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Publication numberUS2934068 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 26, 1960
Filing dateJun 21, 1956
Priority dateJun 21, 1956
Publication numberUS 2934068 A, US 2934068A, US-A-2934068, US2934068 A, US2934068A
InventorsBarlow Vincent H, Graham Jr George C
Original AssigneePersonal Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tow tampon
US 2934068 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aprii 19% G. c. GRAHAM, JR, ETAL 2,934,068

TOW TAMPON Filed June 21, 1956 United tates atent TOW TAlVIPON George C. Graham, Jr., Colonia, and Vincent H. Barlow,

Plainfield, N.J., assignors to Personal Products Corporation, a corporation of New Jersey Application June 21, 1956, Serial No. 592,978

7 Claims. (Cl. 128-263) The present invention relates to tampons adapted for insertion into body cavities for the absorption and retention of body fluids and to methods of making the same. More particularly, the present invention is concerned with catamenial tampons adapted for insertion into the vagina for the absorption and retention of menstrual secretions.

Tampons hitherto have been made primarily of cotton fibers or other cellulosic fibrous materials which have been packed into a normally cylindrically shaped container from which the tampons are adapted to be manualiy ejected and positioned inside a body cavity. A removal string or cord is customarily secured to the tampen and is of sufficient length that the free end thereof extends outwardly of the body cavity and is used for removing the tampon after use.

in the use of such tampons and particularly during the withdrawal thereof, some of the fibers tend to become loosened from the tampon itself and slough off whereby they remain in the body cavity after the tampon has been withdrawn. Unless such fibers are removed relatively promptly, irritation and objectionable odors tend to develop in the body cavity to the distress and embarrassment of the user of the tampon.

Additionally, the fibers of these prior art tampons are packed and worked together during their manufacture and intermesh or felt together into a firm, relatively unielding body whereby they lack conformability and adaptability to the shape and contour of the body cavity into which they are inserted. This, of course, creates an uncomfortable situation and further prevents complete blockage of the body orifice whereby lack of retention or" body liquids and leakage thereof result.

Furthermore, due to the relatively short staple length of the cotton or other cellulosic fibers employed and the resulting intermatting and felting during the processing thereof, the capillaries or the spaces between the fibers run in every different direction for varying, relatively short distances. As a result, the liquids initially contacted and absorbed by the tampon are conveyed through capillary or other action between the relatively short fibers in a discontinuous direction and disorderly fashion and sort of uncontrollably diffuse throughout the tampon whereby local conditions of oversaturation and unsaturation occur.

Finally, since the fibers have been packed and matted closely together during their manufacture into tampons, they resist opening-up or flaring within the body cavity whereby the capillaries or spaces between the fibers remain small and thus decrease the total fluid capacities of the tampons.

it is a principal purpose of the present invention to provide an improved tampon in which the tendency of the individual fibers or filaments thereof to become loosened and to slough off during use and/ or withdrawal is inhibited.

It is a further principal purpose of the present invention to provide an improved tampon which will be more resiliently conformable and adaptable to the shape and contour of the body cavity into which the tampon is inserted to provide more complete blockage thereof and to prevent discomfort and distress to the user.

It is a still further principal purpose of the present invention to provide an improved tampon in which the capillaries or spaces between the fibers or filaments are substantially parallelized and of substantially the full length of the tampon to provide a more continuous and more orderly control over the absorption and diffusion of body liquids into the tampon.

It is another principal purpose of the present invention to provide an improved tampon which will tend to open-up and flare desirably within the body cavity in which it is inserted whereby the capillaries increase in size to increase the total liquid absorption and retention characteristics of the tampon.

It is still another principal purpose of the present invention to provide methods of manufacturing such improved tampons.

it has been discovered that the above-described objectionable features and disadvantages of prior art tampons may be avoided and the above-mentioned desirable purposes and advantages may be realized by providing a tampon wherein substantially all the fibers or filaments extend continuously from one end of the tampon to the other end of the tampon whereby short fibers and loose ends are avoided and wherein the possibility of their breaking and sloughing off is reduced.

Additionally, these filaments, extending as they do from one end of the tampon to the other, are more supple because of their greater length and possess excellent conformability and adaptability to the shape and contour of the body cavity into which they are inserted whereby they are not uncomfortable and also provide more complete blockage of the body cavity to prevent leakage of liquids therefrom.

Furthermore, these long filaments extending from one end to the other end of the tampon create capillaries also extending from end to end whereby absorption and diffusion of liquids takes place therethrough in a continuous direction and in an orderly controlled fashion.

Finally, since these filaments are longer and are not packed or matted together too much during their process ing, they open up and flare to a greater degree whereby the capillaries increase in size and augment the total fluid capacity of the tampon.

The improved tampons of the present invention are preferably manufactured by providing a tow of continuous substantially parallelized filaments of indefinite length, cutting the tow at spaced intervals equal to approximately twice the length of the desired tampon whereby substantially all of the filaments are cut to the same length, tying a removal cord or string to the approximate center of the cut length of tow whereby substantially all the filaments are bound together at their midpoints, folding the lengths of bound filaments approximately in half to form a tampon, and inserting said cut, bound and folded tampons into hollow cylindrical containers or tubes with the removal cords extending outwardly therefrom whereby the individual tampons may be ejected from the container by a suitable plunger and positioned in a body cavity for use therein.

in the accompanying drawing and following specification, there is illustrated and described a preferred design of tampon embodying the inventive concept but it is to be understood that the invention is not to be considered limited to the construction disclosed except as determined by the scope of the appended claims. In the drawing,

Fig. 1 is a perspective showing of the improved tampon and applicator therefor of the present invention Eig. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the tampon shown in Fig. 1, said view being taken through a diameter of the tampon applicator in the direction 2-2; and

Fig. 3 is a detail drawing showing the absorbent portion of the tampon and its removal cord orstring. In theembodiment of the invention shown in the drawing, the article of manufacture 10 of the present inven tion comprises a hollow cylindrical container or tube 12 and a hollow cylindrical ejector or plunger 14 adapted to slidewithin the cylindrical container 12. The absorbent tampon portion 16 of the article 10 comprises filaments substantially all of which have a length approximately twice the length of the tampon 16 and wherein substan-. tially all of the filaments are folded at their midpoints to form two legs 18, 20 of approximately equal lengths. A removal cord orstring 22 is provided'and binds the filamerits at their approximate midpoints by means of a hnot 24.

As shown in Figs. 1 tion 16 is inserted in doubled-up form in the container 12 with the removal string 22 extending outwardly there from throughthe ejector or plunger 14. It will be appreciated that movement of the plunger 14 to the left, as viewed in Figs. 1 and 2, will eject the tampon 16' outwardly to be inserted and positioned in a body caviy to itself to the shape and contour of the body cavity.

This opening-up and flaring of the tampon 16 is also aided to a considerable extent by the resistance offered by the Walls of the vagina to the entry and positioning of the tampon, as well as bythe pressure exerted'by the weight ofthe body on thev surfaces; of the tampon. All of these factors mutually contribute to they re-shaping of the tampon from its originally cylindrical shape to a form more closely resembling a flattened fish-tail.

T The filamentary materials of which the absorbent portion 16 is made areoriginally manufactured in continuouslengths suitable for severing into shorter lengths approximately equalto twice the lentgh of the absorbent portion 16. Such materials include Dacron (polymeric polyester condensation products of glycols and dicarboxylic acids, such as polyethylene terephthalate), nylon (polymerization products of diarnines and dicarboxylic acids such as ofhexamethylenediamine and adipic acid or obtainable from caprolactam converted into fibers by the melt-spinning process), rayon (regenerated cellulose from the viscose' or cupraammonium processes), cellulose esters (such as cellulose acetate) vinyl fibers (such a's'polymeric vinyl'chloride-vinyl acetate), acrylic fibers (suchas polymeric vinyl chloride-acrylonitrile and polyacrylonitrilc), saran (such as polymeric vinyl chloridevihylidene chloride and polyvinylidene chloride), polyethylene andfluorinated polyethylene fibers, glass fibers. protein fibers, silk, and the like.

It is to be noted that all these filaments and fibers are capableof existence in continuous form of great length andit' is to this feature that all owe their applicability to the present' inventive concept. Shorter fibers such as cotton and other cellnlosic fibers which exist in staple lengths-of an inch or two are wholly inapplicable to the present invention. The sizes of the particular filaments mayvary up to about denier andmay be as low as'about 1 denier, or

i even; as low as about 0.1 denier wherever the higher cost of such small filaments is. not too objectionable. Within the more commercial aspects of the present invention, however, the range of filament sizes may vary'from about 2 to about 4 denier.

- The number of-filanients or ends in the particular and 2, the absorbent tampon por tow used as the starting material will vary and will depend to a great extentupon the denier of the individual filaments used and upon the diameterof the tampon. For the smaller. Junior sizes using a largerfilament denier, as low as about 17,000 filaments is found utilizable whereas with the larger Super sizes using a smaller filament denier, as high as about 500,000 filaments is found utilizable. Within the more generally acceptable commercial range, however, it has been found that from about 40,000 to about 200,000 filaments per tow is acceptnble. b

It has been found that crimping orcurling of these filaments adds greatly to the absorbency and'fiuid-retain ing capacity of the tampons. Such crimping is more efficiently carried out before the filaments are cut into the desired lengths from the tow. Such crimps may have a frequency of from about l-2 per inch up to 25-30 crinips per inch. I

The crimping ofthe filaments maybe accomplished by any one of the lcnown' filament crimping devices now familiar to'the art. One of such devices comprises a pair of heated intermeshing gears having a tooth clearance very slightly'greater than the diameter of the filament and between which the filament is passed. The resultingfil' merit assumes a heat-set crimped' wave which is some what generally'sinusoidal in appearance.

. The invention will be further illustrated in greater detail by the following specific examples. It should be 11114 derstood, however, thatalthough these examples may describe in particular detail someof the more specific featuresof the invention, they are given primarily for purposes of illustration and the invention in its broader aspects is not to be construed as limited thereto.

Tampons are prepared from nylon (adipic acid-hexamethylenediamine) continuous tow'(semi-dul1) (152,000

, denier) having a crimp ofabout 15- per inch'and' con- 1 taining filaments of about 3 denier each as the starting material. The tampons are prepared byrcutting the tow in lengthsoriginally about 4 /2 inches long which, after folding and tying at their midpointswith removal strings,

.mally used for periods ranging from 1% to 3% hours,

the average use. time being 2% hours; The fluid absorbed ranged up to. about 16' cc. with an average of ah u fi ci Tampons are prepared" from Dacron (polyethylene terephthate polyester condensation product) continuous tow (385,000 denier) having a crimp off about 24 per inch and containing filaments of 1 /2 denier as the starting materials. The tamponsare prepared by cutting the tow in.4 /2' inch lengths, tyingat the center. with a removal cord and folding in two to about 2% inches long. The weight of such tampons is about 49-50 grains. Such tampons'are positioned in applicators and inserted in body cavities by-ejectors shown in the drawings and used with complete satisfaction, comfort and ease. The fluid absorbed by such tampons ranged up to 15.4 cc. with an average of about 8.cc.

Al h gh the e amp es nd t or goi g sp fi tion are directed to the preferred manufacturing method Qtut ng h e ed. e s. fr m h tow p or to y g. it isto be appreciated that the removal strings are adaptable to being tied to the tow at spaced intervals first, prior to the severing step, or, ifso desired, both steps of tying and cutting are capable of being accomplished sub stantially simultaneously. a

' Although the invention has been described primarily with doubled-up tow, it is. to be appreciated that the starting material'could be tow ,of' approximately twice the total denier or ends hereinbefore, described, whereby it could be cut into lengths exactly equal to'the length of the tampon and placed directly in undoubled form in the cylindrical container. Such tampons are similarly satisfactorily used but present problems in the commercial production thereof due to the difliculty of satisfactorily securing the removal cord or string permanently to the tampon and avoiding the possibility of its slipping loose during the removal thereof from the body cavity.

It has been found in such cases that a small amount of adhesive, or a solvent for the filaments used in the tampon, or heat and/or pressure will soften and coalesce the filaments so that the removal string may be permanently secured to the tow of filaments whereby the possibility of its slipping loose is prevented.

It is also to be appreciated that, although the invention has been described with filaments which are all substantially parallelized and wherein the capillaries extend in substantially straight lines, the tow may be given a slight twist of a fraction of a turn or more per inch which holds the tow together better during the handling thereof but which nevertheless permits the capillaries to extend from one end of the tampon to the other, although this time possessing somewhat of a helical configuration.

While we have shown and described what we believe to be a preferred embodiment of the invention in the matter of simplicity of construction, ease of utilization, etc., it will be appreciated that the details of such construction may be more or less modified within the scope of the claims without departure from the principles of construction or material sacrifice of the advantages of the preferred design.

We claim:

1. A catamenial device comprising an outer tube, an inner tube slideably positioned therein, a catamenial tampon positioned in an end of said outer tube and being ejectable therefrom by moving said inner tube towards said tampon, said tampon comprising synthetic filaments substantially all of which have a length approximately twice the length of the tampon and which extend from one end of the tampon to the other end thereof with substantially no short fibers or loose fibrous ends intermediate the ends of the tampon, said filaments being folded at their mid-points and lined in contiguous relationship forming capillaries which extend from one end of the tampon to the other end thereof, a removal string binding substantially all of said filaments at their folded mid-points, said tampon being positioned within said outer tube with the folded end in the interior thereof adjacent an end of said inner tube and the opposite end adjacent the open end of said outer tube, said filaments being free at the end opposite said folded end to permit said tampon to flare open upon ejection from said outer tube.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the synthetic filaments are crimped.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein the synthetic filaments are substantially parallelized.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein the filaments pursue a substantially helical path.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein the synthetic filaments comprise a diamine-dicarboxylic acid polyarnide polymerization product.

6. A device according to claim 1 wherein the synthetic filaments comprise a glycol-dicarboxylic acid polyester polymerization product.

7. A device according to claim 1 wherein the synthetic filaments comprise a vinylchloride-vinylidene chloride polymerization product.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,234,383 Pond July 24, 1917 2,057,206 Pohl Oct. 13, 1936 2,369,395 Heymann Feb. 13, 1945 2,508,214 Biederman May 16, 1950 2,715,309 Rosenstein et al Aug. 16, 1955 2,761,449 Bletzinger Sept. 4, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 431,880 Italy Mar. 8, 1948

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/15
International ClassificationA61F13/20
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/2051
European ClassificationA61F13/20C