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Publication numberUS20040068849 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/445,586
Publication dateApr 15, 2004
Filing dateMay 27, 2003
Priority dateOct 11, 2002
Publication number10445586, 445586, US 2004/0068849 A1, US 2004/068849 A1, US 20040068849 A1, US 20040068849A1, US 2004068849 A1, US 2004068849A1, US-A1-20040068849, US-A1-2004068849, US2004/0068849A1, US2004/068849A1, US20040068849 A1, US20040068849A1, US2004068849 A1, US2004068849A1
InventorsPatrick Barge, Nick Carter, Charles Fuller
Original AssigneePolymer Group, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Differentially entangled nonwoven fabric for use as wipes
US 20040068849 A1
Abstract
The invention is directed to a hydroentangled nonwoven wipe, the outer surface of which exhibits highly entangled fibers whereas the inner layer exhibits lightly entangled fibers. In particular, the present invention contemplates that a fabric is formed from a fibrous batt that is subjected to fluidic energy, preferably hydraulic energy, applied to one or both faces of a fibrous batt. The hydraulic energy is moderated against the basis weight of the fibrous batt to achieve the degree of surface entanglement desired. Wipes formed in accordance with the present invention exhibit a sufficient degree of strength, softness, non-linting performance, and air flow so as to promote the formation of lather, while providing the necessary resistance to tearing and abrasion, to facilitate use in a wide variety of wipe applications.
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Claims(18)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe comprising the steps of:
a. providing a nonwoven wipe, comprising a single fibrous batt whereupon the single fibrous batt is entangled by the application of hydraulic energy to form a highly entangled outer surface regions and a lightly entangled inner core region; and
b. a cleansing composition comprising an effective amount of a cleansing surfactant, said aqueous liquid cleansing composition being coated onto or impregnated into said substrate to the extent of from 50% to 500% by weight of the substrate.
2. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said fibrous batt comprises cotton.
3. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said fibrous batt comprises a blend of cotton and synthetic staple fibers.
4. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 3, wherein said synthetic staple fibers are selected from the group consisting of viscose cellulose, polyacrylates, polyolefins, polyamides, polyesters and the combinations thereof.
5. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said outer surface regions comprise dissimilar fibers.
6. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said hydraulic energy is applied in the range of about 0.040 to 0.060 hp-hr/lb.
7. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein the fabric is imaged by the application of hydraulic energy upon a three-dimensional image transfer device having a movable imaging surface.
8. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said cleansing composition is an aqueous or non-aqueous composition.
9. A method of making a nonwoven personal care wipe as in claim 1, wherein said cleansing composition is selected from the group consisting of abrasives, anti-acne agents, anticaking agents, antioxidants, binders, biological additives, bulking agents, chelating agents, chemical additives, natural additives, colorants, vitamins, cosmetic astringents, cosmetic biocides, denaturants, drug astringents, emulsifiers, external analgesics, film formers, fragrance components, humectants, emollients, opacifying agents, plasticizers, preservatives, propellants, reducing agents, skin bleaching agents, skin-conditioning agents, skin protectants, solvents, foam boosters, hydrotropes, solubilizing agents, suspending agents, sunscreen agents, ultraviolet light absorbers, viscosity increasing agents, and the combinations thereof.
10. A method of making a nonwoven home care wipe comprising the steps of:
a. providing a nonwoven wipe, comprising a single fibrous batt whereupon the single fibrous batt is entangled by the application of hydraulic energy to form a highly entangled outer surface region and a lightly entangled inner core region; and
b. a cleansing composition comprising an effective amount of a cleansing surfactant, said aqueous liquid cleansing composition being coated onto or impregnated into said substrate to the extent of from 50% to 500% by weight of the substrate.
11. A method of making a nonwoven home care wipe as in claim 9, wherein said cleansing composition is an aqueous or non-aqueous composition.
12. A method of making a nonwoven home care wipe as in claim 9, wherein said cleansing composition is selected from the group consisting of alkylpolysaccharides, alkyl ethoxylates, alkyl sulfonates, organic solvents, mono- or polycarboxylic acids, odor control agents, peroxides, hydrogen peroxides, thickening polymers, aqueous solvent systems, suds suppressors, perfumes or fragrances, detergent adjuvants, buffers, preservatives, antibacterial agents, colorants, bleaching agents, abrasive compounds, degreasers, chelants, enzymes, hydrotropes, and the combinations thereof.
13. A method of making a nonwoven industrial wipe comprising the steps of:
a. providing a nonwoven wipe, comprising a single fibrous batt whereupon the single fibrous batt is entangled by the application of hydraulic energy to form a highly entangled outer surface region and a lightly entangled inner core region; and
b. a cleansing composition comprising an effective amount of a cleansing surfactant, said aqueous liquid cleansing composition being coated onto or impregnated into said substrate to the extent of from 50% to 500% by weight of the substrate.
14. A method of making a nonwoven industrial wipe as in claim 12, wherein said cleansing composition is an aqueous or non-aqueous composition.
15. A method of making a nonwoven industrial wipe as in claim 12, wherein said cleansing composition is a solvent selected from the group consisting of oils, paraffinic solvents, polybutylenes, polyisobutylenes, polyalphaolefins, toluenes, sequestering agents, corrosion inhibitors, abrasives, petroleum distillates, and the combinations thereof.
16. A method of making a nonwoven medical wipe comprising the steps of:
a. providing a nonwoven wipe, comprising a single fibrous batt whereupon the single fibrous batt is entangled by the application of hydraulic energy to form a highly entangled outer surface region and a lightly entangled inner core region; and
b. a cleansing composition comprising an effective amount of a cleansing surfactant, said aqueous liquid cleansing composition being coated onto or impregnated into said substrate to the extent of from 50% to 500% by weight of the substrate.
17. A method of making a nonwoven medical wipe as in claim 15, wherein said cleansing composition is an aqueous or non-aqueous composition.
18. A method of making a nonwoven medical wipe as in claim 15, wherein said cleansing composition is selected from the group consisting of iodines, alcohols, biocides, abrasives, metallic materials, bacteriostatic complexes, bactericidal complexes, and the combinations thereof.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/269,243, filed Oct. 11, 2003.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The invention disclosed herein is directed to wipes, preferably wipes for use in cleansing applications, made from a hydroentangled nonwoven fabric, whereby the outer surface fibers of a single fibrous batt are highly hydroentangled and the inner fibers of the single fibrous batt are lightly entangled, the resulting fabric thus exhibits a low linting, lofty structure, and favorable tactile and ductile softness while obtaining sufficient physical strength.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The use of natural fiber materials in industrial applications has been found to be highly advantageous in situations where a nonlinting, absorbent pad or wiper is required. A material that has been employed in such applications is found in the Webril material registered to the Kendall Company of Massachusetts. The Webril material is a compressed, mercerized cotton fibrous batt. The mercerization process involves the swelling of the natural cotton's ribbon like profile into an approximately round profile of larger diameter. Typically, caustic washes are utilized while the cotton batt is under tension to induce the swelling of the cotton fiber. Because of the use of a caustic solution, it is necessary to subsequently treat the cotton material with an acidic solution so as to neutralize the material and render it useable. A number of complicated steps are required to successfully perform the process, with a significant amount of environmentally harmful effluent being produced.

[0004] In the interest of forming natural fiber nonwoven pads or wipers without the by- products of mercerization, the application of a resin binder in conjunction with hydroentanglement was explored as evidenced by U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,862,251, 3,033,721, 3,769,659, and 3,931,436 to Kalwaites et al, and U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,081,515 and 3,025,585 to Griswold et al. The application of resin binder was found to have a deleterious effect on the softness of the corresponding nonwoven fabric.

[0005] The findings by Evans, U.S. Pat. No. 3,485,706, suggested that the impedance of energetic water streams on a fibrous batt could produce a nonwoven fabric by the entanglement of those fibers with one another through the depth of the fibrous batt, thus obviating the need for a resin binder. However, the action of the water streams upon the fibrous batt and the action of entangling the fibers result in a fabric having significantly decreased bulk, and correspondingly decreased tactile and ductile softness.

[0006] Various attempts have been made in order to obtain a durable natural fiber nonwoven fabric while maintaining sufficient strength and softness. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,849,647 to Neveu, a hydrophilic cotton stratified structure is formed by interceding an air-randomized core in between two previously formed, highly fiber oriented carded layers. The stratified layers are subsequently treated with a soda liquor which is then boiled off to render an integrated structure. While a cotton structure performed by the manner described can render an ultimate material that is low linting, the material must undergo substantial processing in the forming of separate and distinct layers and the juxtaposition of those layers during the caustic integration step. U.S. Pat. No. 4,647,490 to Bailey et al., formed an apertured, cotton fiber nonwoven material by hydroentanglement induced by oscillating water streams. In the Bailey process, the fibers of the fibrous batt are washed down and through the fibrous batt in order to entangle the fibers and form apertures in the fabric. U.S. Pat. No. 4,426,417 to Meitner et al., incorporated the use of thermoplastic meltblown during the formation of a fibrous batt as a means for attaining the loft for absorbency and maintain sufficient physical strength by bonding the fibers together. As the nature of the Meitner process is based upon the total and effective binding of the fibers to the thermoplastic meltblown there are potential issues with unbound or loosely bound fibers being disengaged from the meltblown.

[0007] Given the prior art attempt to form a nonlinting, soft and yet strong absorbent materials, there remains a need for a nonwoven fabric exhibiting these characteristics and yet is formed in an expeditious and uncomplicated manner.

[0008] A method for forming a suitable nonwoven fabric meeting the aforementioned requirements has been identified in the application of fluidic energy such that a single fibrous batt is imparted with a highly entangled surface of outer fibers, while retaining the loft and absorbency of a lightly entangled central layer of core fibers. Further, the incorporation of a functional additive, such as an aqueous or non-aqueous soap or cleansing composition provides for a cleansing wipe particularly suited for hygienic end-uses, in addition to home care and end-use wipe applications.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention is directed to a method of forming a nonwoven fabric suitable for various wipe applications, the outer surface of highly entangled fibers provides for a low lint wipe, while the lightly entangled fibers of he inner layer promotes the flow of air through the fabric so as to enhance lather formation. In particular, the present invention contemplates that a fabric is formed from a fibrous batt that is subjected to fluidic energy, preferably hydraulic energy, applied to one or both faces of a fibrous batt. The hydraulic energy is moderated against the basis weight of the fibrous batt to achieve the degree of surface entanglement desired.

[0010] In accordance with the present invention, a method of making a nonwoven fabric embodying the present invention includes the steps of providing a fibrous batt comprising a fibrous matrix. While use of natural fibers is common, the fibrous matrix may comprise synthetic fibers or blends of natural and synthetic fibers. The synthetic fibers are chosen from the group consisting of viscose cellulose, polyacrylates, polyolefins, polyamides, polyesters and combinations thereof. Further, the synthetic fibers may comprise homogeneous, bicomponent and/or multi-component profiles, and the blends thereof.

[0011] In a particularly preferred form, the fibrous batt is carded and crosslapped to form a fibrous batt. The fibrous batt is then continuously indexed through a station composed of a rotary foraminous surface and a fluidic manifold. Fluid streams from the fluidic manifold impinge upon the fibrous batt at a controlled energy level so as to integrate a portion of the overall fibrous content. The energy level is controlled such that the energy is sufficient to induce high levels of entanglement in the surface fibers, but has insufficient transmitted energy to induce high levels of entanglement of the inner fibers. A plurality of such stations can be employed whereby fluid streams are at the same or differing energy levels, impinging one or alternately both surfaces of the fibrous batt. The resulting differentially entangled nonwoven web exhibits a highly entangled fibrous outer surface and a lightly entangled fibrous core.

[0012] Subsequent to hydroentanglement, the present method further contemplates the provision of a three-dimensional image transfer device having a movable imaging surface. Such three-dimensional image transfer devices are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,764, hereby incorporated by reference. In a typical configuration, the image transfer device may comprise a drum-like apparatus that is rotatable with respect to one or more hydroentangling manifolds.

[0013] It is within the purview of this invention that tension control means can be employed to further enhance the physical performance of the resulting lofty material.

[0014] A further aspect of the present invention is directed to a method of forming a nonwoven fabric which exhibits a sufficient degree of softness and nonlinting performance, while providing the necessary resistance to tearing and abrasion, to facilitate use in a wide variety of applications. The fabric exhibits a high degree of loft and absorbency, thus permitting its use in those applications in which the fabric is applied as a cleaning wipe.

[0015] In one embodiment of the present invention, the lightly entangled inner layer may comprise large denier fibers so as to lend to the bulkiness and resiliency of the nonwoven fabric. In a second embodiment of the present invention, the outer surfaces may comprise dissimilar fibers, wherein one outer surface may utilize splittable fiber or sub-denier fibers and the opposing outer surface may utilize a larger denier trilobal fiber. The various fibers selected for the outer surfaces are not to be a limitation of the present invention.

[0016] A method of making the present durable nonwoven fabric comprises the steps of providing a fibrous matrix or batt, which is subjected to controlled levels of hydraulic energy. A homogeneous cotton fibrous batt has been found to desirably yield a fabric with soft hand and good absorbency. The fibrous batt is formed into a differentially entangled nonwoven fabric by the application of sufficient energy to entangle only the outer layers of the fibrous batt. Subsequently, the fabric can be passed over an image transfer device defined by three-dimensional elements against which the differentially entangled nonwoven fabric is forced during further application of further energy, whereby the fibrous constituents of the web are imaged and patterned by movement into regions between the three-dimensional elements of the transfer device.

[0017] In accordance with the present invention, the end-use nonwoven fabric wipes include the use of various aqueous and non-aqueous compositions. The performance specific chemistries can be incorporated into or topically applied to the resulting differentially entangled fabric. Such chemistries can be durably applied to the constituent fibers of the fibrous batt, to the fibrous batt during manufacture, and/or to the resulting fabric.

[0018] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an apparatus for manufacturing a differentially entangled nonwoven fabric, embodying the principles of the present invention; and

[0020]FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of five consecutive entangling sections and an image transfer station.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.

[0022] The present invention is directed to a method of forming nonwoven fabrics by hydroentanglement, wherein the outer surface of the fabric is substantially more entangled than the core layer. Hydroentanglement by this method is controlled by the application of fluidic energy such that the energy imparted into fibers of the fabric is sufficient to highly entangle only the outer fibers. The inner fibers are lightly entangled such that the overall structure is resistant to separation of the layers, yet retain much of the loftiness or bulk of the fibrous core layer that is responsible for tactile and ductile softness, absorbency, as well as the promotion of air flow through the fabric. By advancing the fibrous batt with a relatively low tension through one or more entanglement stations, differential fiber entanglement is achieved, with the physical properties, both aesthetic and mechanical, of the resultant fabric being desirably achieved.

[0023] In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, a nonwoven fabric for application as a wipe can be produced such that the level of surface entanglement can be controlled resulting in surface layers that are extremely resistant to Tinting while the fabric retains some loft of the fibrous inner layer, which allows for a desirable circulation of air through the wipe, assisting with lather formation. A material of this nature may be used as a wet wipe or dry, wherein the wipe is particularly suitable for cleansing applications. The level of entanglement energy can be continuously varied to modify the physical properties of the wipe material to meet the required performance. It is within the scope of the present invention to control the level of entanglement in the resulting fabric to obtain materials with varying degrees of loft, absorbency, strength, and Tinting performance.

[0024] Nonwoven fabrics are frequently produced using staple length fibers, the fabric typically has a degree of exposed surface fibers that will lint if not sufficiently retained into the structure of the fabric. The present invention provides a finished fabric that can be cut, processed or treated, and packaged for retail sale. The cost associated with forming and finishing steps can be desirably reduced.

[0025] With reference to FIG. 2, therein is illustrated an apparatus for practicing the present method for forming a nonwoven fabric. The fabric is formed from a fibrous batt that typically comprises natural fibers, but may comprise synthetic staple fibers and natural/synthetic fiber blends. The fibrous batt is preferably carded and cross-lapped to form a fibrous batt, designated P. In a current embodiment, the fibrous batt comprises 100% cross-lap fibers, that is, all of the fibers of the web have been formed by cross-lapping a carded web so that the fibers are oriented at an angle relative to the machine direction of the resultant web. In this current embodiment, the fibrous batt has a draft ratio of approximately 2.5 to 1. U.S. Pat. No. 5,475,903, hereby incorporated by reference, illustrates a web drafting apparatus.

[0026]FIG. 2 illustrates a hydroentangling apparatus for forming nonwoven fabrics in accordance with the present invention. The apparatus includes a foraminous forming surface in the form of belt 02 upon which the fibrous batt P is positioned for pre-entangling by entangling manifold 01 into a wetted, lightly entangled fibrous web P′. Pre-entangling of the fibrous web is subsequently effected by movement of the web P′sequentially over a drum 10 having a foraminous forming surface, with entangling manifold 12 effecting entanglement of the web. Further entanglement of the web may be effected on the foraminous forming surface of a drum 20 by entanglement manifold 22, with the web subsequently passed over successive foraminous drums 30, 40 and 50, for successive entangling treatment by entangling manifolds 32, 42 and 51. The total, optimal energy input to the fibrous batt to give the desired level of surface entanglement is in the range of about 0.040 to 0.060 hp-hr/lb.

[0027] The entangling apparatus of FIG. 2 may further include an imaging and patterning drum 18 comprising a three-dimensional image transfer device for effecting imaging and patterning of the now-entangled precursor web. The image transfer device includes a moveable imaging surface which moves relative to a plurality of entangling manifolds 61, 62, 63 and 64, which act in cooperation with three-dimensional elements defined by the imaging surface of the image transfer device to effect imaging and patterning of the fabric being formed. The total energy applied to the fibrous batt of the imaging manifolds is adjusted to maintain the energy input in the range of about 0.040 to 0.060 hp-hr/lb.

[0028] The present invention contemplates that the fibrous web P′ be advanced onto the moveable imaging surface of the image transfer device at a rate which is substantially equal to the rate of movement of the imaging surface. A J-box or scray can be employed for supporting the precursor web P′ as it is advanced onto the image transfer device to thereby minimize tension within the fibrous web. By controlling the rate of advancement of the fibrous batt P and the web P′ through the process so as to minimize, or substantially eliminate, tension within the web, differential hydroentanglement of the fibrous web is desirably effected.

[0029] Manufacture of a durable nonwoven fabric embodying the principles of the present invention is initiated by providing the precursor nonwoven web preferably in the form of natural and/or synthetic fibers, most preferably a cotton or cotton blend, which desirably provides good tactile and ductile softness and absorbency. During development, it was ascertained that fabric weights on the order of about 1 to 8 ounces per square yard, with the range of 2 to 5 ounces per square yard being most preferred, provided the best combination of loft, softness, drapeability, absorbency, and durability.

[0030] In accordance with the present invention, the various nonwoven wipe applications include the use of aqueous and non-aqueous compositions. In one embodiment of the present invention, the lightly entangled inner layer may comprise large denier fibers so as to lend to the bulkiness and resiliency of the nonwoven fabric. In a second embodiment of the present invention, the outer surfaces may comprise dissimilar fibers, wherein one outer surface may utilize splittable fiber or sub-denier fibers and the opposing outer surface may utilize a larger denier trilobal fiber. The various fibers selected for the outer surfaces are not to be a limitation of the present invention.

[0031] The nonwoven wipe embodying the principles of the present invention is suitable for home care cleaning or cleansing wipes. The nonwoven wipe may be used in various home care applications, wherein the end use article may be a dry or wet hand held sheet, a mitt formation, or a cleaning implement capable of retaining the article. The nonwoven wipe is suitable for cleaning various household surfaces such as, kitchen and bathroom countertops, sinks, bathtubs, showers, appliances, and fixtures.

[0032] Cleansing compositions suitable for such end use applications include those that are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,103,683 to Romano, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,340,663 to Deleo, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,108,642 to Aszman, et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 6,534,472 Arvanitidou, et al., all of which are hereby incorporated by reference. Selected cleaning compositions may also include surfactants, such as alkylpolysaccharides, alkyl ethoxylates, alkyl sulfonates, and mixtures thereof; organic solvent, mono- or polycarboxylic acids, odor control agents, such as cyclodextrin, peroxides, such as benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and mixtures thereof, thickening polymers, aqueous solvent systems, suds suppressors, perfumes or fragrances, and detergent adjuvants, such as detergency builder, buffer, preservative, antibacterial agent, colorant, bleaching agents, chelants, enzymes, hydrotropes, and mixtures thereof. The aforementioned compositions preferably comprise from about 50% to about 500%, preferably from about 200% to about 400% by weight of the nonwoven cleaning article.

[0033] The nonwoven wipe embodying the principles of the present invention is also suitable for personal cleaning or cleansing articles. Nonlimiting examples of such applications include dry or wet facial wipes, body wipes, and baby wipes. Suitable methods for the application of various aqueous and non-aqueous compositions comprise aqueous/alcoholic impregnates, including flood coating, spray coating or metered dosing. Further, more specialized techniques, such as Meyer Rod, floating knife or doctor blade, which are typically used to impregnate cleansing solutions into absorbent sheets, may also be used. The following compositions preferably comprise from about 50% to about 500%, preferably from about 200% to about 400% by weight of the nonwoven cleaning article.

[0034] The nonwoven may incorporate a functional additive, such as an alphahydroxycarboxylic acid, which refers not only the acid form but also salts thereof. Typical cationic counterions to form the salt are the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, ammonium, C2-C8 trialkanolammonium cation and mixtures thereof. The term “alpha-hydroxycarboxylic acids” include not only hydroxyacids but also alpha-ketoacids and related compounds of polymeric forms of hydroxyacid.

[0035] Amounts of the alpha-hydroxycarboxylic acids may range from about 0.01 to about 20%, preferably from about 0.1 to about 15%, more preferably from about 1 to about 10%, optimally from about 3 to about 8% by weight of the composition which impregnates the substrate. The amount of impregnating composition relative to the substrate may range from about 20:1 to 1:20, preferably from 10: 1 to about 1:10 and optimally from about 2:1 to about 1:2 by weight.

[0036] Further, a humectant may be incorporated with the aforementioned alpha-hydroxycarboxylic compositions. Humectants are normally polyols. Representative polyols include glycerin, diglycerin, polyalkylene glycols and more preferably alkylene polyols and their derivatives. Amounts of the polyol may range from about 0.5 to about 95%, preferably from about 1 to about 50%, more preferably from about 1.5 to 20%, optimally from about 3 to about 10% by weight of the impregnating composition.

[0037] A variety of cosmetically acceptable carrier vehicles may be employed although the carrier vehicle normally will be water. Amounts of the carrier vehicle may range from about 0.5 to about 99%, preferably from about 1 to about 80%, more preferably from about 50 to about 70%, optimally from about 65 to 75% by weight of the impregnating composition.

[0038] Preservatives can desirably be incorporated protect against the growth of potentially harmful microorganisms. Suitable traditional preservatives for compositions of this invention are alkyl esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. Other preservatives which have more recently come into use include hydantoin derivatives, propionate salts, and a variety of quatemary ammonium compounds. Preservatives are preferably employed in amounts ranging from 0.01% to 2% by weight of the composition.

[0039] The composition may further include herbal extracts. Illustrative extracts include Roman Chamomile, Green Tea, Scullcap, Nettle Root, Swertia laponica, Fennel and Aloe Vera extracts. Amount of each of the extracts may range from about 0.001 to about 1%, preferably from about 0.01 to about 0.5%, optimally from about 0.05 to about 0.2% by weight of a composition.

[0040] Additional functional additives may also include vitamins such as Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A Palmitate, Panthenol and any of the Vitamin B complexes. Anti-irritant agents may also be present including those of steviosides, alpha-bisabolol and glycyhrizzinate salts, each vitamin or anti-irritant agent being present in amounts ranging from about 0.001 to about 1.0%, preferably from about 0.01 to about 0.3% by weight of the composition.

[0041] These impregnating compositions of the present invention may involve a range of pH although it is preferred to have a relatively low pH, for instance, a pH from about 2 to about 6.5, preferably from about 2.5 to about 4.5.

[0042] In addition to cosmetic compositions, lotions may be incorporated into the nonwoven wipe. The lotion preferably also comprises one or more of the following: an effective amount of a preservative, an effective amount of a humectant, an effective amount of an emollient; an effective amount of a fragrance, and an effective amount of a fragrance solubilizer.

[0043] As used herein, an emollient is a material that softens, soothes, supples, coats, lubricates, or moisturizes the skin. The term emollient includes, but is not limited to, conventional lipid materials (e.g. fats, waxes), polar lipids (lipids that have been hydrophylically modified to render them more water soluble), silicones, hydrocarbons, and other solvent materials. Emollients useful in the present invention can be petroleum based, fatty acid ester type, alkyl ethoxylate type, fatty acid ester ethoxylates, fatty alcohol type, polysiloxane type, mucopolysaccharides, or mixtures thereof.

[0044] Fragrance components, such as perfumes, include, but are not limited to water insoluble oils, including essential oils. Fragrance solubilizers are components which reduce the tendency of the water insoluble fragrance component to precipitate from the lotion. Examples of fragrance solubilizers include alcohols such as ethanol, isopropanol, benzyl alcohol, and phenoxyethanol; any high HLB (HLB greater than 13) emulsifier, including but not limited to polysorbate; and highly ethoxylated acids and alcohols.

[0045] Preservatives prevent the growth of micro-organisms in the liquid lotion and/or the substrate. Generally, such preservatives are hydrophobic or hydrophilic organic molecules. Suitable preservatives include, but are not limited to parabens, such as methyl parabens, propyl parabens, and combinations thereof.

[0046] The lotion can also comprise an effective amount of a kerotolytic for providing the function of encouraging healing of the skin. An especially preferred kerotolytic is Allantoin ((2,5-Dioxo-4-Imidazolidinyl)Urea), a heterocyclic organic compound having an empirical formula C4 H6 N4 O3. Allantoin is commercially available from Tri-K Industries of Emerson, N.J. It is generally known that hyperhydrated skin is more susceptible to skin disorders, including heat rash, abrasion, pressure marks and skin barrier loss. A premoistened wipe according to the present invention can include an effective amount of allantoin for encouraging the healing of skin, such as skin which is over hydrated.

[0047] U.S. Pat. No. 5,534,265 issued Jul. 9, 1996; U.S. Pat. No. 5,043,155 issued Aug. 27, 1991; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,648,083 issued Jul. 15, 1997, are incorporated herein by reference for the purpose of disclosing additional lotion ingredients.

[0048] The lotion can further comprise between about 0.1 and about 3 percent by eight Allantoin, and about 0.1 to about 10 percent by weight of an aloe extract, such as aloe vera, which can serve as an emollient. Aloe vera extract is available in the form of a concentrated powder from the Rita Corporation of Woodstock, Ill.

[0049] Further, latherants may be incorporated within the nonwoven wipe. Nonlimiting examples of anionic lathering surfactants useful in the compositions of the present invention are disclosed in McCutcheon's, Detergents and Emulsifiers, North American edition (1986), published by allured Publishing Corporation; McCutcheon's, Functional Materials, North American Edition (1992); and U.S. Pat. No. 3,929,678, to Laughlin et al., issued Dec. 30, 1975, all of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety. A wide variety of anionic lathering surfactants are useful herein. Nonlimiting examples of anionic lathering surfactants include those selected from the group consisting of sarcosinates, sulfates, isethionates, taurates, phosphates, lactylates, glutamates, and mixtures thereof.

[0050] Nonlimiting examples of nonionic lathering surfactants and amphoteric surfactants for use in the compositions of the present invention are disclosed in McCutcheon's, Detergents and Emulsifiers, North American edition (1986), published by allured Publishing Corporation; and McCutcheon's, Functional Materials, North American Edition (1992); both of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.

[0051] Nonionic lathering surfactants useful herein include those selected from the group consisting of alkyl glucosides, alkyl polyglucosides, polyhydroxy fatty acid amides, alkoxylated fatty acid esters, lathering sucrose esters, amine oxides, and mixtures thereof.

[0052] The term “amphoteric lathering surfactant,” as used herein, is also intended to encompass zwitterionic surfactants, which are well known to formulators skilled in the art as a subset of amphoteric surfactants.

[0053] A wide variety of amphoteric lathering surfactants can be used in the compositions of the present invention. Particularly useful are those which are broadly described as derivatives of aliphatic secondary and tertiary amines, preferably wherein the nitrogen is in a cationic state, in which the aliphatic radicals can be straight or branched chain and wherein one of the radicals contains an ionizable water solubilizing group, e.g., carboxy, sulfonate, sulfate, phosphate, or phosphonate. Nonlimiting examples of amphoteric or zwitterionic surfactants are those selected from the group consisting of betaines, sultaines, hydroxysultaines, alkyliminoacetates, iminodialkanoates, aminoalkanoates, and mixtures thereof.

[0054] Additional compositions utilized in accordance with the present invention can comprise a wide range of optional ingredients. The CTFA International Cosmetic ingredient Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1995, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, describes a wide variety of nonlimiting cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients commonly used in the skin care industry, which are suitable for use in the compositions of the present invention. Nonlimiting examples of functional classes of ingredients are described at page 537 of this reference. Examples of these functional classes include: abrasives, anti-acne agents, anticaking agents, antioxidants, binders, biological additives, bulking agents, chelating agents, chemical additives, natural additives, colorants, cosmetic astringents, cosmetic biocides, degreasers, denaturants, drug astringents, emulsifiers, external analgesics, film formers, fragrance components, humectants, opacifying agents, plasticizers, preservatives, propellants, reducing agents, skin bleaching agents, skin-conditioning agents (emollient, humectants, miscellaneous, and occlusive), skin protectants, solvents, foam boosters, hydrotropes, solubilizing agents, suspending agents (nonsurfactant), sunscreen agents, ultraviolet light absorbers, and viscosity increasing agents (aqueous and nonaqueous). Examples of other functional classes of materials useful herein that are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art include solubilizing agents, sequestrants, and keratolytics, and the like.

[0055] The aforementioned classes of ingredients are incorporated in a safe and effective amount. The term “safe and effective amount” as used herein, means an amount of an active ingredient high enough to modify the condition to be treated or to deliver the desired skin benefit, but low enough to avoid serious side effects, at a reasonable benefit to risk ratio within the scope of sound medical judgment.

[0056] In addition to home care and personal care end uses, the nonwoven wipe may be used in industrial and medical applications. For instance, the article may be useful in paint preparation and cleaning outdoor surfaces, such as lawn furniture, grills, and outdoor equipment, wherein the low linting attributes of the fabric may be desirable. Further, the nonwoven wipe may be suitable for cleaning, waxing, and polishing the exterior and/or interior of cars, wherein the wipe may impregnated or coated with a soap or wax. Other aqueous or non-aqueous functional industrial solvents include, oils, such as plant oils, animal oils, terpenoids, silicon oils, mineral oils, white mineral oils, paraffinic solvents, polybutylenes, polyisobutylenes, polyalphaolefins, and mixtures thereof, toluenes, sequestering agents, corrosion inhibitors, abrasives, petroleum distillates, and the combinations thereof

[0057] A medical wipe may incorporate an antimicrobial composition, including, but not limited to iodines, alcohols, such as such as ethanol or propanol, biocides, abrasives, metallic materials, such as metal oxide, metal salt, metal complex, metal alloy or mixtures thereof, bacteriostatic complexes, bactericidal complexs, and the combinations thereof.

[0058] The differentially entangled wipe of the present invention is particularly suitable for dispensing from a tub of stacked, folded wipes, or for dispensing as “pop-up” wipes, in which the cleaning article is stored in the tub as a perforated continuous roll, wherein upon pulling a wipe out of the tub, an edge of the next wipe is presented for easy dispensing. The wipes of the present invention can be folded in any of various known folding patterns, such as C-folding, but is preferably Z-folded. A Z-folded configuration enables a folded stack of wipes to be interleaved with overlapping portions. The wipe may be packaged in various convenient forms, whereby the method of packaging is not meant to be a limitation of the present invention.

EXAMPLES Example 1

[0059] Using a forming apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 1, a nonwoven fabric was made in accordance with the present invention by providing a fibrous batt comprising 100 weight percent cotton fiber. The fibrous batt had a basis weight of 3.4 ounces per square yard (plus or minus 7%). The fibrous web was 100% carded and cross-lapped, with a draft ratio of 2.8 to 1.

[0060] The fabric comprised 100 weight percent cotton as available from Barnhardt Manufacturing Company under code number RMC#2811. The fibrous batt was entangled by a series of entangling manifold stations such as diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 1 and in greater detail in FIG. 2. FIG. 2 illustrates disposition of fibrous batt P on a foraminous forming surface in the form of belt 02, with the batt acted upon by a pre-entangling manifold 01 operating at 55 bar to form a wetted and lightly entangled fibrous web. The web then passes through a series of entangling stations comprising drums having foraminous forming surfaces, for entangling by entangling manifolds, with the web thereafter directed about the foraminous forming surface of a drum 10 for entangling by entanglement manifold 12 operating at 40 bar. The web is thereafter passed over successive foraminous drums 20, 30, 40 and 50, with successive entangling treatment by entangling manifolds 22, 32, 42 and 51. In the present examples, each of the entangling manifolds included 120 micron orifices spaced at 42.3 per inch, with manifolds 22, 32, 42 and 51 successively operated at 55, 40, 55, and 0 bar, with a line speed of 45 meters per minute. The total energy input into the fibrous batt is calculated to be 0.052 hp-hr/lb. A web having a trimmed width of 127 inches was employed.

Comparative Example

[0061] The comparative example is selected from a commercially available product in the form of Webril 100% Cotton Handi-Pad as available from the Kendall Company. This product is formed by compression forming cotton fiber during a mercerization process.

[0062] The accompanying Table 1 sets forth comparative test data for a fabric made by the present invention compared against a commercially available mercerized cotton fabric. Testing was done in accordance with the following test methods.

Test Method
Basis weight (ounces/yd2) ASTM D3776
Bulk (inches) ASTM D5729
Tensiles MD and CD Grabs (lb/in) ASTM D5034
Elongation MD and CD Grabs (%) ASTM D5034

[0063] The physical test data for Example 1 and the Comparative Example are given in Table 1. The data in Table 1 show that the two materials have similar basis weights, but the nonwoven fabric manufactured by the present invention has much greater tensile strength in both the machine and cross direction, 20 and 40 times greater, respectively, than that of the Comparative material. In addition, the tensile properties of Example 1 are more uniform when comparing the machine direction to the cross direction tensile and elongation properties.

[0064] From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be affected without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concept of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover, by the appended claims, all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.

TABLE 1
Comparative
Physical Property Units Example 1 Example
Basis Weight osy 3.4 3.2
Bulk inches 0.033 0.061
Grab Tensile-MD lb./in. 23.3 1.3
Grab Tensile-CD lb./in. 23.3 0.5
Combined Grab 13.7 0.6
Tensile/Basis
Weight
Grab Elongation-MD % 32.9 35.4
Grab Elongation-CD % 76.1 118.7
Combined Grab 32.1 48.2
Elongation/
Basis Weight

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7069629 *Dec 15, 2004Jul 4, 2006Polymer Group, Inc.Durable lightweight imaged nonwoven wipe
US7331090Apr 6, 2006Feb 19, 2008Unilever Home & Personal Care Usa, Division Of ConopcoHydroentangled textile and use in a personal cleansing implement
US7381667Aug 21, 2003Jun 3, 2008Unilever Home & Personal Care Usa, Division Of Conopco, Inc.Hydroentangled textile and use in a personal cleansing implement
US7842654 *Dec 2, 2004Nov 30, 2010The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod, articles and compositions for cleaning bathroom surfaces
Classifications
U.S. Classification28/104, 28/169
International ClassificationD04H1/74, D04H1/46
Cooperative ClassificationD04H1/465, D04H1/74
European ClassificationD04H1/74, D04H1/46B
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