or
at least about 20 cm, or at least about even 25 cm or more for coverage of the anal region of the
body in addition to the vaginal region. The greatest width dimension of sanitary napkin 10 as
measured parallel to the transverse axis T can be at least about 3 cm, or at least about 6 cm, or at
least about 10 cm. In a preferred embodiment, sanitary napkin 10 is generally hour-glass shaped
having a minimum width dimension of about 5 cm in the middle, and a maximum width
dimension at the end regions of about 6.5 cm, and a length dimension of about 15 cm.
The maximum surface area (i.e., the area of the sanitary napkin when viewed in flat, plan
view) of the sanitary napkin 10 and absorbent core 20 is limited only by the intended use,
including the relative size of a wearer's undergarments. For use as a pantiliner the sanitary napkin
can cover an area of at least about 60 cm2, or at least about 75 cm2, preferably at least about 90
cm2, and can be at least about 100 cm2. Likewise, the absorbent core 20 can cover an area of at
least about 20 cm2, or at least about 25 cm2, or at least about 35 cm2 and can be at least about 45
cm2 or more. In one embodiment, the breathable zone 32 represents at least about 25% of the
overall surface area of the sanitary napkin. The breathable zone can represent at least about 35%,
40%, 50%, 75% or 90% of the surface area of the sanitary napkin. In one embodiment of a
pantiliner of the present invention, absorbent core 20 has a surface area of about 32 cm2 and the
breathable zone has surface area of about 50 cm2, for an overall pantiliner surface area of about 82
All the components can be adhered together with adhesives, including hot melt adhesives,
as is known hi the art. The adhesive can be Findlay H2128 UN and Savare' PM 17 can be applied
using Dynafiber HTW system. As mentioned above, the only requirement is that the adhesive
used in the breathable zone not render the breathable zone non-breathable, i.e., not render either
the topsheet or backsheet non-porous. Other benefits of keeping the breathable zone porous
includes preventing the sanitary napkin from sticking to the skin of the wearer, thereby increasing
In a preferred embodiment, both the topsheet 26 and backsheet 22 have body-facing
surfaces that are hydrophobic, or rendered to be hydrophobia By hydrophobia is meant that a
drop of water placed on the surface does not readily wet out and into the nonwoven. In one
embodiment, the hydrophobic body-facing surface is fluid repellent, such that a drop of water
placed thereon remains on the surface for an extended period of time, for example 10 to 30
In one embodiment, the breathable zone 32 comprises both the topsheet 26 and backsheet
22 but the topsheet is very low basis weight, such that, even though it is relatively hydrophobic,
fluid deposited on the portion of the topsheet overlying the relatively hydrophilic absorbent core
20 is readily drawn through the topsheet and into the absorbent core. However, fluid deposited
outside of the region overlying the absorbent core, i.e., in the breathable zone 32, does not get
absorbed, and does not strike through to the garment facing side of pantiliner 10.
Therefore, in use, the pantiliner 10 of the present invention provides for a very thin,
flexible, comfortable pantiliner having a relatively small centrally-disposed hydrophilic "pocket"
surrounded by a fluid repellent breathable zone 32. The relatively hydrophobic breathable zone
acts as an effective barrier to fluid movement out of the region of the absorbent core 20. Thus, in
use, fluid discharged from the body can be quickly absorbed, and prevented from running off the
pantiliner and onto the user's garments.
In a preferred embodiment, breathable zone 32 completely surrounds absorbent core 20.
That is, in no portion of pantiliner 10 does the core periphery 30 coincide with sanitary napkin
periphery 28, but the two peripheries are always separated by a region of breathable zone 32. In
this embodiment, the breathable zone 32 is a continuous band of breathable zone that completely
encircles, or surrounds, absorbent core 20.
In order to promote faster fluid entry into the absorbent core 20 the topsheet 26 and
absorbent core 20 can be processed so as to have a certain amount of fiber entanglement.
Entanglement can be accomplished by mechanical means known in the art. For example, as
shown in cross-section in FIG. 2B, the absorbent core 20 and the topsheet 26 can be entangled by
embossing, such that fibers of the topsheet 26 are forced into fibers of absorbent core 20. Other
means, including mechanical treatment means known in the art, such as what is commonly
referred to as "ring rolling" can also be used to accomplish fiber entanglement. It is believed that
fiber deformation-inducing treatments, such as embossing, not only helps expose deposited fluid
to hydrophilic fibers in the absorbent core, it also forms small-scale "hills" and "valleys" that help
contain deposited fluid on the pantiliner over the "pocket" of the hydrophilic absorbent core 20.
All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, are, in relevant part,
incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an
admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and
described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and
modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is
therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are
with in the scope of this invention.
1. A sanitary napkin (10) comprising a fluid permeable topsheet, a fluid
permeable backsheet, and an absorbent core disposed therebetween, wherein,
a. said absorbent core (20) comprises hydrophilic material defining a core
outer periphery (30);
b. said topsheet (26) and said backsheet (22) comprise hydrophobic nonwoven
material, at least one of said topsheet and said backsheet defining a sanitary napkin
outer periphery (28);
c. said sanitary napkin further comprises a fluid impermeable barrier (24)
between said backsheet and said absorbent core; characterized in that,
d. the area between said core outer periphery and said sanitary napkin outer
periphery is a breathable zone (32) that completely surrounds the core outer
periphery, and periphery of said fluid impermeable barrier coincides with said core
outer periphery and is disposed within said core outer periphery, and said topsheet and
said core are joined by mechanical entangling of a portion of their respective fibers;
e. said absorbent core has a basis weight of between about 50 gsm and 100 gsm.
2. The sanitary napkin as claimed in Claim 1, wherein at least one of said topsheet and said backsheet has sufficient hydrophobicity as to be rendered fluid repellent.
3. The sanitary napkin as claimed in Claims 1 or 2, wherein said topsheet and said backsheet have a common outer periphery.
4. The sanitary napkin as claimed in any of the previous claims, wherein said core outer periphery defines a generally oval shape.
5. The sanitary napkin as claimed in any of the previous claims, wherein said sanitary napkin periphery defines a generally hour-glass shape.
6. The sanitary napkin as claimed in any of the previous claims, wherein said sanitary napkin is a pantiliner.
7. The sanitary napkin as claimed in Claim 1, wherein
a. said absorbent core comprises hydrophilic airlaid nonwoven material having
fibrous AGM and defining a core outer periphery;
b. said topsheet and said backsheet comprise hydrophobic spunbonded
nonwoven material, said topsheet and said backsheet defining a sanitary napkin outer
periphery that is larger than said core outer periphery;
c. said fluid impermeable barrier is disposed adjacent to said absorbent core
and within said core outer periphery.
8. The sanitary napkin as claimed in Claim 1, wherein
a. said absorbent core comprising hydrophilic airlaid nonwoven material
having at least 5 wt % AGM fiber content and defining a core outer periphery;
b. said topsheet and said backsheet comprise hydrophobic fluid repellent
spunbonded nonwoven material, said topsheet and said backsheet defining a pantiliner
outer periphery that is larger than said core outer periphery;
c. said sanitary napkin further comprising a liquid impermeable barrier
between said backsheet and said absorbent core;
d. the area between said core outer periphery and said pantiliner outer
periphery is a breathable zone that completely surrounds the core outer periphery,
such that vapors can permeate completely through said pantiliner in said breathable
zone; and said fluid impermeable barrier is a polyethylene film disposed adjacent to
said core and within said core outer periphery, wherein said sanitary napkin is a thin
|Indian Patent Application Number||5084/DELNP/2006|
|PG Journal Number||13/2010|
|Date of Filing||04-Sep-2006|
|Name of Patentee||THE PROCTER AND GAMBLE COMPANY|
|Applicant Address||ONE PROCTER & GAMBLE PLAZA, CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202 (US)|
|PCT International Classification Number||A61F 13/15|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US2005/006722|
|PCT International Filing date||2005-03-01|