US 3340874 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 12, 1967 A. A. BURGENI I TAMPON HAVING CONCENTRIC LAYERS WITH DIFFERENT PROPERTIES Filed Sept. 8, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. ,lz/aesa 4 flokgs/v/ 421/ ATTOR Sept. 12, 1967. A, A BU RGEN. 3,340,874
TAMPON HAVING CONCENTRIC LAYERS WITH DIFFERENT PROPERTIES Filed Sept. 8, I964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNE y United States Patent 3,340,874 TAMPON HAVING CONCENTRIC LAYERS WITH DIFFERENT PROPERTIES Alfred A. Burgeni, Short Hills, N.J., assignor to Johnson & Johnson, a corporation of New Jersey Filed Sept. 8, 1964, Ser. No. 394,909 7 Claims. (Cl. 128-285) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application discloses an absorbent tampon having improved fluid transfer properties in that fluids are rapidly drawn inwardly to an internal reservoir within the absorbent tampon while the outer layers of the tampon remain relatively dry until the central core has become saturated. By the constructions proposed, such absorbent tampons resist early failure in use thereby also increasing total fluid capacity in use.
Background of the invention for their efliciency upon the inherent capacity of the fibers from which they are made to receive, absorb and retain menstrual fluids. Such fibers are usually made of cellulosic materials such as wood pulp, paper, cotton, rayon or blends and mixtures thereof which possess relatively excellent absorptive characteristics and properties. Notwithstanding such characteristics and properties of such fibers, efforts to increase the safety of tampons as well as the ability to hold more fluid under conditions of use have been many and varied, and have met with only varying degrees of success.
For example, larger and bulkier tampons have been manufactured and possess greater absorptive capacities than smaller tampons but they are not fully acceptable because their increased size and volume have caused irritation and discomfort, particularly when used as catamenial tampons. Other efforts have been directed to'the use of more highly compressed tampons by using greater pressures on the fibrous material during processing and manufacturing. In this way, greater masses of fibers can be contained within normal or regular sizes and thereby,
they should be able to absorb and hold more fluid up to the point where the absorbing capacity reaches a maxivmum at a value characteristic of the bulk density whose .magnitude is theoretically predictable. Such eflorts, however, have similarly not met with complete success. All' inall, a great deal of effort-has been expended toward the development of improved absorbent tampons but there still remains considerable room for improvement.
Examination of catamenial tampons of the above type subsequent to use reveals that even while their inherent absorbing capacity is excellent, it is rarely fully utilized 5 under practical conditions of use. In fact, observations subsequent to use indicate that catamenial tampons frequently fail to provide adequate protection after absorbwhich are arranged in substantially concentric annular 33405874 Patented Sept. 12, 1967 ing no more than a small fraction of their inherent absorbing capacity. It has now been found that such premature failure of tampons is frequently due to runoff, a condition that presents itself when the fluid which the tampon intercepts slides down the surface thereof without being effectively and completely absorbed.
Premature tampon failure due to run-off is an inherent shortcoming of catamenial tampons presently in use. More specifically such tampons lack adequate mechanisms to permit the intercepted fluid to be rapidly absorbed on the outer surface and thence to be dispersed spontaneously and rapidly into the interior of the fiber mass. In fact, it is characteristic of tampons presently in use that they accumulate fluid in regions of the outer layer, causing these regions to become saturated, while little or no fluid at all penetrates into the core portion. Such conditions reduce the rate at which the intercepted fluid is absorbed, and fail to provide a mechanism that favors the complete fill-up of the inherently available pore spaces.
It is, herefore, an object of the present invention to provide an absorbent tampon having an improved rate at which intercepted fluid is absorbed in the fiber mass constituting the outer section thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide an absorbent tampon which can maintain a favorable and high rate of absorbency while the tampon is in use.
Yet another object is to provide an absorbent tampon having a mechanism which spontaneously drains absorbed fluid from the surface section by moving the fluid into the interior of the compressed fiber mass.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an absorbent tampon with a reduced incidence of premature failure and thereby improve its in-use absorbing capacity.
And, still a further object of the invention is to provide an absorbent tampon which triggers radial expansion thereof whereby fluid is conducted spontaneously from the surface into the interior ofthe compressed fiber mass.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide absorbent tampons of high density without reducing their rate of absorption.
And still further, it is an object of the present invention to provide an absorbent tampon of improved safety-and absorbency without increasing the size and bulk thereof.
Summary of the invention Tampons of the present invention, generally, comprise an elongated cylindrical body of compressed absorbent fibrous material which is arranged in a plurality of sections. There are at least one substantially centrally disposed core section and one or more peripherally disposed annular sections substantially surrounding said core section. The peripherally disposed annular sections consist of relatively coarse denier fibers with respect to relatively fine denier fibers from which the centrally disposed core section is made. When three or more sections are used,
layers around the core section or sections, there is an increasingly greater number of fibers of relatively decreasing denier in a direction from the outer layer to the centrally disposed core section.
According to the present invention, the use of varying denier fibers specifically positioned in radial layers within an absorbent tampon reduces the incidence of early tampon failure and provide increased absorptive capacity in use without increasing the bulk and size of the tampon ultimately produced. Such positioning of the varying denier fibrous layers provides the advantageous feature of the'present invention in that a centrally located core of the finest denier fibers, due to its greater capillary suction forces drawing fluids into it, forms an internal reservoir for fluids deposited on the outer layer of the catamenial tampon. The outer layer of the tampon containing the coarser denier fibers remains relatively dry and will not become saturated with fluids until the internal core made of the finer denier fibers becomes saturated. This is because of the excellent transmissibility and spontaneous wicking of fluid through the outer layer of coarser denier fibers into the centrally positioned core of finer denier fibers and its absorption and retention therein.
Also, by using varying denier fibers in the tampons of the present invention, compressing of the assembled fibrous mass does not destroy any built-in relationship of the fibrous layers. For example, there have been attempts to provide fluid transmissibility in tampons by using multiple layers of fibers, each layer during the processing thereof being subject to varying compression forces. However, when such assembled tampons are subjected to final compression in a cylindrical die, the built-in compression differential is broken down resulting in a tampon of substantially uniform compression throughout.
These and other objects, features and attendant advantages are readily apparent by reference to the accompanying drawings and following specification, wherein there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of articles of manufacture embodying the present invention but it is to be understood that the inventive concept is not to be considered limited to the constructions disclosed except as determined by the scope of the appended claims.
Referring to the accompanying drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a cutaway view in elevation of a catamenial tampon containing layers of varying denier fibers in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of the tampon disclosed in FIGURE 1 showing a core of relatively fine denier fibers and an outer layer of relatively coarse denier fibers;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of a modification of the tampon shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an idealized perspective view of the tampon shown in FIGURE 3 showing one method of forming the tampon of the present invention by folding a preformed multilayered web of fibers upwardly in U fashion;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of superimposed fibrous webs showing one method of transversely folding such webs into a form suitable for making a tampon in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of superimposed fibrous pads with a withdrawal string attached showing another method of forming multiple webs into a tampon in accordance with the present invention; and
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of a tampon formed from the two webs superimposed as shown in FIGURE 6.
In the embodiments of the invention shown in the drawings and with particular reference to FIGURE 1, there is illustrated a catamenial device or tampon 10 comprising a hollow cylindrically shaped container or applicator 11 and a smaller plunger or ejector 12 slidably positioned within the applicator 11. A fibrous absorptive pad 13 is positioned within the applicator 11 and is adapted to be slidingly ejectable therefrom by movement of the plunger 12 into the applicator 11 so as to be positioned in a body cavity to conform to the body contours of the user and to receive, absorb and retain catamenial fluids. A withdrawal string or cord 14 is secured preferably to the base of the tampon and is of suflicient length that the free ends thereof extend outwardly from the body cavity for withdrawal of the tampon after use. This structure is exemplary of a form of catamenial tampon in commercial use and is employed primarily to illustrate the invention. It is to be realized, however, that such is not limitive but merely illustrative of the invention in a commercially acceptable form.
In FIGURE 2, a cross-section of the catamenial tampon 10 shown in FIGURE 1 is shown comprising a hollow cylindrically shaped container or applicator 11, an outer annular sheath of cellulosic fibers 15 as an outer fluid permeable cover, and a peripherally disposed absorptive, fibrous, annular layer 17 surrounding an inner core 19.
Such construction is capable of being manufactured in many ways. A flat strip of the absorptive pad forming the core portion 19 can be placed upon a slightly wider strip of the absorptive outer layered portion 17 and rolled into the cylindrical shape shown. Another way is to prepare the cylindrical core portion 19 first and then helically wrap or wind the outer layered portion 17 thereabout in a subsequent operation.
Such methods of manufacture, however, while producing an absorptive tampon 10 of ideally symmetrical crosssection are not always economically feasible.
It is found that tampons made in accordance with the present invention can be manufactured by any number of known techniques used to manufacture conventional tampons which are formed from a plurality of superimposed webs of fibrous material. A typical example is where two webs of fibrous material are placed one on top the other and positioned on a fluid permeable flat web of fibrous material. The fluid permeable web of material becomes the outer sheath or wrapper 15 of the tampon 10 ultimately formed. To form the tampon 10, the three superimposed webs of material are folded lengthwise in the center to form a V in cross-section. This is generally a continuous operation. Following the folding of the superimposed Webs, they are cut transversely to .a length which is equal to approximately twice the length of the tampon 10 desired if it is to be compressed in a radial direction only.
If the tampon ultimately produced is to be compressed only in a longitudinal direction or both in a longitudinal and radial direction, the webs are cut transversely to a length greater than twice the length of the ultimate tampon desired to compensate for the longitudinal compression of the fibrous mass. Then a withdrawal string 14 is attached by encircling the cut webs in the center followed by folding the terminal portions 16a and 16b upwardly in U fashion about the encircling withdrawal string 14 in a direction such that the former lateral edges 18 and 20 of the unfolded superimposed webs are in abutting relationship. (See FIGURE 4.) The resulting loose fibrous body is then placed in a cylindrical die and compressed radially and/or longitudinally into a tampon 10 of de sired size and bulk.
Alternatively, as shown in FIGURE 5, the tampons can be made by folding the superimposed webs of material along a pair of longitudinally extending parallel lines 21 and 22 in a lengthwise direction. The folds define a pair of outer flaps 23 and 24 and a center section 25 each equaling one-third the original width of the superimposed webs. Each of the flaps 23 and 24 are folded upwardly first one outer flap 23 over the center third 25 of the three superimposed webs and then the other outer flap 24 over the center third 25 of the superimposed webs which now has folded thereover the other outer third 23 of the superimposed webs. Following the fold-over operation, the webs are cut transversely, a withdrawal string 14 is attached, the terminal portions 16a and 16b are folded upwardly in U fashion around the encircling withdrawal string 14 and the loosely formed fibrous body is compressed as above described.
In this method of forming tampons, it is apparent that the fibrous layers are not arranged in the finished product in precise concentric layers. However, it is seen that the uppermost web becomes mostly disposed in a substantially centrally oriented position and the lowermost web becomes mostly disposed in an outer peripheral position.
As such, substantially all the advantages of the tampons of the present invention are obtained.
As shown in FIGURES 6 and 7, tampons 10 can also be made in accordance with the present invention by superimposing one or more webs of fibrous materialon top of a web which ultimately forms the outer peripheral section 17 of the tampon. The superimposed webs are then cut into pads 27 and 29 preferably of diminishing sizes from the lowermost pad 27 to the uppermost pad 29. A withdrawal string 14 is attached by stitching through the center of each of the superimposed pads with the free ends thereof extending below the lowermost pad 27. The superimposed pads which are now stitched together by the withdrawal string 14 are then drawn by the withdrawal string through a circular orifice or tube to draw the lowermost pad 27 up and over the uppermost pad 29 and the intermediate pads if any are present. Thus, it is seen that the uppermost pad 29 forms a central core 19 about which the lowermost pad 27 is formed into an outer peripherally disposed section 17. Following this preliminary preforming operation, the fibrous mass of multiple layers is then compressed radially and/ or longitudinally into a tampon of the desired size and bulk.
Such methods of manufacture as above described are only exemplary of commercially feasible operations for the manufacture of tampons. Any number of the wellknown methods wherein a plurality of superimposed webs are formed by various operations into compressed tarnpons are suitable for forming the tampons of the present invention.
Considering the invention in somewhat greater detail, an absorbent tampon 10, and particularly a catamenial tampon is formed by conventional manufacturing techniques with an outer fibrous portion 17 and a substantially centrally positioned core portion 19 of fibrous material which fibers are of different denier. The outer fibrous portion 17 consists of fibers of coarser denier than the fibers forming the central core fibrous portion 19. Similarly, as shown in FIGURE 3, tampons can be provided having an outer peripheral fibrous layer 17 of coarse fibers and a centrally located core 19 of finer fibers in which there can be positioned intermediate the centrally positioned core 19 and the outer peripheral layer 17 one or more fibrous layers 17a consisting of fibers having a fineness intermediate the fineness of the fibers in the inner core 19 and those of the outer section 17. That is to say, as one progresses from the outer peripheral portion 17 radially inwardly to the central core portion 19, there will be found increasingly greater numbers of fibers of decreasing denier.
The choice of fiber denier employed for each fibrous layer can be varied within Wide limits. In preferred constructions of the present invention, the outside or peripheral layer is of a considerably coarser denier than the fibers conventionally used in catamenial tampons and other dressings. Each successive layer in the direction of the core portion is made of fibers of decreasing denier.
As a practical matter, the fibers of the outer substantially peripheral layer 17 will range from about 8 to about 20 denier and most preferred will be about 15 denier. The fibers forming the substantially centrally disposed section 19 will range from about 1.5 to about 5 denier and most preferred will be about 3 denier. If fibrous sections 17a intermediate the core section 19 and the outer peripheral section 17 are employed, the fibers will range from about 3 to 15 denier with the most preferred average denier being about 8 denier. While it is seen that the denier range for each section overlaps, it is understood that in any given tampon, the denier chosen for each successive section will be different and more specifically will be of increasingly finer denier in the direction of the centrally disposed core section 17.
As shown in the drawings, and in particular, FIGURES 2 and 3, the annular sections 17 and 17a of the tampon 10 can be of identical thickness and equal to the radius of the central core portion 19. This, however, is not a requirement, but alternatively, for example, each of the superimposed fibrous webs forming the central core portion 19 and the outer annular portions 17 and 17a of the tampon 10 can be of equal weight per unit area. As such, the thickness of the individual annular sections of the tampon of the present invention increases in the direction of the central core 19.
While the specific description immediately above relates to a tampon 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention without a wrapper 15, there may be included, if desired, a wrapper 15 consisting of gauze, nonwoven fabric, and the like. The wrapper 15, however, is preferably provided with relatively large interstices in order to minimize its capillary attraction and to promote rapid transfer of the fluid into the adjacent peripheral absorbent fibrous layer 17. As in conventional tampons, the outer sheath or wrapper 15 is provided pri v marily for the purpose of comfort and to prevent sloughing of the fibers from the outer layer 17 of the tampon 10 during use. However, employment of an outer sheath or wrapper 15 with tampons 10 of the present invention is merely a preferred form and the principles and advantages obtained in the construction of the present invention are not necessarily altered or enhanced by the use of such a wrapper.
It is apparent that many modifications, changes, and alterations can be made in the embodiments described without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined and set forth in the following appended claims.
1. An absorbent tampon for absorbing body fluids, said tampon comprising an elongated cylindrical body of compressed absorbent fibrous material, said absorbent fibrous material being arranged in a plurality of sections extending lengthwise of said tampon, said sections including a substantially centrally disposed core section and at least one peripherally disposed annular section substantially surrounding said core section, said peripherally disposed annular section consisting of fibers ranging from about 8 to about 20 denier and said centrally disposed core section consisting of fibers ranging from about 1.5 to about 8 denier.
2. The tampon of claim 1 wherein the bulk weight of the peripherally disposed annular section is equal to the bulk weight of said centrally disposed core section.
3. The tampon of claim 1 wherein the radial thickness of said peripherally disposed annular section is equal to the radius of said centrally disposed core section.
4. An absorbent tampon for absorbing body fluids, said tampon comprising an elongated cylindrical body of compressed fibrous material, said absorbent fibrous material being arranged in a plurality of sections extending lengthwise of said tampon, said sections including at least one interiorly disposed core section, at least one exteriorly disposed annular section, and at least one annular section disposed intermediate said interior and exterior sections, the fibers forming each next adjacent section from said interiorly disposed core section radially outwards to said exteriorly disposed annular section being of increasing denier.
5. The tampon of claim 4 wherein the fibers of said interiorly disposed core section range from about 1.5 to 5 denier, the fibers of said exteriorly disposed annular section range from about 8 to 20 denier, and the fibers of said intermediately disposed annular section range from about 3 to 15 denier.
6. The tampon of claim 4 wherein the bulk weight of each of said absorbent fibrous sections is the same.
7. The tampon of claim 4 wherein the radial thickness of each of said annular sections is equal to the radius of said interiorly disposed core section.
(References 011 following page) 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1943 Finks 128285 8/1962 Wilson 128285 9/1962 Graham 128285 5 3/ 1963 Brecht et a1 128285 FOREIGN PATENTS 373,848 6/1932 Great Britain.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
CHARLES F. ROSENBAUM, Examiner.