Procter & Gamble has been granted a patent for an absorbent article that includes a hydrophobic topsheet, a backsheet, and an absorbent core. The topsheet is treated to be hydrophobic, and a hydrophilic surfactant is applied to the wearer-facing surface of the topsheet. This technology aims to improve the performance of absorbent articles. GlobalData’s report on Procter & Gamble gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Procter & Gamble, Nanoemulsion cosmetics was a key innovation area identified from patents. Procter & Gamble's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Hydrophobic treatment of absorbent article with surfactant application

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: The Procter & Gamble Co

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771797B2) describes a wearable absorbent article with improved liquid management properties. The article includes a liquid pervious topsheet, a backsheet, and an absorbent core. The topsheet has been rendered hydrophobic through either a melt additive or surface treatment. A hydrophilic surfactant is applied to at least a portion of the wearer-facing topsheet surface, specifically over the areas that have been rendered hydrophobic.

The patent also mentions that the topsheet can have hydrophobic and hydrophilic zones, with the hydrophilic zones containing the hydrophilic surfactant applied to the areas that have undergone hydrophobic treatments. The surfactant used can be nonionic, cationic, anionic, or a combination thereof. It can also include a PEG diester with a carbon chain of C12 or greater, a C12 or greater alcohol ethoxylates or PEG diesters, or a PEG group with at least 5 ethylene oxide units.

Furthermore, the surfactant can have a PEG group ranging from 6 ethylene oxide groups to 20 ethylene oxide groups. It can also be a blend with more than 50% C12 or greater chain length. Another option is an ethoxylated derivative containing a hydroxyl acid alkyl chain.

The topsheet can be rendered hydrophobic through various treatments, including petroleum-based hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols, polysiloxane compounds, fatty acid esters, alkyl ethoxylates, fatty alcohol ethers, lanolin and its derivatives, glyceride derivatives, fatty amides, or combinations thereof. Alternatively, the topsheet can be rendered hydrophobic through treatments such as amides, triglycerides, functional silicones, or combinations thereof.

This patented wearable absorbent article aims to improve liquid management by combining hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties. The hydrophobic topsheet prevents liquid from passing through, while the hydrophilic surfactant applied to the wearer-facing surface enhances liquid absorption. This design may provide better comfort and dryness for the wearer, making it suitable for use in various absorbent products such as diapers, sanitary napkins, and adult incontinence products.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.