Progressively Functional Stretch Garments

December 4, 2012

U.S. Patent No.: 8,216,203 B2 

Inventor(s): Robert Alan Stevens, Menasha, WI, U.S.; and Christopher Peter Olson, Neenah, WI, U.S.

Company: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., Neenah, WI, U.S.

Issued: 7/10/12

An absorbent article comprising a stretchable outercover layer, a stretchable liner layer, and an absorbent layer contained between said stretchable outercover layer and said stretchable liner layer, said absorbent article having a longitudinal direction and longitudinal ends, and a lateral direction and lateral sides, said article further comprising a front waist region at a first longitudinal end, a back waist region at an opposite longitudinal end, and a crotch region extending longitudinally between said front and back waist regions; laterally extending ear portions defined at opposed lateral sides of said front and back waist regions, wherein said outercover includes at least three material zones, with a first zone situated in the crotch region between the front waist region and the back waist region and demonstrating a higher level of hysteresis than a second and third zone of between about 5 and 85 percent, with second and third zones situated on the laterally extending ear portions of said outercover and demonstrating a level of hysteresis of between about 0 and 60 percent; wherein said second and third zones of said outercover comprise a higher performance elastomeric material than the elastomeric material of said first zone; wherein said elastomeric material of said second and third zones and said elastomeric material of said first zone are synergistically interactive.