US 3150665 A
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SePt- 29, 1964 w. L. MAY, JR., ETAL 3,150,665
WATERPROOF PANTYv Filed Sept. 14, 1962 f 77 L) MIJ-.wl E2 7 A E m2 m @du K l 26 .E 111 ,lfil
f4 W l T1137. m 2,25
United States Patent O 3,150,665 WATERIRQF PANTY Winston Lewis May, Jr., Stamford, Conn., and Joseph Brooker Wolfe, College Park, Ga., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Sept. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 223,649 3 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 288) The present invention relates to waterproof panties formed of plastic sheet material, more particularly to such panties of the type used in the diapering of babies and the care of incontinents.
Modern methods have made it possible to manufacture waterproof panties of this type from plastic sheet material using automatic heat sealing equipment capable of continuously producing panties on a production basis. Whether the panties have been wholly or partially fabricated by heat sealing or secured together by sewing or other means, the use of waterproof plastic sheet material has presented a ventilation or breathing problem.
When no holes or openings are provided in the sides of waterproof panties of this type, the ammonia released from urine is trapped inside the panty and causes ammonia rash. On the other hand, if holes are cut or stamped in the plastic sheets, the pants leak through the holes unless special precautions are taken to prevent this. The leakage occurs principally from the running of liquid along the inside surface of one of the sheets and than out the holes. Very little leakage results from direct contact between the holes, themselves, and the Wet diaper.
Special pockets and aps have been proposed for the purpose of covering ventilation holes in such panties to minimize leakage. However, these pockets and flaps as well as the cutting or stamping of the holes, themselves, present special manufacturing problems and increase the cost of the panty. Furthermore, the resulting panties are not entirely satisfactory because it is still possible for liquid to run into or behind the pockets or flaps and through the holes to cause leakage.
The present invention contemplates a waterproof panty, of the type generally described above, which has a multiplicity of ventilation openings, or holes, and yet is substantially leakproof. Furthermore, the ventilation openings are formed during heat sealing the side seams of the panty, and these seams may be sealed on a continuous 'basis during automatic manufacture of the panties. Thus,
the panty of this invention is superior to similar panties of the prior lart both in function and in cost.
According to this invention, a waterproof panty is formed of 'heat scalable plastic material in such a way that a pair of plastic sheet portions are folded inwardly along adjacent edges to form opposed flanges of substantial depth extending inwardly in the panty and the flanges are sealed to one another to form a waterproof dam. The flange of one portion is superimposed upon the flange of the other and the flanges are held together by a multiplicity of heat seals spaced from one another lengthwise of the flanges. The flanges are maintained in contact with one another along the seals and are adapted to separate slightly from one another and form openings between the anges in the longitudinal spaces between the heat seals, The heat seals hold the flanges in approximately parallel alignment with one another depthwise to form the waterproof darn, and the inner ends of the openings formed between the ilanges are spaced from the base of the dam by a susbtantial amount. Thus, any liquid running along the inside surface of either of the sheet portions will contact the dam and be retained thereby. This liquid can pass through the ventilation openings only if it is able to climb the sides of the dam to reach the inner ends of the openings. While it is true that in lCC use the dam will not always protrude at right angles to the adjacent sheet portion of the panty, the dam will extend inwardly in the panty so that normally the inner ends of the ventilation openings are spaced from the inner surfaces of the sheet portions by an appreciable amount.
Preferably, the individual heat seals have appreciable depth and extend across a major portion of the depth of the dam to assure that the flanges are retained in approximately parallel alignment with one another depthwise of the dam. This tends to prevent the flanges from collapsing and assures that the inner ends of the ventilation openings remain spaced from the base of the dam. In addition, it is preferred that the panty be heat sealed in the manner described above along each of its side seams, Le., extending from the leg openings of the panty to the waist opening thereof where the front and back sheet portions are secured to one another. This provides a row of ventilation openings at each side of the panty.
Other and further advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and claims taken together with the drawings wherein:
FIG. l is 'a view in perspective of a waterproof panty according to one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view in elevation of the inside of a portion of one of the side seams of the panty of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a similar enlarged view in elevation of the outside of roughly the same portion of the side seam shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a more greatly enlarged view in elevation of a portion of the dam located along one of the side seams of the panty of the preceding figures;
FIG. 5 is an even more greatly enlarged view in section taken along the line 5 5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view at the enlargement of FIG. 5 taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 7 is a still further enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 4.
Referring to the drawings, there is shown a waterproof panty 11 according to one embodiment of this invention and having a relatively large waist opening 12 and a pair of smaller leg openings 13, each of which is elasticized to fit tightly around the waist and legs, respectively, of the user. The panty is cut or stamped from a single sheet of waterproof, heat scalable plastic material in such a way as to form a front sheet portion 14 and a rear sheet portion 15 connected by a narrower crotch portion 16 which is adapted to define the leg openings 13 of the panty when the side edges of the front and rear sheet portions 14 and 15 of the panty are secured together along side seams 17 extending from the waist opening 12 to the leg `openings 13 of the panty. A suitable binding, or trim, 18 is provided for the waist opening of the panty and similar bindings 19 are secured around its leg openings 13.
The front sheet portion 14 and the rear sheet portion 15 each are folded inwardly along the edge presented at each of the side seams 17 to form a pair of flanges 21 of substantial depth extending inwardly in the panty along each of the seams. The flanges 21 in each pair are superimposed one upon the other and held together by a multiplicity of heat seals 22 spaced from one another lengthwise of the ilanges. The flanges 21 are maintained in contact with one another along the heat seals 22 and are adapted to separate slightly from one another and form ventilation openings 23 between the flange 21 in the longitudinal spaces between the heat seals 22. 'Ihe anges are held by the heat seals in approximately parallel alignment with one another depthwise to form a waterproof dam 24 extending inwardly in the panty, and the inner ends 25 of the ventilation openings 23 formed between the flanges 21 are spaced from the base 26 of the dam by a substantial amount, as shown most clearly in FIG. 6.
Thus, any liquid which might flow along one of the inside surfaces of the panty, say for example, the inside surface of sheet 14, as shown at 27 in FIG. 2, would run into the dam 24 and be retained thereby. None of this liquid could leave the panty via any of the ventilation openings 23 unless it could climb the sides of the dam 24 or unless the pool 27 becomes deep enough to reach the top of the dam. Both of these conditions are most unlikely to occur.
Of course, it will be recognized that the direction of flow of fluid along the side surfaces of the panty will be determined in part by the position of the wearer, ie., standing, sitting, lying down, or the like. It may be that the dams 24 will be utilized most fully when the wearer is lying down since maximum flow of liquid across the inside surfaces of the panty may occur in this position. However, the dams 24 also will be effective in other positions of the wearer, particularly adjacent the leg openings 13 of the panty.
As mentioned hereinbefore, even though the fiangs 24 may be pressed down or flattened somewhat during use, as indicated roughly in FIG. 2, the inside ends 25 of the ventilation openings 23 Ibetween the flanges 21 normally will remain spaced by an appreciable distance from the inside surfaces of the front and rear sheet portions of the panty. Since the actual amount of liquid flowing along the inside surfaces of the panty normally is relatively small, the dams 24 will remain effective to prevent any appreciable flow of liquid through the ventilation openings Z3.
The heat seals 22 are C-shaped and in the form of a longitudinal bar having 2 short legs 2S extending depthwise of the flange. The legs 2S extend across a major portion of the depth of the flanges and thereby assure that the flanges are held together in approximately parallel alignment with one another depthwise to form the waterproof dam 24. A similar result would be obtained if the heat seal 22 had the same depth as the legs 28 all along its length. However, in this case it might be necessary to employ more energy in forming the heat seals.
There are a variety of plastic sheet materials suitable for use in forming the panty of this invention. The material used should, of course, be Waterproof and heat sealable. However, it also must be relatively soft and flexible, tear resistant, capable of withstanding exposure to urine and the like, and nontoxic. Films comprising vinyl copolymers, polyethylene films and those comprising nylon may be used, as well as heat sealable laminates of these and other materials.
Having now described the invention in specific detail and exemplified the manner in which it may be carried into practice, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that innumerable variations, applications, modifications, and extensions of the basic principles involved may be made Without departing from its spirit or scope.
The invention claimed is:
1. A waterproof panty formed of heat sealable plastic material, which comprises a front sheet portion and a back sheet portion together defining a waist opening and two leg openings and a crotch portion connecting said front and back sheet portions, said front and bacl; sheet portions being folded inwardly and sealed to one another along opposite edges of each sheet portion to form a pair of normally upstanding waterproof dams each extending from one of the leg openings of the panty to the waist opening thereof, each of said dams comprising a pair of flanges of substantial depth extending inwardly in the panty, said flanges being superimposed one upon the other and held together by a multiplicity of permanent seals closely spaced from one another lengthwise of the flanges, said dams being attached to said front and back sheet portions only at the inward folds at the bases of the dams said flanges being maintained in contact with one another along the seals and being adapted to separate slightly from one another and form a multiplicity of openings between the flanges in the longitudinal spaces between the seals, the seals holding said flanges in approximately parallel alignment with one another depthwise to form said darn and the inner ends of said openings being spaced from the base of the dam by a substantial amount at least equal to the depth of the seals, whereby a multiplicity of spaced openings are provided along the waterproof dam and the panty is maintained substantially leakproof by the darn.
2. A waterproof panty according to claim 1 wherein said seals extend across a major portion of the depth of the dam.
3. A waterproof panty according to claim 1 wherein said seals are heat seals.
References Cited in the flle of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,115,368 Lustberg Apr. 26, 1938 2,706,389 Garrou et al Apr. 19, 1955 2,796,064 Green et al June 18, 1957 3,023,752 Winn Mar. 6, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS 636,097 Great Britain Apr. 19, 1950