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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMICAL MODIFICATION OF COTTON FOR VALUE ADDED APPLICATIONS

Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

Title: Electrokinetic profiles of nonowoven cotton for absorbent incontinence material

Authors
item Edwards, Judson
item Sawhney, Amar
item Condon, Brian
item Prevost, Nicolette
item Reynolds, Michael
item Allen Jr, Hiram
item French, Alfred
item Bopp, Alvin -

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2012
Publication Date: April 16, 2012
Citation: Edwards, J.V., Sawhney, A.P., Condon, B.D., Prevost, N.T., Reynolds, M.L., Allen Jr, H.C., French, A.D., Bopp, A. 2012. Electrokinetic profiles of nonowoven cotton for absorbent incontinence material. Proceedings of National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 1404-1410.

Interpretive Summary: Urinary incontinence, absorbent products may be divided into a variety of structural designs for baby care, feminine hygiene, and adult incontinence management. The size and shape of disposable absorbent hygiene products vary including body worn all-in-one diapers, underwear, pads for light to heavy incontinence episodes, and bed pads for immobilized patients. Common to these products is a basic design motif that is consistent throughout most absorbent incontinence devices: cover stock, acquisition layer, distribution layer, absorbent core, and back sheet. The composition of the absorbent core, which typically consists of fluff pulp, cellulose wadding, and/or a super absorbent polymer is the key determinant in product absorption capacity. However, efficient moisture management depends on the design, composition and structure of the layers around the absorbent core. Thus, the cover stock, acquisition layer, and back sheet, optimize the efficiency of the product’s performance to keep the skin dry, and avoid leakage. This paper discusses recent work on cotton/synthetic nonwovens, their electrokinetic analysis, and their potential use in incontinence materials. Electrokinetic analysis is useful in exploring fiber surface polarity properties, and it is a useful tool to render a snap shot of the role of fiber charge on fiber swelling and moisture uptake all of which are important in absorbent incontinence material design. Since cotton in addition to being environmentally friendly has many other positive attributes that are of value including softness, comfort, non-irritating, hypo-allergenic and breathability, this work further maps the usefulness of nonwoven cotton for incontinence control design into absorbent materials employing electrokinetic analysis.

Technical Abstract: This paper discusses recent work on cotton/synthetic nonwovens, their electrokinetic analysis, and their potential use in incontinence materials. Electrokinetic analysis is useful in exploring fiber surface polarity properties, and it is a useful tool to render a snap shot of the role of fiber charge on fiber swelling and moisture uptake all of which are important in absorbent incontinence material design. In this study a form of greige cotton termed Ultra CleanTM Cotton (greige cotton processed through a proprietary mechanical cleaning process using no chemicals) was blended with polyester and nylon and subject to a nonwoven hydroentanglement process. The results of this study show a close similarity in the polarity, water uptake, and swelling properties of cotton/synthetic blends of cotton/polyester and cotton/nylon to some of the layers found in commercial absorbent incontinence products. In addition a number of cotton/cotton by-product nonwoven blends are analyzed and show incontinence material potential. Hence this approach is a useful screening and development tool to the discovery of cellulosic and cotton-based materials for absorbent applications. These are all properties that have value in the incontinence materials and wipes market where increasing cotton’s share is envisioned.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014