US 3709750 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, 1973 H. G. MlNsHELL HIGH PILE PRODUCT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 23, 1970 h! if i,
JUL 9, 1973 H. G. MINSHELL vHIGH PILE PRDUCT 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed NOV. 23, 1970 W M V W Jan. 9, 1973 H. G. MINSHELL HIGH PILE PRODUCT Filed Nov. 23, 1970 M401/ @pff/70M:
3 Sheets-Sheet 5 M467/ Wfff/m/ United States Patent O 3,709,750 HIGH PILE PRODUCT Herman G. Minshell, Menasha, Wis., assignor to Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis. Filed Nov. 23, 1970, Ser. No. 91,903 Int. Cl. B32b 5 /00 U.S. Cl. 156--72 9 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A high-loft, nonwoven fabric with a gathered sheet material backing layer comprising a web of sheet material with adhesive on each side thereof, the fabric also including a multiplicity of fibers looped outwardly from the backing layer; and a method and apparatus for making the fabric by applying adhesive on a first side of the Web of sheet material, embedding a web of fibers in an open pattern of adhesive applied to the opposite side of the web of sheet material, and then gathering the sheet material having the open pattern of adhesive into a gathered sheet material backing layer with a rough uneven undersurface while looping the fibers outwardly from the backing.
RELATED APPLICATIONS Robert I. Stumpf, Ser. No. 769,959, filed Oct. 23, 1968 and now abandoned, and replaced by Robert I. Stumpf, Ser. No. 31,225, filed Apr. 23, 1970.
Robert I. Stumpf, Ser. No. 820,224, filed Apr. 29, 1969. Robert I. Stumpf, William J. Mattes and Herman G. Minshell, Ser. No. 77,840, filed Oct. 5, 1970.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to high-loft, nonwoven fabrics and, more particularly, to a high-loft, nonwoven fabric that incorporates a web of tissue or film in the backing layer and to a method and apparatus for making the fabric.
In recent years, many different types of nonwoven materials have been produced both to replace conventional woven fabrics and, also, to create new markets in which woven fabrics have not yet become established. This is particularly true in the case of materials for single use in disposable products, such as: sanitary supplies, hospital garments, disposable sheets, disposable diapers, and the like. For these applications the nonwoven fabric is generally made in continuous sheet form with one or more layers of staple length fibers and/or a reinforced scrim structure adhesively bonded together or laminated between plies of other materials such as cellulosic wadding and plastic sheeting. The fibers may be natural, synthetic or various blends thereof, and, of course, the particular composition of the nonwoven fabric is greatly inuenced by its intended use.
The aforesaid copending applications Nos. 769,959, and 820,224, both of which are assigned to the same assignee as the present application, describe methods of lmaking high-loft, nonwoven materials by simultaneously looping a large number of fibers and gathering an adhesive layer in which the fibers are embedded at spaced points to produce a nonwoven fabric with the fibers extending outwardly from a consolidated or partially consolidated adhesive backing formed by the gathering operation, resulting in a high-loft fabric with a pleasing surface texture and appearance. The fibers are initially embedded in an open pattern of adhesive and then looped outwardly away from the adhesive in the open areas of the pattern, the adhesive being gathered simultaneously with the looping Patented Jan. 9, 1973 operation to provide the consolidated, or partially consolidated adhesive backing for the resulting fabric.
In the methods of both of the aforesaid copending applications, Ser. Nos. 769,959 and 820,224, the fibers are applied to the open pattern of adhesive which has previously been applied to a continuous traveling belt. The adhesive `and the fibers form a web which is then separated from the belt prior to the consolidation step. To thicken or strengthen the backing layer, it has often been found desirable to laminate additional layers of material to the backing layers subsequent to the consolidation stepfor example, in the manner described in the aforesaid copending continuation-in-part application Ser. No. 31,225, assigned to the assignee of the present invention. Alternatively, it has been found that additional strength can be imparted to the nonwoven material by applying a second open pattern of adhesive to the partially cured first adhesive pattern prior to the consolidation step as described in the aforesaid copending application, Ser. No. 77,840, also assigned to the assignee of the present invention. As disclosed therein, the combination of the two applications of adhesive permits the use of heavier and/ or thicker fibers, as well `as threads and yarns, which enables the production of more substantial and heavier fabrics.
In some instances attempts have been made to apply the 'open pattern of adhesive directly to a web of paper tissue or the like, rather than to the continuous belt. However, such attempts have heretofore failed to produce high-loft, nonwoven fabrics of good quality. Rather, the resulting structure did not resemble the highly advantageous high-loft, nonwoven fabrics disclosed and claimed in the aforesaid copending applications, Ser. Nos. 769,959, and 820,224 and 77,840.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved high-loft, nonwoven fabric that has a web of paper tissue or the like incorporated within the backing layer of the product, with the product having the desired outwardly extending loops that impart the high-loft characteristic to the product.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus for producing a high-loft, non- Woven fabric having a web of tissue or the like incorporated within the backing layer and wherein the tissue web is present during the consolidation step, as opposed to being laminated to the backing layer subsequent to the consolidation step.
A more specific object is to provide an improved method and apparatus for producing a high-loft, nonwoven fabric having a web of tissue or the like incorporated therein, wherein adhesive is applied to both sides of the tissue web so that successful consolidation may be achieved.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon reading the ensuing detailed description and upon reference to the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. l is a schematic side elevational view of apparatus which may be employed to manufacture the highloft, nonwoven fabric of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of an illustrative web of base material, somewhat simplified and exaggerated for the sake of clarity of illustration, with portions broken away to expose the various layers;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of a high-loft, nonwoven fabric of the present invention;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are greatly enlarged, simplified and somewhat exaggerated sections, taken substantially along the longitudinal line 4-4 and transverse line 5--5, respectively, of FIG. 3; i
FIG. -6 is an enlarged schematic detail and side elevation of the forming drum and gathering blade of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a further enlarged schematic side elevation, here illustrating in somewhat idealized fashion, the sequence of gathering and looping of individual fibers;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged schematic fragmentary view taken substantially along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7, showing a fragment of illustrative fibers attached to the adhesive pattern applied to at least one side of the web of tissue or the like, here prior to adhesive consolidation;
FIG. 9 is a simplified schematic view taken along substantially the line 9 9 of still another sequence as shown in FIG. 7, here depicting the fibers as looped outwardly following adhesive consolidation; and,
FIGS. 10-13 illustrate, in plan view, exemplary alternative adhesive patterns that may be used for the base web in the practice of the present invention.
While the present invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative forms, a specific embodiment thereof has been shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood however, that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed but, on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings. the high-loft, nonwoven fabric of the present invention is preferably prepared by the method and apparatus illustrated in FIG. l. To this end, a web 10 of paper tissue or other suitable film-like material, is drawn from a supply roll 12 and around a positioning roller 14 to angularly position the web as it approaches a first adhesive applicating station, generally indicated at 16.
To apply the adhesive to the underside of the web 10 as illustrated, the web 10 is fed through a nip formed between a printing roller 18 and a back-up roll 20 maintained in very light pressure engagement therewith. The surface of the printing roll 18 may be very finely lined or, alternatively, provided with an intaglio pattern which picks up adhesive 22 from a reservoir located immediately above an inclined doctor blade 24, with the reservoir being defined in part by the upper surface of the inclined doctor blade and the adjacent portion of the rotating peripheral surface of the printing roll 18. A pump P may be provided to replenish adhesive 22 in the reservoir from a preferably larger supply pan 26. Thus, as the printing roll 18 rotates (in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1), the finely lined or intaglio patterned surface thereof is fillled with adhesive 22, excess adhesive is removed by the doctor blade 24 and a metered amount of adhesive 22 is then transferred to the underside of the web 10. In the event the surface of the printing roll is finely lined, a substantially continuous even layer of adhesive 22 will be applied to the underside of the web 10, and in the event the surface of the printing rol] 20 contains an intaglio pattern, the pattern, which may be in the form of an open diamond pattern, will be applied.
Subsequent to the application of adhesive upon the web 10, the latter is drawn around a heated drum 28 which substantially cures the adhesive prior to traveling to a second adhesive applicating station. indicated generally at 30 in FIG. 1. To insure effective heating and curing of the adhesive, it is desirable that the web 10 travel around a substantial portion of the drum 28, and accordingly a ily roller 32 is provided. In keeping with the invention, the web 10 is turned around another positioning roller 34 to approach the second adhesive applicating station 30 at the correct angle.
The adhesive applicating station 30 may be substantially identical to the station 16, having a printing roll 36, a back up roll 38, a doctor blade 40, as well as a pump P, and a supply pan 42 having adhesive 43 therein, with the operation being substantially similar to that described above for the applicating station 16. However, in this instance the web 10 is being fed from right to left as viewed in FIG. 1 (as contrasted with station 16 wherein the web feed is from left to right), and the drum 36 is rotating in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in the drawing.
Unlike the printing roll 18 which may alternatively have either a finely lined surface or an intaglio patterned surface, the printing roll 36 is provided with an intaglio patterned surface so that a pattern of adhesive-for example, a diamond pattern such as is shown at 44 in FIG. 2-is applied to the underside of the web 10. It will, of course, be appreciated that in the illustrative apparatus, the underside of the web 10 in station 30 is the same as the upper side of the web 10 in station 16-this due to the reversal in direction of web feed.
As a consequence of the foregoing. the adhesive applied at the applicating station 30 is on the opposite side of the web 10 with respect to the adhesive applied at the applicating station 16. The result is that the web 10 has adhesive applied to both sides thereof with at least one side, namely the underside of the web passing through adhesive applicating station 30, having an open diamond adhesive pattern. After the web 10 has passed through the second adhesive applicator station 30, it travels around a roller 44 and onto roller 46 which positions the web to receive additional material thereon.
In carrying out the present invention, multiple slivers 48 of fibers are drawn from their respective supply cans (not shown) into a draw frame 50 which comprises a series of pairs of grooved rolls 52, the rolls of each pair being driven by appropriate gearing (not shown, but well known in the art) at a peripheral rate of speed slightly faster than the rate of operation of the preceeding pair. As the multiple slivers pass through the draw frame 50, the individual fibers are drafted and spread out to form a fiat striated web 54a of substantially aligned fibers 56 (FIG. 2).
In order to maintain the web 54a under slight tension, the web 10 is preferably fed around the roll 46 at a speed slightly in excess of the delivery speed of the final pair of rolls 52 in draw frame 50, whereby the individual highlydrafted fibers 56 are retained in their aligned and tensioned condition.
If desired, additional aligned and highly drafted fibers may be added to the web 10 overlying the web 54a previously applied thereto. For this purpose, a second draw frame 60 (similar to the draw frame 50) is provided to draw additional slivers 62 of fibers from their supply cans (not shown) and, after drafting and aligning them, to deposit an additional striated web 54b upon the web 54a. In such cases, the amount of adhesive printed on the web 10 in the adhesive applicating station 30 is increased so as to insure that some of the adhesive penetrates the fibers in the bottom web 54a and reaches the fibers in the upper web 54b delivered from the second draw frame 60. The additional adhesive, together with the speed differenetial of the web 10 relative to the last pair of rollers in the draw frame 60, serves to maintain these fibers under slight tension whereby they also retain their highly drafted and aligned condition.
In order to produce patterned effects in finished fabrics made in accordance with the present invention, provision is made for depositing the fibers in either or both of webs 54a and 54b on web 10 in a controllable repetitive or, in some instances, nonrepetitive pattern. To accomplish this, the fibers drawn from draw frames 50, 6i) respectively pass under bars 63, 64 positioned on the output side of the last pair of rollers in each drawn frame. Either or both of the bars 63, 64 may then be oscillated to produce the desired patterned effect. -For example, the bar 64 may be oscillated in a direction generally transverse to the movement of the web 10 and, preferably, provision is also made for controlling the frequency and amplitude of the oscillation. Thus, as the bar 64 is oscillated the fibers deposited from the draw frame 60` take on a generally sinusoidal wave pattern of controlled frequency and amplitude as is shown at -54b in IFIG. 2. Similarly, the bar 63 may be oscillated to impart a wave pattern to the web 54a being applied to the web 10.
Following deposit of the striated webs I54a and 54h on the adhesive printed web 10, the composite web a is passed around rollers 66, 68 and 70 to a heated drum 72 where fusing and curing of the adhesive is substantially completed while the web 10 is maintained in firm contact therewith to bond the individual fibers. To insure effective heating and fusing of the adhesive, it is desirable that travel of the web be around a substantial portion of the drum 72.
While various well-known adhesives may be employed in the foregoing process, advantages reside in the use of plastisols, which are colloidal dispersions of synthetic resins in a suitable organic ester plasticizer, and which, under the infiuence of heat, provide good binding power while remaining soft and flexible. While many adhesives of this type are known, those found particularly useful for incorporation in the product of this invention include vinyl chloride polymers, and copolymers of vinyl chloride with other vinyl resins, plasticized by organic phthalates, sebacates, or adipates. These provide a fast curing plastisol adhesive characterized' by relatively low viscosity, low migration tendencies, and minimum volatility. Such adhesives remain soft and fiexible after curing, and can be reactivated by subsequent heating.
It has been found that other adhesives may be employed in the processfor example, organisols utilizing resins such as the vinyl chloride polymers and copolymers. Furthermore, still other adhesives may be e.nployed provided that they satisfy specified characteristics in the base web 10a produced in the web forming section, and in the finished fabric produced in the adhesive compacting and fiber looping section 76 (FIG. l). In general, such adhesives should be applied to the base web by procedures which will not disarrange the fibrous structure of the web; such adhesives should heat-set at temperatures below the degradation temperature of the fibers in the base web 10a to secure bonding of the fibers to the adhesive; such adhesives should be reactivatable in the subsequent adhesive gathering and consolidation stage of the process; and such adhesives should form a exible backing layer for the finished fabric and should strongly bond the fiber loops in place. For example, emulsions of thermoplastic resins such as acrylics and rubber-like compounds, illustratively ABS, have the requisite properties to serve as the bonding adhesive for the web 10a.
In carrying out the present invention, the base material, made as heretofore described and comprising a web 10a of highly-drafted fibers embedded in an open adhesive pattern deposited on the top surface of a tissue web 10 or the like also having adhesive on its bottom surface, is fed into the adhesive consolidating the fiber looping section 76 of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1. As shown here, the Web 10a continues directly from the web forming section to the consolidating and looping section 76. It should be appreciated, however, that the web 10a discharged from the heating drum 72 could be cooled, rolled up for storage or transport, and then subsequently unrolled and fed into section 76.
As illustrated in FIG. 1, the web 10a, while still under tension, is fed around an idler roll 74 and onto the surface of a heated forming drum 78. In its preferred embodiment, the drum 78` is made of metal with a highly polished, chromium plated surface which is heated to maintain the web 10a at a temperature of approximately 250 F. Also, the web 10a is arranged to travel a substantial distance around the drum 78 with the side of the web coated with adhesive 22 in station 16, either in the form of an adhesive film or an open pattern of adhesive, in direct contact with the heated drum surface. As the web 10a is fed onto the drum 78, the heat from the drum surface reactivates and softens the adhesive 22 printed on the underside of the web, causing it to be tacky and to adhere slightly to the drum surface, thereby maintaining the web under constant tension. The drum temperature, which is heated to keep the web at about 250 F., is, however, maintained below the melting point of the adhesive to prevent dispersion of the adhesive on the upper surface of the web and to minimize bonding of the adhesive lines as will hereinafter be described in greater detail. The web, fibers and softened adhesive is reformed by the cooperative action of the drum 7S and a gathering blade having a fiat edge 82 as is shown in IFIGS. l, 6 and 7. 'Ihe blade edge 82 operates to consolidate the open adhesive pattern 44 into a backing layer having the web 10 and the film or pattern of adhesive 22 on the underside of web 10 as an integral part of the backing layer, while simultaneously looping the individual fibers outwardly from the open spaces in the original adhesive pattern 44. Asis shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the backing layer has protrusions E that extend upwardly from the lower plane of the backing layer providing a rough, uneven undersurface as illustrated in FIG. 5. The loops P and P1 extend from the backing layer to further increase the depth of the material as is shown. 'I'he reformed and consolidated material `84 then leaves the blade edge 82 and moves onto a fiat take-away surface 86 and an endless discharge conveyor 88 traveling around drums driven in the direction of the arrow 90a (clockwise as viewed in FIG. l). The fabric `84 is carried along the take-away surface 86 by the action 0f the conveyor 88.
Since the adhesive on the undersurface is hot and tacky as the fabric flows onto the take-away surface 86, that surface 86 may be treated with a nonstick or release coating to insure that the fabric may be drawn smoothly along thesurface. It is also necessary to cool the fabric immediately after consolidation, and, to this end, the take-away surface 86 may be internally cooled to cool the fabric. For additional cooling the left drum 90 (FIG. l) may be internally water cooled. Streams of air may also be blown against the underside of the belt from suitably placed nozzles 92, which will also serve to cool the fabric 84. It may also be necessary or desirable to pass the fabric through an additional cooling station or zone (not shown) to further cool the adhesive and thermoplastic fibers.
Turning now to FIGS. 7-9, the method of making the high-loft, nonwoven fabric 84 will be explained in greater detail in connection with an illustrated sequence of the gathering and looping of a single fiber to the adhesive on the web 10 and the consolidation of its two original points of adhesive attachment in the pattern 44. As seen in FIG. 8, the fiber 56 has a portion P which extends across the open space of the diamond pattern 44 of the adhesive from point A to point B where it is embedded in the adhesive applied to the web 10. Referring to FIG. 7, the series of views in this figure illustrate how the portion P of each fiber is formed into a loop. When point A, which is being carried around the heated drum 73, impinges against the gathering blade edge 82, its forward motion is halted and it is scraped along the surface of the drum. Point B continues to advance with the drum surface due to the softened and tacky condition of the film or pattern of adhesive 22 on the underside of the web 10 which causes the latter to adhere to the smooth drum surface.
As point B advances relatively to point A, the portion P of the fiber between points A and B is caused to bow outwardly from the drum surface. Finally, point B overtakes point A and these points of adhesive are substantially consolidated as seen in FIG. 9. In the meantime fiber portion P has been looped outwardly from the drum surface. While this is occurring, of course, additional adhesive points C-D etc., traveling around the drum 78 impinge against the gathering blade edge 82, causing a consolidation of these adhesives points and looping of their intermediate ber portions P1 as is also indicated in FIG.
9. This occurs simultaneously at all points across the web at the blade edge producing a substantially continuous backing layer comprised of the web and the adhesive applied to both sides of the web, from which extends a multiplicity of loops formed by the fibers having been applied to the adhesive pattern 44. The consolidated layers of adhesive and web 10 is carried away from the blade edge along the take-away surface 86 and provides a backing layer for the outwardly looped fibers, thus producing the fabric 84.
Not only does each of the fiber portions P loop outwardly from the drum surface but, also, as the loop is formed it turns, through an angle less than 90 relative to the direction of the original alignment of fiber portion P. Thus, the fiber loops arrange themselves so that the plane of each loop at an angle relative to the original fiber alignment shown in FIG. 8. The reason for the loop twisting as it is formed may be explained by the following observation. If two spaced points of a single fiber not in a web are brought together, it has been observed that the fiber will form a loop and as the loop is formed it twists toward a position of minimum internal stress, turning through an angle approaching 180. In carrying out the method of the present invention, because of the great number of fibers in the web and their close proximity to one another, as well as the protrusions from the backing layer, each fiber loop engages the neighboring fiber loops and those protrusions in the backing layer, with the result that all of the loops are blocked from turning beyond an acute angle relative to the machine direction, and are constrained in that position. In practice, of course, the actual direction and degree of loop twist depend upon characteristics of the fibers in the original webs 54a and S4b and the configuration of the backing layer.
It is important to note however, that throughout the fabric the heights of the fiber loops vary according to the spacing between the points of attachment of each fiber to the open adhesive pattern on the web 10. Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, it will be seen, for example, that the loop formed by the fiber portion P1 between the points of adhesive attachment C and D will have a lower height than the loop formed by the longer liber portion P between the points A and B. This results in a dense fabric with the lower loops supporting and filling around the higher loops and the top surface of the fiber being formed by the tops of the higher loops. The appearance of the fabric so constructed depends not only on the height of the fiber loops but also on the type and denier of the fibers used in the web 54a and 5417 and, one of the features of the invention is that the depth of the fabric and evenness of the surface may be varied by adjusting the control parameters, as will be explained below.
In general, it may be said that for moderate and low loft materials which have been produced with the illustrative method, the fabric appears to have a uniform thickness with a somewhat uneven surface texture. With very deep high loft fabrics, particularly when made from flexible, low denier fibers, the higher loops tend tolay one over the other providing a very soft nap and fuzzy, fiberous surface.
As result of trying different blade edge angles (FIG. 6), it has been, determined that the preferred blade edge angle is between about 17 and about 54, at least in those instances when dealing with a pattern of adhesive in which the lines of adhesive are spaced apart by about 1A", center-.to-center, in the machine direction. With blade angles within this preferred range and with adhesive pattern employing this spacing, fabrics have been produced with a dense, regular mass of loops that provide a textured, somewhat uneven surface.
With the blade edge angles less than 17, difiiculty has been experienced in obtaining a uniformly gathered backing layer. This appears to be a result of insufiicient relief between the blade edge and the drum surface for the fabric to flow evenly and smoothly off the drum surface as a result of the action of the blade, which produces varying degrees of gathering which may spoil the surface appearance of the fabric. With blade edge angles substantially above 54 and with adhesive patterns having 1A: inch spacing, both the problems of nonuniform gathering and poor loop formation have been experienced.
As previously mentioned, the web 10 originating from the supply roll 12 may be a single or multiple-ply paper tissue. However, the web may be of relatively thin film to give the backing layer of the fabric 84 unusual characteristics. Useful films include those such as polyvinyl chloride and polyvinylidene chloride. Additionally, polypropylene films may also be used if the curing temperature of the adhesive system used is compatible with the film, i.e.-melting or shrinkage of the film does not occur Within the temperatures required to cure the adhesive used.
The advantages of having the web 10 incorporated within the backing layer of the fabric 84, as opposed to being subsequently laminated to the backing layer after the consolidation step is performed, is that the strength of the fabric 84 may be increased, depending upon the physical characteristics of the base web being used. Additionally, the inclusion of the web 10 in the backing layer, may inherently increase the weight and thickness of the backing layer to produce a more substantial fabric 84.
Of course, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the adhesive could be applied in patterns other than the open diamond pattern shown for example in FIG. 2. For example, the adhesive could be applied in the form of criss cross sine waves 92 as shown in FIG. 10, or in the form of evenly spaced diagonal lines 94 as shown in FIG. 11, or in the form of parallel sine waves 96 as shown in FIG. 12; or in the form of a brick like pattern 98 as shown in FIG. 13; or, for that matter, in numerous other types of patterns. The applicability of patterns such as those shown in FIGS. l0 through 13 is described in greater detail in the aforesaid copending application, Ser. No. 820,224.
1. A method for producing a high-loft, nonwoven fabric, which comprises:
feeding a web of sheet material to an adhesive applying station;
applying an adhesive to a rst side of the web of sheet material;
at least partially curing the adhesive applied to the first side;
applying an open pattern of adhesive to the opposite second side of the web;
preparing a second web including flexible elements extending longitudinally of the web;
depositing the second web on the open pattern of adhesive on the second side of the web of sheet material; bonding the second web to the open pattern of adhesive on said second side;
reactivating the adhesive to a tacky state;
gathering the web of sheet material at a gathering station so that portions of the sheet material itself protrude upwardly from the plane of its first side:
(i) to form a gathered sheet material backing layer With a rough uneven undersurface;
(ii) while looping the element portions located in the open spaces of the adhesive pattern outwardly from the backing layer;
conveying the gathered sheet material backing layer and outwardly looped elements away from the gathering station.
2. The method of claim 1 further characterized in that the material of the rst web is cellulosic tissue.
3. The method of claim 1 further characterized in that the material of the first web is a film selected from the group consisting of polyvinyl chloride and polyvinylidene chloride film.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the adhesive applied to the first side of the first material web is an open pattern. 5. The method of claim 1 wherein the adhesive applied to the rst side of the web of sheet material is applied in a substantially continuous even film. i
6. A method for producing a high-loft, nonwoven fabric comprising the steps of:
feeding a first web of sheet material to an adhesive applying station; applying an adhesive which becomes tacky at elevated temperatures to a first side of the said first web of sheet material; at least partially curing the adhesive applied to the first side; applying an open pattern of adhesive which becomes tacky at elevated temperatures to the opposite second side of the first web; bonding a second web comprising a plurality of liexible elements extending substantially longitudinally there of in said open pattern of adhesive on said second side; feeding said webs onto a smooth movable surface with said adhesive on said rst side of said web of sheet material in contact with said surface, softening said adhesive on said first and second sides to a tacky state so that said first web of sheet material adheres to said surface, carrying said webs to the edge of a gathering blade and impinging said webs against the edge of said gathering blade to loop the portions of said elements spanning the open portions of said adhesive pattern outwardly from said first web of sheet material while gathering said rst web of sheet material so that portions of the sheet material itself protrude upwardly from the plane of its undersurface and provide a gathered sheet material backing layer with a rough, uneven undersurface; and conveying said gathered sheet material backing layer and outwardly looped elements away from said surface and said gathering blade. 7. A method for producing a high-loft, nonwoven fabric, comprising the steps of:
feeding a iirst web of sheet material having upper and lower adhesive surfaces;
10 depositing a second web including flexible elements extending longitudinally thereof on the upper surface of said first web of sheet material;
bonding said second web to said lirst web of sheet material at longitudinally spaced points;
feeding said webs onto a smooth movable surface with said lower adhesive surface of said lfirst web in contact with said movable surface, softening said adhesive surfaces to a tacky state to adhere said lower adhesive surface to said movable surface, carrying said webs on said movable surface to the edge of a gathering blade and impinging said webs against the edge of said gathering blade to loop the portions of said elements extending between said longitudinally spaced points outwardly from said lirst web of sheet material while gathering said first web so that portions of the sheet material itself protrude upwardly from the plane of its undersurface and provide a gathered sheet material backing layer with a rough, uneven undersurface; and
conveying the gathered sheet material backing layer and outwardly looped elements away from said movable surface and said gathering blade.
8. The method as defined in claim 7 wherein the iirst web comprises cellulosic tissue having adhesive applied to said upper and lower surfaces.
9. A method as defined in claim 7 wherein said first web is a polyvinyl chloride film.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,550,680 5/1951 Goldman 161-148 2,639,250 5/1953 Reinhardt -161-137 WILLAM A. POWELL, Primary Examiner 1.1. BELL, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.
156-476, 183, 210, 290, 474; l6l--67, 12S, 132, 148