Unicharm's US patent application for 'absorbent structure and absorbent wearing article using the same' in approval process

WASHINGTON , November 21, 2013 () – A patent application by the inventors Kikuchi, Kyo (Kagawa, JP); Wakasugi, Kei (Kagawa, JP); Ohashi, Naoto (Kagawa, JP); Ishikawa, Osamu (Kagawa, JP), filed on January 27, 2012, was made available online on November 14, 2013, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Unicharm Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Conventionally, absorbent structures shaped to have an uneven thickness and absorbent articles using the same are well known. For example, JP 2004-65929 A (PTL 1) discloses an absorbent structure having relatively thick segments and relatively thin segments and an absorbent article using such an absorbent structure."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Technical Problem

"The absorbent article disclosed in PTL 1 is provided with an absorbent structure having locally high absorption capacity in the relatively thick segment and such relatively thick segment may be located in a region in which a relatively large amount of bodily fluids is discharged to utilize the absorption capacity of this region adequately. On the other hand, the relatively thin segment may be located in a region in which a relatively small amount of bodily fluids is discharged and thereby the total absorption efficiency of the structure can be improved.

"However, a stepped boundary is formed between the thick segment and the thin segment and such stepped boundary can create a feeling of discomfort against the wearer and, in addition, the stepped boundary might locally crack to cause a leakage of bodily fluids.

"An object of this invention is to provide an absorbent structure having a high absorption efficiency assured by shaping the structure to have a non-uniform thickness and having generally equal stiffness as a whole, and an absorbent wearing article using this absorbent structure.

"Solution to Problem

"According to a first aspect of this invention, there is provided an absorbent structure for an absorbent wearing article having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction being orthogonal thereto and including at least a bodily fluid absorbent core, wherein:

"the bodily fluid absorbent core includes a thick segment, a thin segment having a thickness dimension smaller than that of the thick segment and, between the thick segment and the thin segment, a thickness-sloped segment having a thickness dimension gradually reducing from the thick segment to the thin segment, wherein at least a region of the thickness-sloped segment adjacent to the thin segment is formed with a plurality of debosses.

"According to a second aspect of this invention, there is provided an absorbent wearing article including a chassis having a topsheet, a backsheet and an absorbent structure sandwiched therebetween.

"The absorbent wearing article further includes:

"the chassis defining a front waist region, a rear waist region and a crotch region extending between these front and rear waist regions, wherein:

"the absorbent structure extending from the front waist region to the rear waist region; and

"the first region of the absorbent structure lying nearer to the front waist region, the second region lies nearer to the rear waist region, and the central region corresponds to the crotch region.


"FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a first embodiment of an absorbent wearing article using an absorbent structure according to this invention exemplarily in the form of a disposable diaper.

"FIG. 2 is an opened plan view of the diaper according to the first embodiment.

"FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the diaper taken along line in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4 is a plan view of the absorbent structure of FIG. 1 wherein an outer shape of the diaper is indicated by an imaginary line.

"FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line V-V in FIG. 4.

"FIG. 6 is a side view of the diaper of FIG. 1 partially illustrating a process of making the absorbent structure.

"FIG. 7 is a side view illustrating a debossing roll to form the absorbent structure of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 4, showing the absorbent structure in a diaper according to a second embodiment of this invention.

"FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the absorbent structure taken along line IX-IX in FIG. 8."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Kikuchi, Kyo; Wakasugi, Kei; Ohashi, Naoto; Ishikawa, Osamu. Absorbent Structure and Absorbent Wearing Article Using the Same. Filed January 27, 2012 and posted November 14, 2013. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1480&p=30&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20131107.PD.&OS=PD/20131107&RS=PD/20131107

Keywords for this news article include: Unicharm Corporation.

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