K-C Worldwide submits US patent application for 'personal care cleaning article'

WASHINGTON , April 24, 2014 () – From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Gordon, Alice Susan (Roswell, GA); Dien, Jonathan Adam (Chicago, IL); Haidary, Nadeem (San Francisco, CA); Henderson, Cynthia Watts (Neenah, WI); Schiffman, Jennifer L. (Chicago, IL); Wallace, Kimberly J. (Oshkosh, WI), filed on October 3, 2013, was made available online on April 17, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Various disposable or single-use personal care cleaning articles are known and available today. Such articles are commonly used to remove dirt, oils, make-up as well as other undesirable matter from the body. In addition to basic personal cleaning, articles are also available that provide a deeper cleaning of the skin (epidermis) and that more effectively remove dead skin cells (corneocytes) from the outer most layer of the skin (stratus corneum). This process of removing dead skin cells from the outer most layer of the skin is commonly referred to as exfoliating. One of the perceived benefits from exfoliating is that a user's exfoliated skin appears fresh and healthy after the outer dull looking layer of dead skin cells are removed. The skin is constantly replenishing itself and producing new layers of dead skin cells. Thus, exfoliation is a process frequently utilized by many users. Exfoliating has long been accomplished through the use of relatively abrasive material such as a loofa or pumice. However, such highly abrasive materials can cause irritation and discomfort for many users. In addition, such traditional articles often fail to adequately remove residue from the skin formed or liberated in the process.

"Less abrasive cleansing articles are known such as through the use of polymeric netting or sheet materials having polymer nodules thereon; by way of example such materials are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,594,970 to Serge and US2003/0031703 McMeekin et al. In addition, there also exist two-sided cleanings pads that enable the user to choose between relatively rough and smooth sides. Examples of such two-sided pads are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,744,149 Girardot, U.S. Pat. No. 7,488,697 Louis bit Picard et al., and US2007/0098768 Close et al. However, the desired level of roughness or mechanical scrubbing action an article provides can vary significantly from user to user. In addition, the desired level of cleaning and/or exfoliating may frequently vary according to the user's experience on a given day; e.g. intense exercise, exposure to high levels of dirt or grime, sun exposure, the use of certain types of make-up and so forth. Furthermore, many individual users have what are perceived to be localized problem areas and therefore desire differing levels of roughness or mechanical scrubbing action for different regions of their face or body. Thus, existing pads fail to provide the wide range of variation and control desired by many users.

"Therefore, there exists a need for a single-use or limited-use cleaning article that provides the user with the ability to easily obtain numerous different levels of roughness and/or mechanical scrubbing action. Further, there exists a need for a cleaning article that both effectively dislodges foreign or unwanted matter and that also effectively removes the same from the user's skin. Still further, there exists a need for such a pad with improved handleability in order to enable the user to fully utilize the pad and more easily achieve the desired treatment."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention addresses the problems and/or shortcomings experienced with the cleaning pad designs of the prior art by providing a personal care cleaning article having a first side including first and second regions and wherein the first and second regions of the first side each have a pattern of interposed relatively smooth portions and recessed relatively rough portions and further wherein the ratio of the surface area of the rough portions of the first region to the surface area of the rough portions of the second region is not less than 1.15:1. In a further aspect, the rough portions comprise between about 5-65% of the total surface area of the first side of the article. In a further aspect, the first and second regions may each comprise between about 25% and about 50% of the first side of the article.

"In still a further aspect of the invention, the patterns of rough portions within the first and second regions may be varied in one or more respects in order to provide regions with distinctly different hand-feel and/or mechanical cleaning action. For example the patterns may vary such that (i) the rough portions of the first region may have a larger average size, by area, than the average size of the rough portions in the second region; (ii) the rough portions of the first region include a greater number of rough portions than that contained within the second region; and/or (iii) wherein the average edge-to-edge distance between adjacent rough portions is smaller in the first region relative to that in second region. In still a further aspect, the dimensions of the individual rough portions are such that (i) they have a minimum diameter not less than 3 mm and maximum diameter not greater than 30 mm, and/or (ii) they present an area between 8 mm.sup.2 and 700 mm.sup.2. In still a further aspect the rougher and/or higher texture portions may comprise individual elements discretely located to one another. Further, in order to provide a more manageable tactile sensation and/or cleaning effect, the recessed rough portions may be located entirely below the outer surface of the surrounding smoother and/or lower texture portion.

"In yet a further aspect of the invention, a personal cleansing article is provided comprising superposed first and second layers wherein the first layer includes a plurality of apertures each defining an area of not less than 8 mm.sup.2 and further wherein the second layer has a rougher hand feel than the first layer and is physically contactable via the apertures in the first layer. In certain aspects, the apertures may comprise between about 5-65% of the first layer. In still further aspects of the invention, the individual apertures may (i) have minimum diameters that are at least 3 mm and maximum diameters not greater than 30 mm, and/or (ii) provide an open area or hole of between 8 mm.sup.2 and 700 mm.sup.2. In certain embodiments the first layer may include at least two clusters of apertures wherein the apertures forming the clusters vary in density, shape and/or size in order to provide regions with distinctly different hand-feel or cleaning action. Such individual regions may comprise between about 25% and about 50% of one side of the article.

"The second layer of the cleaning article may comprise a material having protuberances thereon and that are exposed via the apertures. In certain aspects, the second layer may comprise a material having protuberances thereon and having an average diameter between about 75 microns and about 2000 microns. In still further aspects, the second layer may comprise polymeric fibrous materials including yarns and/or large fibers exposed on the surface that have an average diameter of between about 75 microns and about 2000 microns. In still a further aspect, the first layer may comprise a fibrous material having an average fiber diameter of less than about 50 microns.

"In still further aspects of the invention, the cleaning article may further include a third layer joined to the first layer wherein the second layer is positioned between the first and third layers. Still further, the cleaning article may include a porous core member positioned between the second and third layers. In certain embodiments the porous core member may be resiliently deformable. Still further, an inner layer, such as the porous core member, may include a cleaning composition comprising a lathering surfactant.

"In a further aspect, a personal care skin treatment article is provided comprising a fibrous web of polymeric fibers having opposed first and second sides and wherein the first side has interposed high texture portions and low texture portions. The high texture portions include a plurality of particles, nodules or tufted fibers located on the exposed outer surface of the first side that are entirely and/or substantially absent from the exposed outer surface of the low textured portions. Further, the first side has a first region having a first pattern of interposed high texture portions and low texture portions and a second region having a second pattern of interposed high texture portions and low texture portions wherein the first and second patterns vary in relation to one or more aspects selected from the group consisting of the number of the high texture portions, shape of the high texture portions, average size of the high texture portions and coverage area of high texture portions. In certain specific embodiments, regions and/or patterns may be selected such that (i) the first pattern comprises high texture portions that are at least 20% larger by area than the high texture portions of the second pattern, (ii) the surface area of the high texture portions in the first area is at least 15% greater than that in the second region, and/or (iii) the first region has a at least 15% more high texture portions per unit area than the second region.

"In further aspects, the high texture portions may comprise between about 5-65% of the total surface area of the first region and second regions. In still further aspects, the high texture portions (i) are discretely positioned relative to one another, (ii) have a minimum diameter greater than 3 mm and a maximum diameter less than 30 mm, and/or (iii) have an area between 8 mm.sup.2 and 700 mm.sup.2. The first and second regions, and respective pattern of high and low texture portions, may be located proximate to the perimeter of the article and separated from one another such as, for is example, along a radius and/or diameter line. In other embodiments, the first and second regions may be concentrically located relative to one another. In certain further aspects the first region and second regions, and their corresponding patterns, may be separated by a third region which, in certain embodiments, may lack any highly textured portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a personal cleaning article of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the personal cleaning article of FIG. 1 taken at line X-X'.

"FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the personal cleaning article of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a personal cleaning article of the present invention.

"FIGS. 5-10 are top plan views of personal cleaning articles of the present invention having scrubbing islands located in various patterns.

"FIGS. 11 and 12 are back-side views of a personal cleaning article of the present invention displaying a pocket feature."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Gordon, Alice Susan; Dien, Jonathan Adam; Haidary, Nadeem; Henderson, Cynthia Watts; Schiffman, Jennifer L.; Wallace, Kimberly J. Personal Care Cleaning Article. Filed October 3, 2013 and posted April 17, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1221&p=25&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140410.PD.&OS=PD/20140410&RS=PD/20140410

Keywords for this news article include: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc.

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