Absorbent Article Comprising An Absorbent Structure

July 3, 2007

Patented is an absorbent article comprising a liquid-permeable upper surface and an absorbent structure having a planar extension. The absorbent structure comprises an acquisition layer and at least one storage layer. The acquisition layer is made up of a plurality of fragments of a liquid-absorbing, open-celled, polyacrylate-based foam material. Each fragment has a planar extension with a transversal direction, a longitudinal direction and a thickness direction extending perpendicularly to the planar extension of the fragment. The width in the transversal direction of each fragment in a dry condition does not exceed 10 millimeters. The total area of the fragments in a dry condition in the planar extension is lower than the area of the absorbent structure in the planar extension. Most of the fragments are arranged such that they are not touching adjacent fragments and most of the fragments are separated by spaces. For each fragment, a distance to an adjacent one of the fragments is at least two times the width of the fragment. For each fragment, the distance to an adjacent one of the fragments is not larger than five times the width of the fragment. Each fragment, which is highly compressed in a dry condition, is dimensioned and configured such that upon wetting, either the volume of the fragment increases by at least 500%. The area in the planar extension of the fragment increases by at least 300%. Each fragment expands in three dimensions upon wetting.
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