US 2922422 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 26, 1960 J. c. BLETZINGER CELLULOSIC PRODUCT Filed April 2'7. 195s Unite CELLULOSIC PRODUCT John C. Bletzinger, Neenah, Wis., assignor to Kimberly- Clark Corporation, a corporation of Delaware This invention relates to an improvement in a cellulosic product and more particularly to an improvement relating to catamenial and other tampons usually but not exclusively made of cellulosic material, and the invention relates especially to the provision of means for facilitating insertion of a tampon into the body opening into which it is designed to be inserted.
The main objects of the invention are to provide a tampon or similar product with means whereby insertion of the article into a body opening may be efiected easily and with a minimum of discomfort; to provide a single use inserting means which may be discarded after use, such single use being made practical both in respect of the disposability of the discarded elements and in respect of the cost thereof; and in general it is the object of the invention to provide an improved tampon inserting means and a method for making the same.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be understood by reference to the following specification and accompanying drawing (1 sheet) where there is described and illustrated a selected embodiment of the invention.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a perspective illustration of a tampon together with inserting means according to this invention;
Figs. 2 and 3 are perspective illustrations which represent steps in the preparation of a sheath or tube which is to become a means for facilitating insertion of the tampon into the body opening in which it is to be inserted;
Figs. 4, 5 and 6 represent successive steps in a method for producing some of the details of the structure shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation showing an alternative for the step represented in Fig. 5; and,
Figs. 8 and 9 are side elevations which illustrate modifications of the structure shown in Fig; 1.
As shown in Fig. 1, a catamenial (or other) tampon 1 of any desired construction is enclosed in a sheath or tube 2, a stick 3 being seated in an end portion of the tampon as indicated at 4.
The tampon 1 may comprise an absorbent compressed fiber body, said body being compressed to such an extent that it is substantially stable under normal atmospheric conditions but will expand when wetted as occurs when the tampon is put to its intended use. The stick 3 is provided for insertion purposes (as described in U.S. Patent 2,607,346, Milcent, August 19, 1952). The stick member 3 may be of wood, paper, or any other material and said stick is seated in a socket 4 in the outer end portion of the tampon body but such seating is not essential for the purpose of this invention. The tampon is also preferably provided with a withdrawal cord 5 which is suitably anchored to the outer end portion of the tampon body and extended therefrom a suitable length.
The tube or sleeve which encloses the tampon and its associated inserter stick and cord, is made of nonabsorbent, soft, flexible, flaccid or limp material. This States Patent 0 ,7 2,922,422 Patented Jan. 26, 1960 'ice tube may be made of plastic material in thin sheet or film-like form and of other substantially non-absorbent materials which present the said characteristics and others hereinafter referred to. One very satisfactory material for this tube or sleeve is polyethylene having a thickness within the range of about .8 to 2 mils.
The tube 2, whether formed from a sheet of material or extruded as a seamless tube, is of a diameter which freely slidably receives the tampon within the sleeve.
An end portion of the tube is partially or wholly closed over the front or inner end of the tampon. In this instance the tube is shown twisted closed at 6 over the adjacent end of the tampon to a portion of which the closed end 6 of the tube is conformed as indicated at 7. Closing of the tube end may be otherwise effected with or without causing a portion of the tube to be constricted and conformed to the tampon end. This closed end portion 6 of the tube may be sealed closed in many ways such as by heat, pressure, adhesive and otherwise and by combinations of two or more thereof. Conformation of the tube as at 7 to the rounded end portion of the tampon may be effected as an incident to said twistclosing, by the application of heat, by stretching the tube lengthwise to cause it to neck down over said tampon end, and otherwise as may be most suitable for the particular kind of material used in making the tube. For example, when the tube is made of properly oriented polyethylene or other material having similar characteristics, the tube may be stretched lengthwise in the Zone of the end closure to cause the tube to neck down into conformation with the peripheral portion of the tampon end, the necked down portion being thereby incidentally reduced in thickness and weakened so that said necked down portion may be easily enlarged and even ruptured by the tampon when it is to be ejected from said tube as hereinafter explained. Weakening of this tube end portion for the said purpose may also be effected in other ways whereby the tensile strength either throughout the area of the closure portion or in selected places, is made to be somewhat less than that of the remainder of the tube. It is presently preferred that the end closure be so formed that it extends inwardly over a peripheral portion of the end of the tampon in conforming relation thereto as at 7 and it may terminate with a closed portion as at 6 or with a small central opening such as would remain if the closed portion 6 were cut off at 8.
The tube or sheath 2 may be extended rearwardly to completely enclose the inserter stick 3 and withdrawal cord 5, the rear end portion of the tube being suitably sealed as indicated at 9 by the application of heat and pressure or in any other suitable manner. The front end of the tube may also be closed and sealed in this manner if such a closure satisfies the requirements imposed on the tampon for any given purpose.
The tampon may be an absorbent catamenial tampon or it may be a medicated tampon, i.e., a tampon impregnated or coated with medicinal, emollient, antiseptic or other material.
For self insertion of a catamenial tampon for example, the sheath 2 is employed in combination with the inserter stick 3. First, the inserter stick and the plastic sheath portion rearwardly of the tampon are grasped between the thumb and first two fingers and the sheathed tampon is then inserted into the vaginal canal until the thumb and middle finger rest against the body. Then the grip on the inserter stick is released while retaining a thumb and middle finger grip on a portion 1% of the sheath which is pulled to one side of the stick, the index finger being then employed to press the stick forwardly as far as possible to eject the tampon from the sheath and deliver the tampon into proper operative position in the vaginal canal. The front end of the sheath is readily expanded or opened by the tampon when moved forwardly in the sheath in the manner just explained; The sheath is held back by the finger grip on the portion and also thereby withdrawn from the body. opening after thetampon is discharged from the sheath.
As the tampon. leaves the sheath the latter readily plastic sheath and the small diameter inserter stick may' then be withdrawn simultaneously or independently of each other, leaving the tampon in place, and these With'. drawn elements are readily disposable.
The tube 2 need not be opened for access to the rear end of the inserter stick since finger pressure on the stick may be applied through a portion ofthe tube pressed against the end of. the stick. The tube portion intermediate the gripped portion 10 and the end of the inserter stick will, of course, collapse as the stick is .advanced in the tube.
As already indicated, insertion is a simple one hand operation. Correct placement is easily obtained byprovidingthe tampon and its sheath of such lengths that initial insertion of the sheathed tampon may be limited by engagement of the thumb and middle finger against the body Whenthe tampon is held as above described for insertion purposes. This will determine a suitable position in which the tampon is ejected from the sheath-or sleeve to properly locate the tampon in the vaginal cavity.
It is preferred that the sheathed tampon be provided With the said constricted sheath end portion over the inner or front end of. the tampon. Such an end coveringportionof the sheath serves to maintain the tampon in place inthe sheath during, insertion of the sheathed tampon intothe body opening, and also'serves to delay the occurrence of direct contact between the front endof the. absorbent tampon body and the moist walls of the vaginal canal which Wouldtend to dry the walls and-resist movement. of the tampon to its proper placein the canal. The non-absorbent character of the sheath material causes the sheath to slidevery easily along the vaginal walls andnot only prevents the aforesaid drying contact between the absorbent tampon body and said walls but also delays the occurrence of expansion of the tampon incident to moisture absorption to thereby further insure ease of insertion and proper placement of the tampon. The said easy insertability of the tampon, the almost automatic delivery of the tampon to proper place in the vaginal canal, and the easy removability of the inserter stick and empty sheath are factors which make use of the described structure exceptionably comfortable.
When the device is to be distributed as a catamenial tampon, it is preferable that the sheath 2 terminate a short. distance rearwardly from the rear or outer end 11 of the tampon, for example at a point such as represented by the broken line 12. This will still permit the sheath to be gripped and pressure applied to the inserter stick as above described for insertion of the tampon. A catamenialtampon so sheathed may desirably be wrapped in a paper or other outer wrapper suitably applied to keep the tampon clean.
If the tube 2 is made of polyethylene material and is initially of a preferred thickness of about 1.25 mils, and if the tube is stretched to form a constricted portion which. conforms. to a peripheral portion of the tampon end as at 7, the thickness of the material as it enters the necked down portion 7 will be gradually reduced to a lesser thickness, probably to about .5 mil or less at the end of the tube. Hence; the constricted end portion of the, tube, will be of reduced tensile strength relative to that of the main. body portionof the tube and will be quite. easily expanded or ruptured. by pressure exerted thereon when the. tampon. 1 is moved. within; thetube against; the constricted: tube end; The pressure. required V placement of the tampon fromthe sheath while pro-- ne ates.
for forcing the tampon out of the constricted end of the tube or sheath 2' may be made to suit any preference by appropriate selection of starting sheet thickness, and control of the stretching of the tube and its thinning effect on the tube material. We now consider that the maximum pressure requirement for forcing the tampon through the constricted sheathtportion should not be in excess of about four pounds, but we prefer that the closed or constricted sheathend yield'to a pressure of the order of about one pound. This constricted tamponend con: forming portion of the tubeor sheath may be made very narrow so as to overlie only a narrow peripheral portion of the tamponend, or it may be wide enoughto overlie and conform to amajor. portion of or even the entire area of the end of the tampon. We presently prefer that the said conforming or constricted portion extend over a peripheral tampon end portion of at least about onesixteenth of an inch wide and it may extend over the entire end area to give full coverage thereover.
The constricted end portion 7 of the tube or sheath serves effectively to prevent accidental or unintended" beyond the rear end 11 of-the tampon may be pulled. to one side as indicated at 10 in Figures 1 and'S' and collapsed to fiat form and sealed by the application-of heat or pressure or otherwise in a selected area as in.-
dicated at. lllavin Figure 8. In this manner the rear or. outer end portion of the sheath is, in effect, constricted.
about the. inserter stick 3 so as to prevent rearwarddisviding a preformed tube gripping lip and also preserving. the forward. movement of the stick for tampon placing purposes.
Another arrangement for closing the tube Zabout the inserter stick is shown in Figure 9 where a hard'paper or other collar 13 is fitted in and secured to the end of; the sheath 2. This collar slidingly receives the stick 3 and provides a=firm-portion which may be grippedsubstantially inthe same manner as the ear or lip portion.
10 in Figures 1 and 8. A slot in the collar loosely receives the string 5.
When the tampon is a medicated or sterile tampon and is packaged for distribution in medicated or sterile condition, the sheath may advantageously be of full. length to enclose-the entire tampon and the inserter stick and both ends. of the sheath should be so sealed as to. preserve the condition of the tampon. Under such-cirrcumstances, if the sheath is to be used for insertion purposes as above'described, it will usually be necessary to cut off and remove the sealed end portion 6 from the sheath, for example, by cutting along a line represented at 8', before introducing the sheathed tampon into the body openings. This willpermit ejection of the tampon, including rupture or opening of the remaining constricted portion of the sheath to be eifected easily enough to be done as an incident to the force applied to the inserter stick for ejecting the tampon from the sheath.
Polyethylene sheeting as employed for the. purpose of this invention is a very smooth,- soft material which at ordinary room temperatures has a Warm skin-like feel; It does not absorb moisture and presents a fairly slippery surface when in contact with. moist body tissue. The sheathed tampon as described, is easily insertable into the gavina-l cavity, such insertion being aided by the roundedfront. end of the tampon to which the sheath conforms as at 7, by the easy slidability of thesheath material over the moist lining of the cavity, and by the non: absorbency of the material which contributes to said easy slidability.
The limpness: of the material in the freefront end portion of the-sheathwhen made from polyethylene sheetiug andastretchedno areduced': thickness of. theorder of .5 mil as above mentioned, prevents the free front end of the sheath from presenting an objectionable, projecting sharp end edge. This is due to the limpness of the material when so reduced in thickness, which is such that the front end portion of the sheath does not resist being pressed to a position against the tampon surface in which position said sheath end is made harmless, or perhaps in some instances, it permit the tube end to be folded, rolled or buckled back on itself into tight hugging relation to the adjacent portion of the tube to a position in which the end of the sheath will not present a projecting sharp edge.
Thin walled, highly flexible, limp sheaths or tubes such as described are also advantageous as tampon applicators because they do not materially enlarge ther cross sectional size of the tampon as do heavier stiff cardboard tubes, or because, in the alternative, they permit the use of a tampon of larger cross sectional size than hasheretofore been considered desirable because of the discomfort occasioned by insertion of too large a tampon into the vaginal canal. The described thin sheath is further advantageous because it readily collapses upon ejection of the tampon from the sheath, thereby quickly relieving the discomfort incident to distention of the sphincter muscles much sooner than when hard tube applicators are used. Also, withdrawal of the collapsible sheath involves materially less discomfort than the withdrawal of said hard, rigidly distended applicator tubes.
Tampons have heretofore been provided in applicator tubes formed of relatively heavy, stiff cardboard material or in sheaths formed of thin, tough paper. Such tough paper or stifl tubes do not provide the advantages obtained when the sheath is made of the soft, flexible and very limp material such as is typified by polyethylene sheeting of the type within the thickness range above mentioned. Even though the sheath made according to this invention does not extend over the front end portion of the tmpon but terminates just short of the rounded tampon end as indicated at 2a in Figure 9, considerable advantage is obtained. incident to the use of sheath material of the character indicated herein. The above mentioned avoidance of increased diametervis, of course, important and in addition the slidability of the plastic material sheath over a moist surface and its close conformation to the body of the tampon when pressed thereagainst, and its collapsibility immediately upon ejection of the tampon therefrom, all contribute to the usability of the improved tampon with materially less discomfort than has heretofore been the rule with known applicator enclosed tampon, constructions.
Materials other than said polyethylene may also be used for making said tube or sheath. In general, plasticized polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride-acetate resin compositions (such as Geon and Vinylite), and
polyvinyl-vinylidene chloride resins (such as Saran), and rubber compositions such as Pliofilm, are suitable when in thin enough form to provide characteristics such as above described. Polypropylene and other films of this type are also suitable. The material may be of transparent character or it may be white or colored to suit any given preferences.
At the present time, the formation of seamless tubes of materials of the character indicated and of the small thickness mentioned is possible, but extrusion and drawing of the material to the required thinness tends to impair the capacity of such tubes to be constricted around the tampon in the manner which is now preferred. As seamless tube forming techniques improve, this difliculty may be overcome. However, extruded tubing may satisfactorily be used, especially if the end constriction de tail is omitted or made less extensive than is now preferred. For the reasons indicated, it is presently preferred to form the tube from a sheet of the selected material which permits the sheet to be used with its molecules properly oriented for the best advantage in pro- 6 ducing the constricted or contracted end covering portion 7 as above referred to. This does not, however, preclude the use of extruded seamless tubing, especially when wholly satisfactory tubing may be produced.
One way of producing sheathed tampons according to the present invention is to start with an elongated rectangular sheet 14 (Figure 2) of suitable material, preferably transparent polyethylene sheeting of the weight or thickness within the above mentioned range, and of a size suitable for the product to be produced. Such a sheet is rolled into an elongated tube 15, (Figure 3) with the grain (orientation of the molecules) of the sheet extending circumferentially of the tube, narrow marginal portions of the sheet being overlapped one upon the other as shown at 16. The overlapped margins are securely sealed together in any suitable manner. When the sheeting is of polyethylene material, the sealing of the margins may be effected by the application of heat or pressure, or both heat and pressure to the said over lapped margins; or such sealing may be effected by means of adhesive between said margins or by the aid of a solvent or other material which will make either or both of the contacting faces of said margins, adhesive.
Polyethylene sheeting of the character indicated is stretchable both lengthwise and crosswise but usually considerably more in one direction than in the other. The sheet 14 is cut and the tube 15 is formed so that the greater stretchability of the material occurs in the direction of the length of the tube.
The tube 15 is made of such length and diameter that a pair of compressed absorbent-body tampons 18 and 19 having seated therein inseiter sticks 29, may be inserted into the tube from the opposite ends thereof and brought into contact with each other or nearly so at about the middle .of the length of the tube as indicated at 21 in Figure 4. The tampons 18 and 19 with their inserter sticks 2d are each like the tampon 1 and its inserter stick 3 in Figure l. 7
Instead of inserting the tampon bodies 18 and 19 into a pre-formed tube 15, the tube may be formed about the tampons by rolling a sheet of the tube-forming material around the tampons, by extruding a suitable tube around the tampons, or in any other suitable manner. It is preferred that the tube 15, whether pre-formed as shown in Figure 3 or'formed about the tampon bodies 18 and 19, be of such diameter that the tampons remain easily slidable lengthwisewithin the tube with only light frictional resistance between the tampons and the tube.
When the tube 15 is stretched axially, it will neck down diametrically in the zone of stretching as an incident to such stretching. The sheeting is resilient within a limited range but when stretched beyond such range, loses its resiliency and takes a permanent set in its stretched and necked down condition, and after some further stretching will break. These properties of becoming set in stretched condition and of necking down are taken advantage of as shown in Figures 5 and 6.
One method of utilizing the above mentioned properties of the polyethylene material in the tube 15, is to stretch the tube in the Zone around the adjacent end portions of the tampon, by grasping the tube-enclosed tampons and pulling them away from each other so as to stretch the tubing in said zone and cause the tubing in said zone to neck down as at 22. Incident to such necking down, said tubing is caused to closely hug or conform to peripheral portions of the respective tampon ends as at 23 in Figures 5 and 6. The stretching is effected to the extent required to produce the desired tube conformation to the tampon ends and to cause permanent setting of the stretched and constricted or tampon end conforming portions of the tube, but not necessarily to break the tube in said stretched Zone. This tube stretching may be effected by gripping the tube enclosed tampons through the tubing and around the adjacent end vide the described twist-closed ends.
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' one; in which tret hing. i esired-m y e warmed to softcn the tube material insuch zone whereby stnetchingwill be substantially confined to such.zon e' without precautions as to, where the tube is gripped; for stretching purposes. However, we presently prefercold (roomtemperature) stretching of the.-tube., Rounded tampon ends arev no-t requiredthey may be square cut or otherwise without hindering theconstriction of the tube over the tampon ends in the manner explained and for the purpose indicated.
The endwise stretching of the tube-enclosed tampons may be continued until the tube materialbreaks upon reaching the limit of its stretchability. Itis preferred, however, to effect said stretching to a predetermined limited extent beyond the limit ofresiliency' as represented in Figure 5, and to then cut the tubing at, its neck 22,, thereby to provide separated sheathed tampons each having an end covered or partially covered, as at 23 by a constricted sheath portion which extends from the tampon end and terminates in a small, opening as indicated at 2,4.
The tube portions with the enclosed, tampons may be twisted slightly reltaive to each other during the separation of the tampons and stretching of the tube, and such twistingtends to aid in causing the tube portions to neck down into conformation with the ends of the tampons. Such twisting may be effected to, an extent sufiicient to form fully closed ends such as represented 'at 6 in, Figure 1. However, effective construction of the tube diameter and conformation of the constricted tube portion to the end of the tampon may be effected as an incident to simple stretching of the tube lengthwise as above explained;
Said constriction and conformation of the tube to end portions of the tampon bodies may be effected by relative twisting or rotation of the tube or sheath enclosed bodies without any relative longitudinalrnovement between the bodies as represented in Figure 7, the tampons being initially appropriately spaced a suitable distance apart. Such relatively opposed twisting as indicated by arrows in ,Fig. 7, may be continued sufiicieutly to pro- Su-ch twisting also effectsaxial stretching ofthe tube to cause said conformation thereof =to the tampon ends and to reducethe thickness of the tube material in the contracted portion of the tube.
It is preferred to cut the twisted sheath material intermediate'the adjacent tampon ends to effect 'separaion ofthe sheathed tampons as alreadyexplained, thereby effectively controlling the point of separation, but such separation may be effected as an incident to extended twisting and a point of breakage may be predetermined by suitably weakening the sheath material at the desired point of breakage. When it is desired to insure a sealed end, the material in the twist-closed neck may be severed with a hot wire or the like whereby the cut edges will be fused togetherto form a seal. Also, the. neck may be sealed by means of adhesive applied to the end of the neck.
In the foregoing explanation of a. method forproducing a sheathed tampon according to the present invention, the tube is illustrated as being of such a length that the finished product represented in Figure 6 has a sheath which projects only a short distance beyond the outer or rear end of the tampon. If a fully enclosed tampon is required as illustrated in Figure 1, the tube 15 would, of course, be lengthened so that it would completely enclose the tampons 18 and 19 and their inserter sticks 20 with sufiicientmaterial of the tube projecting beyond the ends of the inserter stick to permit sealingthereofas at 9 in Figure. 1., he. steps of providing the constricted and conformed tube cndPQrtious 23 .wouldremain the same as described and he... outer-tube, ends would be eal i itheecmre a riatter the rksc bed tube str tchi g operation,
Fopcatamenialtamponpurposes, the short sheath arrangement-asrepresented in Figure 6 is preferable for economic reasons ,andyalso because there is no necessity for completely enclosing a catamenial tampon in the manner illustrated in Figure 1. As already stated, it is preferred to providean overwrap about the tampons and this .overwrapmay sulficiently enclose and protect the short sheathed tampon of Figure 6 together with its inserter stick so as to maintain it clean and in satisfactory condition for use.
A catamenial tampon sheathed in polyethylene material or other material having similar characteristics of soft, smooth, skin-like feel, fiaccidness or lirnpness and collapsibility, Whether or not it includes the described constricted and conformed tube end formation, represents a substantial improvement over convenional stiff cardboard or relatively hard paper applicator enclosed tampons. The smoothness of the tube material contemplated in .the present invention, and its conformability to the surface of the. tampon and its slidability over the moist Surface of the vaginal cavity result in an un: usually easily insertable tampon.
As an incident to the stretching of the sheath material in the necked down zone 22, the thickness of the sheath material in said zone is gradually reduced toward the middle of the length ofthe necked down portion where the tube is cut or otherwise severed. The resultingreduced tensile strength of the sheath makes said con,- stricted. portion easily stretchable or rupturable incident to tampon ejecting force which causes the front or inner endof the tampon to press against and open said constricted tube portion 23. There is no danger that an end portion of the tube will be broken off and left in the vaginal cavity incident to. the-opening of the sheath and insertion ofthe tampon. This appears to be due to the fact thatthe thickness of the sheath material is gradually reduced from its full thickness in the body portion of they sheath to aminimum thickness at the free end of said necked down portion so that any lines of rupture will normally tend to approach the free end of the sheath rather than extend circumferentially of the sheath.
Various changes in the details above referred to may be made while employing the principles embodied in the described construction and in the described method of producing the construction. In the appended claims, the word severed or severing is used to designate separation whether by cutting or breaking.
l. A tampon and applicator comprising a tampon, a sleeve of thin, flaccid and highly flexible material ex.- tendingaround one end along the side of said tampon in intimate contacting relation thereto, said tampon being adapted for ejection relative to said one end of said sleeve, said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector abutting the other end of the tampon within said sleeve and extending therefrom in the direction in which said sleeve projects beyond the tampon as aforesaid.
2. A tampon and applicator comprising anelongatcd tampon, an elongated tubularsheath of thin, limp, nonabsorbent, smooth plastic material extending around said tampon transversely of itsentire length and in intimate contacttherewith, said tampon being adapted to be ejected endwise from said sheath, said sheath having an end portionwhich projects beyond one end of the tampon, and an ejector seated in said one end of the tampon and extending therefrom in the direction in which said sheath projects as aforesaid.
3. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated tampon, an elongated tubular sleeve of thin, flaccid and highly flexible material extending transversely around aid,tampon and from, which said tamponis adapted to. be. iqcteclendw e,, aids eeve. being in timat com tact with said tampon along its length and having an end portion which extends across at least a portion of one end of said tampon, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector extending axiallyof said sleeve and abutting the other end of the tampon within said sleeve for ejection of the tampon from said sleeve.
4. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated tampon, a tubular sleeve of thin, limp and highly flexible non-absorbent material extending transversely around said tampon and from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said sleeve being in intimate contact with said tampon along its length and having an end portion which extends across at least a portion of one end of said tampon, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an elongated ejector extending lengthwise of said sleeve and abutting the other end of the tampon within said projecting sleeve portion for ejecting the tampon from said sleeve, said ejector being of such small cross sectional size relative to the cross sectional size of said sleeve as to facilitate sidewise oflsetting of said projecting sleeve portion to enable the same to be gripped while force is applied to 10 plastic film sleeve extending transversely around the length of said tampon and from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said plastic sleeve material being stretchable and having the characteristic of necking down transversely of the direction of stretch, an end portion of said sleeve being stretched axially of the sleeve and thereby necked down so as to overlie at least a peripheral portion of the adjacent end of said tampon and incidentally thereto, reduced in thickness and tensile strength, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector seated in said other end of the tampon and extending axially of said sleeve for ejecting the tampon as aforesaid.
said ejectorfor ejecting the tampon from the first men- 'tioned erd of said sleeve.
5. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated tampon, a tubular sleeve of thin, limp and highly flexible non-absorbent material extending transversely around said tamponand from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said sleeve being in intimate contact with said tampon along the length thereof and having an end closure portion which extends across at least a portion of one end of said tampon, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector extending lengthwise of said sleeve and abutting the other end of the tampon within said projecting sleeve portion for ejecting the tampon from said sleeve, said end closure portion of said sleeve being weakened so as to facilitate opening thereof while holding said sleeve through the agency of said projecting portion thereof and applying tampon ejecting force to said ejector.
6. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated tampon, a tubular sleeve of thin, limp, non-absorbent material extending transversely around said tampon and from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said sleeve having a main body portion and an end portion, said end portion being contracted over at least a peripheral portion of one end of said tampon, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector enclosed in said projecting sleeve portion and abutting said other end of the tampon within said sleeve for ejecting said tampon from said contracted end of said sleeve, said contracted sleeve portion having less tensile strength than said main body portion so as to facilitate opening of said contracted sleeve portion by said tampon when ejecting force is applied thereto through the agency of said ejector.
7. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated compressed absorbent tampon, a thin, limp, non-absorbent, tubular plastic film sleeve extending transversely around the length of said tampon and from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said sleeve having an end portion which is stretched and contracted over at least a peripheral portion of the adjacent end of said tampon whereby the thickness and tensile strength of said end portion of the sleeve are reduced so as to facilitate opening of said end portion to permit ejection of the tampon from said contracted end of the sleeve, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector seated in said other end of the tampon and extending axially of said sleeve for ejecting the tampon as aforesaid.
8. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated compressed tampon, a thin, limp, non-absorbent tubular 9. A tampon and applicator comprising an elongated compressed tampon, a thin, limp, non-absorbent tubular plastic film sleeve extending transversely around the length of said tampon and from which said tampon is adapted to be ejected endwise, said plastic sleeve material being stretchable polyethylene having the characteristic of necking down transversely of the direction of stretch, an end portion of said sleeve being stretched axially of the sleeve and thereby necked down so as to overlie at least a peripheral portion of the adjacent end of said tampon and incidentally thereto, reduced in thickness and tensile strength, the other end of said sleeve projecting beyond the other end of said tampon, and an ejector seated in said other end of the tampon and extending axially of said sleeve for ejecting the tampon as aforesaid.
10; The method of making a tampon and applicator combination which method comprises the steps of enclosing a pair of elongated tampons in axially aligned position in a tube which when stretched longitudinally necks down transversely, effecting unitary movement relative to each other of the respective tampons and the portions of said tube which enclose said tampons so as to neck down the tube portion intermediate the adjacent ends of said tampons, and severing the necked down portion of the tube intermediate said tampons to thereby provide mutually independent applicator-sleeve-enclosed tampons in which the sleeves each have an end portion which is contracted over at least a peripheral portion of the adjacent tampon end.
11. The method of making a tampon and applicator combination which method comprises the steps of enclosing a pair of elongated compressed tampons in axially aligned position in a tube of polyethylene material having a thickness within the range of about .8 to 2 mils and which when stretched longitudinally necks down transversely, effecting unitary movement relative to each other of the respective tampons and the portions of said tube Which enclose said tampons so as to stretch and neck down the tube portion intermediate the adjacent ends of said tampons, and severing the necked down portion of the tube intermediate said tampons to thereby provide mutually independent applicator-sleeve-enclosed tampons in which the sleeves each have an end portion which is contracted over at least a peripheral portion of the adjacent tampon end.
12. The method of making a tampon and applicator combination which method comprises the steps of providing a pair of elongated compressed absorbent tampons having inserter sticks seated in end portions thereof and projecting endwise therefrom, enclosing said tampons in axially aligned relationship with their inserter sticks extending in opposite directions from the outer ends of the aligned tampons in a stretchable material tube which extends beyond the outer ends of said tampons and which tube, when stretched in its axial direction, contracts diametrically, efiecting unitary movement relative to each other of the respective tampons and the portions of said tube which enclose said tampons so as to stretch and neck down the tube portion intermediate the adjacent ends of said tampons, and severing the necked down portion of the tube intermediate said tampons to thereby provide mutually independent 1&1 pp ica or-sleeve.-enclosed tampons.;.ar. d HSH QET iQkSJ which. the sleeveseach have one end portion contracted over at least a peripheral portion ofthe adjacent tampon endand the other end portion extended beyondthe other end of the tampon to proyidea sleevegripping portion.
13. The methodof makinga tampon andlapplicator combination which method comprises the steps oflenclosing a pair of elongated tampons in axially aligned position in a stretchable materialtube.- Whioh contracts diametrically when stretchedaxially,effecting unitary movement relative to each other of the respective tampons and the portions of saidfltube which enclose said tampons so as to causesaidtube-tacontract diametrically intermediatethe adjacentends ofsaid tampons, and severing the contracted portion of the tube inter: mediate said tampons to thereby; proyidemutuallyyindependent applicator-.sleeve-enclosed tampons inwhich .the sleeves each have an end. portion which is contracted overat least a; peripheral portionofzthe adjacent tampon end.
14. The method of making atampon. and applicator .combination which. method comprisessthestcps ofi en losing; a pair of elongated tampons in axially aligned position in a tube of stretchable;thin,- limp polyethylene material having a thickness withinthe range. of about .8 to 2 mils and. which tube-necks down. when stretched, efiecting unitary movement relativeto eachother of the respective tampons and the portions of-said tube. which enclose said tampons to cause the. tube portion intermediate the adjacent ends of said tampons to neck: down and the material in such necked. down portion to be reduced in thickness, severing thenecked .downt portion of the tube intermediate said'tampons'to thereby provide mutually independent applicator-sleeve-enclosed tampons in which the sleeves each have a contracted end portion which conforms toat. least-a portion of the adjacent tampon end andwhich contracted end portion is weakened to -facilitate opening thereof by the pressure of said'tampon on said end portion wheuthe tampon is being ejected from said ,tube'.
5,-The methodsofi making ga tampon and applicator om ination.- which m thod. comprises the. st ps of $1161.05? inga pair; oftelongatedttampons inaxiallyaligned position in. a tube which. when- ;stretched longitudinal-1y .necks down transverse1y,. effecting; unitary movement away from ,eachpotherwfi the .respectivetampons :and the. portions of said tube which;encloseasaidwtampons so. as to neck down vthe tube, portion. intermediate.,.the.: adjacent ends ofsaid tampons, and severing. theneckddown portion of the. tube intermediate. said..tampons,.;to, thereby provide mutually independent applicator.sleeve-enclosed tampons in, which. the. .sleevesaeachahave, an. end portion which is contracted! over .at. .lcast a, peripheral .portion of the adjacent tampon end,
16. The methodoofimaking a; tampon and. applicator combination which, methodcomprisesthe steps of enclosing a pair of elongated, tamponslinhaxially aligned position' in apolyethylenetube which, when stretched longi tudinally necks down, transversely, effecting unitary opposite. rotary. movement of the..respecti,ve. tampons and the portion of..said. tubfin hichenclpse. said.tamports... so as to neck down ,the... tube portion intermediate theadjacent ends of i sai ij tampons, and 'seyering; the necked down. portionhof the ,tube intermediate said tam.- pons to thereby provide mutually independent applicatorsleeve-enclosed tampons intwhichthe sleeves. each have an end portion which is contractedpyer.atleast. apefipheral portion of. the adiacent tampon end...
Referencesfiitecl thefil ftthis pa ent. UNITEDJSTATES; PATENTS:
1,887,844 Malocsay Nov.'15, 1932 2,092,427" Ross Sept. 7; 1937 2,264,586 Ross Dec: 2," 1941 2,413,480 Winter-- -Dec.- 31, 1946 2,416;642 Popper-- Feb; 25,, 1947 2,566;l Greine'ret -21. Aug. 28; 1951 2,6905598 Bleitzingeret-al; oer-.5, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 2,922,422 January 26, 1960 John C. Bletzinger Column 8, line 53, after "end" insert and Signed and sealed this l3th day of September 1960.
KARL H AXLINE ROBERT c. WATSON Attesting Oificer Commissioner of Patents