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Publication numberUS3216422 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 9, 1965
Filing dateNov 23, 1962
Priority dateNov 23, 1962
Publication numberUS 3216422 A, US 3216422A, US-A-3216422, US3216422 A, US3216422A
InventorsCiencewicki Evelyn A, Steiger Fred H
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vaginal tampon
US 3216422 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

NOV 9, 1965 F. H. sTElGER ETAL 3,216,422

VAGINAL TAMPON Filed Nov. 23, 1962 mlmlllrw um ,5 Jig-- f. 5 MW ff; (Z0 (/7 v INVENTORS:

United States Patent O 3,216,422 Patented Nov. 9, 1965 ice 3,216,422 VAGHNAL TAMPON Fred H. Steiger, East Brunswick, and Evelyn A. Ciencewicki, South River, NJ., assignors to Johnson & Johnson, a corporation of New Jersey Filed Nov. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 239,491 11 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 285) The present invention relates to vaginal diaphragm type tampons.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a new and improved diaphragm type tampon, which has a neat, strong, effective and easily formed bond between a resilient rim constituting the frame of the tampon and the peripheral sections of the diaphragmatic components of the tampon.

Among other objects of the invention are to provide a new and improved diaphragm type tampon, (1) which can be easily deformed to facilitate its easy vaginal insertion and placement and is sufficiently resilient to distend yieldably into sealing contact with the wall of the vaginal cavity and thereby to prevent the escape of secretions from said cavity, (2) which when applied forms a soft positive seal, and is comfortable and unobtrusive, (3) which can be easily removed when required, (4) which because of its structure has a neat, attractive, hygienic appearance, and (5) which can be manufactured into easily packageable and manipulable unit at a comparatively low cost.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method -of making a vaginal diaphragm type tampon of the general character described.

The diaphragm type tampon of the present invention comprises essentially a resilient frame rim, a loosely hanging impervious film secured peripherally to said rim to form a pouch. an absorbent pad in said pouch, and a pervious cover over said pad peripherally secured to said rim. The r-im must 'be light, inert, non-toxic, non-irritating, soft enough to be deformed and resilient enough to recover from deformation. Severable types of plastics meet these specifications, such as nylon, and apolyolefins. However, these plastic materials are highly inert and notoriously incompatible with other materials, and do not lend themselves effectively to the use of conventional adhesives or solvents in connection therewith for bonding purposes.

In. accordance with the present invention, the Ipouch film, the absorbent pad and the cover are assembled by sandwiching them together and the assembly is placed in a mold where the rim is formed and shaped on the surface of the cover. The molten resin from the rim flows into the pervious cover and bonds to the film below, which may be of the same material as that of the rim or at least compatible therewith. The rim may be separately preformed and the preformed rim may be heated under molding pressure when assembled with the other components of the tampon, to shape the rim, to cause some of the resin from the rim to pass into the pervious cover and to cause the rim, thereby, to be heat-sealed and integrally bonded to the pouch film. As an alternative, the rim may be entirely molded, in situ, on the diaphragmatic components of the tampon.

As another feature of the invention, the impervious film is thermoplastic and is substantially flat before assembly and after being assembled with the other components of the tampon and bonded to the rim. The film is distended into pouch form under heat while assembled with the other components of the tampon and while bonded to the rim, by employing differences in pressure on opposite faces of the film, as for example, by the use of vacuum on one face of the film while said film is at an elevated temperature, to draw the film into permanent pouch shape.

Various other objects, features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following description and from the accompanying drawings, in which- FIG. 1 is a perspective of a diaphragm type tampon embodying the present invention shown with the concave side of the tampon turned Iupwardly;

FIG. 2 is a perspective of the tampon shown with the convex side of the tampon turned upwardly and shown with a section of the wall of the pouch element of said tampon 'broken away to reveal the interior structure of the tampon;

FIG. 3 is a section of the tampon taken on lines 3 3 of FIG. l but shown on a larger scale;

FIG. 4 is a detail enlarged section of the tampon at the rim showing the manner in which the peripheries of the pouch film and the cover are bonded to the rim;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view showing the condition of the components of the tampon in the process of assembly -in accordance with one method of manufacture Aembodying the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a section showing the tampon during the process of manufacturing while the film is being distended under vacuum into pouch shape.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, the tampon of the present invention comprises a rim 1G in the form of a resilient circular ring constituting the frame for the tampon, an impervious flexible pouch 11 lperipherally secured Ito said rim, a fiexible absorbent pad 12 in said pouch and a exible pervious cover 13 peripherally secured to said rim. The rim 10 is desirably of plastic material and must be inert, non-toxic, non-irritating, soft lenough to be deformed and resilient enough to recover from the deformation. Thermoplastics consisting essentially of nylon and a-olefins, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, may be employed. In a specific embodiment, the rim 10 is molded of polyethylene, and more specifically polyethylene No. 859 A-60000, natural, sold by Eastman Chemical Company. Another commercially available plastic that can be employed is a modified polyethylene resin sold by Spencer Chemical Company under the name CP-2 and composed of 70% ethylene and 30% ethyl acrylate.

The flexible pouch 11 is desirably made of thermoplastic material similar to that of the rim 10 or at least of a material which will integrally bond effectively with that of the rim under heat and pressure. In a specific embodiment, the pouch 11 is made of an extruded film of the same composition as the rim, i.e. polyethylene, and has a thickness in the order of 2 mils.

The absorbent pad 12 may be a sponge, a cording, card webs or paper. In a specific embodiment, the absorbent pad 12 is a needle-embossed rayon matting. In this specific form, the absorbent pad is die cut into a circle whose diameter is 5 mm. less than the outside diameter of the rim.

The cover 13 may be a woven or non-woven iiexible pervious fabric. For example, it may be a non-woven fabric made of fibers held together by a suitable binder and formed with openings to afford the necessary porosity or perviousness. In a specific embodiment, the cover fabric is made of rayon fibers in a blend consisting of extra dull fibers and 25% regular dull fibers, 1.5 denier, 1%6 inches long, held together by means of dry coagulated viscose binder and perforated with holes per square inch, staggered.

As an alternative, the cover 13 may be made of plastic similar to that of the rim 10, to permit it to be integrally4 ,Y

bonded thereto under heat and pressure. Such a plastic cover 13 would have holes distributed over its area to impart the necessary imperviousness thereto.

The tampon constructed as described, may be supplied in different diameters ranging from 60 to 90 millimeters.

As an important feature of the present invention, the thermoplastic rim is heat-sealed into position, so that the resin from the rim extends into the opening or pores of the pervious cover 13, and is integrally fused into coalescence with the pouch film 11 to form a smooth effective supporting bond between the peripheries of the pouch film 11 and the cover 13 and the rim 10 without interfering with the resiliency of the rim.

In the manufacture of the tampon described, the absorbent pad 12 is sandwiched between the cover 13 and the film 11, while the film is in flat condition, as shown in FIG. 5, and has a thickness greater than the ultimate film in the finished product. Over this assembly is placed the rim 10, and the rim is placed in a mold where it is shaped under heat and pressure, the heat being suflicient to melt at least some of the outside of the rim and cause the molten resin therefrom to flow through the cover 13 and bond to the film 11 below. The rim 10 will be shaped by this molding operation into a smooth round configuration free from angles that may render its use uncomfortable.

As an alternative, instead of employing a preformed rim 10 and heat-sealing it to the cover 13 and film 11 under heat, as described, the rim may actually be formed on the assembled diaphragmatic sandwiched components by placing the assembly on one side of an annular mold in communication therewith, and the rim may be formed, in situ, by injecting the molten resin into the mold in contact with the periphery of the cover 13. The rim 10 by this molding operation will be shaped with smooth round configuration.

In either alternative method, the film 11 is too shallow for effective use. To distend the film 11 so that it will form a pouch with sufficient room therein to retain an absorbent pad 12 of comparatively large bulk free from pressure, the film is subjected to stretching forces under heat and pressure. The pressure may result from the application of a vacuum to the outside of the film 11 while the inside is subjected to atmospheric pressure or may result from the application of superatmospheric pressure to the inside of the film while the outside is exposed to atmospheric pressure. In the specific form of the invention shown, after the excesses from the film 11 and cover 13 have been trimmed off the rim 10, the rim bonded assembly With the shallow film 11, is placed in a former 15 (FIG. 6) heated by units 16, and vacuum is applied to the outside of the film 11 through openings 17 in the former, while the inner side of the film is exposed to atmospheric or greater pressure through' one or more openings 18. This former 15 presents a concave surface 20 against which the film 11 is stretched while the film is heated to plastic condition to effect permanent distention and shaping of the film.

In the specific embodiment of the invention, the film 11 before stretching would be 5 mils in thickness and is drawn to a thickness of 2 mils. The film 11 so stretched, will form a pouch with the necessary pocket volume.

Although the main body of the film 11 has been thinned out to form the pouch, the peripheral section of the film retains its original bulk, so that there will be enough peripheral material in the film to assure a good strong bond between the film and the rim 10.

The tampon constructed as described, has the peripheral edge of the pouch 11 and the peripheral edge of the cover 13 bonded and sealed to the rim 10 with a smooth round configuration free from any irregularities which might irritate the vaginal walls of the user when applied. The rim 10 can be easily deformed to permit its easy entry into the vaginal cavity and when freed in said cavity, will expand into engagement with the vaginal wall With the cover side of the tampon facing inwardly towards the cervix. Due to the resiliency and flexibility of the rim 10, and the yielding nature of the vaginal wall, the rim will readily adapt itself to the shape of said wall without applying material pressure thereto.

The tampon when used as a catamenial device provides effective means for trapping and collecting the menstrual flow withlittle or no discomfort to the wearer and without unsightly bulges.

When the invention has been described with particular reference to a specific embodiment, itis to be understood that it is not to be limited thereto but is to be construed broadly and restricted solely by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A tampon comprising a resilient rim in the form of a ring, an impervious pouch of flexible material peripherally secured to sai-d rim, a body of flexible absorbent material in said pouch, and a pervious flexible cover over said body of absorbent material peripherally secured to said rim, said cover being separate from lsaid body of absorbent material and in fully extended position being substantially shallower than the pouch in fully extended position.

2. A tampon comprising a resilient rim in the form of a ring made of plastic material, an impervious pouch of flexible plastic material peripherally secured to said rim, a body of flexible absorbent material in said pouch, and a pervious flexible cover separate from said body of absorbent material located over said body of absorbent material peripherally and secured to said rim, said rim having flow extensions around substantially the entire circumference of said rim passing through said cover and integral with the periphery of said pouch to form a bond between said pouch and said cover on the one hand and said rim on the other.

3. A tampon comprising a resilient rim in the form of a ring made of thermoplastic material, an impervious pouch of flexible thermoplastic material peripherally heatsealed to said rim, a body of flexible absorbent material in said pouch, and a pervious flexible cover separate from said body of absorbent material located over said body of absorbent material and having its periphery clamped between the rim and the periphery of said pouch, said rim having integral extensions around its entire circumference passing through the periphery of said cover and integral with the periphery of said pouch, to bond the cover and the pouch peripherally to said ring.

4. A tampon as described in claim 3, said rim and said pouch being of substantially the same basic material.

5. A tampon as described in claim 3, said rim and said pouch being of substantially the same basic material, said material being of the -class consisting of nylon and an 1c-olefin.

6. A tampon as described in claim 3, said cover being a perforated fabric.

7. A tampon as described in claim 3, said cover consisting essentially of a non-woven fabric perforated to render said cover pervious.

8. A tampon as described in claim 3, said pouch comprising a film which has been drawn into distended thinned condition while the periphery of the pouch bonded to the rim remains in thicker undrawn condition.

9. A tampon comprising a resilient rim in the form of a ring made of thermoplastic material, an impervious pouch of flexible thermoplastic material peripherally heatsealed to said rim, a body of flexible absorbent material in said pouch, and a perforated plastic flexible cover over said body of absorbent material having its periphery clamped between the rim and the periphery of said pouch, said rim having integral extensions around its entire circumference passing through the periphery of said cover and integral with the periphery of Isaid pouch, to bond the cover and the pouch peripherally to said ring.

10. A tampon as described in claim 3, said flexible absorbent material being separated from said rim, and said flexible cover in fully extended position being substantially shallower than said pouch in fully extended position.

11. A tampon comprising a resilient rim in the form of a ring made of thermoplastic material, an impervious pouch of flexible thermoplastic material peripherally heat-sealed to said rim, and a pervious exible cover across the mouth of said pouch having its periphery clamped between the rim and the periphery 'of said pouch, said rim having integral extensions around its entire circumference passing through the periphery of said cover and integral with the periphery of said pouch, to bond the cover and the pouch peripherally to said ring.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Holt 12S-127 Borkland 18-55 Gordon 128-285 Senger et al 128-127 Herman et al. 18-55 Lotts 12S- 285 Jones 128-l27 Nolan 12S-285 Great Britain.

15 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.

JORDAN FRANKLIN, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3983874 *Jun 26, 1975Oct 5, 1976Davis Alwyn KCatamenial diaphragm with replaceable tampon
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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/330, 128/837
International ClassificationA61F6/08, A61F5/455, A61F6/00, A61F5/451
Cooperative ClassificationA61F6/08, A61F5/4553
European ClassificationA61F5/455B, A61F6/08