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Publication numberUS3920017 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 18, 1975
Filing dateSep 27, 1974
Priority dateSep 27, 1974
Also published asCA1123151A, CA1123151A1, DE2541735A1, DE2541735C2
Publication numberUS 3920017 A, US 3920017A, US-A-3920017, US3920017 A, US3920017A
InventorsHamzeh Karami
Original AssigneeColgate Palmolive Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Crotch-shaped diaper and method
US 3920017 A
Abstract
A disposable diaper comprising, an absorbent pad assembly having a pair of side edges, a front surface, and a back surface. The diaper has a fluid impervious backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of the pad assembly. The backing sheet covers the back surface of the pad assembly and has lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad assembly, the side margins of the backing sheet being folded over and secured to the front of the diaper with the side edges of the backing sheet being located in the proximity of the side edges of the pad assembly. The folded over side margins define side panels of the diaper which have recessed portions in the crotch region of the diaper to fit an infant's legs. The side panels are folded over and secured to the front surface of the pad assembly in the crotch region of the diaper.
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United States Patent [191 Karami CROTCH-SHAPED DIAPER AND METHOD [75] Inventor: Hamzeh Karami, Crystal Lake, 111.

[73] Assignee: Colgate-Palmolive Company, New

York, NY.

[22] Filed: Sept. 27, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 509,978

[52] US. Cl 128/287; 128/284; l28/290R [51] Int. Cl. A61F 13/16; A41B 13/02 [58] Field of Search..... 128/284, 287, 290 R, 290 P [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,122,417 7/1938 Fridolph 128/284 3,386,442 6/1968 Sabee 128/287 3,461,871 8/1969 Foote 128/284 3,509,881 5/1970 Sabee 128/287 3,559,648 2/1971 Mason, Jr. 128/287 3,626,944 12/1971 Schaar 128/287 3,721,242 3/1973 Krusko 128/287 3,730,184 5/1973 128/287 3,741,213 6/1973 128/287 3,776,234 12/1973 Hoey 128/287 3,814,100 6/1974 Nystrand 128/287 Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbery Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Powell L. Sprunger [57] ABSTRACT A disposable diaper comprising, an absorbent pad assembly having a pair of side edges, a front surface, and a back surface. The diaper has a fluid impervious backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of the pad assembly. The backing sheet covers the back surface of the pad assembly and has lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad assembly, the side margins of the backing sheet being folded over and secured to the front of the diaper with the side edges of the backing sheet being located in the proximity of the side edges of the pad assembly. The folded over side margins define side panels of the diaper which have recessed portions in the crotch region of the diaper to fit an infants legs. The side panels are folded over and secured to the front surface of the pad assembly in the crotch region of the diaper.

25 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 18, 1975 3,920,017

CROTCI-I-SHAPED DIAPER AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to absorbent articles, and more particularly to disposable diapers.

A various assortment of disposable diapers have been proposed in the past for use on infants. Such diapers may usually be placed in two categories: (a) diapers having a rectangular shape and which may be partially unfolded when placed on the infant; and (b) diapers having a contoured shape to provide a better fit of the infant. Generally, it has been found difficult to provide the rectangular diapers with a comfortable fit for the infant, particularly in the crotch and thigh regions of the diaper, while the contoured diapers are often difficult to manufacture. In many cases, the irregular shape of the contoured diapers requires the use of complex and high-precision machinery to produce such diapers in high volume, thus adding to the cost of the diapers to the consumer. Moreover, it is desirable that contoured diapers prevent leakage when worn, and particularly in the crotch region of the diapers where fluid transmission to the diapers is at its greatest.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A principle feature of the present invention is the provision of a diaper of simplified construction providing an improved fit for an infant.

The diaper of the present invention comprises an absorbent pad assembly having a pair of side edges, a front surface and a back surface. The diaper has a fluid impervious backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of the pad assembly. The backing sheet covers the back surface of the pad assembly and has lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad assembly. The side margins of the backing sheet are folded over and secured to the front surface of the pad assembly, with the folded over side margins defining side panels of the diaper. The side panels have recessed portions in the crotch region of the diaper, and side flaps of the diaper may be folded over and secured to the front surface of the pad assembly.

Thus, a feature of the invention is that the recessed portions of the side panels provide a contoured shape of the diaper in the crotch region to fit the irregular contour of an infants legs.

Another feature of the invention is that the diaper has a reduced bulk in the crotch region providing a more comfortable fit of the diaper for the infant.

Yet another feature of the invention is that the diaper provides retaining panels of the backing sheet extending from side edges of the pad assembly for placement around the infants waist, thus providing an improved fit of the diaper in the infants waist region.

Yet another feature of the invention is that the diaper has fluid impervious barrier means overlying the pad assembly in the crotch region to prevent leakage from the diaper.

A feature of the invention is that a reduced amount of fluid pervious top sheet and absorbent material is used in the pad assembly.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of a method for making a contoured diaper in a simplified manner.

2 Further features will become more fully apparent in the following description of the embodiments of this invention and from the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a diaper of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially as indicated along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 35, and 7 are fragmentary plan views illustrating configurations of the diaper during formation of the diaper on FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view, taken in section, of the diaper of FIG. 1 being further folded to provide another embodiment of the diaper of the present inventron.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, there is shown a disposable diaper generally designated 20 having an absorbent pad 22 and a fluid impervious backing sheet 24. The absorbent pad may have a rectangular shape, with a pair of side edges 26a and 26b, a pair of end edges 28a and 28b connecting the side edges 26a and b, and a back surface 30. The pad 22 may have a fluid pervious top sheet 32 covering the front of the absorbent pad and defining a front surface 34 for the pad. The diaper 20 has a pair of waistband portions 36a and 36b adjacent end edges 38a and 38b of the diaper, and a crotch portion 40 therebetween.

The backing sheet 24 has a greater width than the absorbent pad 22, and as illustrated in FIGS. l-3, the backing sheet covers the back surface 30 of the absorbent pad, with lateral side margins 42a and 42b of the backing sheet extending past the side edges 26a and b of the pad 22. The side margins 42a and b of the backing sheet are folded over along fold lines 44a and 44b, and edge portions 46a and 46b of the side margins 42a and b are secured to the front surface of the pad assem bly, such that side edges 48a and 48b of the backing sheet are located intermediate the side edges 26a and b of the pad 22. The folded over side margins 42a and b define fluid impervious side panels 50a and 50b of the diaper, and the fold lines 44a and b define side edges of the side panels 50 a and b. It is apparent that the fluid impervious edge portions 46a and b of the side margins 42a and b provide a fluid barrier adjacent the side edges of the absorbent pad 22 to prevent leakage from i the pad.

The side panels 50a and b are cut along pairs of slits 52a and 52b from the side edges 44a and b of the side panels toward the absorbent pad 22, as shown, with the inner ends 60 of the slits 52a and b being spaced from the side edges 26a and b of the pad 22. The slits 52a and b are located intermediate the longitudinal midpoint of the diaper and the end edges 38a and b of the diaper, and preferably intermediate the crotch region 40 and end edges 38a and b of the diaper. Preferably, the slits 52a and b define obtuse angles with the side edges 44a and b of the side panels 50a and b taken intermediate the slits and end edges of the diaper. The flaps 54a and 54b defined by the slits 52a and b in the side panels 50 a and b, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, may be folded along fold lines 53a and 53b over the front surface of the pad assembly. If desired, the flaps 54a and b may be secured in place on top of the pad as- :aembly by suitable securing means 56a and 56b, such as adhesive. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4, second slits 58 may be made in the side panels 50a and b between the inner ends 60 of the slits 52a and b and along the side edges 26a and b of the pad 22, such that the slits 58 and 52a and b extend around portions removed from the side panels and define cut-out portions 62 in the crotch region of the diaper. In either event, the cut-out portions 62 or folded over flaps 54a and b define recessed or displaced portions 64 of the side panels to provide a contour and improved fit of the diaper in the crotch region.

The side panels are also provided with barrier means to prevent leakage through the slits. In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 3-5, the side panels 50a and b have longitudinally extending securement lines 66a and 66b adjacent the side edges 26a and b of the absorbent pad 22. The lines 66a and b are located intermediate the side edges 26a and b of the pad and the slits 52a and b or 58 to isolate the pad from the slits and prevent leakage from the pad through the slits. In a preferred form, the lines 66a and b comprise heat seal lines through the fluid impervious side panels, or lines of adhesive between the doubled side panels, as desired. Alternatively, the outer longitudinal ends of the lines may follow the slits 52a and b with lines 66a and b, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, in the latter embodiment the sealing lines follow along the edges of the slits S8 and 52a and b. In either event, the sealing lines prevent leakage through the slits in the side panels.

.An alternative embodiment of the diaper is illustrated in FIG. 7, in which like reference numerals designate like parts. In this embodiment the side and end edges of the absorbent pad define a generally hour glass configuration of the pad, such that the pad has a pair of opposed sections 57 extending into the side panels 50a and b adjacent the waistband portions 36a and b. Thus, the sections 57 of the pad provide additional bulk to the side panels in the waistband portions, if needed, and may transmit liquid into pockets defined by the backing sheet in these regions of the diaper for retention therein.

if desired, the diaper as shown and described in connection with FIGS. l5, and 7 may be used on an infant. This diaper has edge portions 46a and b of the backing sheet covering side margins of the absorbent pad to provide fluid impervious barriers adjacent the side edges 26a and b of the pad 22. In addition, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, the fluid impervious flaps 54a and b provide an additional fluid impervious barrier in the crotch region of the diaper. The diaper has a relatively narrow top sheet and an absorbent pad of reduced dimensions, thus reducing the cost of the diaper. The recessed portions 64 of the side panels in the crotch region provide an improved fit of the dia per about the infants legs when worn. Additionally, the diaper has a pair of doubled retaining panels 68a and 68b of the backing sheet 24 extending from opposed sides of the pad 22 in both waistband portions 360 and b of the diaper 20. When the diaper is placed on the infant, the retaining panels 680 and b extend around the waist of the infant. The retaining panels in the diaper of FIGS. 1-5 are extremely flexible due to the absence of absorbent material in the retaining panels, thus providing an excellent fit of the diaper in the infants waist region, and facilitating securement of the diaper about the infant. As shown in FIG. 1, the diaper may have conventional securing strips 700 and b extending from 4 the retaining panels 680 and b for securing the diaper about the infant during placement.

In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6, the side panels 50a and b are folded over the front surface of the pad assembly along longitudinally extending fold lines 72a and 72b. The fold lines 72a and b are preferably located intermediate the side edges 26a and b fo the absorbent pad 22, such that the fold lines define longitudinally extending edge panels or flaps 74a and 74b which overlie the front surface 34 of a longitudinally extending central panel 76 of the pad 22 intermediate the fold lines 72a and b. The edge panels 74a and b are secured to the front surface 34 of the central panel 76 by suitable means 78a and 78b, such as adhesive, in the crotch portion of the diaper.

As thus formed, the diaper of FIG. 6 has side margins of the absorbent pad secured in overlying relationship to the central panel 76 of the absorbent pad 22. The

backing sheet provides a fluid impervious outer or back surface of the edge panels 74a and b relative the front surface 34 of the pad 22, and the edge portions 46a and b and flaps 54a and b provide a double sealing barrier of the backing sheet intermediate the edge panels 74a and b and the front surface 34 of the central panel 76. Thus, leakage and wicking is prevented from the side edges 26a and b of the absorbent pad by the backing sheet, and particularly in the crotch region 40 of the diaper where fluid transmission to the diaper is at its greatest.

In use of the diaper, the retaining panels 68a and b extending from the edge panels 74a and b in the waistband portion of the diaper are unfolded preparatory to placement of the diaper on the infant. The edge panels 74a and b are retained by the securing means 78a and b to the front surface 34 of the central panel 76 in the crotch region 40 of the diaper, while the recessed portions 64 provide a contoured fit of the edge panels 74a and b about the infant's legs. In addition, the flexible retaining panels 68a and b fit comfortably about the waistline of the infant. The diaper of FIG. 6 thus provides an improved fit in the crotch and waist regions of the infant, and may be made in a simplified manner. Moreover, the diaper provides less bulk in the crotch region for added comfort to the infant, while preventing leakage in the crotch region due to the fluid barriers of the backing sheet about the edge panels 74a and b.

A method of making the diaper of the present invention has been described in connection with the diapers of FIGS. l6. According to the method, the back surface of the absorbent pad is covered with a fluid impervious backing sheet having a greater width than the pad. Next, lateral side margins of the backing sheet are folded along longitudinally extending fold lines intermediate side edges of the pad and side edges of the backing sheet. The edge portions of the folded side margins are secured to the front surface of the pad adjacent its side edges, and both of the folded side margins are slitted intermediate the crotch region and endedges of the diaper from the fold lines toward the side edges of the pad, defining recessed portions of the folded side margins. A barrier is then provided in the folded side margins intermediate the side edges of the pad and the slits to prevent leakage from the pad through the slits. Edge panels are preferably folded over the front surface of the pad along spaced longitudinally extending fold lines in the pad, with the edge panels being secured to the front surface of said pad intermediate the spaced fold lines.

The foregoing detailed description is given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

1. A disposable diaper, comprising:

an absorbent pad assembly having a pair of side edges, a front surface, and a back surface;

a fluid impervious backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of said pad assembly, said backing sheet covering the back surface of the pad assembly and having lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad assembly, said side margins of the backing sheet being folded over and secured to the front of the diaper with the side edges of the backing sheet being located in the proximity of the side edges of the pad assembly and with the folded over side margins defining side panels of the diaper, said side panels having recessed portions in the crotch region of the diaper for conformability of the diaper to the shape of the infants legs, said side panels with saidrecessed portions each being folded over and secured to the front surface of the pad assembly in the crotch region of the diaper. I

2. The diaper of claim 1 wherein said pad assembly includes a fluid pervious top sheet extending between the side edges of the absorbent pad assembly.

3. The diaper of claim 1 wherein edge portions of said backing sheet adjacent its side edges overlie the front surface of the pad assembly.

4. The diaper of claim 3 wherein said edge portions are secured to the front surface of said pad assembly.

5. The diaper of claim 1 including barrier means in said side panels preventing leakage through said recessed portions.

6. The diaper of claim 5 wherein said barrier means comprises heat seal lines in said side panels.

7. The diaper of claim 5 wherein said barrier means comprises sealing means in said side panels extending along the side edges of said pad assembly.

8. The diaper of claim 5 wherein said barrier means comprises sealing means extending along edges defined by said recessed portions.

9. The diaper of claim 1 wherein said pad assembly includes an absorbent pad having a generally rectangular shape.

10. The diaper of claim 1 wherein the pad assembly includes an absorbent pad having a pair of opposed sections extending into said side panels adjacent longitudinal ends of the diaper.

11. The diaper of claim 1 wherein said side panels have a pair of side edges, and each of the side panels has a pair of spaced slits extending from the side edges of the side panels toward the pad assembly with the inner ends of said slits being spaced from the side edges of the pad assembly, said slits at least partially defining said recessed portions of the side panels.

1 12. The diaper of claim 11 wherein said diaper has a pair of end edges connecting the side edges of the side panels, and each of said slits is located intermediate the longitudinal mid-point and an end edge of the diaper.

13. The diaper of claim 11 wherein said diaper has a pair of end edges connecting the side edges of the side panels, and said slits define obtuse angles with the side edges of the side panels taken intermediate the slits and end edges of the diaper.

14. The diaper of claim 11 wherein said side panels include a second slit extending between the inner ends of said spaced slits, said spaced and second slits defining cut-out portions in the crotch region of the diaper.

15. The diaper of claim 11 wherein said spaced slits define flaps in said side panels, with said flaps being folded over the front surface of the pad assembly.

16. The diaper of claim 1 wherein said side panels are folded along longitudinally extending fold lines in the diaper, and said fold lines are located intermediate the side edges of the absorbent pad assembly.

17. The diaper of claim 1 wherein said folded over side panels comprise a pair of side flaps including a portion of said pad assembly.

18. A disposable diaper, comprising:

a generally rectancular absorbent pad assembly having a pair of'side edges, a front surface, and a back surface; a generally rectangular backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of the pad assembly, said backing sheet covering the back surface of the pad assembly and having lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad assembly, said side margins comprising a double layer of fluid impervious sheet and having edge portions adjacent the side edges of the backing sheet secured to the front surface of the pad assembly, said double side margins defining side panels of the backing sheet extending on opposed sides of the pad assembly, said side panels having a pair of spaced slits intermediate the crotch region and end edges of the diaper at least partially defining displaced portions in the crotch region of the diaper generally conforming to the contour of an infants legs;

barrier means in the side panels preventing leakage through said displaced portions;

said side panels with said displaced portions being folded over the front surface of the pad assembly and defining fluid receiving pockets; and

means for securing the side panels to the front surface of the pad assembly in the crotch region of the diaper.

19. The diaper of claim 18 wherein said side panels include a second slit extending between inner ends of said spaced slits and defining cut-out portions in the crotch region of the diaper.

20. The diaper of claim 18 wherein said spaced slits 50 define a pair of flaps in said side panels, said flaps being folded over the front surface of the pad assembly.

21. A disposable diaper, comprising:

an absorbent pad having a pair of side edges, a front surface, and a back surface, a pair of waistline portions, and a pair of opposed sections in said waistline portions; and

a fluid impervious backing sheet having a pair of side edges and a width greater than the width of said pad, said backing sheet covering the back surface of the pad and having lateral side margins extending past the side edges of the pad, said side margins of the backing sheet being folded over and secured to the front of the diaper with the side edges of the backing sheet being located in the proximity of the side edges of the pad and with the folded over side margins defining side panels of the diaper, said side panels having recessed portions in the crotch region of the diaper for conformability of the diaper 7 to the shape of the infants legs, and said opposed sections of the pad extending into said side panels.

22. A disposable diaper, comprising:

an absorbent pad assembly having an absorbent pad, a pair of side edges, a pair of end edges connecting said side edges, a pair of waistband portions adjacent said end edges and a crotch portion therebetween, a longitudinally extending central panel, and a pair of edge panels folded over and secured to a front surface of the central panel in said crotch region with lateral side margins of said pad extending into said edge panels; and

a fluid impervious backing sheet covering a back surface of the central and edge panels, said backing sheet extending past the side edges of the edge panels and covering at least a portion of the front surface of the edge panels intermediate the edge and central panels, said backing sheet having a pair of doubled retaining panels extending from opposed side edges of the edge panels in each of said waistband portions for securing the diaper about an infant.

23. A method of making a disposable diaper, comprising the steps of:

covering the back surface of an absorbent pad means with a fluid impervious backing sheet having a greater width than the pad means;

folding lateral side margins of the backing sheet along longitudinally extending fold lines intermedi- 8 ate side edges of the pad means and side edges of the backing sheet;

securing edge portions of the folded side margins to a front surface of the pad means adjacent its side edges;

slitting both folded side margins intermediate a crotch region and end edges of the diaper from said fold lines toward the side edges of said pad means defining recessed portions of the folded side margins;

providing a barrier in the folded side margins intermediate the side edges of the pad means and the slits to prevent leakage from the pad means through the slits;

folding edge panels having said recessed portions over the front surface of the pad means along spaced longitudinally extending fold lines in the pad means; and

securing the edge panels to the front surface of the pad means intermediate the spaced fold lines.

24. The method of claim 23 including the step of further slitting the folded side margins generally parallel to and spaced from the side edges of the pad means to define cut-out portions of the side margins.

25. The method of claim 23 including the step of folding flaps in the side margins defined by the slitting step over the front surface of the pad means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/385.21, 604/389
International ClassificationA61F13/49, A61F5/44, A61F13/15
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/49473, A61F13/49406, A61F13/53418
European ClassificationA61F13/494C, A61F13/494A, A61F13/534B2