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Differentially Absorbent Cotton-Surfaced Spunbond Copolyester and Spunbond PP with Wetting Agent

Bhupender S. Gupta and Larry C. Wadsworth


Cotton-Surfaced Nonwovens (CSN’s) are developed at The University of Tennessee’s Textiles and Nonwovens Development Center (TANDEC) and reported in which cotton-rich webs are bonded to one or both sides of a base structure, generally spunbond (SB) polypropylene (PP), with the cotton content ranging from 20-80% of the fabric weight. The thermally bonded two or three layered laminates, which are produced directly on the SB line, are soft but strong and have a hand similar to those of the hydroentangled fabrics. In one set of experiments of this study, 3% by weight of active hydrophilic ingredients (5% by weight as received) of Ciba’s hydrophilic Irgasurf HL 560 was mixed with the PP pellets prior to the spinning of 12 and 17 g/m2 SB PP onto which 13 and 20 g/m2 of carded 60%/40% bleached cotton/PP staple webs were overlaid prior to the calendering step. In the second set, CSN’s were produced by overlaying onto 25 g/m2 of SB Eastar Bio GP Copolyester just prior to the calendaring step carded webs with nominal weights of 12.5 and 22.6 g/m2 consisting of 70% bleached cotton and 30% bicomponent binder fiber with a core of PP and a sheath of Eastar Bio GP Copolyester. Likewise, a 25-g/m2 carded web of the same 70/30-cotton/bicomponent-fiber web was thermally laminated onto a 48 g/m2 SB Eastar Bio web. Eastar Bio GP Copolyester is more hydrophilic than PP or PET without hydrophilic additives. The Eastar Bio GP Copolyester is biodegradable (Haile et al. 2001). The bicomponent fiber in the 70/30 cotton / bicomponent web had a core of PP to reduce elasticity for ease of carding and a sheath of Eastar Bio (for greater biodegradation and enhanced adhesion/thermal bonding). The CSN’s were evaluated for absorption properties using the Gravimetric Absorbency Testing System (GATS), vertical wicking, and drop tests. It was generally found that the presence of cotton on the opposite side of either SB PP with hydrophilic additive or SB Eastar Bio webs resulted in more rapid wicking on the SB side and more rapid wetting on the cotton side, which showed that these CSN’s could function as both the acquisition and distribution layers in hygiene products such as the diapers and feminine hygiene napkins.

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Document last modified 04/27/04