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Expandable Leg Elastic Pant

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132446D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-16
Document File: 5 page(s) / 147K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Darold D. Tippey: AUTHOR

Related Documents

5662581: PATENT [+2]

Abstract

Many disposable absorbent garments have regions with elastic strands attached to a nonwoven material. To improve fit and comfort, we propose that regions with elastic materials can be given increased range in stretching to extend beyond the length of the original nonwoven material. This can be done by providing perforations in a portion of the material to allow it to be opened up when needed by breaking perforations. For example, perforations along an elastic leg opening can be provided in such a manner that if a maximum leg tension of 0.1 pounds to 10.0 pounds is exceeded, one or more of the leg perforations will break in the high tension zones.

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Expandable Leg Elastic Pant

   Darold D. Tippey Kimberly-Clark Corporation Neenah, Wisconsin

Disposable absorbent garments are a vital product for many adults suffering from incontinence, as well as for many children undergoing potty training. In such products, the fit of the article plays a critical role in management of fluid. Good fit in incontinence products for adults is especially important for good product performance, but can be difficult due to the wider range of body shapes and sizes compared to children. Adult incontinence product fit is also limited by production operations and by available retail shelf space. Manufacturers and retailers desire to limit the number of product sizes to reduce the number of machine size changes and shelf space required to display products in the store. By limiting the number of product sizes, a more profitable operation can be maintained providing lower cost products to consumers.

The areas of most concern for good incontinence product fit are the waist and legs. Typically, these regions are provided with stretchable materials comprising elastic threads adhesively attached to nonwoven materials. The elastic threads are stretched prior to being attached to the nonwoven materials and then allowed to relax, resulting in foreshortening or gathering of the nonwoven materials into a "puckered" state that can stretch under stress. In spite of many successes in the use of elastic materials, a pant may fit well in one region but feel too tight elsewhere. For example, it may be comfortable at the waist but too tight around the legs. A problem is that the range of stretch of the material is limited by the original length of the nonwoven material before it was gathered in by the elastic. Once the available slack in the gathered nonwoven has been taken up, very little stretch is left. At the point the nonwoven material is fully extended the product becomes uncomfortable for the consumer to wear and may even leave markings around the legs or waist or restrict proper circulation.

To further improve the tools used to enhance comfort, we propose that regions with elastic materials can be given increased range in stretching to extend beyond the length of the original nonwoven material. This can be done by providing perforations in a portion of the material to allow it to be opened up when needed by breaking perforations. For example, perforations along an elastic leg opening can be provided in such a manner that if a maximum leg tension of 0.1 pounds to 10.0 pounds is exceeded, one or more of the leg perforations will break in the high tension zones. More precisely the perforations can be designed to break in progressions of 0.1 pounds to 3.0 pounds of tension, in order to accommodate a wider range of customers. Very precisely the first perforation can break at 0.1 pounds, the second perforation can break at 0.5 pounds pressure, and the third perforation can break at 1.0 pounds and so on. This will provide co...