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Publication numberUS20070074366 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/241,438
Publication date5 Apr 2007
Filing date30 Sep 2005
Priority date30 Sep 2005
Also published asCA2559773A1
Publication number11241438, 241438, US 2007/0074366 A1, US 2007/074366 A1, US 20070074366 A1, US 20070074366A1, US 2007074366 A1, US 2007074366A1, US-A1-20070074366, US-A1-2007074366, US2007/0074366A1, US2007/074366A1, US20070074366 A1, US20070074366A1, US2007074366 A1, US2007074366A1
InventorsFrank Glaug, Ryan Hood, Brian McGinty, Joan Rodgers
Original AssigneeGlaug Frank S, Hood Ryan K, Mcginty Brian, Joan Rodgers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Absorbent cleaning pad and method of making same
US 20070074366 A1
Abstract
A surface cleaning pad is provided having a pad body configured for attachment to a cleaning implement and a tab coupled to the pad body and extending beyond an edge of the pad body. The tab is configured to be grasped by a user of the cleaning implement to facilitate detachment of the pad body from the cleaning implement.
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Claims(54)
1. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body configured for attachment to a cleaning implement; and
a tab coupled to said pad body and extending beyond an edge of said pad body, wherein said tab is configured to be grasped by a user of the cleaning implement to facilitate detachment of said pad body from the cleaning implement.
2. The surface cleaning pad of claim 1, wherein said tab extends outwardly from said pad body in a plane substantially parallel to a plane of a cleaning surface of said pad body.
3. The surface cleaning pad of claim 1, further comprising means for attaching said pad body to the cleaning implement.
4. The surface cleaning pad of claim 3, said attaching means comprising at least one attachment member coupled to said pad body and configured for attachment to a bottom side of the cleaning implement.
5. The surface cleaning pad of claim 3, said attaching means comprising attachment members coupled to said pad body and configured to wrap around a portion of the cleaning implement and to couple to each other, thereby fastening said pad body to the cleaning implement.
6. The surface cleaning pad of claim 3, said attaching means comprising an attachment member configured for attachment to a top side of the cleaning implement.
7. The surface cleaning pad of claim 6, said attachment member comprising a hook or loop fastener.
8. The surface cleaning pad of claim 6, said attachment member comprising a perforated sheet configured for attachment to a bottom side of the cleaning implement, said perforated sheet being separable into independent segments configured to couple with the top side of the cleaning implement.
9. A surface cleaning implement comprising:
a head portion;
a pad body coupled to said head portion; and
a tab coupled to said pad body and extending beyond an edge of said pad body and an edge of said head portion, wherein said tab is configured to be grasped by a user of said surface cleaning implement to facilitate detachment of said pad body from said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
10. The surface cleaning implement of claim 9, wherein said tab extends outwardly from said pad body in a plane substantially parallel to a plane of a cleaning surface of said pad body.
11. The surface cleaning implement of claim 9, further comprising means for attaching said pad body to said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
12. The surface cleaning implement of claim 11, said attaching means comprising at least one attachment member coupled to said pad body and attached to a bottom side of said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
13. The surface cleaning implement of claim 11, said attaching means comprising attachment members coupled to said pad body and wrapped around said head portion of said surface cleaning implement and coupled to each other, thereby fastening said pad body to said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
14. The surface cleaning implement of claim 11, said attaching means comprising an attachment member attached to a top side of said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
15. The surface cleaning implement of claim 14, said attachment member comprising a hook or loop fastener.
16. The surface cleaning implement of claim 14, said attachment member comprising a perforated sheet, said perforated sheet being attached to a bottom side of said head portion of said surface cleaning implement or said perforated sheet being separated into independent segments and coupled to the top side of said head portion of said surface cleaning implement.
17. A method of assembling a surface cleaning pad comprising the steps of:
a) applying a barrier to a surface of an airlaid composite; and
b) folding the barrier over at least one width-wise edge of the airlaid composite, thereby encapsulating the width-wise edge of the airlaid composite.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of folding the barrier over at least one length-wise edge of the airlaid composite, thereby encapsulating the length-wise edge of the airlaid composite.
19. The method of claim 17, wherein said step of applying a barrier comprises positioning the barrier to extend beyond a width-wise edge of the airlaid composite.
20. The method of claim 17, wherein said step of applying a barrier comprises applying the barrier to surfaces of two or more airlaid composites.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein said step of applying a barrier comprises positioning the barrier to extend beyond a width-wise edge of each of the airlaid composites.
22. The method of claim 20, further comprising the step of cutting the barrier at a location between the airlaid composites.
23. The method of claim 20, wherein said step of folding the barrier comprises folding the barrier over at least one width-wise edge of each of the airlaid composites, thereby encapsulating the width-wise edge of each of the airlaid composites.
24. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of coupling at least one attachment member to the barrier at a position configured for coupling with a cleaning implement.
25. The method of claim 24 further comprising the steps of cutting a hook or loop fastener into strips and adhering the strips to the barrier.
26. The method of claim 17 further comprising the step of coupling at least one dirt entrapment member adjacent a cleaning surface of the airlaid composite.
27. The method of claim 26 further comprising the steps of cutting a dirt entrapment material into strips, folding the strips, and adhering the folded strips to the cleaning surface of the airlaid composite.
28. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body formed from an airlaid composite; and
a barrier applied to a surface of said airlaid composite and folded over at least one width-wise edge of said airlaid composite, thereby encapsulating said width-wise edge of said airlaid composite.
29. The surface cleaning pad of claim 28, said barrier additionally folded over at least one length-wise edge of said airlaid composite, thereby encapsulating said length-wise edge of said airlaid composite.
30. The surface cleaning pad of claim 28, further comprising at least one attachment member coupled to said barrier of said pad body, said attachment member being positioned for attachment to a bottom side of a cleaning implement.
31. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body;
means coupled to said pad body for attaching said pad body to a cleaning implement and facilitating use of said surface cleaning pad to clean a surface with the cleaning implement; and
means coupled to said pad body for engaging said surface cleaning pad to a hand of a user and facilitating use of said surface cleaning pad to clean a surface without use of the cleaning implement.
32. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, said attaching means comprising:
means for attaching said pad body to a bottom side of a head portion of the cleaning implement; and
means for attaching said pad body to a top side of the head portion of the cleaning implement.
33. The surface cleaning pad of claim 32, said attaching means comprising a perforated sheet fastened to said pad body and configured to couple with a bottom side of a head portion of the cleaning implement, said perforated sheet separable into independent segments configured to couple with a top side of the head portion of the cleaning implement.
34. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, said engaging means comprising a hand strap having end portions coupled to said pad body, said hand strap and said pad body together defining a passage sized and positioned to receive the hand of the user.
35. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, said pad body being formed from an airlaid composite.
36. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, said mechanical attaching means comprising a hook or loop fastener.
37. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, further comprising a tab coupled to said pad body to facilitate detachment of said pad body from the cleaning implement.
38. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body having a width generally corresponding to that of a head portion of a cleaning implement; and
a perforated sheet oriented to extend substantially across said pad body in a width-wise direction, said perforated sheet having end portions fastened to the pad body and a surface extending in said width-wise direction configured to couple with a bottom side of the head portion of the cleaning implement, said perforated sheet being separable into independent segments configured to couple with a top side of the head portion of the cleaning implement.
39. The surface cleaning pad of claim 38, said perforated sheet being formed from an elastic material.
40. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body formed from an airlaid composite, said pad body having a cleansing surface configured for cleansing contact with a surface to be cleaned and an opposite surface configured to be positioned facing a cleaning implement;
a barrier adhered to and substantially covering said opposite surface of said pad body; and
a pair of dirt entrapment members adhered to said cleansing surface of said pad body.
41. The surface cleaning pad of claim 40, said dirt entrapment members each comprising a strip of dirt entrapment material folded over and adhered.
42. A surface cleaning pad configured for attachment to a cleaning implement, said surface cleaning pad comprising a pad body and a barrier coupled to said pad body, wherein at least one portion of said barrier is folded and coupled to itself in a first configuration to be stored between the pad body and the cleaning implement and wherein said at least one portion of said barrier is attached to the cleaning implement in a second configuration.
43. The surface cleaning pad of claim 42, further comprising an attachment member coupled to said barrier for attaching said pad body to a surface of the cleaning implement.
44. The surface cleaning pad of claim 42, further comprising a cohesive positioned to couple said folded portion of said barrier to itself.
45. The surface cleaning pad of claim 31, said means for attaching said pad body to a cleaning implement comprising at least one strap positionable to secure said pad body to said cleaning implement.
46. A surface cleaning pad comprising:
a pad body formed from an airlaid composite, said pad body having a first surface configured to face a surface to be cleaned and an opposite surface configured to be positioned facing a cleaning implement;
a barrier adhered to and substantially covering said opposite surface of said pad body; and
a pair of dirt entrapment members coupled to said pad body and positioned to be interposed between said first surface of said pad body and the surface to be cleaned.
47. The surface cleaning pad of claim 46 wherein the entrapment members are adjacent said first surface.
48. The surface cleaning pad of claim 46 wherein the entrapment members are coupled directly to said first surface.
49. The surface cleaning pad of claim 46 wherein at least opposite ends of each of the dirt entrapment members are fixed with respect to said pad body across their width.
50. The surface cleaning pad of claim 49 wherein the opposite ends of said entrapment members are fixed to said pad body.
51. The surface cleaning pad of claim 49 wherein each of the dirt entrapment members are fixed with respect to said pad body along their length.
52. The surface cleaning pad of claim 51 wherein a longitudinally extending edge of each dirt entrapment member is fixed with respect to said pad body.
53. The surface cleaning pad of claim 51 wherein each of the dirt entrapment members is fixed to said pad body.
54. The surface cleaning pad of claim 51 wherein a longitudinally extending edge of each of the entrapment members is not fixed with respect to said pad body.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to an absorbent cleaning pad and to a method for fabricating the absorbent cleaning pad.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Conventional floor mops comprise a handle rotatably connected to a mop head and a disposable absorbent cleaning pad coupled to the mop head. One side of the disposable absorbent cleaning pad is placed in direct contact with a surface to be cleaned and the opposing side of the cleaning pad is coupled to the mop head. The absorbent pad absorbs and retains fluids, and loosens and traps dirt particles on the cleaning surface.
  • [0003]
    There are several mechanisms used to attach a cleaning pad to a mop head. These mechanisms generally allow for releasable attachment of the cleaning pad to the mop head so that it can be removed and discarded after use.
  • [0004]
    For example, a disposable absorbent cleaning pad coupled to a mop head is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,766,552. The disposable absorbent cleaning pad provides VELCRO loop fasteners which couple with VELCRO hook fasteners positioned on the underside of a mop head. A disposable absorbent cleaning pad coupled to a mop head is also disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,554 and 6,807,702. In these examples, the disposable cleaning pad provides attachment tabs which are configured for insertion into retaining apertures positioned on the topside of the mop head.
  • [0005]
    Nevertheless, there continues to be a need to further refine and improve absorbent cleaning pads and the mechanisms used to attach a disposable cleaning pad to a cleaning implement.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    According to one aspect of the invention, a surface cleaning pad is provided having a pad body configured for attachment to a cleaning implement and a tab coupled to the pad body and extending beyond an edge of the pad body. The tab is configured to be grasped by a user of the cleaning implement to facilitate detachment of the pad body from the cleaning implement.
  • [0007]
    According to another aspect of the invention, a method is provided for assembling a surface cleaning pad. A barrier is applied to a surface of an airlaid composite. The barrier is then folded over at least one width-wise edge of the airlaid composite, thereby encapsulating the width-wise edge of the airlaid composite.
  • [0008]
    According to still another aspect of this invention, a surface cleaning pad is provided having a pad body. The surface cleaning pad also includes means coupled to the pad body for attaching the pad body to a cleaning implement and facilitating use of the surface cleaning pad to clean a surface with the cleaning implement. Also included is a means coupled to the pad body for engaging the surface cleaning pad to a hand of a user and facilitating use of the surface cleaning pad to clean a surface without use of the cleaning implement.
  • [0009]
    Another aspect of the invention provides a surface cleaning pad having a pad body with a width generally corresponding to that of a head portion of a cleaning implement. A perforated sheet is oriented to extend substantially across the pad body in a width-wise direction. The perforated sheet has end portions fastened to the pad body, a central portion between the end portions that is not fastened to the pad body, and a surface extending across the central portion in the width-wise direction configured to couple with a bottom side of the head portion of the cleaning implement. The perforated sheet is separable into independent segments configured to couple with a top side of the head portion of the cleaning implement.
  • [0010]
    Yet another aspect of the invention provides a surface cleaning pad having a pad body formed from an airlaid composite and having a cleansing surface configured for cleansing contact with a surface to be cleaned and an opposite surface configured to be positioned facing a cleaning implement. The surface cleaning pad also has a barrier adhered to and substantially covering the opposite surface of the pad body and a pair of scrubbing members adhered to the cleansing surface of the pad body.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    Exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the drawings, of which:
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a bottom view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is an end view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 1;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a bottom view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a right side view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 3;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is an end view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 3;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is an end view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0018]
    FIGS. 7-16 illustrate exemplary assembly and fabrication steps for making the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 6;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 17 is an end view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with still another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 18 is a top view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 17;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 19 is an end view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 20 is a top view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 19;
  • [0023]
    FIGS. 21-25 illustrate exemplary assembly and fabrication steps used to make the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 26 is an end view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with yet another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 27 is a top view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 26;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 28 is a top view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with still another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 29 is a partial end view of the absorbent cleaning pad illustrated in FIG. 28, showing an overlapping flap portion;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 30 is a right side view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0029]
    FIG. 31 is a top view of an absorbent cleaning pad in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0030]
    Although the invention is illustrated and described herein with reference to specific embodiments, the invention is not intended to be limited to the details shown. Rather, various modifications may be made in the details within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims and without departing from the invention. Also, the embodiments selected for illustration in the figures are not shown to scale and are not limited to the proportions shown.
  • [0031]
    Referring to the overall structure of one exemplary embodiment, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an absorbent cleaning pad designated generally by the numeral “10”. Generally, the absorbent cleaning pad 10 has a pad body formed from an airlaid composite and having a cleansing surface configured for cleansing contact with a surface to be cleaned and an opposite surface configured to be positioned facing a cleaning implement. The surface cleaning pad also has a barrier adhered to and substantially covering the opposite surface of the pad body and a pair of dirt entrapment members adhered to the cleansing surface of the pad body.
  • [0032]
    More specifically, the exemplary absorbent cleaning pad 10 is provided with an absorbent layer in the form of an airlaid composite 20, dirt entrapment surfaces in the form of two lofty cuffs 25, a barrier layer 40, and two attachment members 45.
  • [0033]
    Each lofty cuff 25 is folded into two equal segments and positioned along the length “B” of the airlaid composite 20. A single 3-D apertured film strip 35 is sandwiched between the folded layers of each lofty cuff 25. An adhesive 30 binds both sides of the 3-D apertured film strip 35 to the inner surfaces of the lofty cuff 25. A portion of the width of each lofty cuff 25 is bonded to a cleaning side 21 of the airlaid composite 20 using an adhesive 30. The lofty cuffs 25 are positioned so that the closed-face folded ends 26 face each other. The barrier layer 40 is adhered to the backing side 22 of the airlaid composite 20 using an adhesive 30.
  • [0034]
    Two attachment members 45 are adhered to the barrier layer 40 using an adhesive 30. In this embodiment, the attachment members 45 are composed of hook or loop material such as VELCRO loop material available from Velcro USA Inc. of Manchester, N.H. The functional side of the VELCRO loop material faces away from the barrier layer 40. The attachment members 45 are optionally positioned along the entire length of the barrier layer 40 and are separated by a distance “C” from the side edges of the barrier layer 40, as illustrated in FIG. 2.
  • [0035]
    In functional terms, the airlaid composite 20 of the exemplary embodiment absorbs and retains fluids and/or other matter residing on a surface to be cleaned. The lofty cuff 25 serves to facilitate the removal of soils from the surface being cleaned by contacting and trapping larger soil particles. The lofty cuff 25 may provide structural integrity and rigidity by being folded and adhered to itself or a single ply of lofty cuff material could be selected to provide these properties. The 3-D apertured film strip 35 within each cuff 25 provides structural integrity and improved rigidity to the lofty cuff 25 and further traps particles from small solid particles to those suspended in liquid. However, the use of 3-D apertured film strip 35 within each cuff 25 is optional. The barrier layer 40 substantially prevents fluid from passing from the airlaid composite 20 to the mop head or other structure to which the cleaning pad 10 may be attached. If the cleaning pad 10 is configured to be attached to a mop head, the barrier is configured to keep the mop head substantially free of fluid.
  • [0036]
    The attachment members 45 provide a single attachment mechanism to temporarily couple the absorbent cleaning pad 10 to the mop head. In other words, the attachment members 45 facilitate releasable engagement of the cleaning pad 10 to a surface of a cleaning implement. That surface may be the bottom side surface of a mop head or another portion of a cleaning implement.
  • [0037]
    In the exemplary embodiment and still referring to FIG. 1 and 2, the attachment members 45 are VELCRO loop fasteners adhered to the barrier layer and optionally configured to couple with hook fasteners such as a VELCRO hook fastener(s) on a bottom-side surface of a commercially available mop head. The VELCRO loop and hook fasteners are configured to withstand the pressure and stress associated with typical mopping and scrubbing motions against a surface being cleaned. The VELCRO loop and hook fasteners substantially limit the absorbent cleaning pad 10 from shifting, bunching, or otherwise becoming unattached, either partially or in whole, from the mop head. The attachment member(s) 45 may optionally be designed in such a way as to allow for attachment to multiple types of commercially available mop systems as described in further detail later.
  • [0038]
    While the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 utilizes a loop fastener for attachment to a hook fastener of another component, the cleaning pad is alternatively provided with a hook fastener for attachment to a loop fastener of another component. Also, other forms of fasteners are contemplated as well, including adhesives, co-adhesives, and other known fastening mechanisms.
  • [0039]
    Referring now to the material composition of the exemplary embodiment, the airlaid composite 20 is a unitized body with an absorbent core optionally composed of wood pulp and binder fibers. The binder fibers form the overall structure of the airlaid composite 20, and the wood fibers provide absorbency. The term “unitized” refers to the airlaid as being composed of one material composite. However, the airlaid composite 20 may be composed of multiple material layers adhered to one another.
  • [0040]
    The airlaid composite 20 is commonly fabricated using an airlaying process, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,172,276, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. According to U.S. Pat. No. 6,172,276, airlaying is a process by which a fibrous non-woven layer is formed. In the airlaying process, bundles of small fibers, i.e. binder fibers according to the exemplary embodiment, are separated and entrained in an air supply and then deposited by a forming head onto a forming screen in multiple stages, usually with the assistance of a vacuum supply. The randomly deposited fibers then are bonded to one another using, for example, hot air or a spray adhesive.
  • [0041]
    Additional benefits and features of an airlaid composite construction are disclosed in U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx, filed concurrently herewith (Attorney Docket No. TCO4-118US). The disclosure of U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Although this embodiment includes a absorbent pad body formed from an airlaid composite, this invention is not limited to an absorbent pad body having an airlaid structure. Other absorbent pad body materials, structures and/or processes are contemplated as well. For example, an absorbent core made of long polymeric filaments prepared by expanding a polymer tow, disclosed in International Publication No. WO 2004/017883, is also contemplated for use as an absorbent pad. The disclosure of International Publication No. WO 2004/017883 is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0042]
    The barrier layer 40 may be composed of a semi-pervious or impervious material. The barrier layer 40 can be made of any material known in the art, which substantially limits the passage of fluid. Non-limiting examples of suitable materials include plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, and similar materials, as well as hydrophobic foams, airlaids, wetlaids, and laminations thereof. The barrier optionally takes the form of a film, sheet, or similar substrate. Further details of exemplary barriers are described in U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx, filed concurrently herewith (Attorney Docket No. TCO4-122US). The disclosure of U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0043]
    The lofty cuff 25 material has a relatively large and open pore structure to trap particles and is configured to be flexible, sustain multiple uses and resist tearing or deformation. The lofty cuff 25 may optionally be composed of apertured polyethylene or polypropylene films, foams, airlaids, wetlaids, or laminations and combinations thereof. The lofty cuff 25 component may be either hydrophilic or hydrophobic. Further details of exemplary cuffs are described in U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx, filed concurrently herewith (Attorney Docket No. TCO4-129US). The disclosure of U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0044]
    The attachment member 45 may be composed of any structure or material providing an attachment mechanism to a cleaning implement such as a commercial mop head. Some examples include hook and loop fasteners, adhesives, cohesives, snap-in structures, magnetic elements or any other attachment mechanism commonly known in the art. These materials may optionally have elastic functionality.
  • [0045]
    The 3-D apertured film strip 35 may optionally be composed of polyethylene or polypropylene films. The adhesive 30 of the exemplary embodiment may be composed of any material sufficient to provide a bond between the absorbent cleaning pad components. In the exemplary embodiment and by way of non-limiting example, one exemplary adhesive is manufactured by H.B. Fuller Company of St. Paul, Minn., e.g., Part Number 1696. However, one skilled in the art will recognize that other types of adhesive and other fastener mechanisms are suitable for this application.
  • [0046]
    Referring to the size of the exemplary embodiment components as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the width “A” of the airlaid composite 20 may be any dimension sufficient to cover all or a portion of the width of a surface of a cleaning implement, such as a mop head for example. For the purposes of illustration only, the width “A” may be about 5.7 inches. The length “B” of the airlaid composite 20, as illustrated in FIG. 1, may be any dimension sufficient to cover all or a portion of the length of the cleaning implement. For the purposes of illustration only, the length “B” may be about 11.6 inches.
  • [0047]
    The thickness “E” of the airlaid composite 20, as illustrated in FIG. 2, may be any dimension sufficient to absorb an appropriate volume of fluid and retain its structural integrity when wet. The length and width of the attachment member 45 may be any dimension suitable to adequately couple with another structure such as a mop head. The distance “C” separating the side of the airlaid composite 20 and the side of the attachment member 45 may be any dimension suitable to adequately couple the attachment member with the cleaning implement. The length and width of the barrier layer 40 may be any dimension sufficient to cover all or a portion of the airlaid composite 20.
  • [0048]
    The length of the lofty cuff 25 may be any dimension sufficient to cover all or a portion of the length “B” of the airlaid composite 20. The width “D” of the folded lofty cuff 25 may be any dimension sufficient to cover a portion of the width “A” of the airlaid composite 20. The width “D” should be small enough to provide adequate surface area for the airlaid composite 20 and large enough to provide an adequate scrubbing surface area to remove particles from the cleaning surface.
  • [0049]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, an exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 110 is shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. The absorbent cleaning pad 110 is provided with an airlaid composite 120, two lofty cuffs 125, a barrier layer 140, and two attachment members 145. The absorbent cleaning pad 110 is additionally provided with Super Absorbent Particles (SAP) 150 dispersed throughout at least a discrete zone of the airlaid composite 120. In other words, the SAP 150 may be “zoned” as in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3. Alternatively the SAP 150 may be dispersed evenly throughout the body of the airlaid composite 120.
  • [0050]
    Resulting from the addition of SAP 150, the barrier layer 140 illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 is especially advantageous. To prevent the escapement of the zoned SAP 150 during usage, handling, or shipping of the cleaning pad 110, the barrier layer 140 is folded over the two width-wise sides or edges 124 of the airlaid composite 120. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the folded sides 141 of the barrier layer 140 are adhered to the airlaid composite 120, using an adhesive 130.
  • [0051]
    The SAP 150 in this embodiment is concentrated in the center of the width of the airlaid composite 120 designated by dimension “F”, and is isolated from the open and exposed length-wise sides 123. The SAP 150 is substantially concentrated in the center of the width of the airlaid composite 120 to prevent the SAP 150 from escaping out of the exposed length-wise sides 123 of the airlaid composite 120. Though not illustrated, it is also envisioned that the SAP 150 may be concentrated in the center of the width “A1” and the length “B1” of the airlaid composite 120, thereby isolating SAP 150 from the entire periphery of the airlaid composite 120. In such case, the barrier layer 140 is not required to cover the length-wise sides 123 or the width-wise sides 124 to prevent the escapement of SAP 150 along the periphery of the airlaid composite 120.
  • [0052]
    Additional benefits and features of a “zoned” SAP construction are disclosed in U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx, filed concurrently herewith (Attorney Docket No. TCO4-119US). The disclosure of U.S. application Ser. No. xx/xxx,xxx is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • [0053]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 210 shown in FIG. 6 is provided with an airlaid composite 220, two lofty cuffs 225, a barrier layer 240, two attachment members 245, and super absorbent particles (SAP) 250. In this exemplary embodiment, the Super Absorbent Particles (SAP) 250 are dispersed throughout the entire airlaid composite 220. Accordingly, to reduce or prevent the escapement of SAP 250 from the exposed sides of the airlaid composite 220, the barrier layer 240 is especially advantageous. The barrier layer 240 is folded over the length-wise of the airlaid composite 220, and the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 is attached to the width-wise sides of the airlaid composite 220, with some overlap, in order to prevent the SAP 250 from escaping along the periphery of the airlaid composite 220.
  • [0054]
    Exemplary steps used to fabricate the embodiment of cleaning pad 210 shown in FIG. 6 are illustrated in FIGS. 7-16. Many of the following steps illustrated in FIGS. 7-16 are also relevant to the fabrication of the prior exemplary embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-5. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the material used to form lofty cuff 225 is unwound and cut (designated by the triangle symbol) to a predetermined length and width. An adhesive 230 is then applied to a single side of the lofty cuff 225. The lofty cuff 225 is folded over itself, maintaining the adhesive 230 on the interior of the fold, as illustrated in FIG. 8.
  • [0055]
    A portion of the width of the lofty cuff 225 is adhered to the airlaid composite 220 using an adhesive 230, as illustrated in FIG. 9. An adhesive 230 is then applied to the barrier side 222 of the airlaid composite 220, before the barrier side 222 is centered and applied to the sheet used to form barrier layer 240, as illustrated in FIG. 10. At this stage, a plurality of airlaid composites 220 are centered and applied to the sheet forming barrier layer 240, and the airlaid composites 220 are separated by a distance “G”, also illustrated in FIG. 10.
  • [0056]
    An adhesive 230 is applied to a single side of a “cut-and-place” barrier layer 260 (FIG. 11) that is cut to a predetermined length and width. The width “H” of the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 may optionally be smaller than the width “J” of the barrier layer 240. The adhesive side of the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 is centered and applied over the width-wise ends of adjacent airlaid composites 220, as illustrated in FIG. 11. The adhesive 230 on the underside of the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 bonds the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 to the airlaid composite 220 and the sheet forming barrier layer 240. In other words, the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 traverses the gap “G” between two adjacent airlaid composites 220 and overlaps the width-wise ends of the airlaid composites 220.
  • [0057]
    Referring now to FIG. 12, the material forming attachment member 245 is unwound and cut (designated by the triangle symbol) to a predetermined length and width, as illustrated schematically in FIG. 12. An adhesive 230 is then applied to the non-functional side of the attachment member 245, as illustrated in FIG. 13. The non-functional, adhesive side of the attachment member 245 is applied to the barrier layer 240, as illustrated in FIG. 14. The free ends of the barrier layer 240 extending along the length of the airlaid composite 220 are each folded over and adhered to the cut-and-place barrier layer 260 and the lofty cuff 225, as illustrated in FIG. 15. The barrier layer 240 partially overlaps the lofty cuffs 225, thereby encapsulating a portion of the lofty cuffs 225. The absorbent cleaning pads 210 are finally cut and separated from one another, as illustrated in FIG. 16.
  • [0058]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 310 illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18 is provided with an airlaid composite 320, two lofty cuffs 325, a barrier layer 340, and two attachment member strips 345. In this exemplary embodiment, the airlaid composite 320 does not include Super Absorbent Particles (SAP), and the periphery of the airlaid composite 320 need not be sealed. However, it is envisioned that SAP is optionally concentrated in the center of the airlaid composite 320, to prevent SAP from escaping from the airlaid composite.
  • [0059]
    The barrier layer 340 differs from the barrier layer illustrated in the previous exemplary embodiment. The barrier layer 340 of this exemplary embodiment serves two purposes, i.e. preventing fluid from contacting the cleaning implement to which it is attached and providing an attachment mechanism to fasten the absorbent cleaning pad 310 to the cleaning implement.
  • [0060]
    The exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18 provides attachment members 345 (e.g., loop strips) configured to couple with an attachment member(s) on the underside of a cleaning implement such as a mop head (not shown). By way of non-limiting example, the attachment members 345 may be VELCRO loop strips and the attachment members on the underside of the mop head may be VELCRO hook strips, or visa versa.
  • [0061]
    In addition to the attachment mechanism provided by the attachment members 345, the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 17 and 18 provides a secondary mop head attachment mechanism. The barrier layer forms two tab portions 355 that may be inserted into retaining structures of an cleaning implement, such as the ones described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,046. However, one skilled in the art will understand that a wide variety of other types of retaining structures are suitable to retain an absorbent cleaning pad and provide the same benefits.
  • [0062]
    The retaining means located on the top surface of a cleaning implement such as a mop head are suitable for mechanically engaging and retaining a sheet of material incorporated with or attached to an absorbent cleaning pad. Non-limiting examples of retaining means located on the top surface of a mop head include clamps, clips, mechanical fasteners such as hook or loop fasteners, pins and the like such as the ones described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,250 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,698,030. One skilled in the art will also understand that the previously described retaining means can also be located on the sides or other surfaces of a mop head and still provide the same benefits.
  • [0063]
    Referring still to FIGS. 17 and 18, the barrier layer 340 is adhered to the barrier side 324 of the airlaid composite 320 using an adhesive 330. Both side edges of the barrier layer 340 are folded a first time forming two wing portions 356. A portion of each wing portion 356 is adhered to the barrier layer 340 using an adhesive 330. The barrier layer 340 is folded a second time to form four tab portions 355, as illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18. The tab portions 355 are adhered to the wing portions 356 using an adhesive or cohesive strip 330. The four tab portions 355 are free to separate from the airlaid composite 320, as illustrated by the dotted line segment in FIG. 17. The tab portions 355 are configured to insert into retaining structures on the top or side of a mop head.
  • [0064]
    Referring now to FIGS. 19 and 20, similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 410 is provided with an airlaid composite 420, two lofty cuffs 425, a barrier layer 440, Super Absorbent Particles (SAP) 450 dispersed throughout the airlaid composite 420, and two attachment members 445 configured to couple with a portion of a cleaning implement such as a mop head.
  • [0065]
    In this exemplary embodiment, the SAP 450 are dispersed throughout the entire airlaid composite 420. Similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the barrier layer 440 is folded over the length-wise sides of the airlaid composite 420 to prevent the SAP 450 from escaping along the longitudinal periphery of the airlaid composite 420. The cut-and-place barrier layer 460 prevents the SAP 450 from escaping along the transverse periphery of the airlaid composite 420.
  • [0066]
    In addition to the mop head attachment mechanism provided by the attachment members 445, this exemplary embodiment provides a secondary means for attachment. The exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20 is provided with four flap portions 470. The tab portions 470 are free to separate from the airlaid composite 420, as illustrated by the dotted line segment in FIG. 19. The four flap portions 470 can be inserted into retaining structures positioned on the top or side of a mop head, such as the ones described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,046. However, one skilled in the art will recognize that many other types of retaining means are suitable to retain an absorbent cleaning pad and provide the same benefits.
  • [0067]
    The flap portions 470 are configured to withstand the pressure and stress associated with typical mopping and scrubbing motions against a surface being cleaned and are configured to limit the absorbent cleaning pad 410 from shifting, bunching, or otherwise becoming unattached, either partially or in whole, from the mop head. In this exemplary embodiment, the length “K”, width “L” and thickness of the flap portions 470 may be any dimension sufficient to reach and be adequately retained by the retaining structures disposed on the cleaning implement.
  • [0068]
    The flap portions 470 may be composed of numerous materials. Some examples include loop material, polyethylene or polypropylene films, wetlaids, wovens, nonwovens, airlaids, polyester films, or laminations and combinations thereof. These materials may be either hydrophilic or hydrophobic and optionally have elastic functionality.
  • [0069]
    The four flap portions 470 may be individually adhered to the barrier layer 440 using adhesive 430. The four flap portions 470 may also provide an optional attachment member 465 configured to couple with the attachment members 445. As a non-limiting example, the attachment member 445 may be a loop fastener and the attachment member 465 may be a hook fastener (or visa versa), but one skilled in the art will understand that other kinds of retaining means are suitable to retain the flap portions 470 to the absorbent cleaning pad 410.
  • [0070]
    Exemplary steps that can be used to fabricate cleaning pad 410 of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 are illustrated in FIGS. 7-16 and 21-25. FIGS. 7-16 were previously described with reference to another exemplary cleaning pad embodiment. Referring now to FIG. 21, material used to form each of the four attachment members 465 is unwound and cut to a predetermined length. An adhesive 430 is then applied to the non-functional side of each attachment member 465. The material used to form each flap portion 470 is unwound and cut to a predetermined length and width, as illustrated in FIG. 22.
  • [0071]
    The adhesive side of the attachment member 465 is positioned and applied to each flap portion 470, as illustrated in FIG. 23. An additional bead of adhesive 430 is applied to the ends of the four flap portions 470, as illustrated in FIG. 24. The flap portions 470 are each adhered to the barrier layer 440 using the adhesive 430 as illustrated in FIG. 25. The optional attachment members 465 are coupled with the attachment members 445. The final fabrication steps are illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 16.
  • [0072]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20, the exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 510 illustrated in FIGS. 26 and 27 is provided with an airlaid composite 520, two lofty cuffs 525, a barrier layer 540 folded over the length-wise sides of the airlaid composite 520, and Super Absorbent Particles (SAP) 550 dispersed throughout the entire airlaid composite 520. The cut-and-place barrier layer 560 prevents the SAP 550 from escaping along the transverse periphery of the airlaid composite 520. An additional bead of adhesive 530 is applied to the ends of the perforated flap portions 570.
  • [0073]
    The exemplary embodiment of the absorbent cleaning pad provides two means for attachment to a conventional mop head, as the perforated flap portions 570 are capable of separating along the perforation line 574. In a united state, the two perforated flap portions 570 are configured to couple with the bottom side of a mop head. In a separated state, the de-perforated flap portions 570 form four flap portions 570. The separate flap portions 570 can be inserted into retaining structures on the top or side of a mop head, such as the ones described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,046. Optional attachment member 565 may be a loop fastener that is adhered to the barrier layer 540 with adhesive 530. The optional attachment member 565 is advantageous if the two tab portions 570 are not comprised of a loop material that could attach to a mop head.
  • [0074]
    Two tab portions 575, optionally contiguous with the flap portions 570, are provided to ease the removal of the absorbent cleaning pad 510 from the mop head. In use, the user tugs on the two tab portions 575 to remove the absorbent cleaning pad 510 from the mop head without having to contact dirty airlaid composite 520, dirty lofty cuff 525 or the mop head. The two tab portions 575 extend outward from the airlaid composite 520, lofty cuff 525 and mop head. It is optional that only one tab portion may be provided on flap portion 570 and the tab portions 575 could be positioned on any longitudinal side of the absorbent cleaning pad 510. The tab portion 575 may also extend outward at each or one transverse end 580 of the absorbent cleaning pad 510, if so desired.
  • [0075]
    The length “M”, width “N” and thickness of the flap portions 570 may be any dimension suitable to permit the user to remove the absorbent cleaning pad 510. The flap portions 570 may be composed of many different materials. Some examples include loop material, polyethylene or polypropylene films, wetlaids, wovens, nonwovens, airlaids, polyester films, or laminations and combinations thereof. These materials may be either hydrophilic or hydrophobic and optionally have elastic functionality.
  • [0076]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 26 and 27, the exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 610 illustrated in FIGS. 28 and 29 is provided with an airlaid composite, two lofty cuffs, a barrier layer folded over the length-wise and the width-wise sides of the airlaid composite, Super Absorbent Particles (SAP) dispersed throughout the entire airlaid composite, and two attachment members 645 configured to couple with a mop head 680.
  • [0077]
    In addition to the mop head attachment mechanism provided by the attachment members 645, this exemplary embodiment provides a secondary means for attachment. The four overlapping flap portions 670 are configured to engage a mop head 680. In use, the flap portions 670 wrap around the mop head 680 and attach to each other, thereby coupling the absorbent cleaning pad 610 to the mop head, as illustrated in FIG. 29. The flap portions 670 may be composed of VELCRO fasteners, or any other material capable of coupling one flap portion 670 to another.
  • [0078]
    A third attachment member 645 adhered to the barrier layer 640 is optionally provided to couple with the mop head to further limit the absorbent cleaning pad 610 from shifting, bunching, or otherwise becoming unattached, either partially or in whole, from the mop head.
  • [0079]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20, an exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 710 illustrated in FIG. 30 is additionally provided with an extendable tab portion 770. The extendable tab portion 770 has a “Z” shape when viewed from the side and is configured to unfold and extend in the indicated direction. The extended tab portion 770 unfolds to provide a greater distance between the user and the dirty cleaning pad and mop head. The extendable tab portions 770 could optionally be positioned on any side of the absorbent cleaning pad 710.
  • [0080]
    In use, the extendable tab portion 770 is stored in a Z-shape position as shown to avoid contact with the dirty cleaning surface. To separate the absorbent cleaning pad 710 from the mop head, the user pulls and extends the tab portion 770 until the absorbent cleaning pad 710 separates from the mop head.
  • [0081]
    Similar to the absorbent cleaning pad embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 26 and 27, an exemplary embodiment of an absorbent cleaning pad 810 illustrated in FIG. 31 is additionally provided with a mechanism for engaging the hand of a user such that the cleaning pad can be used, without the need for a cleaning implement, for hand-cleaning a surface. In this embodiment, the cleaning pad 810 is provided with a hand strap 880, for example. The material used to form hand strap 880 is optionally elastic, though a wide variety of materials can be used. An additional bead of adhesive 830 is applied to the ends of the perforated flap portions 870 and hand strap 880.
  • [0082]
    The absorbent cleaning pad 810 also provides perforated flap portions 870 that can be used to couple with a top or bottom side of a mop head. In this manner, the absorbent cleaning pad 810 is similar to several embodiments described previously.
  • [0083]
    The elastic hand strap 880 is configured to permit the user to operate the absorbent cleaning pad 810 independent from a cleaning implement such as a mop. The elastic hand strap 880 provided on the absorbent cleaning pad 810 may be useful for cleaning any small, delicate, or non-planar surface that a mop head can not clean or is unable to access.
  • [0084]
    The elastic hand strap 880 may be composed of any elastic material flexible enough to stretch around a child and an adult-sized hand and rigid enough to firmly grip a child and an adult-sized hand. In another embodiment (not shown), the perforated flap portions 870 themselves are optionally composed of an elastic material to provide a hand strap to permit the user to operate the absorbent cleaning pad 810 independent from a mop. In such an embodiment, the hand strap 880 can be eliminated.
  • [0085]
    Although the invention is illustrated and described herein with reference to specific embodiments, the invention is not intended to be limited to the details shown. Rather, various modifications may be made in the details within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims and without departing from the invention. Also, the embodiments selected for illustration in the figures are not shown to scale and are not limited to the proportions shown.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/228, 15/209.1
International ClassificationA47L13/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47L13/20
European ClassificationA47L13/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
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