U.S. Patent No.: 8,247,639 B2
Inventor(s): Namie Itoi, Tochigi, Japan; Masahito Tanaka, Tochigi, Japan; Shinsuke Nagahara, Tochigi, Japan; and Tetsuyuki Kigata, Tochigi, Japan.
Company: KAO Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.
An absorbent article having extensibility as a whole and comprising an extensible absorbent member comprising a web having a number of small absorbent clusters dispersed therein in three dimensions, the small absorbent clusters containing a superabsorbent polymer and fibers; wherein the small clusters are each composed of a helically crimped fiber, a superabsorbent polymer particle, and other fiber, the polymer particle and the other fiber being taken into the helix of the helically crimped fiber; wherein the other fiber comprises hydrophilic fiber; wherein the small clusters have an average size of 0.2 to 5 mm; and wherein the extensible absorbent member has a fiber density around the small absorbent clusters that is higher than a fiber density around an area of support surrounding the small absorbent clusters.