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Publication numberUS3750237 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 7, 1973
Filing dateFeb 10, 1972
Priority dateMar 24, 1970
Publication numberUS 3750237 A, US 3750237A, US-A-3750237, US3750237 A, US3750237A
InventorsKalwaites F
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for producing nonwoven fabrics having a plurality of patterns
US 3750237 A
Abstract
A method for producing, from a layer of fibrous material such as a fibrous web, nonwoven fabrics that have a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric. One form of the method includes the steps of positioning the starting web between an apertured forming means and a backing means that has continuous raised imperforate portions that lie between and interconnect discontinuous foraminous portions, then directing fluid rearranging forces through the apertures of the forming means against the fibers of the starting web, causing some of the fluid streams to strike the continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means and all of the fluid streams ultimately to pass through the foraminous portions of the backing means. Each of the discontinuous foraminous portions has an area at least about three times, and for improved results four or more times, the area of an aperture of the apertured forming means. The imperforate portions of the backing means are one to two times as wide at their narrowest parts as a forming aperture at its narrowest part. Fiber segments are moved and positioned to form a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of the discontinuous formaminous portions of the backing means, and a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments that corresponds to the configuration of the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means and interconnects the portions of the fabric in the first pattern.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Kalwaites Aug. 7, 1973 METHOD FOR PRODUCING NONWOVEN FABRICS HAVING A PLURALITY OF PATTERNS [75] lnventor: Frank Kalwaites, Gladstone, NJ.

[73] Assignee: Johnson Johnson, New

Brunswick, NJ.

[22] Filed: Feb. 10, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 225,266

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 22,304, March 24, 1970,

Primary Examiner-Dorsey Newton H Attorney-Robert L. Minier and Leonard P. Prusak [57] ABSTRACT A method for producing, from a layer of fibrous material such as a fibrous web, nonwoven fabrics that have a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric. One form of the method includes the steps of positioning the starting web between an apertured forming means and a backing means that has continuous raised imperforate portions that lie between and interconnect discontinuous foraminous portions, then directing fluid rearranging forces through the apertures of the forming means against the fibers of the starting web, causing some of the fluid streams to strike the continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means and all of the fluid streams ultimately to pass through the foraminous portions of the backing means. Each of the discontinuous foraminous portions has an area at least about three times, and for improved results four or more times, the area of an aperture of the apertured forming means. The imperforate portions of the back- 1 ing means are one to two times as wide at their narrowest parts as a forming aperture at its narrowest part. Fiber segments are moved and positioned to form a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of the discontinuous forman'iinous portions of the backing means, and a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments that corresponds to the configuration of the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means and interconnects the portions of the fabric in the first pattern.

2 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENIEU we 7191s SHEET 1 BF 5 INVPJNTOR. F'AA/K Kai/wares ATTORNEY PATENTEuMm mu 37502-37 sum 1 or 5 INVENTOR F4NK MUM/117258 ATTORNEY PAIENTEU AUS 7 I975 SHEET 5 0F 5 INVENTOR fkm/k K44 64 rss fi 7%m ATTORNEY METHOD FOR PRODUCING NONWOVEN FABRICS HAVING A PLURALITY F PATTERNS This is a continuation application of my co-pending application Ser. No. 22,304, filed Mar. 24, 1970 now abandoned.

This invention relates to a method for the production of nonwoven fabrics, and more particularly to a method for the production of nonwoven fabrics from a layer of fibrous material such as a fibrous web in which the individual fiber elements are capable of movement under the influence of applied fluid forces, to form a fabric that contains a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various methods and apparatus for manufacturing apertured nonwoven fabrics involving the rearrangement of fibers in a starting layer of fibrous material have been known for a number of years. Some of the methods and apparatus for the manufacture of such fabrics are shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,251, which discloses the basic method of which the present invention is a specific form, and in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,081,500, 3,025,585, and 3,033,721.

One of the specific methods for producing apertured nonwoven fabrics that is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,251 is to support a loose fibrous web or layer between an apertured forming member and a permeable backing member, and then direct streams of rearranging fluid through the apertures of the former member in order to apply spaced sets of opposing fluid forces to the layer. The spaced streams of fluid pass through the fibrous layer and over and through the backing member, to pack groups of fiber segments into closer proximity and substantial parallelism in interconnected yam-like bundles of fiber segments that define holes or other areas of low fiber density corresponding to the pattern of the apertures in the apertured forming means. (The term areas of low fiber density" is used herein to include both (1) areas in which relatively few fibers are found in comparison to the rest of the fabric, and (2) apertures (holes) that are substantially or entirely free of fibers.)

Another known method for producing apertured nonwoven fabrics is to support a loose fibrous web or layer upon solid backing means with spaced apertures distributed throughout the area thereof, and direct streams of rearranging fluid against the fibrous starting layer so that the fluid passes through that layer and then out through the spaced apertures in the backing means. The result of this method is to form a nub of interentangled, tightly packed, helter-skelter fiber segments in each aperture of tha backing means, and to positon other fiber segments in flat, ribbon-like groups of sustantially aligned fiber segments between pairs of immediately adjacent nubs to interconnect the same.

In the first method just described, the streams of rearranging fluid enter the fiber rearranging zone at spaced locations determined by the position of the apertures in the apertured forming means against which the fluid streams are first directed. Then, when the rearranging fluid leaves the rearranging zone, it does so through foramina uniformly dispersed throughout the permeable backing member.

Exactly the contrary is true with the second method just described. In that method, the streams of rearranging fluid are dispersed uniformly across the layer of fibrous starting material as they are directed against that layer upon entering the rearranging zone, and leave the rearranging zone at spaced locations determined by the position of the apertures in the apertured backing means.

Another significant feature of the second method is that streams of rearranging fluid initially dispersed uniformly across the fibrous starting layer are consolidated into spaced streams confined by the walls of the apertures in the apertured backing means as they pass out of and away from the fiber rearranging zone. It is this consolidation of the streams of fluid that creates the turbulence that in turn packs the nubs in the nonwoven fabric of this prior art method into tightly compacted, interentangled fiber accumulations, with the individual fibers thereof having entirely random orientation.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION I have now discovered that, unexpectedly, one can combine these two different prior art methods of producing apertured nonwoven fabrics, and achieve very satisfactory rearrangement of the fibers of the fibrous starting material into a fabric having a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric.

In the method of this invention, the starting material is a layer of fibrous material whose individual fibers are in mechanical engagement with one another but are capable of movement under applied fluid forces. This starting material has a web weight of at least about 400 grains per square yard when the fibers of the material are 1% denier, and somewhat heavier with higher denier fibers.

The layer of fibrous starting material is supported in a fiber rearranging zone in which fiber movement in directions parallel to the plane of said fibrous material is permitted in response to applied fluid forces. Streams of rearranging fluid, preferably water, are projected into the fibrous layer at entry zones spaced from each other adjacent one surface of the layer, each of the entry zones having a width at its narrowest part equal to at least about ten times, and preferably about 20 or more times, the average diameter of the fibers of the fibrous starting material. These streams of rearranging fluid are passed through the layer of fibrous starting material as it lies in the rearranging zone, to effect movement of at least some segments of the fibers transverse to the direction of travel of the projected streams.

In the next step of the method, the passage of first portions of the rearranging fluid out of the fibrous layer is blocked at continuous raised barrier zones located adjacent the opposite surface of the fibrous layer, and, at the same time, those portions of fluid are deflected sidewise towards the other portions of the rearranging fluid and are actively mingled with the latter. Each of the raised barrier zones has a width at its narrowest part equal to from about one to about two times the width of one of the entry zones at its narrowest part. All the portions of intermingled rearranging fluid are then passed out of the rearranging zone through spaced, discontinuous, foraminous fiber accumulating zones de- The passage of the rearranging fluid through the layer of fibrous starting material as just described moves some of the fiber segments that are in registry with the continuous raised barrier zones into the fiber accumulating zones, and positions those fiber segments with other fiber segments in those zones in random, helter-skelter relationship with each other in mats of fibers. With heavier web weights, these mats of fibers may rise substantially as high as the tops of the continuous raised barrier zones. In addition, the rearranging fluid moves other fiber segments that are in registry with the continuous raised barrier zones into yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments extending between adjacent pairs of the discontinuous fiber accumulating zones.

The result of this fiber rearrangement is a nonwoven fabric having a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of the fiber accumulating zones. The fabric also includes a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments extending between pairs of discontinuous portions of the fabric immediately adjacent each other in the first pattern.

In one form of the method of this invention, a fibrous starting layer of the specified weight is supported on a backing means that is imperforate and raised except for spaced foraminous portions arranged in a discontinuous pattern, and an apertured forming means is positioned above the fibrous layer to provide a zone in which fiber movement in directions parallel to the backing means can occur in response to applied fluid forces. The width of each forming aperture at its narrowest part is equal to at least about times, and preferably about 20 or more times, the average diameter of the fibers of the fibrous starting material. The area of each of the foraminous portions of the backing means is at least about three times, and for improved results about four or more times, the area of an aperture of the apertured forming means. The raised imperforate portions of the backing means lie between and interconnect the discontinuous foraminous portions.

With a layer of fibrous starting material positioned between the elements just described, streams of rearranging fluid, preferably water, are projected through the apertures of the apertured forming means, against the layer of fibrous starting material, against the continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means, and out through the discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means. Under the influence of the forces applied by these streams of fluid, some of the fiber segments that are in registry with the continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means are moved into areas of the fibrous layer overlying the discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means, to form mats of random, helter-skelter fiber segments there, while other fiber segments in registry with the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means are moved into yarn-like bundles of fiber segments in positions bridging those imperforate portions. With heavier web weights, the mats of fibers thus formed may rise substantially as high as the tops of the raised imperforate portions of the backing means.

The action of the rearranging fluid just described produces a nonwoven fabric having a plurality of fiber patterns that alternate and extend throughout the fabric. The first pattern is a pattern of mats of fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of the discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means, each such mat containing fiber segments randomly oriented with respect to each other. The second is a pattern of groups of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments interconnecting the portions of the fabric in the first pattern; this pattern corresponds to the configuration of the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means.

An interesting result is obtained with this invention when the foraminous portions of the backing means have a plurality of protuberances and troughs altemating across their surfaces in both the longitudinal and transverse directions. The discontinuous mats of randomly oriented fiber segments in the resulting fabric each have one surface embossed in accordance with a pattern complementary to the pattern of the protuberances and troughs of the foraminous portions of the backing means.

Any interaction of the different types of rearranging forces in the two prior art methods that have been described above would be expected to produce highly undesirable results. Thus, in the present invention, the streams of rearranging fluid that enter the fiber rearranging zone at spaced locations above the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means tend to produce yarn-like bundles of fiber segments to bridge those imperforate portions, but the turbulence in the areas of the fibrous web above the foraminous portions of the backing means which results when the various streams of rearranging fluid that enter the rearranging zone through the spaced apertures of the apertured forming means are intermingled there works against this bundling effect in two ways. First, the action of the fluid forces in an area of turbulence tends to interentangle and consolidate the fiber segments as they extend into the web areas on either side of the imperforate portions of the backing means which they bridge, and this tendency also affects the fiber segments lying above the imperforate portions of the backing means, through the fibers that lead out of each group of interentangled fiber segments on either side of the group. Second, the turbulence tends to pull the fiber segments taut and spread them out in a flat array over the imperforate land areas of the backing means.

Both these tendencies oppose separation of the fiber segments into discrete, closely packed, yarn-like bundles to bridge land areas of the backing means. The second tendency is magnified by the fact that the fluid forces exerted in an area of turbulence such as just referred to are markedly greater than the bundling forces applied within an aperture of the apertured forming means, since the area of each foraminous portion of the backing means is at least about three times as large as the area of each of the apertures, and preferably more.

Surprisingly, it has been found that the turbulence of the rearranging fluid as-it passes through the foraminous portions of the backing means in the present invention does not produce the undesirable results just described. On the contrary, the method of this invention successfully combines the two types of fluid rearranging forces to bring about satisfactory fiber rearrangement of dissimilar types, and thus produce an attractive nonwoven fabric having a plurality of patterns of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION Starting material The starting material used with the method of this invention may be any of the standard fibrous webs such as oriented card webs, isowebs, air-laid webs, or webs formed by liquid deposition. The webs may be formed in a single layer, or by laminating a plurality of the webs together. The fibers in the web may be arranged in a random manner or may be more or less oriented as in a card web. The individual fibers may be relatively straight or slightly bent. The fibers intersect at various angles to one another such that, generally speaking, the adjacent fibers come into contact only at the points where they cross. The fibers are capable of movement under forces applied by fluids such as water, air, etc.

To produce a fabric having the characteristic hand and drape of a textile fabric, the layer of starting mate rial used with the method or apparatus of this invention may comprise natural fibers such as cotton, flax, etc.;

mineral fibers such as glass; artificial fibers such as viscose rayon, cellulose acetate, etc.; or synthetic fibers such as the polyamides, the polyesters, the acrylics, the polyolefins, etc., alone or in combination with one an other. The fibers used are'those commonly considered textile fibers; that is generally having a'length from about A inch to about 2 to 2% inches.

Starting webs of about 400 grains per square yard to 2,000 grains per square yard or more may be used. If a web of 1% denier fibers with a web weight of less than about 400 grains per square yard is employed as the starting material, no mats of randomly oriented fiber segments are formed because the bundling influence of the apertures of the apertured forming meanspredominates. With a starting material having a web weight from about 400 to about 800 grains per square yard, mats of randomly oriented fiber segments are formed, each of which ordinarily has associated with it a pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments with areas of low fiber density more or less clearly delineated between the bundles. With a web weight of about 800 to about 1,200 grains per square yard, the mats do not ordinarily have a full pattern of yarn-like bundles associated therewith, although they may have individual yarn-like bundles thus associated. .The mats are usuallyfree of even individual yarn-like bundles with web weights of about 1,200 grains per square yard or more. These web weights may be somewhat higher with webs of higher denier fibers.

Apertured forming means In one form of the method of this invention, the fluid entry zones into the fiber rearranging zone are defined by an apertured forming means.

The apertured forming means used with the method of this invention is solid throughout its area except for the forming apertures disposed longitudinally and transversely across the member. The forming apertures may have any desired shape, i.e., round, square, diamond, oblong, etc. Since the forming apertures function in this invention only to rearrange fiber segments into yarn-like bundles interconnecting the mats of randomly oriented fiber segments that overlie the foraminous portions of the backing means with which the forming means is used, the apertures preferably have a pair of parallel sides that extend perpendicularly across the imperforate portions of the backing means, in order that their shape will be fully complementary to the shapes of the yarn-like bundles of rearranged fiber seg' ments which they are to form.

The width at the narrowest part of each of the apertures of the apertured forming means must be large enough that streams of rearranging fluid passing through those apertures will be effective to separate groups of fiber segments into yarn-like bundles spaced sufficiently far apart to permit reliable visual resolution. Without such resolution, any bundle of fiber segments produced would seem to the person viewing the fabric to fuse or merge together with other such bundles,-with the result that no clear pattern would be apparent in the fabric. To achieve such resolution,'the width of each aperture at its narrowest part should be equal to at least about 10 times, and preferably at least about 20 times, the average diameter of the fibersin the fibrous starting material.

The maximum dimensions of each aperture of the apertured forming means are limited by the requirement mentioned below as tothe ratio between the areas of the forming apertures and the foraminous portions of the backing means.

The land areas of the apertured forming means that lie between and interconnect the forming apertures may be either narrow or broad in comparison to the forming apertures, as desired. Generally speaking, the narrower the land areas are, the more tightly compacted will be the yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments that are formed beneath those land areas.

Backing means having discontinuous foraminous portions As already indicated, in one form of this invention the firbrous starting layer is supported on backing means having foraminous portions arranged in a discontinuous pattern, and continuous raised imperforate portions that lie between and interconnect the discontinuous foraminous portions to provide barrier zones against the passage of rearranging fluid out of the fiber rearranging zone. The foramina of the foraminous portions of the backing means are substantially smaller than the apertures of the apertured forming means.

The width of each imperforate portion of the backing means at its narrowest part is equal to from about one to about two times the width of the narrowest part of an aperture of the apertured formingmeans with which the backing means is used. In other words, the spacing between immediately adjacent foraminous fiber accumulating zones (for example, foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15) where they come closest to each other is no greater than about two times the width of an entry zone (for example, forming aperture 31) at its narrowest part. If the spacing between adjacent fluid entry zones at their closest point is no greater than just indicated, the discrete streams of rearranging fluid entering separate fluid entry zones are effective to produce yarn-like fiber bundles to interconnect portions of the fabric in the first pattern. On the other hand, spacing that is substantially greater tends to interfere with and destroy the bundling effect of the rearranging fluid that enters the rearranging zone in discrete streams through the spaced entry zones.

The area of each of the foraminous portions of the backing means is at least about three times the area of an aperture of the apertured forming means, in order to provide space for at least one yarn-like bundle to extend in each direction from the mat of randomly oriented fiber segments that lies above each foraminous portion of the backing means. Improved results are obtained if this area ratio is at least about 4 to l (which makes each side of the resulting mat of fiber segments about twice as long as the width of a forming aperture), and still better results are achieved if the area ratio is at least about 9 to 1 (making the mat side about three times as long as an aperture width).

There is no practical limit other than esthetic requirements on the maximum area of each foraminous portion of the backing means.

In plan view, the discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means may have any shape desired, i.e., circular, oval, diamond, square, free form, etc.

The discontinuous foraminous portions lie below the level of the imperforate portions of the backing means. This results in a three-dimensional effect in all the fiber groupings accumulated above the foraminous portions of the backing means. To put it another way, the continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means rise above the foraminous portions by at least about 1/32 inches, or l/l6 inches or 96 inches or even more if desired. With higher raised imperforate portions, heavier starting webs are used.

the larger the area of each foraminous portion of the backing means, the more pronounced will be the threedimensional effect in the resulting fabric, for there must be sufficient space to permit a given fiber segment to bend down into the depressed foraminous area and up again on the other side. However, the width of the foraminous portions of the backing means should not be so large that the resulting raised portions of the nonwoven fabric are of a size that leads them to dominate to an excessive extent, in the impression given the viewer, the interconnecting yarn-like bundles of fiber segments that lie below those raised portions of fabric.

The three-dimensional effect in the fabric produced by use of this invention increases with increased flexibility in the fibers being rearranged, since the more flexible a fiber is, the more easily it can conform to the lower elevation of the foraminous portions of the backing means.

During use of the method of this invention, the apertured forming means and the backing means are spaced from each other to provide a fiber rearranging zone in which fiber movement in directions parallel to the backing means is permitted in response to applied fluid forces.

Rearranging fluid The rearranging fluid for use with this invention is preferably water or a similar liquid, but it may be other fluids such as a gas, as described in my U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,251.

If desired, a vacuum may be applied at the exit side of the fiber rearranging zone of this invention, to assist '8 in moving the rearranging fluid through the fibrous starting material and in rearranging the fibers of the material into a patterned nonwoven fabric. This feature is most useful when the rearranging fluid is a liquid.

Brief Description of the Drawings The invention will be more fully described in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic showing in elevation of one type of apparatus that can be employed in the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged diagrammatic plan view of a portion of a backing means that can be used in the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a further enlarged diagrammatic plan view of the element shown in FIG. 2, with the apertures of the apertured forming means used in conjunction therewith shown in dashed lines.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary diagrammatic plan view of the foraminous portion of another backing means that can be used with the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 77 of FIGS. 5 and 6.

FIG. 8 is a photomicrograph of a nonwoven fabric made in accordance with the present invention, shown at an original enlargement of five times.

FIG. 9 is a photomicrograph of another nonwoven fabric made in accordance with the present invention, shown at an original enlargement of five times.

FIG. 10 is a photomicrograph of a cross-sectional view taken along a line similar to that shown as line 10-10 in FIG. 9, shown at an original enlargement of 10 times.

FIGs. 11 and 12 are photomicrographs of two other nonwoven fabrics made in accordance with the present invention, each of them being shown at an original enlargement of five times.

FIGS. 13 and 14 are enlarged diagrammatic plan views of portions of other backing means that can be used in the apparatus of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC FORMS OF THE INVENTION FIG. 1 shows one form of apparatus that may be used in accordance with the present invention. Full particulars of the basic apparatus of which this apparatus is a specific form, including methods of mounting, rotation, etc., are described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,862,251 issued Dec. 2, 1958, and are incorporated in the present application by reference and thus need not be described in complete detail here. In view of this reference, the apparatus of FIG. 1 will be described in general terms insofar as its essential elements are the same as in the patent just mentioned, and the novel features of the method used to manufacture nonwoven fabrics in accordance with the present invention will be described in more detail.

The apparatus of FIG. 1 includes a rotatable backing drum l5 suitably mounted on flanged guide wheels 17 and 18, which are mounted for rotation on shafts 25 and 26. The drum has foraminous portions 19 uniformaly spaced over its entire surface, with the remaining portions of the drum that lie between and interconnect 9 the foraminous portions constituting imperforate land areas 20.

Backing drum 15, as shown in FIG. 2, has a discontinuous pattern of foraminous portions 19 and a continuous pattern of raised imperforate portions 200 and 20b lying between and interconnecting them. Elements 20a and 20b, both of which rise above foraminous portions 19, form a gridwork that extends throughout the area of backing means 15. Elements 20a, which extend vertically in FIG. 2, are wider and lower than elements 20b, which extend horizontally across the same figure.

In FIG. 2, the foraminous portions are square and are aligned in straight lines longitudinally and transversely over the surface of drum 15. As already indicated above, the foraminous portions of the backing member may have any shape desired. They may also be arranged in any discontinuous pattern over the backing member.

FIG. 3 shows a cross section of the backing means of FIG. 2, from which it is seen that in this embodiment imperforate portions 200 do not rise as high abov foraminous portions 19 as do imperforate portions 20b.

Outside rotatablebacking drum 15, a stationary manifold 27 to which a fluid is supplied through conduit 28 extends along the full width of the drum. On one side of the manifold is a series of nozzles 29 for directing the fluid toward the drum.

About the greater portion of the periphery of the drum there is positioned an apertured forming belt 30. Forming belt 30 is solid throughout its area except for forming apertures 31 disposed across its surface. As already indicated above, these forming apertures may have any shape desired, but are preferably of a shape that is complementary to the shape of the interconnecting yam-like bundles of .fiber segments which during operation of this apparatus they help to form. They may also be arranged in any discontinous pattern over the support member, but are preferably aligned in those directions in which yam-like bundles of fiber segments are to be positioned for interconnecting the mats of randomly oriented fiber segments that are contained in the fabric produced by use of the present invention. Continuous land areas 32 extend btween apertures 31. In the apparatus of FIG. I, forming apertures 31 are circular in shape and are arranged such that four of them lie in a square pattern over the surface of forming belt 30.

The diameter of circular apertures 31 is at least about ten times the average diameter of the fibers in the fibrous starting material. with fibers of 1% denier, for example, the diameter of apertures 31 is about 0.015 inch or larger.

Forming belt 30 passes about drum l ane separates from the drum at guide roll 33, which rotates on shaft 34. The belt passes downwardly around guide roll 35, rotating on shaft 36, and then rearwardly over vertically adjustable tensioning and tracking guide roll 37 rotating on shaft 38, and then around guide roll 39 on shaft 40. The member passes upwardly and around guide roll 41 rotating on shaft 42, to be returned about the periphery of the drum.

Backing drum l5 and apertured forming belt 30 provide a rearranging zone between them through which a fibrous starting material may move to be rearranged, under the influence of applied fluid forces, into a nonwoven fabric having a plurality of patterns of fiber segments that extend throughout its area.

Tension on forming belt 30 is controlled and adjusted by the tensioning and tracking guide roll. The guide rolls are positioned in slideable brackets which are adjustable to assist in the maintenance of the proper tension of the belt. The tension required will depend upon the weight of the fibrous web being treated and the amount of rearrangement and patterning desired in the final product.

Backing drum 15 rotates in the direction of the arrow shown, and apertured forming belt 30 moves in the same direction at the same peripheral linear speed and within the indicated guide channels, so that both longitudinal and lateral translatory motion of the backing means, the apertured fonning means, and the fibrous layer with respect to each other are avoided. The fibrous material 43 to be treated is fed between the backing drum and apertured forming member 30 at point A," passes through a fiber rearranging zone where fluid rearranging forces are applied to it, and is removed in its new, rearranged form as nonwoven fabric 44 between the backing drum and apertured forming belt at point B.

As fibrous material 43 passes through the fiber rearranging zone, a liquid such as water is directed against the outer surface of apertured forming belt 30 by nozzles 29 mounted outside the drum, the water passes .through apertures 31 of forming means 30 into the layer of fibrous starting material 43 to produce rearrangement of the fibers of the web, and the water thence passes through foraminous portions 19 of backing drum l5.

Vacuum assist box 45 is located inside rotating drum 15 opposite manifold 27 and nozzles 29. Vacuum box 45 has a slotted surface located closely adjacent the inner cylindrical surface of drum 15, through which suction is caused to act upon the web. Suction thus applied assists in the rearrangement of the fibers as the web material passes through the rearranging zone. In addition, it serves to help dewater the web and prevent flooding during fiber rearrangement. A drain pan 46 is provided in order that water deflected by the outside of apertured forming belt 30 will be carried away from the machine.

In the apparatus of FIG. 1, the relative positioning of rotatable backing drum l5 and apertured forming means 30 with respect to the fibrous layer 43 being rearranged is maintained through the rearranging zone as explained above by guarding against either longitudinal or lateral translatory movement. This maintains the integrity of the rearranged fabric as it is subjected to fluid forces from the rearranging liquid.

FIG. 4 is a still further enlarged diagrammatic view of a portion of backing means 15 used in the apparatus of FIG. 1. Discontinuous foraminous portions 19 are square in shape and are arranged in a square pattern over the surface of the backing member. The remainder of the backing member is comprised of continuous raised imperforate portions 20a and 20b.

Circular forming apertures 31 of apertured forming means 30, also arranged in a square pattern, are shown in dashed lines. During use of the apparatus of FIG. 1, apertured forming means 30 and backing means 15 are spaced from each other to provide a fiber rearranging zone.

The directions of streams of rearranging fluid projected through apertures 31 of apertured forming means 30 take as they move into. and through the fibrous web determine the type of forces applied to the fibers and, in turn, the extent of rearrangement of the fibers. Since the directions the streams of rearranging fluid take after they pass through apertures 31 are determined by foraminous portions 19 and raised imperforate portions 20a and 20b of support member or backing means 15, it follows that the patterns of these portions of the backing means help determine the patterns of fiber arrangement, as well as the patterns of holes or other areas of low fiber density, in the resultant fabric.

When backing means and apertured forming means 30 are employed as shown in FIG. 4, streams of rearranging fluid passing through forming apertures 31 cause some of the fiber segments that are in registry with continuous imperforate portions of backing means 15 to move into areas of fibrous layer 43 overlying foraminous portions 19 of the backing means, to form mats of randomly oriented fiber segments there. At the same time, the streams of rearranging fluid move other fiber segments that are in registry with imperforate portions 20a and 20b into yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments in positions bridging the continuous imperforate portions of the backing means from one discontinuous foraminous area 19 to another.

This fiber rearrangement produces a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15, and a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments interconnecting the portions of the fabric in the first pattern. The second pattern corresponds to the configuration of continuous raised imperforate portions 20 of backing means 15.

FIG. 5 gives an enlarged fragmentary diagrammatic plan view of the foraminous portion 50 of another backing means that can be used with the apparatus of FIG. 1 in place of foraminous areas 19 shown in FIGS. 2 through 4. Foraminous portion 50 of the backing means shown in FIG. 5 is formed of coarse woven screen, preferably metal; wires 51 running vertically in that figure are straight, while wires 52 running horizontally weave alternately over and under wires 51. Protuberances 53 are present throughout foraminous portion 50 as the topmost of each knee of a given strand 52 of the screen that is formed as the strand weaves over and under the strands 51 that lie perpendicular to it.

As a given strand 52 slants downward to pass under a strand 51 perpendicular to it, it crosses two other strands 52 disposed on either side of it, as those strands slant upward to pass over the same perpendicular strand that the given strand will pass under. Each series of such crossing points" 54 forms a trough, such as trough 55 formed by crossing points 54 in FIGS. 5 and 6, that lies between adjacent protuberances 53. The effective shape of troughs 55, as can be best seen in FIG. 6 (which shows a cross section of element 50 of which a plan view is given in FIG. 5), is substantially an inverted triangle.

A series of slightly deeper troughs 56 is formed between adjacent protuberances 53 but extending at right angles to troughs 55. As best seen in FIG. 7, the bottom of each trough 56 is formed by portions of straight strands 51, with successive protuberances 53 on each side of the trough forming the tops of the trough. As

seen in FIG. 7, the effective shape of troughs 56 may be characterized as a shallow U-shape.

As shown in FIG. 5, a plurality of troughs 55 and a plurality of protuberances 53 alternate in one direction across the surface of foraminous portion 50 of the backing means. FIG. 5 also shows that a plurality of troughs 56 and a plurality of protuberances 53 alternate in a direction perpendicular to troughs 55. Hence a plurality of troughs and a plurality of protuberances alternate in both the longitudinal and transverse directions across the surface of foraminous portion 50 of the backing means.

Use in the method of this invention of a backing means having foraminous portions such as element 50 shown in FIGS. 5 through 7, with a starting web that has a web weight of at least about 800 grains per square yard if made up of fibers of about 1% denier and somehwat heavier for higher denier fibers, produces a nonwoven fabric in which one surface of each of the mats of randomly oriented fiber segments in the fabric is embossed in accordance with a pattern that is complementary to the pattern of protuberances S3 and troughs 55 and 56 on the surface of foraminous portions 50 of the backing means.

During use of this invention, apertured forming means 30 and the backing means of which element 50 is a part are spaced to provide a fiber rearranging zone.

The rearranged web or fabric produced by the practice of this invention may be treated with an adhesive, dye or other impregnating, printing, or coating material in a conventional manner. For example, to strengthen the rearranged web, any suitable adhesive bonding materials or binders may be included in an aqueous or non-aqueous medium employed as the rearranging fluid. Or an adhesive binder may, if desired, be printed on the rearranged web to provide the necessary fabric strength. Thermoplastic binders may, if desired, be applied to the rearranged web in powder form before, during or after rearrangement, and then fused to bond the fibers.

The optimum binder content for a given fabric according to this invention depends upon a number of factors, including the nature of the binder material, the size and shape of the binder members and their arrangement in the fabric, the nature and length of the fibers, total fiber weight, and the like. In some instances, because of the strength of the fibers used or the tightness of their interentanglement in the rearranged web or fabric, or both, no binder at all need be employed to provide a usable fabric.

The following are illustrative examples of use of the method and apparatus of this invention to produce patterned nonwoven fabrics:

EXAMPLE 1 In apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 1, a web 43 of loosely assembled fibers, such as may be obtained by carding, is fed between apertured forming means 30 and backing means 15. The web weight is about 1,200 grains per square yard, and its fiber orientation ratio approximately 7 to 1 in the direction of travel. The web contains viscose rayon fibers approximately 1 9/16 inches long, of 1% denier.

Apertured forming means 30 has about substantially round holes per square inch, each approximately 0.045 inch in diameter, or about 30 times the average diameter of the fibers of the fibrous starting material.

The holes are arranged in a diamond pattern over the forming means. Each aperture 31 is spaced approximately 0.040 inch in the diagonal direction from the immediately adjacent aperture on the forming belt.

The discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15 are comprised of a woven nylon screen of approximately 28 X 34 mesh or substantially 952 openings per square inch. Each foraminous portion 19 is square in shape, approximately /16 inch on each side, and is spaced from the immediately adjacent similar foraminous portions by approximately 3/32 inch in one direction and about 3/64 inch in the other.

Continuous imperforate portions 20:: and 20b of backing means comprise a low density of polyethylene mesh or grid of the form shown in plan view in FIG. 2 and in cross section in FIG. 3. The width 60a of each imperforate portion 200 (running vertically in FIG. 2) is approximately 3/32 inch or about 0.094 inch, which is about two times the diameter of each aperture 31 of apertured forming means 30. The width 60b of each imperforate portion b (running horizontally in FIG. 2) is approximately 3/64 inch, or about equal to the diameter of each forming aperture 31. Together the grid of imperforate portions defines square foraminous portions each of whose sides is approximately 5/16 inch. The heights 61a and 61b of imperforate portions 20a and 20b are about 1/32 inch and 1/16 inch, respectively, at their rounded top portions 62a and 62b.

With the conditions indicated, good fiber rearrangement and bundling are obtained, and a nonwoven fabric such as shown in the photomicrograph of FIG. 8, which has a plurality of patterns that alternate and extend throughout the fabric, is produced. Nonwoven fabric 70 of FIG. 8 contains a first pattern of fiber segments 71 arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing drum 15. Fiber segments 71 comprise a mat of randomly oriented segments. During the production of the fabric of FIG. 8, wider imperforate portions 20a extend vertically under the fabric as it is there shown, and narrower imperforate portions 20b run horizontally beneath the fabric as it is there shown.

The nonwoven fabric of this example also contains a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments 72a and 72b interconnecting portions of the fabric in the first pattern 71. The portion of this second pattern comprised of yarn-like bundles 72a corresponds to the configuration of continuous imperforate portions 20a of backing drum l5. Yarn-like bundles 72b are shorter than bundles 72a, because they correspond to narrower imperforate portions 20b of the backing means. Yarnlike bundles 7 2a define between them areas of low fiber density 73a, and bundles 72b define somewhat smaller areas of low fiber density 73b.

EXAMPLE 2 The fibrous starting material employed in this example is the same as that used in Example 1. The apparatus is also the same as that of Example 1, except that each foraminous portion of the backing means has more widely spaced protuberances and troughs disposed across its surface. Specifically, foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15 comprise a woven fiber glass screen of approximately 14 X 18 mesh or substantially 252 openings per square inch.

The resulting nonwoven fabric, as seen in FIG. 9, is a rearranged fabric having a plurality of patterns of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric. Nonwoven fabric of FIG. 9 contains a first pattern of fiber segment 81 arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing drum 15. Fiber segments 81 comprise a mat of randomly oriented segments that rise in some parts of the fabric substantially as high as continuous raised imperforate portions 20a and 20b on backing means 15.

The nonwoven fabric of this example contains a second pattern that includes yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments 82a, which interconnect portions of the fabric in the first pattern 81 and define between them areas of low fiber density 83a. The second pattern also includes yarn-like bundles of fiber segments 82b, which define between them areas of low fiber density 83b. Yarn-like bundles 82a correspond to the configuration of continuous imperforate portions 20a of backing drum 15, and yarn-like bundles 82b correspond to imperforate portions 20b of the backing means.

As seen in FIG. 9, the surface of the fibrous web that is in contact with foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15 is embossed with a pattern that is complementary to the pattern of the protuberances and troughs that alternate across the surface of those portions. This effect is achieved by directing the streams of rearranging fiuid against the fibrous web so as to pack down into the troughs and above the protuberances the fiber segments that lie above the foraminous portions of the backing means or are moved there by the rearranging fluid.

FIG. 10 is a photomicrograph showing a cross section of the nonwoven fabric of FIG. 9 taken along a line similar to line 10-10 in the latter figure. The respective groups of fiber segments in the nonwoven fabric of FIG. 10 are indicated by the same designators in that figure as are used for the corresponding parts of the fabric in FIG. 9.

The cross sectional view of FIG. 10 shows the same type of embossed surface on the nonwoven fabric as can be seen in the photomicrograph of FIG. 9, with alternating ridges 84 and depressions 85. The cross sectional view also shows that when the mat of randomly oriented fiber segments 81 is formed on backing means 15, it rises, in some locations at least, substantially as high as imperforate portions 20a which underlie yarnlike bundles of fiber segments 82a.

EXAMPLE 3 In apparatus as illustrated in FIG. l, a web 43 of loosely assembled fibers, such as may be obtained by carding, is fed between apertured forming means 30 and backing means 15. The web weight is about 400 grains per square yard, and its fiber orientation ratio approximately 7 to l in the direction of travel. The web contains viscose rayon fibers approximately 1 9/16 inch long, of 1% denier.

The apertured forming means 30 used in this example has about 324 substantially round holes per square inch, each approximately 0.033 inch in diameter or about 20 times the average diameter of the fibers of the fibrous starting material. The holes or apertures 31 are arranged in a square patternover: the forming means,

with each aperture 31 spaced approximately 0.022 inch from the immediately adjacent apertures.

The discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing means 15 of the apparatus of this example are comprised of a woven nylon screen of approximately 28 X 34 mesh or substantially 952 openings per square inch. Each foraminous portion 19 is oval in shape, measuring approximately 1/16 inch in one direction and approximately $4; inch in the other, and is spaced about 1/16 inch from the immediately adjacent foraminous portions. Foraminous portions 19 are distributed in a diamond pattern, 24 to the square inch, over backing means 15.

Continuous imperforate portions 20 of backing means 15 comprise a nylon knitted mesh known as Raschel knit fabric, which has oval openings arranged in a diamond pattern that corresponds to the arrangement of the mats of randomly oriented fibers seen in the fabric shown in the photomicrograph of FIG. 11. The width of each imperforate portion 20 of backing means 15 at its narrowest part is approximately 1/16 inch or about 0.063 inch, which is about two times the diameter of each aperture 31 of apertured forming means 30. Together the grid of imperforate portions defines foraminous portions 19. The height of each imperforate portion 20 is approximately l/32 inch at its rounded top portion.

With the conditions indicated, a nonwoven fabric such as shown in the photomicrograph of FIG. 11, which has a plurality of patterns that alternate and extend throughout the fabric, is produced. Nonwoven fabric 100 of FIG. 11 contains a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments 101 arranged in accordance with the diamond shaped pattern of discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing drum 15. The nonwoven fabric also contains a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments 102 that form a latticework interconnecting the portions of the fabric in the first pattern 101. This second pattern corresponds to the configuration of continuous imperforate portions 20 of backing drum 15.

The fabric of FIG. 11 also contains a third pattern of yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments 103, located on the other side of the fabric from that shown in FIG. 11, which is associated with the first pattern of mats of fiber segments 101 and is arranged in accordance with the pattern of land areas 32 of apertured forming belt 30. Yarn-like bundles 103 define a pattern of areas of low fiber density 104 arranged in accordance with the pattern of apertures 31 in apertured forming means 30. Bundles of fiber segments 103 and areas of low fiber density 104 can be distinguished on the other side of some of mats 101 in FIG. 11.

Each mat of fiber segments 101 appears from FIG. 11 to be approximately 8 to 10 times the size of each area of low fiber density 104. This is consistent with the relative size of foraminous portions 19 of backing drum and apertures 31 of apertured forming belt 30 that are included in the apparatus with which the fabric of these figures was made. Each foraminous portion 19 has an area of about 0.007 square inches, and each aperture 31 of apertured forming belt 30 has a diameter of about 0.033 inch, which gives it an area of about 0.00085 square inches. In other words, the area of each foraminous portion 19 of backing drum 15 is about eight times the area of each aperture 31 of apertured forming belt 30.

EXAMPLE 4 The fibrous starting material and the apparatus employed in this example are the same as those of Example 2, except that the web weight of the starting material is about 460 grains per square yard.

The resulting nonwoven fabric, as seen in FIG. 12, is an excellent rearranged fabric having a plurality of patterns of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout the fabric. Nonwoven fabric 1 10 of FIG. 12 contains a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments 111 arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of discontinuous foraminous portions 19 of backing drum 15. The nonwoven fabric also contains a second pattern of groups of fiber segments 112that interconnect portions of the fabric in the first pattern 111, and define between them areas of low fiber density 113. The second pattern also includes yarn-like bundles 114, lighter in weight than groups 112, which form a latticework that interconnects portions of the fabric in the first pattern 111. The latticework defines areas of low fiber density 115. Second pattern 112 corresponds to the configuration of continuous imperforate portions 20a of backing drum 15, and

. latticework pattern 1 14 corresponds in part to imperforate portions 20b of the backing means, and in part to the areas where imperforate portions 20a and 20b cross each other to form an imperforate grid on the backing means.

The fabric also contains a fourth pattern of yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments-116, located on the other side of the fabric from that shown in FIG. 12. These yarn-like bundles, associated with the first pattern of mats of fiber segments 101, are arranged in accordance with the pattern of land areas 32 of apertured forming belt 30, and define a pattern of areas of low fiber density 117 arranged in accordance with the pattern of apertures 31 in apertured forming means 30.

In the fabric of FIG. 12, each mat of fiber segments 101 appears to be approximately 12 times the size of each area of low fiber density 117, or a little larger. This is consistent, as was true of the fabric of FIG. 11, with the relative size of foraminous portions 19 of backing drum 15 and apertures 31 of apertured forming belt 30 that are included in the apparatus with which this fabric was made. y

It is seen that in fabrics made by use of the method of this invention, the fiber segments in the portions of the fabric occupied by the first pattern of fiber segments may all be oriented in a helter-skelter fashion, as in the fabrics of Examples 1 and 2. On the other hand, this need not be so in every case, and each mat of randomly oriented fiber segments in a nonwoven fabric made by use of this method may have one or more yarn-like bundles of fiber segments associated with it, as in the fabrics of Examples 3 and 4.

If it is desired to produce a nonwoven fabric in which the yarn-like bundles of fiber segments that form the second pattern of the fabric are of equal length on all sides of each mat of randomly oriented fiber segments in the fabrics first pattern, each discontinuous fiber accumulating zone in this method is spaced from other such zones by substantially the same distance at all points around its perimeter. Two backing means either of which will provide this condition are illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14. In FIG. 13, backing means 90 has continuous raised imperforate portions 91, which have the same width at all points around each foraminous portion 92 defined by them. In FIG. 14, backing means 95 has continuous raised imperforate portions 96 that between them define discontinuous foraminous portions 97 and 98. lmperforate means 96, as shown, are of equal width around the entire perimeter of each foraminous portion 97 and 98.

The above detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only. No unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

1. A method of producing a patterned nonwoven fabric having a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout said fabric, from a layer of fibrous starting material whose individual fibers are in mechanical engagement with one another but are capable of movement under applied fluid forces, which comprises: supporting said layer of tibrous starting material in a fiber rearranging zone in which fiber movement in directions parallel to the plane of said fibrous material is permitted in response to applied fluid forces, said rearranging zone having an entry side and an exit side; projecting streams of rearranging fluid into the fibrous layer as thus supported at entry zones spaced from each other adjacent the entry side of said rearranging zone; passing said streams of rearranging fluid through said layer of fibrous starting material as it lies in said rearranging zone to effect movement of at least some segments of the fibers transverse to the direction of travel of the projected streams; blocking the passage of some entire streams of said fluid out of said fibrous layer at continuous raise barrier zones within the rearranging zone adjacent the exit side thereof, and deflecting the same sidewise towards other streams of fluid passing through the rearranging zone; actively mingling said deflected fluid with said other portions of fluid in spaced, discontinuous, foraminous fiber accumulating zones defined by said continuous raised barrier zones and lying below the, same within said fiber rearranging zone, out of which fiber accumulating zones the intermingled fluids may exit from said rearranging zone, each of said raised barrier zones having a width at its narrowest part equal to from about one to about two times the width of one of said entry zones at its narrowest part and each of said fiber accumulating zones having an area at least about three times the area of one of said entry zones; and passing said intermingled portions of fluid out of said fiber accumulating zones and said fiber rearranging zone, to move some of the fiber segments that are in registry with said continuous raised barrier zones into said discontinuous fiber accumulating zones and position them there with other fiber segments in said zones in random, helter-skelter relationship with each other in mats of fibers, while moving others of said fiber segments that are in registry with said continuous raised barrier zones into yam-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments extending between pairs of said discontinuous fiben accumulating zones immediately adjacent each other, thereby forming a nonwoven fabric having a first pattern of mats of randomlyoriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of said fiber accumulating zones, and a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments bridging said continuous raised barrier zones between adjacent fiber accumulating zones.

2. A method of producing a patterned nonwoven fabric having a plurality of patterns of groups of fiber segments that alternate and extend throughout said fabric, from a layer of fibrous starting material whose individual fibers are in mechanical engagement with one another but are capable of movement under applied liquid forces, which comprises: positioning said layer of fibrous starting material in a fiber rearranging zone, in which fiber movement in directions parallel to the plane of said fibrous material is permitted in response to applied liquid forces, that is defined on one side by forming means having apertures spaced longitudinally and transversely with land areas therebetween, and on the other side by backing means that has foraminous portions arranged in a discontinuous pattern with the foraminous therein smaller than said forming apertures and continuous raised imperforate portions lying be- ,tween and interconnecting said discontinuous foraminous portions, the width of each of said apertures at its narrowest part being equal to at least about 10 times the average diameter of the fibers of the fibrous starting material, the area of each of said discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means being at least about three times the area of an aperture of said apertured fon'ning means, and the width of each of said continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means at its narrowest part being equal to from about one to about two times the width of one of said forming apertures at its narrowest part; and projecting streams of liquid through said apertures and then against said fibrous layer to pass therethrough, some of said liquid streams thereafter striking said continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing means and being deflected thereby in sidewise directions, and all of said liquid streams passing through and beyond said foraminous portions of the backing means, to move some of the fiber segments that are in registry with said imperforate portions of the backing means into areas of said fibrous layer overlying said foraminous portions of the backing means, positioning fiber segments thus moved with other fiber segments in each of said last mentioned areas in random, helter-skelter relationship with each other in mats of fibers, while moving others of said fiber segments that are in registry with said continuous raised imperforate portions into yarn-like bundles of closely associated and substantially parallel fiber segments extending between pairs of said discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means immediately adjacent each other, thereby forming a nonwoven fabric having a first pattern of mats of randomly oriented fiber segments arranged in accordance with the pattern of arrangement of said discontinuous foraminous portions of the backing means, and a second pattern of yarn-like bundles of fiber segments bridging said continuous raised imperforate portions of the backing Inventor(s) UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE I CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 75 ,237 Q R Frank Ka lwzntesv August 7 3973 Dated It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

"fox-ominous" In Columnl, line Column Column "fibrous" Column Column Column Column Column Column 1, line 6, line 9, line line line

r. Abstract, line 2'4, "formaminous" should. read "the" shouldv read "the :"positon" should read "position" "firbrous" should read ---v "with" shouldigread. "With" "ane" should read "and Column ll, line In after "topmost" insert "part" In Column 12,. line "somehwat" should. read 1 "somewhat" 63, "fiben" should read. "fiber" In Column l4, line C "segment" should read "segments" In Column 17, line In Column 18, line 22, "'foraminous" should read "foramina." 1

Signed and sealed this 17th day of September 1974.

(sum Attest:

Mcc'oY M. GIBSON JR. V Atte'sting Officer C. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner of Patents

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Classifications
U.S. Classification28/105
International ClassificationD04H1/70
Cooperative ClassificationD04H1/70
European ClassificationD04H1/70