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Publication numberUS3835856 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateFeb 29, 1972
Also published asCA1037205A1
Publication numberUS 3835856 A, US 3835856A, US-A-3835856, US3835856 A, US3835856A
InventorsWarncke N
Original AssigneeHahn C Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tampon applicator
US 3835856 A
Abstract
An improvement in a tampon applicator comprising applicator sleeve, said sleeve comprising an insertion end adapted to carry a tampon and a rearward portion adapted to house the tampon ejector, a tampon ejector housed within said rearward portion and ridable in said sleeve, the improvement wherein said insertion end has at least one flat portion in the sleeve to define a tampon applicator with a cross-sectional area less than said rearward portion; an improvement in such tampon applicator wherein said tampon ejector has a radially, inwardly directed V-shaped indentation and is otherwise tubular, said ejector made from a resilient, yieldable material which tends to return said tampon ejector to one wherein its cross-section is circular.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Warncke 1 TAMPON APPLICATOR [75] Inventor: Niels Warncke, Metzkausen,

Germany [73] Assignee: Dr. Carl Hahn GmbH, Dusseldorf,

Germany [22] Filed: Feb. 26, 1973 [21] Appl No.: 336,105

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Feb. 29, 1972 Germany 7207682 [52] US. Cl. 128/263, 128/285 [51] Int. Cl A611 13/20, A6lf 15/00 [58] Field of Search 128/263, 260, 285, 270

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,478,576 8/1949 Fourness 128/263 2,587,717 3/1952 Fourness 128/263 3,068,867 12/1962 Bletzinger 128/285 3,196,873 7/1965 Bletzinger et a1 128/263 3,204,635 9/1965 Vosset a1. 128/263 [451 Sept. 17, 1974 3,534,737 10/1970 JOnCS 128/263 3,643,661 2/1972 Crockford.... 128/263 3,674,026 7/1972 Werner ct l1 128/263 3,717,149 2/1973 Morzmc 128/263 Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medberry Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Jason Lipow 57] ABSTRACT An improvement in a tampon applicator comprising applicator sleeve, said sleeve comprising an insertion end adapted to carry a tampon and a rearward portion adapted to house the tampon ejector, a tampon ejec-' tor housed within said rearward portion and ridable in said sleeve, the improvement wherein said insertion end has at least one flat portion in the sleeve to define a tampon applicator with a cross-sectional area less than said rearward portion; and improvement in such tampon applicator wherein said tampon ejector has a radially, inwardly directed V-shaped indentation and is otherwise tubular, said ejector made from a resilient, yieldable material which tends to return said tampon ejector to one wherein its cross-section is circular.

13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED E 7 W4 MEI 1 [IF 2 PAIENIEU SEPI 71914 sum a nr 2 TAMPON APPLICATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a tampon applicator of resilient, yieldable deformable material such as paper or the like for an approximately cylindrical menstruation tampon, comprising an applicator sleeve and a tampon ejector means displaceable therein, the rearward end of the ejector means projecting from the rearward end of the applicator sleeve by a length corresponding approximately to that of the tampon and the forward end being located within the housing in engagement with that end of the tampon which is provided with an extraction tape, the tampon being substantially surrounded by the applicator sleeve. More particularly, the present invention is directed to a tampon applicator which holds the tampon at the insertion end of the tampon sleeve more firmly than heretofore so that inadvertent accidents do not dislodge the tampon from the applicator sleeve. This invention is also directed to means of retaining the tampon in the tampon sleeve until such time as the tampon ejector is actuated. The present invention is further directed to a tampon ejector which firmly sits within the rearward portion of the applicator sleeve behind the tampon but can be displaced to ride forward in the applicator sleeve to eject the tampon when desired.

2. Description of the Prior Art In applicators of this kind the inside diameter of the applicator sleeve is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the tampon which as a rule consists of cotton batting which has been wound on itself and then radially pressed into an approximately cylindrical final shape, so that the tampon may then be easily inserted by the user even if it has expanded slightly owing to climatic influences. Under certain climatic conditions, however, such expansion of the tampon does not occur, so that due to the free play present between the tampon may fall out of the applicator sleeve when the wrapping is removed or before it can be put into use.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention, therefore, to preclude this possibility and provide an applicator for menstruation tampons which, though it will still have the clearance between the tampon and the inner wall of the applicator sleeve, will secure the tampon in position in the axial direction even in cases in which the so-called after-expansior l 'of the tampon should fail to bring the tampon, after its manufacture, into full contact with the inner wall of the applicator sleeve while nevertheless permitting the easy displacement of the tampon within the same sleeve.

Broadly, this invention contemplates an improvement in a tampon applicator comprising an applicator sleeve, said applicator sleeve comprising an insertion end adaptable to carry a tampon and a rearward portion adapted to partially house a tampon ejector, a tampon ejector housed within said rearward portion and ridable in said sleeve, said improvement residing in the insertion end which has a cross-sectional area less than said rearward portion.

In accordance with the invention there is provided an applicator comprising a tubular sleeve of which circular cross section towards the insertion end thereof there is provided at least one flat portion thereby diminishing the cross-sectional area of the insertion end whereby such diminished area causes the tampon substantially surrounded by said sleeve to be firmly affixed by fractional engagement with the inner walls of the applicator sleeve. Positioned behind the tampon in the applicator sleeve and disposed out of the rearward end is a tampon ejector. The tampon ejector is movable within the applicator sleeve to dislodge the tampon firmly gripped by the diminished insertion end of the sleeve.

Preferably, the above-noted tampon ejector is one prepared by initially forming a tubular member whose outside diameter is that of the applicator sleeve. The tampon ejector is made from a resilient, yieldable deformable elastic substance which tends to want to hold the circular cross section. A radially inward V-shaped indentation is made therein whereby the outside diameter of the tampon ejector decreases. Because it decreases, the tampon ejector can readily be housed within the applicator sleeve. Since it tends to return to the circular cross section, it is lodged snugly against the inner walls of the rearward portion of the applicator sleeve and is not readily ridable therein. Since it is made of a yieldable deformable substance, when it is desired to eject the tampon the points on the circumference of the tampon ejector on either side of the V- shaped radial indentation'are moved toward one another so as to define a tampon ejector having an overall cross section which is substantially circular, the outside diameter of which is smaller than the inside diameter of the applicator sleeve. In such form the tampon ejector can readily be displaced forwardly to abut the firmly held tampon, to dislodge the same from the inner walls of the applicator sleeve whereby to effect ejection of the tampon.

In accordance with this invention, there is also provided at least one longitudinally running surface indentation along the insertion portion of the applicator sleeve which indentation abuts the internally disposed tampon. If desired, a plurality of the same can be provided about the circumference of the applicator sleeve. These peripheral indentations have a longitudinal dimension greater than their surface width, all as will appear more fully below. It should be understood that a particularly desirable tampon application is provided with these surface indentations in addition to the insertion end of the reduced cross-sectional area and also in conjunction with the above-noted improved tampon ejector.

The invention solves the problems discussed above by slightly reducing the clearance within the applicator sleeve, at least at one point in its forward section surrounding the tampon, over an area corresponding to a fraction of the length and circumference of this section, thereby making this clearance smaller than the clearance in the area of the applicator sleeve surrounding the ejector means, or the purpose of gripping the tampon.

As a rule the tampon is not expected to drop out at the end opposite the insertion end, because this could happen only if the ejector means should fall out of the applicator sleeve first. The user, however, would have to be holding the applicator exclusively by the applicator sleeve, with no provision being made for holding the ejector means within the sleeve. Nevertheless, to further provide security in this regard, too, the applicator of the invention is provided in a conventional manner with an ejector means which will engage the inner wall of the applicator sleeve with a resilient, radial bias, the tubular ejector means being provided preferably with at least one indentation extending radially inwardly over its length. This indentation causes the wall of the tubular ejector to strive to expand more or less radially and thus to engage the inner wall of the applicator sleeve with a bias that is great enough to fix the ejector means axially in its initial position, so that the tampon, too, will be axially arrested at its end opposite the insertion and of the applicator sleeve. On the other hand, the bias of the ejector means is made such that the user is able effortlessly to overcome the friction caused by the bias when the applicator is put to use.

Preferably, the free cross section of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve is diminished. The reduction of the cross-section of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve is advantageously accomplished by means of at least one flattening of the wall in the area of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve, it being desirable that the flattened portion of the applicator sleeve extend over no more than a short length in relation to the length of the applicator sleeve, from the insertion end towards the opposite end of the applicator sleeve.

Especially advantageous is the additional feature according to which the flat on the applicator sleeve encloses an acute angle with the longitudinal center axis of the sleeve, said angle tapering towards the insertion ends This construction enhances the resilience of the flat. Generally speaking, the acute angle, which is enclosed, is between 2 and I5". Preferably, the fiat extends from the insertion edge of the applicator sleeve down toward the rearward portion a distance of between 6 and mm, preferably between 8 and 12 mm. It has a radial dimension (dimension at 90 to be longitudinal dimension) of between 0.5 and 2.0 mm at the insertion edge. Generally speaking, the longitudinal distance is between 12 and 30 percent that of the length of the tampon housed within the insertion end of the applicator sleeve.

The easy ejection of the tampon is still further favored by the fact that, according to an additional feature, the flat on the applicator sleeve matches the contour of the tampon.

One successful embodiment of the invention is char acterized by the fact that two flats are located diametri cally opposite one another at the insertion end of the applicator sleeve.

Independently of the above measures or in combination therewith, the tampon may also be secured within the applicator sleeve by providing the applicator sleeve, in that portion of its length which surrounds the tampon, with at least one indentation of relatively short length in comparison to the length of the tampon. The indentations in the insertion end of the applicator sleeve generally are between 6 and 15 mm in length. The width (the circumferential dimension) of such indentations is between 50 and 75 percent that of the length. Each of such indentations extends into the hollow of the applicator sleeve a distance of between 0.5 and 2.0 mm, and therein is in engagement with the tampon. The indentation may be of substantially planar shape, or it may have an obtuse V shape as seen in longitudinal cross section.

An additional manufacturing advantage consists in the fact that both the applicator sleeve and the ejector means can be made from the same tubular starting material of the same diameter. After the tubular portion which forms the ejector means is cut to its appropriate length, the material is given its above-noted V-shaped radial indentation. This can be done by any appropriate means. The material employed should be of the type which would tend to spring back towards the initial circular cross section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The invention is represented by way of example in the drawing.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an applicator with a menstruation tampon contained therein.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are perspective view of the applicator sleeve and of the ejector of the applicator of FIG. 1, respectively.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of an applicator having an indentation;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken along the line V V of FIG. 4 through the wall of the applicator sleeve;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of an applicator having an indentation;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the line VII VII of FIG. 6 through the wall of the applicator.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 shows an applicator A of resiliently and plastically deformable material, such as paper, for an approximately cylindrical menstruation tampon l. The applicator consists of an applicator sleeve 2 and an ejector 3 displaceable therein for the ejection of the tampon 1. The rearward end of the ejector 3 projects by an amount corresponding approximately to the length of the tampon from the rearward end of the applicator sleeve, and its forward end engages the tampon end which is provided with an extracting tape 1a within the applicator sleeve, the extracting tape passing through the tubular ejector 3 and depending from the rear orifice thereof. The tampon l is substantially surrounded by the applicator sleeve, i.e., it may protrude slightly from the applicator sleeve 2, especially when the front end of the tampon is provided with a so-called dome. a

In accordance with FIGS. 1 to 3, the free cross section of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve 2 is made relatively slightly smaller than the free cross section of the portion of the length of the applicator sleeve that surrounds the ejector 3. In the embodiment shown, this cross-sectional reduction of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve is achieved by means of two flats in the wall of the applicator sleeve in the area of its insertion end, these flats being advantageously adapted to the contour of the tampon; only one flat 2b is seen in FIG. 1, but both flats Zaand 2b are shown in FIG. '2. The drawings show that the length of the flats 2a and 2b of the applicator sleeve, from the insertion end toward the opposite end of the applicator sleeve, is quite short in proportionto the total length of the applicator sleeve. Nevertheless these flats accomplish their purpose because, by spanning the clearance between the outer circumference of the tampon and the inner wall of the applicator sleeve, they prevent any unintentional axial movement of the tampon (which under certain circumstances may cause the tampon to fall completely out of the applicator sleeve), doing so by means of an approximately point-like contact between the flats 2a and 2b and points either in the area of transition between the front end and the cylindrical periphery of the tampon or on the cylindrical periphery only.

FIG. 2, especially, shows that the flats 2a and 2b on the applicator sleeve form with the central longitudinal axis of the sleeve an acute angle tapering towards the insertion end. This is also apparent from the widening of the flats towards the insertion end. This assures that tampons of varying diameter are secured by the flats 2a and 2b against axial movement. Furthermore, the gradual transition from the cylindrical wall of the applicator sleeve to the diametrically opposed flats assures a snagfree movement of the tampon over the flats, thereby preserving the fiber structure on the circumference of the tampon in spite of the security provided by the flats against axial displacement.

The tubular ejector 3 is made of a resilient, yieldable material provided with a groove-like longitudinal indentation 3a. This indentation is so shaped that it strives to flatten out, i.e., to return to its initial arcuate configuration, increasing the free cross section of the applicator sleeve, so that the ejector thus urges itself against the inner wall of the applicator sleeve 2 with a resilient, radially directed bias. In the embodiment shown, the ejector ha s a generall y V-shaped indentation along its periphery projecting inwardly. TRETE- tional force consequently produced between the ejector and the applicator sleeve is sufficient to fix the ejector axially in the position represented in FIG. 1, so that the ejector cannot slip or drop out of the applicator sleeve even when the sleeve is held with the ejector down. In this manner the tampon l is also fixed axially in its position within the applicator sleeve at the end opposite the insertion end. On the other hand, the friction forces between the ejector and the applicator sleeve 2 are such that the user is able to eject the tampon effortlessly by means of finger pressure on the ejector.

The ejector can, of course, be provided with a plurality of indentations or ribs if desired, on the condition that it exercises a radial bias against the inner wall of the applicator sleeve for its own fixation and for the fixation of the tampon.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show an applicator sleeve 4 having an indentation 4a at a distance from the ejection end of the applicator sleeve in the area surrounding the tampon (which is not shown). The expanse of the indentation 40 is greater longitudinally of the applicator sleeve than it is in the circumferential direction. Additional such indentations could of course be provided in a spaced relationship longitudinally and circumferentially on the sleeve. The indentation itself is, as shown in FIG. 5, substantially planar, thereby assuring that its contact with the tampon will do no harm to the latter.

In FIG. 6, an applicator sleeve 5 is provided with an indentation 6 which, as FIG. 7 shows, corresponds to an obtuse V in longitudinal cross section, so that again its contact with the tampon will do no harm to the latter.

It is possible, of course, to combine the flats at the insertion end of the applicator sleeve with the indentations in the applicator sleeve. It is also conceivable to leave the shape of the applicator sleeve unaltered while providing on the inside thereof, adjacent the insertion end, one or more thin leaf spring elements or elements producing a similar wedging action, made, for example, of paper. In any case the important thing is that an axial fixation of the tampon be achieved through means associated with the applicator sleeve which will essentially preclude any damage to the tampon, such as roughening of the fiber structure, resulting in the danger of fibers being pulled out when the tampon is inserted.

The applicator furthermore has the advantage that both the ejector tube and the applicator sleeve may be manufactured from one and the same tubular starting material of the same diameter, so that the manufacturing costs of the applicator can be diminished considerably.

What is claimed is:

1. In a tubular tampon applicator comprising applicator sleeve, said sleeve comprising an insertion end adapted to carry a tampon therein and a rearward portion adapted to partially house a tampon ejector, a tampon ejector housed within said rearward portion and ridable in said sleeve, the improvement wherein a portion of the circumferential surface proximal the insertion end of said sleeve has at least one flattened portion constituting a means for for providing frictional retaining contact with the side portions of the insertion end of the tampon.

2. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein said flattened portion consists of two diametrically opposed portions on the circumference of the tubular sleeve.

3. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein the flat portion has a length between 6 and l5 mm and at its widest point the width is between 3 and 12 mm.

4. An improvement according to claim 3 wherein the length of the flat longitudinal applicator sleeve amounts to between 4 and 8 mm.

5. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein the at least one flattened portion forms, with the central longitudinal axis of the applicator sleeve, an acute angle tapering in the direction of the insertion end of the applicator sleeve.

6. An improvement according to claim 5 wherein the acute angle is between 2 and 15.

7. An improvement according to claim 6 wherein the flat portion forms an angle with the longitudinal axis of the applicator sleeve of approximately 5.

8. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein the flat portion in the applicator sleeve is adapted to the contour of the tampon.

9. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein the applicator sleeve is provided at its insertion end with at least one indentation whose length is between 12 and 30 percent of the total length of the tampon carried therein.

10. An improvement according to claim 9 wherein said indentation is substantially planar shape and its length in the longitudinal direction of the applicator sleeve is greater than its width in the direction of the circumference of the applicator sleeve.

11. An improvement according to claim 9 wherein the indentation in a longitudinal cross section has an obtuse V shape.

12. An improvement according to claim 1 wherein said tampon ejector is generally tubular, has a V- shaped groove-like indentation extending over its entire length and directed substantially radially inward, said tampon ejector made of a resilient, yieldable, deformable material which tends to return the tampon ejector to a form which has a circular cross section.

13. An improvement according to claim 12 wherein both the applicators sleeve and the tampon ejector are made from the same tubular starting material of the same diameter.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4536178 *Nov 10, 1983Aug 20, 1985International Playtex, Inc.Tampon applicator
US4822332 *Mar 31, 1988Apr 18, 1989Tambrands Inc.Device for delivering an object to a cavity
US5158535 *Jun 14, 1990Oct 27, 1992Kimberly-Clark CorporationCurved tampon applicator and a process for forming the applicator and for assembling an absorbent tampon into said applicator
US5267953 *Mar 18, 1992Dec 7, 1993Kimberly-Clark CorporationCurved tampon applicator and a process for forming the applicator and for assembling an absorbent tampon into said applicator
US5437628 *Nov 10, 1993Aug 1, 1995Kimberly-Clark CorporationCurved tampon applicator having an improved fingergrip
US5453085 *Oct 14, 1993Sep 26, 1995Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Tampon applicator
US5497542 *Feb 28, 1995Mar 12, 1996Kimberly-Clark CorporationMethod of assembling an inner tube into an outer tube
US5519930 *May 12, 1995May 28, 1996Kimberly-Clark CorporationApparatus and method of assembling an inner tube into an outer tube
US5533966 *Jun 7, 1994Jul 9, 1996Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Tampon applicator, especially for feminine hygiene
US6114594 *Feb 3, 1997Sep 5, 2000Societe PrecisMethod of treating a wound using dressing product with core of alginate fibers
US6890324Jun 28, 2001May 10, 2005Playtex Products, Inc.Tampon applicator
US7815593 *Jan 12, 2007Oct 19, 2010Peter James Brian LambDevice for introducing an object into a vagina with sanitary finger mounting means
US8192393Oct 7, 2008Jun 5, 2012Christcot Medical CompanyMethod and apparatus for inserting a rectal suppository
US8419712Apr 26, 2012Apr 16, 2013Christcot Medical CompanyMethod and apparatus for inserting a rectal suppository
Classifications
U.S. Classification604/15
International ClassificationA61F13/26, A61F13/20, A61M31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/26
European ClassificationA61F13/26