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Publication numberUS3011495 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 5, 1961
Filing dateFeb 11, 1958
Priority dateFeb 11, 1958
Publication numberUS 3011495 A, US 3011495A, US-A-3011495, US3011495 A, US3011495A
InventorsBrecht George
Original AssigneePersonal Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Absorbent product
US 3011495 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dem 1961 G. BRECHT ABSORBENT PRODUCT Filed Feb. 11, 1958 INVENTOR 4 flFcY/T F ATTORNEY United States Patent F 3,011,495 ABSORBENT PRODUCT George Brecht, New Brunswick, N.J., assignor to Personal Products Corporation, a corporation of New Jersey I Filed Feb. 11, 1958, Ser. No. 714,585 9 Claims. (Cl. 128-285) This invention relates to tampons and more particularly to highly compressed catame nial tampons which bend upon insertion into the vagina to provide an effective barrier to the flow of menstrual fluid.

Commercial catamenial tampons of the highly compressed type range generally from about seven-sixteenths to about five-eighths of an inch in diameter, from about one and one half to about two inches in length and weigh from about twenty to about sixty grains, the lower weights being used in the lower range of tampon sizes and the higher weights in the upper range. Most tampons used weigh at least about thirty-five grains or have an absorptive capacity at least equal to about that amount of absorbent cotton. These sizes are considerably smaller than the size of the vagina within which they are positioned in use. Accordingly, the tampons do 'not fill the vagina, and if not properly positioned in the approximate center thereof, menstrual fluid will bypass the tampon, resulting in tampon failure for all practical pur poses.

i In view of the leakage problem experienced due to the difference in size between highly compressed tampons and the vagina, various tampon constructions have been devised in attempts to minimize or eliminate the leakage, especially leakage occurring immediately after the tampon is introduced into the vagina. These attempts have included the provision of tampons so constructed that they will expand or conform to the general configuration of the vagina upon contact with menstrual fluid. For effective operation, tampons of this type require contact with menstral fluid; if the fluid fails to contact the tampon, or contacts it in insuflicient amounts, the tampon will not operate in the intended manner and leakage will occur. Another approach concerns the provision of tampons which bend upon insertion into the vagina to form a barrier across the vagina. Tampons of this type do not require contact with menstral fluid to become operative and they provide an effective barrier directly upon insertion. This invention is directed to tampons of this type.

Bendable, or flexible tampons, as these tampons are often referred to, have a certain degree of flexibility in order to bend upon insertion. Due to the normal collapse of the vaginal walls, and to the friction encountered during insertion, resistance to insertion of the tampon is encountered. This resistance causes a tampon, having the proper flexibility, to bend to form the barrier as mentioned above.

This flexibility has been determined as that sufiicient to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8 when the stiffness of the tampon is measured on a Gurley R.D. Stiffness Tester as described on page 43 of the December 20, 1934, issue of the Paper Trade Journal, bearing a pointer load of two hundred grams spaced four inches below the center. The clamp is placed with its lower edge one inch from the edge of the pointer in the vertical part of the arm. The tampon whose flexibility is to be determined is positioned in the clamp with one and one quarter inches of its length extending beyond the lower edge of the clamp. Tampons having sufficient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8 when tested in the manner described above have been found to 3,011,495 Patented Dec. 5, 1961 bend upon insertion into the vagina when introduced therein in the conventional manner.

Flexible tampons of this type are disclosed in US. Patent No. 2,815,756. One method of forming such a tampon involves helically winding an elongated strip of absorbent material, such as a sliver of carded cotton, and then highly compressing the helically wound strip mainly in its longitudinal direction to form a highly compressed tampon of conventional size. Due to the slippage between adjacent coils of the helix, the tampon will be flexible.

I have found that further improvements in a helically wound flexible tampon may be obtained by forming such a tampon from an elongated strip of absorbent material which has been twisted lengthwise prior to winding it helically. By initially twisting the strip of absorbent material lengthwise, a more flexible tampon may be obtained, than may be obtained when an untwisted strip is used. This not only provides a more effective tampon but also permits greater manufacturing speeds, provides economies in manufacture, and lessens handling operations. The resulting tampon is in the form of a helix, the coils of which are fairly sharply defined and are free to move with respect to one another so that the tampon will readily bend upon insertion into the vagina.

Reference is made to the accompanying drawings and the following specification wherein there is shown and described as an illustrative example, a tampon incorporating the present invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a tampon embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view of the tampon positioned in the vagina illustrating the form it assumes upon insertion therein;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a web from which the tampon may be made;

FIG. 4 is a view of the web of FIG. 3 folded at the midpoint of its length with awithdrawal string attached;

FIG. 5 is a view of the folded web of FIG. 4 twisted lengthwise;

FIG. 6 is a view of the twisted web of FIG. 5 wound around a mandrel;

FIG. 7 is a view of the wound web of FIG. 6 inserted in a compression device; and

FIG. 8 is a view of the web compressed in the compression device.

A tampon embodying the present invention consists generally of an elongated twisted web of absorbent fibrous material helically wound and highly compressed to form a tampon whose size and weight is within the range of conventional highly compressed tampons referred to above. Due to its helical construction, adjacent coils of the helix are free to move with respect to one another and permit the tampon to bend when it is inserted into the vagina.

The tampon 1 may be made from an elongated web 2 of absorbent material of the form illustrated in FIG. 3. A suitable web includes a fiber web of carded cotton about nine inches long and weighing about fifty grains.

The web may be provided with a withdrawal string 3 tied to the midpoint of its length and having free extending ends 4 for Withdrawing the tampon after use. The elongated web is folded at approximately the midpoint of its length, as illustrated in FIG. 4, into a U shape configuration. The folded web is next twisted lengthwise, as shown in FIG. 5, so that it has approximately one to two turns 5 per inch of length with the withdrawal string extending from one end of the twisted web. The twisted web 6 is next wound in the form of a helix having about four to five turns around a mandrel 7 consisting of a steel rod one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter. The helically wound Web 8 is then removed from the mandrel.

The helically Wound web is placed into a compression device 9 consisting of a piston 10 and a cylinder 11 having a diameter slightly smaller than the diameter of the tampon; in this instance, one-half inch. The helically wound web is placed into the compression device with its longitudinal axis in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the cylinder. The piston is then operated to compress the helically wound web for fifteen seconds, mainly in the directionof its length, to approximately one inch in length.

This operation forms the helically wound web to a tight, oblong, cylindrical shape. Most of the compression is, as noted above, in the direction of the length of the helically wound web. A small amount of side or transverse compression results from the confining effect exerted by the walls of the cylinder upon the web as it is compressed longitudinally. After the tampon is removed from the compression device, it expands some what, particularly in the direction of its length. The tampon so formed may be then packaged in a conventional tampon applicator consisting of a pair of telescoped cardboard tubes.

Twisting the web prior to winding it helically and compressing it apparently causes the tampon to spring somewhat after it is removed from the compression device. After removal from the device, the tampon lengthens and adjacent coils 12 of the helix tend to separate. The effect is to provide a tampon with greater flexibility than those made from untwisted webs and to permit the use of webs of shorter lengths to form tampons with the same flexibility as those obtained with longer, untwisted webs.

The amount of twist imparted to the web prior to winding it on the mandrel influences the flexibility of the finished tampon. By increasing the twist in the Web, i.e., number of twists per inch length, a more flexible tampon may be obtained. And conversely, by decreasing the twist, a less flexible tampon may be obtained. Thus, wide latitudes in manufacturing operations and in the finished tampon are available. For example, by making a tampon, five-eighths of an inch in diameter and two inches long from a strip of cotton fiber five inches long in its folded form and weighing fifty grains, in the manner explained above, compressing the web in a compression device having a cylinder diameter of 0.554 inch and compressing to a length of 0.941 inch for fifteen seconds, a web twisted one turn per inch will provide a tampon having a flexibility which will give a Gurley Stiffness Reading about 2.7, whereas a web of the same weight and length twisted two turns per inch will give a tampon having a flexibility which will give a Gurley Stiffness Reading of about 1.8.

The web of absorbent material from which the tampon may be formed may contain various absorbent fibers, such as rayon, paper, hemp, and wool, alone or in combination. Preferably, cotton fibers are used, particularly those having a fiber length of about one-half inch. The number of twists imparted to the web prior to winding it helically around the mandrel is desirably suflicient to form a relatively tightly twisted web without diminishing its overall length appreciably. The web from which the tampon is formed should be sufiiciently long to provide enough coils in the finished tampon so that the tampon will give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8. Tampons with suitable flexibility may be obtained from webs whose lengths are at least about two and one quarter times the length of the finished tampon, twisted lengthwise at least about one turn per inch length and then wound around the mandrel at least about three turns. It is not necessary that the web be folded upon itself prior to being twisted along its length, and other web forms,

folded or unfolded, may be used. Generally speaking, the length of the web in its twisted form prior to its being wound helically on the mandrel should be about four and one-half inches. The mandrel around which the twisted web is helically wound is preferably of a small diameter, such as one-sixteenth of an inch, so that there is a small or no opening extending longitudinally through the center of the helically wound web after the mandrel is removed and the tampon is compressed.

The tampon will bend upon insertion into the vagina 13 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The resistance to insertion encountered by the tampon as it is being introduced into the vagina or as it contacts the cervix '14, causes.

the tampon to bend arcuately to form a barrier to the flow of menstrual fluid across the vagina. The tampon does not lie to one side of the vagina, in which case leakage would result but lies across the vagina and provides an immediately effective barrier to the flow of menstrual fluid directly upon insertion. Due to its lengthwise compression, the tampon expands mainly longitudinally as it is moistened with menstrual fluid. This further improves the barrier eflect of the tampon.

It is to be understood that modifications and changes in the foregoing illustrative examples are contemplated within the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon having suflicient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8.

2. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon being compressed mainly longitudinally, said tampon having suflicient flexibility to give a Gurley Stifiness Reading below 2.8. I

3. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, adjacent coils of said helix being sharply defined, said tampon having sufficient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8. V

4. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent fibers highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said fibers ex tending predominantly in the direction of the length of said strip, said tampon having suflicient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8.

5. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material folded at the midpoint of its length and highly compresseed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon having suflicient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading" below 2.8.

6. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon containing at least about thirty-five grains of absorbent cotton, said tampon having sufficient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8.

7. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon having an absorbent capacity equivalent to at least about thirty-five grains of absorbent cotton, said tampon having suflicient flexibility to give a Gurley Stiltness Reading below 2.8.

8. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound, lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material highly compressed into an oblong cylindrical shape, said tampon ranging from about seven-sixteenths to about fiveeighths of an inch in diameter, from about one and onehalf to about two inches in length and weighing from about twenty grains in the lower part of said range of tampon sizes to about sixty grains in the upper part of said range, said tampon having sufiicient flexibility to References Cited in the file of this patent give a Gurley Stiffness Reading below 2.8. UNITED STATES PATENTS 9. A catamenial tampon comprising a helically wound lengthwise twisted strip of absorbent material having an 1,964,911 Haas July 3, 1936 absorbent capacity equivalent to about thirty-five grains 5 2,355,628 Calhoun Aug. 14, 1949- of absorbent cotton and highly compressed mainly longi- 2,858,831 Graham Nov. 4, 1958 tudinall'y into an oblong cylindrical shape, the length of said strip being at least about two and one-quarter times FOREIGN PATENTS one turn per inch of its length, said strip being wound 10 the length of the tampon, said strip having at leastabout 748,247 Great Britain 5 1956 helically at least about three turns.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1964911 *May 22, 1933Jul 3, 1934Earle C HaasCatamenial device
US2355628 *Jan 18, 1941Aug 15, 1944Calhoun VernonCatamenial device and method of making same
US2858831 *Mar 2, 1953Nov 4, 1958Personal Products CorpBending oblong shapes
GB748247A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3085574 *Feb 26, 1962Apr 16, 1963Penksa StanleyVaginal tampons
US3469286 *Sep 19, 1967Sep 30, 1969Kimberly Clark CoMethod for fabricating compressed and folded absorbent tampons
US3508548 *Oct 21, 1968Apr 28, 1970Hahn Carl Dr KgTampon
US3892238 *Jan 14, 1974Jul 1, 1975Abbott LabDrug supporting anchor
US4144623 *Jun 27, 1977Mar 20, 1979Bert SteffensProcess for the production of tampon blanks
US4318407 *Aug 28, 1980Mar 9, 1982Kimberly-Clark CorporationFolded tampon pledget
US5659934 *Aug 12, 1996Aug 26, 1997Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Method of forming a laterally expandable tampon
US6090038 *Dec 21, 1998Jul 18, 2000Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Expandable dome-shaped urinary incontinence device and a method of making the same
US6090098 *Dec 21, 1998Jul 18, 2000Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Method for alleviating female urinary incontinence
US6142928 *Dec 21, 1998Nov 7, 2000Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Urinary incontinence device and a method of making the same
US6676594Sep 18, 2002Jan 13, 2004Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.C-shaped vaginal incontinence insert
US6770025Sep 18, 2002Aug 3, 2004Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Molar shaped vaginal incontinence insert
US6808485Dec 23, 2002Oct 26, 2004Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Compressible resilient incontinence insert
US7967803 *Dec 22, 2004Jun 28, 2011Ontex Hygieneartikel Deutschland GmbhTampon with ribs having a median diverging from the radius
US8574210Feb 5, 2008Nov 5, 2013Ontex Hygieneartikel Deutschland GmbhTampon with improved absorption capacity
US8735647May 22, 2012May 27, 2014Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Tampon having spirally shaped grooves
US8747378Feb 1, 2007Jun 10, 2014Ontex Hygieneartikel Deutschland GmbhTampon
US8777916Mar 7, 2006Jul 15, 2014Ontex Hygieneartikel Deutschland GmbhTampon applicator assembly
US20020151859 *Mar 22, 2002Oct 17, 2002Schoelling Hans WernerTampon having spirally shaped grooves
US20090247976 *Mar 11, 2009Oct 1, 2009Bernard ChaffringeonWeb for retention of internal bodily secretions
US20100205792 *Apr 29, 2010Aug 19, 2010Hans Werner SchoellingTampon Having Spirally Shaped Grooves
DE102008020640A1Apr 24, 2008Nov 5, 2009Frank RuhlmannTampon
DE202009018771U1Mar 26, 2009Mar 21, 2013Frank RuhlmannTampon
WO2002076357A2 *Mar 22, 2002Oct 3, 2002Johnson & Johnson GmbhTampon having spirally shaped grooves
WO2002078586A2 *Mar 22, 2002Oct 10, 2002Johnson & Johnson GmbhTampon having spirally shaped grooves
WO2009129910A1Mar 26, 2009Oct 29, 2009Frank RuhlmannTampon
Classifications
U.S. Classification604/377, 28/118, 604/904
International ClassificationA61F13/22
Cooperative ClassificationY10S604/904, A61F13/206
European ClassificationA61F13/20C3