|Publication number||US3515138 A|
|Publication date||Jun 2, 1970|
|Filing date||Jul 5, 1967|
|Priority date||Jul 5, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3515138 A, US 3515138A, US-A-3515138, US3515138 A, US3515138A|
|Inventors||Hochstrasser Josef, Wolff Justus|
|Original Assignee||Hochstrasser Josef, Wolff Justus|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (29), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
June 2, 1970 J. HOCHSTRASSER ETAL 3,515,138
PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING ELONGATED DEFORMABLE ARTICLES l Filed July 5, 1967 United States Patent 3,515,138 PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING ELONGATED DEFORMABLE ARTICLES Josef Hochstrasser, Grafenberger Allee 39, Dusseldorf,
Germany, and Justus Wolff, Richard-Strauss-Allee 20,
Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany Filed July 5, 1967, Ser. No. 651,167 Int. Cl. A61f 13/20 US. Cl. 128-270 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tampon consisting of an elongated body of deformable absorbent material. The tampon body has a leading end adapted to be introduced into a cavity in advance of the remainder of the tampon. The tampon body further has a side surface which extends rearwardly from the leading end, and an endless rounded exterior edge which forms a transition area between the leading end and the side surface.
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS An apparatus for treating an elongated deformable article of the type as set forth in the present application has been disclosed in our copending application, Ser. No. 393,502, entitled Process and Apparatus for Treating Elongated Deformable Articles, of which the present application is a division.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to elongated deformable articles, and more particularly to tampons adapted to be introduced into a body cavity.
Elongated deformable articles adapted to be introduced into cavities of the body are already known. For example, there exists a variety of tampons used for purposes of feminine hygiene and these tampons are introduced into and removed from the body cavity by the user herself. While the hitherto known tampons of this type have been generally found to be satisfactory for the basic purpose,
for which they are intended, namely for purposes of feminine hygiene, they do suffer from various disadvantages. The most important of these disadvantages is the fact that the fibers of the tampons which, for example, are usually made of wound and subsequently compressed cotton fibers or the like, come loose, usually in form of fibrous portions which become disengaged from the remainder of the article when the latter, upon introduction into the body cavity, engages the moist wall bounding the cavity. Evidently, it is undesirable and under certain circumstances can even be dangerous, to have a portion of the tampon remain in the body after the major part of the article has been removed from the body cavity. The possibility of partial destruction of the tampon is further enhanced by the fact that, when the tampon is ejected from the special applicator which is provided for its introduction, the end of the applicator quite frequently engages and roughens the surface of the leading end of the tampon, thus increasing the likelihood that portions of the tampon will become disengaged when the tampon is later again removed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a tampon which is not subject to the disadvantages outlined above with reference to conventional articles of this type.
More particularly, the present invention provides an elongated article, and specifically a tampon, the leading end of which is so treated that there will be no loosening ICC of fibers from the article and the article is capable of smoothly and conveniently moving into and out of a body cavity.
A tampon in accordance with the present invention is provided with a smooth leading end and the fibers at this leading end are compressed against and remain securely in engagement with each other.
Furthermore, a tampon in accordance with the present invention is not of undue density, despite the compression of the fibers at the leading end of the tampon, so that the moisture-absorbing capability of the tampon is not impaired by the provision of the smooth end.
In accordance with a further concept of the present invention, a tampon as set forth in the present invention can be treated with a medium which will enhance the use of the article, for instance a lubricant which eases the movement of the article into and out of the body cavity. Also, the article or tampon can be provided with suitable medication which melts at body temperature when the article is introduced into the body cavity.
Additionally, a tampon in accordance with the present invention can be provided with a larger exposed surface area, and can be given greater moisture-absorbing possibilities than conventional tampons.
In accordance with these and other characteristics of the present invention, we provide a tampon which com prises an elongated body of deformable absorbent material. Further in accordance with the invention, the body has a leading end which is adapted to be introduced into a body cavity in advance of the remainder of the tampon, and a side surface extending rearwardly from this leading end. Furthermore, the body is also provided with an endless rounded exterior edge which forms a transition area between the leading end and the side surface mentioned above.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 shows in side elevation one possible embodiment of a tampon in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 2 shows in a partly sectional side elevation another possible embodiment of a tampon according to the present invention.
,DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The elongated tampon in accordance with the present invention has the configuration of a substantially cylindrical bar or rod or the like, and it is composed of fibrous material. In FIG. 1 the tampon is generally indicated with reference numeral and its elongated cylindrical configuration is clearly evident. The leading end of the tampon, which is to be initially introduced into the vagina, is provided with an end face 102 and extending rearwardly therefrom there is provided a cylindrical side surface 103. The transitional edge portion 101, that is the portion intermediate the side surface 103 and the leading end face 102, is rounded to thereby facilitate introduction of the tampon.
Although the tampon in accordance with the present invention can have any known basic structure which is then treated in accordance with the invention to provide the tampon with the structure of the invention, it is .3 preferred to form the tampon of the invention from one or more layers of a material, such as a suitable fabric, which has the property of absorbing liquids into the body of the material. The layer or layers of this fabric have their fibers extending generally longitudinally of the elongated fabric strips which are used for producing the tampon and which initially have a width equal to the length of the final tampon of the invention. It is to be understood that the fibers do not for the most part extend parallel to the elongation of the respective strip; rather, they are intertwined and extend generally in the longitudinal direction of the strip with which they include a more or less acute angle. In producing the tampon, the string 104 is first placed around the central portion of the strip or strips of this fabric and is suitably knotted so that the string 104 projects to one side beyond the fabric. This string, of course, is subsequently used for removing the tampon from the body cavity when it is desired to-discard the tampon.
After the string 104 has been suitably secured to the fabric strip or strips, an elongated rotary member which is formed with an axial slot extending into the member from one end thereof, such member having the configuration of a shaft of a relatively small diameter, is placed at the central portion of the strip or strips of fabric with the latter situated in the slot of the rotary member. Thereupon, the rotary member is rotated so that the fabric is wound onto the rotary member. Thereafter, the material wound onto the rotary member is removed therefrom and the fabric winding is placed in a suitable press where it is radially compressed until it has the configuration of the cylindrical body.
Subsequently, the basic cylindrical body is further treated with the apparatus disclosed in our above-mentioned copending application so as to have the structure shown in FIG. 1.
This structure has already been outlined above and is obtained by exerting a certain relatively low axial pressure on the transitional area 101 of the tampon 100, by engaging this transitional area 101 with a heated rotary instrumentality, and thus will reliably remain together, preventing any disintegration or separation of the tampon during use thereof. It is important that the instrumentality not engage the leading end face 102 of the tampon 100 since it is desired that the fibers of the leading end face 102 be not oriented in the same manner as the fibers of the transitional area 101. The reason for this is that it is the transitional area 101 which engages the moist wall of the body cavity, and not the leading end face 102, so that disintegration of the tampon at the leading end thereof can be reliably prevented if the fibers of the transitional area 101 are oriented as outlined above. This orientation effect, which may also be described as an ironing action comparable to that of a flat-iron used for the ironing of clothes, can be enhanced by spraying a small amount of a liquid such as water on the leading end of the tampon, such liquid being converted into steam during the application of the now hot rotary instrumentality to the transitional area 101 of tampon 1. It is clear that the fibers, which are more or less curled, are pressed into more intimate contact and are forced to intertwine still more as a result of the axial and rotary motions of the heated instrumentality. The curling and intertwining of the fibers is further enhanced, as also pointed out, by the steam which develops when the sprayed-on liquid is heated by the hot instrumentality. In fact, under some circumstances the residual moisture content of the fibers can be sufiicient to produce such steam without requiring the application of additional liquid.
Because it is only the edge region of transitional area 101 of tampon 1 which is rounded, the end face 102 as well as the cylindrical side surface 103 of the tampon is still part of the relatively irregular surface area of the original fabric. In other words, the fibers of the fabric on the end face 102 and the cylindrical side surface 103 have not been oriented in the same manner as the fibers of the transitional area 101 and thus are not impaired at all in their moisture-absorbing capability. Thus, the over-all moisture-absorbing capability of the tampon is diminished only to a very small and hardly significant extent by the provision of the rounded transitional area 101, which is smooth in accordance with the invention to facilitate the insertion of the tampon into the body cavity.
As has already been pointed out before, a lubricating means can be provided on the tampon according to the present invention. This is shown in FIG. 2 where the tampon in general is indicated with reference numeral 205. The leading end face is indicated with reference numeral 206 and will be seen to be provided with a depression recess 207. This depression recess 207 is provided in order to enhance the absorption of body fluids by the tampon, and it will be evident that this aim is accomplished simply by the fact that the inner circumferential surface bounding the recess 207 increases the available over-all surface area of the tampon 205 which is available and capable of absorbing the body fluids.
The recess 207 need not, however, remain empty but it can if desired be filled with a suitable medication which melts at body temperature.
The side surface of the tampon 205 in FIG. 2 is indicated with reference numeral 209 and the Withdrawal string is indicated with reference numeral 211.
The aforementioned lubricant, serving to aid introduction of the tampon 205 in a body cavity, can be provided by spraying or otherwise depositing a suitable lubrication means on the leading end of the tampon 205. FIG. 2 shows this in form of a relatively rigid cap 210 which is made of a material capable of melting at body temperature so that, when the tampon is introduced into the vagina, the warmth of the body will immediately melt the material of the cap 210, thus facilitating introduction of the tampon 205. It will be understood, of course, that cap 210 can also be provided in the form of a film deposited on the leading end of the tampon. It is to be noted, however, that this material does not enter into the depression 207 and that, if it is provided in form of the cap 210 as shown in FIG. 2, this cap must have an opening, such as the opening 208', which registers with the recess 207 so that the same remains free and is capable of absorbing body fluids.
Summarizing up it can be stated that a tampon in accordance with the present invention not only greatly facilitates introduction into a body cavity, but also significantly reduces if not completely eliminates the danger that portions of the tampon, moistened by body fluids in the interior of the body cavity, adhere to the wall surrounding the body cavity and become separated and retained within the body cavity when the remainder of the tampon is Withdrawn from the cavity, as is sometimes the case with tampons known from the prior art. For all of these reasons, the tampon disclosed herein constitutes a significant advantage both as to convenience and safety in this field.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of articles differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a tampon, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. A tampon comprising an elongated body of a predetermined deformable compressed absorbent material, said body having a leading end face adapted to be introduced into a body cavity in advance of the remainder of the tampon, a side surface extending rearwardly from said leading end face, and an endless rounded exterior edge portion forming a transition area between said leading end face and said side surface, both said leading end face and said side surface having a predetermined surface texture exhibited by said predetermined material in compressed state and being at least in part exposed for facilitating' absorption of body fluids, and only said endless rounded exterior edge portion having a surface texture which is smoother than said predetermined surface texture of said leading end face and said side surface.
2. A tampon as defined in claim 1, wherein said leading end face is formed with a depression.
3. A tampon as defined in claim 1, and further comprising a layer of lubricating material provided on at least said transition area of said body.
4. A tampon as defined in claim 3, wherein said leading end face is provided with a depression bounded by an inner peripheral face, and wherein said inner peripheral face is free from said lubricating material for facilitating the absorption of fluids on introduction of said tampon into a body cavity.
5. A tampon as defined in claim 3, wherein said lubri- 6 eating material is solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature.
6. A tampon as defined in claim 2, wherein said depression is adapted to contain a medication.
7. A tampon as defined in claim 1, wherein said deformable absorbent material is a fibrous material and wherein the fibers of said material are oriented substantially transversely of the elongation of said body at least at said leading end face thereof.
8. A tampon as defined in claim 7, wherein said body is of substantially cylindrical configuration, and wherein said fibers at said leading end face are oriented substantially tangentially of said body.
9. A tampon as defined in claim 8, wherein said fibers are slightly compacted in longitudinal direction of said body and in the region inwardly adjacent to said leading end face.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,301,868 11/1942 Gurley et al 128285 2,440,141 4/1948 Donovan 128-285 3,393,678 7/1968 Pacini 128270 3,428,044 2/ 1969 Whitehead et al. 128--285 FOREIGN PATENTS 261,771 9/ 1949 Switzerland.
ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-285
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