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Process for Manufacturing Mechanically Fastening Wings in an Absorbent Article

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028266D
Publication Date: 2004-May-06
Document File: 4 page(s) / 231K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Al Krueger: AUTHOR [+2]

Related Documents

US 5,399,219: PATENT [+5]

Abstract

We discuss an improved process that prepares a narrow, low-profile hook material for attachment to an absorbent article using a continuous process requiring no individual rotation of cut elements, unlike previous cut and rotate processes.

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Process for Manufacturing Mechanically Fastening Wings in an Absorbent Article

Al Krueger and Yvette Hammonds Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, Wisconsin

Feminine care articles such as sanitary napkins and pantiliners are commonly provided with lateral wings extending from the sides of the article which can be folded over the sides of underwear in the crotch region to secure the article. The wings are typically configured to attach to one another as they wrap the garment. In one common approach, at least one of the wings has a pressure sensitive adhesive that is initially covered with release paper (a secondary release coated material), allowing the wings to be adhesively joined. In another approach, a mechanical fastener is used such as hook and loop material, with the hook on one wing and loop on opposing wing.

All previous executions have various drawbacks. Adhesive wings may become unfastened in use due to moisture and humidity in the environment . Discrete cut-and- placed mechanical attachment systems require focused attachment to get hook material to overlap loop material or vice-versa. From a process perspective, adhesive systems are difficult to use, requiring routine maintenance and need for costly release material. Cut- and-place mechanical systems also add complexity to the process as they require more hardware and registration control systems. Further, unlike adhesive, the hook material can only attach to suitable loop material, which typically has meant a small target area for fastening. Additionally, in prior executions, the hook material was cut as it moved in the machine direction, and was then rotated in the cross direction to get the hooks to engage into loop material under sheer force, adding to the complexity of the process.

Examples of prior systems for providing wings with fastening means are shown in US Pat. No. 5,399,219, issued March 21, 1995 to Roessler at al., and US Pat. No. 6,036,805, issued March 14, 2000 to McNichols.

We propose an improved process that applies a narrow, 5-20 mm (target 10 mm), low profile hook material (e.g., HTH-851, Velcro USA Inc.) in a continuous process requiring no individual rotation of cut elements, unlike previous cut and rotate processes. A continuous ribbon of hook material is applied to a nonwoven loop material that makes up the wing via a adhesive or sonic bonding process. The nonwoven can be any suitable loop substrate such at that referenced in US patents 5,858,515 or 5,763,041, but preferably should having a backing layer that prohibits fluid from transferring through the material. By processing in such manner a lower backing weight or more pliable hook can be used.

One specific embodiment includes a point unbonded loop material (defined, for example, in US Pat. No. 5,695,377) which creates the wing shape, fed into the process as a continuous web. A narrow continuous ribbon 5-20 mm wide (ca. 10 mm wide may be the target in one embodiment) of hook material is adhered...