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Publication numberUS3649429 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 14, 1972
Filing dateMar 12, 1970
Priority dateMar 12, 1970
Publication numberUS 3649429 A, US 3649429A, US-A-3649429, US3649429 A, US3649429A
InventorsHughes George H
Original AssigneeBeacon Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Needled composite nonwoven fabric having a self-bonded fibrous supporting layer and outer fibrous layers
US 3649429 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 14, 1972 HUGHES NLEULEI) COMPOSITE NONWOVEN FABRIC HAVING A SELF-BONDED EIUROUS SUPPORTING LAYER AND OUTER FIBROUS LAYERS Filed March 12, 1970 R O T N E V m GEORGE: H. HuQHEs ATTORNEYS United States Patent O US. Cl. 161--64 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A needled, composite, integrated, multi-layer, nonwoven fabric adaptable for use as bed coverings, garments and the like and specifically characterized by improved strength and durability. The fabric comprises a supporting layer of self-bonding fibers, preferably synthetic organic fibers, extending in random directions throughout the layer and being bonded to each other at the crossing points of the fibers; upper and lower three-dimensional, self-sustaining, facing layers of nonwoven textile fibers superimposed on opposite sides of and being contiguous with the supporting layer to completely cover the supporting layer and form the multi-layer fabric; and a multiplicity of needled fiber entanglements extending from each outer face of the fabric, through the superimposed layers, to the other outer face of the fabric and interlocking the fibers of the outer facing layers with each other and with the self-bonded fibers of the supporting layer to form the composite, integrated, multi-layer fabric. The resulting composite, nonwoven fabric may include napped fiber outer surfaces thereon to provide desired characteristics.

This invention relates to a needled, composite, integrated, multi-layer, nonwoven fabric.

Previously, in the manufacture of needled nonwoven fabrics for use as bed coverings, garments and the like, problems have been presented with respect to strength and durability due to excessive wear, strain, etc. These previously known needled nonwoven fabrics have included supporting layers formed generally of loosely woven material, warpwise extending yarns, etc., which have failed to provide the desired strength and stability to the fabric.

Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide a needled nonwoven fabric, which is particularly adaptable for use as bed coverings, garments and the like and which is specifically characterized by improved strength and durability so as to overcome the above problems presented in prior needled nonwoven fabrics.

By this invention, it has been found that the above object may be accomplished by providing a fabric comprising a supporting layer of a three-dimensional batt of selfbonding fibers, preferably heat-reactive, synthetic, organic fibers, extending in random directions throughout the batt and being bonded to each other at the crossing points of the fibers. The fabric further comprises upper and lower three-dimensional, self-sustaining facing layers of nonwoven textile fibers superimposed on opposite sides of and being contiguous with the supporting layer to completely cover the supporting layer and to form the multi-layer fabric. Preferably, the fibers of the facing layers may be oriented in the widthwise direction of the fabric. The fabric further comprises a multiplicity of needled fiber entanglements extending from each outer face of the fabric, throughout the superimposed layers, to the other outer face of the fabric. The needled fiber entanglements interlock the fibers of the outer facing layers with each other and with the self-bonded fibers of the supporting layer to form the composite, integrated, multi-layer fabric.

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This composite, nonwoven fabric with superior strength and durability characteristics may include desirable surface treatments on one or both faces thereof. These surface treatments may include napped, raised fibers on one or both faces thereof which are of sufiicient height and density to cover the needled fiber entanglements and provide the desired finish on the fabric. While only one surface treatment of the fabric is illustrated in the drawings and described in detail hereinafter, it is to be understood that this invention is intended to cover various surface treatments of the novel nonwoven fabric defined herein.

It may be seen from the above general description and from the more specific description to follow that the composite, needled, nonwoven fabric of this invention utilizes the features of a self-bonded supporting layer for providing improved and superior strength and stability to the fabric in all directions, along with outer facing layers which are needled to the supporting layer to form a composite fabric with superior strength and durability.

Some of the features and objects of this invention having been stated, other objects and features will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an enlarged, fragmentary, partially-exploded, broken-away, perspective view of the needled, composite, multi-layer, nonwoven fabric of this invention illustrating the fabric in the two basic stages of its construction;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view of a portion of the supporting layer utilized in the nonwoven fabric of FIG. 1 illustrating the random orientation of the fibers and the crossing of the fibers;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a portion of the needled nonwoven fabric of FIG. 1 illustrating more clearly the needled fiber entanglements therein; and

FIG. 4 is a reduced, perspective view with one corner turned up of the needled nonwoven fabric of FIG. I having napped, raised fibrous surfaces on each of the outer faces thereof.

Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 the needled, composite, nonwoven fabric constructed according to this invention and generally indicated by the reference numeral 10. FIG. 1, as described above, is broken away and includes generally an exploded portion on the left-hand side of the figure illustrating the various layers of the composite fabric and a portion on the right-hand side of the figure illustrating the composite fabric after the same has been needled together.

The composite, nonwoven fabric 10 comprises a supporting layer 11 of a batt of self bonding fibers 12 extending in random directions throughout the batt and being bonded to each other at the crossing points of the fibers, as more clearly illustrated in FIG. 2. These selfbonding fibers are preferably heat-reactive, synthetic, organic fibers which are capable of bonding to each other under the influence of heat. Suitable fibers 12 have been found to be isotactic polypropylene, linear polypropylene, polyethylene, terephthalate, polyhexamethylene, adipamide, polycarproarnide, copolyester of ethylene glycol, etc. It has been found by this invention that suitable material for forming this supporting layer 11 is of the spunbonded type commercially manufactured by -E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company of Wilmington, DeL, under their trademark Reemay and disclosed in their U.S. Pat. No. 3,276,944, issued Oct. 4, 1966. This type of self-bonding, randomly oriented fibrous material provides excellent strength and stability in all directions and has been found by this invention to be particularly suitable for use as a supporting layer 11.

The composite, nonwoven fabric 10 further comprises upper and lower three-dimensional, self-sustaining, facing layers 13 and 14 of nonwoven fibers. These upper and lower facing layers 13 and 14 are superimposed on opposite sides of and are contiguous with the supporting layer 11 to completely cover the supporting layer and to form a multi-layer fabric 10 which has outer faces with textile fiber characteristics. The individual fibers of the outer facing layers 13 and 14 are preferably oriented in the widthwise direction of the fabric 10 to provide strength and stability to the fabric 10 in the Widthwise direction.

The nonwoven fibers utilized in the upper and lower facing layers 13 and 14 may be suitable synthetic fibers including viscose, acrylic, polyester and polyamide fibers, or natural fibers including cotton and wool, or other textile fibers, or blends thereof.

The composite, nonwoven fabric 10 further includes a. multiplicity of needled fiber entanglements 16 extending from each outer face of the fabric 10, through the superimposed layers 11, 13 and 14, to the other face of the fabric 10. These needled fiber entanglements interlock the fibers of each of the outer facing layers With each other and with the self-bonded fibers of the supporting layer to form the composite, integrated, multi-layer fabric 10.

The needled fiber entanglements 16 may be formed with any conventional type of needling apparatus utilizing a bank of barbed needles to reciprocate up and down to penetrate the superimposed layers 11, 13 and 14 from both faces thereof to form fiber entanglements 16 leading from both faces to the other faces thereof.

By this invention, it has been found that the number of fiber entanglements per square inch should be between approximately 750 and 850. If more fiber entanglements are produced by the needling operation, the resulting material, although being stronger, will be boardy and stiff and unsuitable for use as bed coverings, garments and the like. Likewise, if too few fiber entanglements are produced by the needling operation, the resulting fabric will not be strong enough to provide the superior strength and durability required for the fabric when used as bed coverings, garments and the like.

The thus formed needled, composite, nonwoven fabric may include suitable outer treated surfaces on the outer faces of the fabric 10 for providing desired characteristics adapting the fabric for use as bed coverings, garments and the like. As illustrated in FIG. 4, both faces of the needled, nonwoven fabric 10 may include surfaces of mapped, raised fibers 20 which have been napped and raised to a sufficient height and density to cover the needled fiber entanglements 16 on both faces of the fabric to provide a desired finish on the faces of the fabric.

For preparing the outer layers of nonwoven fibers 13 and 14 with the fibers thereof oriented in generally a widthwise direction, reference may be had to applicants prior patent, US. No. 3,329,552, issued July 4, 1967, wherein suitable carding or garnetting apparatus, crosslapping and conveying apparatus are illustrated. Also, for a disclosure of suitable apparatus for forming the needled fiber entanglements, reference may be had to prior U.'S. Pat. No. 3,395,065, issued July 30, 1968, and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

Thus, this invention has provided a novel and improved needled, composite, integrated, multi-layer, nonwoven fabric adapatable for use as bed coverings, gannents and the like and which utilizes the strength and durability features of a self-bonded nonwoven supporting layer, and outer facing layers of nonwoven textile fibers needled to the supporting layer for providing outer textile fiber char acteristics, superior strength and durability to the finished fabric. The improved fabric also utilizes surface treatments for providing the desired finish on the fabric.

In the drawings and specification, there have been set forth preferred embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

What is claimed is:

1. -A needled, composite, integrated, multi-layer, nonwoven fabric adaptable for use as bed coverings, garments and the like and specifically characterized by improved strength and durability, said fabric comprising:

a supporting layer comprising a three-dimensional batt of self-bonding, heat-reactive, synthetic, organic fibers capable of bonding to each other under the influence of heat and extending in random directions throughout said batt and being bonded to each other at the crossing points of the fibers to provide strength and stability to said fabric in all directions;

upper and lower three-dimensional, self-sustaining, facing layers comprising nonwoven textile fibers extending in generally the widthwise direction of said layers to provide strength and Stability to said fabric in the widthwise direction and being superimposed on opposite sides of and being contiguous with said supporting layer to completely cover said supporting layer and to form said multi-layer fabric;

a multiplicity of needled fiber entanglements extending from each outer face of said fabric, through said superimposed layers, to the other outer face of said fabric and interlocking said fibers of said outer facing layers with each other and with the self-bonded fibers of said supporting layer to form said composite, integrated, multi-layer fabric, the number of said needled fiber entanglements penetrating said superimposed layers being bet-ween approximately 750 fiber entanglements per square inch and 850 fiber entanglements per square inch; and

outer treated surfaces on each of said outer faces of said fabric comprising napped, raised fibers of sufficient height and density to cover said needled fiber entanglements penetrating said superimposed layers and providing a desired finish on both faces of said fabric.

2. A needled, composite, integrated, multi-layer, non woven fabric adaptable for use as bed coverings, garments and the like and specifically characterized by improved strength and durability, said fabric comprising:

a supporting layer comprising a three-dimensional batt of self-bonding, heat-reactive, synthetic, organic fibers capable of bonding to each other under the influence of heat and extending in random directions throughout said batt and being bonded to each other at the crossing points of the fibers to provide strength and stability to said fabric in all directions;

upper and lower three-dimensional, self-sustaining, facing layers comprising nonwoven textile fibers and being superimposed on the opposite sides of and being contiguous with said supporting layer to completely cover said supporting layer and to form said multi-layer fabrics;

a multiplicity of needled fiber entanglements extending from each outer face of said fabric, through said superimposed layers, to the other outer face of said fabric and interlocking said fibers of said outer facing layers with each other and with the self-bonded fibers of said supporting layer to form said composite, integrated, multi-layer fabric, the number of said needled fiber entanglements penetrating said superimposed layers being between approximately 750 fiber entanglements per square inch and 850 fiber entanglements per square inch.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,461,026 8/1969 Schick l6ll54 3,506,530 4/1970 Crosby l61-67 3,511,740 5/1970 Sanders 161-67 WILLIAM J. VAN BALEN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3873388 *Apr 21, 1972Mar 25, 1975Hunter Mildred BMattress pad and method and apparatus for constructing the same
US3935046 *Nov 6, 1972Jan 27, 1976Imperial Chemical Industries LimitedNon-woven fabrics
US3973066 *Jan 16, 1975Aug 3, 1976The Fiberwoven CorporationElectric blanket shell and method of production
US4070217 *Feb 13, 1976Jan 24, 1978The Fiberwoven CorporationMethod of making electric blanket shell
US4128686 *Jan 14, 1977Dec 5, 1978William KyleManagement of incontinence
US4199635 *Apr 20, 1979Apr 22, 1980Albany International Corp.Decorative, for interiors of automobiles and boats
US4205113 *Mar 30, 1978May 27, 1980Nordifa Industritextiller ABFashion felt
US4368844 *Oct 6, 1981Jan 18, 1983E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyLaminar nonwoven polypropylene fibers with nylon fibers in between
US5712209 *May 3, 1996Jan 27, 1998Hercules IncorporatedFabrics comprising filling yarns comprising linear low density polyethylene fibers
US5824613 *May 3, 1996Oct 20, 1998Hercules IncorporatedLaminates comprising textile structures comprising linear low density polyethylene fibers
US6117546 *Oct 8, 1997Sep 12, 2000Hercules IncorporatedYarns containing linear low density polyethylene fibers
US7820277 *Mar 17, 2005Oct 26, 2010Uni-Charm CorporationWiper and method for manufacturing the same
USRE30972 *Feb 21, 1980Jun 15, 1982Nicholas Proprietary LimitedManagement of incontinence
DE3314458A1 *Apr 21, 1983Nov 3, 1983Albany Int CorpTextilmaterial mit teppichaehnlicher vorderseite
Classifications
U.S. Classification428/91, 442/388, 156/148, 28/112
International ClassificationD04H1/46
Cooperative ClassificationD04H1/46
European ClassificationD04H1/46