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Absorbent Article With Improved Comfort and Performance

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033475D
Publication Date: 2004-Dec-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Shari Rymer: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Past efforts to provide good skin dryness in absorbent articles have focused on highly breathable cover materials. Improved absorbent articles are discussed which can provide for good skin dryness without the use of highly breathable outer covers.

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Absorbent Article With Improved Comfort and Performance

Shari Rymer, Debra McDowall, Ellen Green, and David Zenker

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, Wisconsin

Abstract

Past efforts to provide good skin dryness in absorbent articles have focused on highly breathable cover materials. Improved absorbent articles are discussed which can provide for good skin dryness without the use of highly breathable outer covers.

Overview

Highly breathable outer cover materials have been shown to improve user comfort through reduced skin wetness. This discloses an absorbent article with a unique absorbent core composition that can provide desired levels of skin dryness without the need for highly breathable outer cover materials.

Two key benefits consumers expect from a disposable absorbent article such as an infant diaper are a high level of leakage performance and a high level of comfort. A current means of providing comfort is through the use of a breathable outer cover material which allows humid air from within the article to be transported to the outside environment thereby reducing skin wetness and improving user comfort.

The object of this invention is to provide an absorbent article with both improved skin comfort in combination with an outer cover with breathability less than 6000 Mocon (based on measurement with the Permatran-W Model 100K breathability device of Mocon, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota). To this end, it was discovered that an absorbent core incorporating multicomponent superabsorbent material such as described in patent application US2002/0014027A1 (e.g., E1231-99 SAP made by BASF Corporation of Portsmouth, Virginia) can provide desired skin dryness-related comfort even with very low breathability outer cover materials. It was also discovered that an absorbent core comprising in part multicomponent superabsorbent materials could provide a desired level of skin dryness without the use of surge material thus presenting a substantial cost savings opportunity.

A useful measure of skin dryness or hydration is transepidermal water loss (TEWL), a parameter obtained with an evaporimeter, such as a DERMALAB® instrument distributed by Cortex Technology, of Hadsund Denmark, and described in US Pat. Publication No. 2003/0130634A1, "Mixed Denier Fluid Management Layers," published July 10, 2003 by Fenwick et al. More specifically, TEWL measurements reported herein were obtained from measurements on the arms of subjects as described in US Pat. No. 6,503,526, "Absorbent Articles Enhancing Skin Barrier Function," issued Jan. 07, 2003 to D.G. Krzysik et al.

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In one embodiment, a HUGGIES® diaper was modified to have a reinforced airformed absorbent core consisting of a 550gsm pad made from 10% pulp fibers (all percentages are on a mass basis), 15% meltblown blended with the pulp fibers, and 75% multicomponent superabsorbent particles (SAP). The diaper had a breathability of 1500 Mocon for the outer cover material. This modified d...