Title:
DIAPER WRAPPING METHODS, APPARATUS, AND SYSTEMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus, methods, and systems for wrapping a soiled diaper and/or other odorous items in a sheet material are disclosed. In one embodiment, a soiled diaper is placed on a sheet of material. The material may be configured to be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion so as to create a seal around at least a portion of the diaper. The material may also include an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side, and the adhesive side may comprise a pressure-sensitive adhesive. In this manner, unintentional adhesion of the material can be avoided, and the material can be folded over the soiled diaper and pressed against itself to seal in the odor and/or mess without requiring a secondary means for adhesion, such as tape.



Inventors:
Wilson, Ramona (Santaquin, UT, US)
Murdock, Kenneth A. (Springville, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/561159
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/17/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/87.05
International Classes:
B65D65/28; B65B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GERRITY, STEPHEN FRANCIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STOEL RIVES LLP - SLC (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A method for wrapping a soiled diaper to reduce odor, the method comprising the steps of: placing a diaper on a sheet of material, wherein the material is configured to be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion so as to create a seal; wrapping the diaper with the sheet of material; and pressing at least one portion of the sheet of material against another portion of the sheet of material to create a seal around at least a portion of the diaper.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the material comprises a flexible film.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the flexible film comprises a plurality of layers.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the flexible film comprises an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the adhesive side comprises a pressure-sensitive adhesive.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising separating the sheet of material from a second sheet of material.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the step of separating the sheet comprises tearing the sheet away from the second sheet, and wherein, prior to separating the sheet from the second sheet, the sheet is connected to the second sheet at a perforation line.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the step of separating the sheet comprises pulling a tab connected to the sheet to pull the sheet away from the second sheet.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the seal completely encloses the diaper in an air-tight pocket.

10. A set of disposable sheets for wrapping soiled diapers, comprising: a plurality of connected sheets of material, wherein the material is configured to be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion so as to create a seal around a diaper; and a plurality of perforation lines defining the boundaries between the sheets, wherein the perforation lines are configured to allow for separation of the sheets from one another at the perforation lines.

11. The set of disposable sheets of claim 10, wherein the sheets are rolled together.

12. The set of disposable sheets of claim 11, wherein the rolled sheets are wound around a cylindrical member.

13. The set of disposable sheets of claim 10, wherein the sheets are stacked on top of one another.

14. The set of disposable sheets of claim 10, wherein the material comprises a flexible film.

15. The set of disposable sheets of claim 14, wherein the flexible film comprises a plurality of layers.

16. The set of disposable sheets of claim 14, wherein the flexible film comprises an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side.

17. The set of disposable sheets of claim 16, wherein the adhesive side comprises a pressure-sensitive adhesive.

18. A set of disposable sheets for wrapping soiled diapers, comprising: a plurality of sheets of material stacked on top of one another, wherein the material is configured to be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion so as to create a seal around a diaper; and means for facilitating separation of each of the plurality of sheets from an adjacent sheet.

19. The set of disposable sheets of claim 18, wherein the means for facilitating separation comprises a plurality of tabs, wherein at least one tab is connected with each of the sheets, and wherein the tabs are configured such that pulling a tab allows for the sheet connected with the pulled tab to be separated from an adjacent sheet.

20. The set of disposable sheets of claim 19, wherein the tabs extend beyond the periphery of the sheets.

21. The set of disposable sheets of claim 19, wherein the tabs are integrally formed with the sheets.

22. The set of disposable sheets of claim 18, wherein the means for facilitating separation comprises a plurality of spacer members positioned in between each of the adjacent sheets.

23. The set of disposable sheets of claim 22, wherein the spacer members comprise a plurality of non-adhesive separation sheets.

Description:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Understanding that the drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A depicts a soiled diaper being placed on a sheet of material according to one implementation of a method.

FIG. 1B depicts the soiled diaper of FIG. 1A after it has been wrapped in the sheet of material and after the material has been adhered to itself.

FIG. 2 depicts a roll of sheets having perforation lines defining the boundaries between the adjacent sheets.

FIG. 3 depicts a stack of sheets having tabs to facilitate separation of the sheets from adjacent sheets.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description, numerous specific details are provided for a thorough understanding of the various embodiments of the invention. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In addition, in some cases, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail in order to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention. Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.

Disclosed herein are apparatus, methods, and systems for wrapping a soiled diaper. In one implementation of a method, a soiled diaper is placed on a sheet of material. The material may be configured to be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion so as to create a seal around at least a portion of the diaper. The material may also include an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side, and the adhesive side may comprise a pressure-sensitive adhesive. One example of a suitable material is the commercially available product sold by The Glad Products Company under the trademarks “PRESS'N SEAL” and “GRIPTEX.” Details regarding this product, and other materials that may be suitable for use in connection with the methods, systems, and apparatus disclosed herein, can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,489,022 titled “Composite Material Releasably Sealable to a Target Surface When Pressed Thereagainst,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,421,052 titled “Method of Seaming and Expanding Amorphous Patterns,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,194,062 titled “Storage Wrap Material,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,193,918 titled “High Speed Embossing and Adhesive Printing Process and Apparatus,” U.S. Pat. No. 5,965,235 titled “Three-Dimensional, Amorphous-Patterned, Nesting-Resistant Sheet Materials and Method and Apparatus for Making Same,” U.S. Pat. No. 5,871,607 titled “Material Having a Substance Protected by Deformable Standoffs and Method of Making,” and U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,758 titled “Composite Material Releasably Sealable to a Target Surface when Pressed Thereagainst and Method of Making.” Each of the foregoing references is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

In accordance with the method implementation described above, the material is used to wrap the diaper. Because the material is capable of being adhered to itself, the material may then be pressed against itself at one or more portions of the material to create a seal around at least a portion of the diaper. In some implementations, the seal may fully extend around the diaper so as to seal in the odor from the soiled diaper. Of course, other messy or odorous items may be used in place of a soiled diaper in other implementations.

In some embodiments of products including one or more of the materials described above, a roll or other set of connected sheets of the material may be provided. The connected sheets may be provided with a plurality of perforation lines to define boundaries between the sheets and to facilitate separation of the sheets from one another. In some embodiments, the set of sheets may be provided with, for example, a plurality of tabs, each tab being connected with one of the sheets. The tabs may be configured such that pulling a tab allows for the sheet connected with the pulled tab to be separated from an adjacent sheet. In other embodiments, a plurality of non-adhesive spacer sheets or other spacer members may be positioned in between each of the adjacent adhesive sheets to facilitate separation of the adhesive sheets. Each of the foregoing structures may be considered means for facilitating separation of each of a plurality of sheets from an adjacent sheet.

Specific implementations and embodiments of the invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 1A depicts a soiled diaper 10 placed on a sheet 100 of material. The material may be configured such that it can be adhered to itself without a secondary means for adhesion, as described above. Thus, a portion of the material may be pressed against another portion of the material to create a seal around at least a portion of the diaper. In some implementations, the seal may completely enclose the diaper in an air-tight pocket to thereby keep the odor and/or mess from the soiled diaper inside the wrapped sheet. FIG. 1B depicts the soiled diaper 10 after it has been wrapped in sheet 100. It should also be understood that, although the soiled diaper 10 is shown in FIG. 1A as having been placed on sheet 100 with the soiled portion open, the diaper 10 may, if desired, be wrapped up to enclose the soiled portion either before placing it on the sheet 100, or after placing it on the sheet 100 but before wrapping/folding sheet 100 around the diaper 10.

In some embodiments, the material used to form sheet 100 may comprise a flexible film. This flexible film may include a plurality of layers. In some embodiments, the flexible film may have an adhesive side and a non-adhesive side. These sides may each be formed from a separate layer in multi-layered embodiments. The adhesive side may also include a pressure-sensitive adhesive. In still other embodiments, a plurality of protrusions may be formed on the adhesive side to space the pressure sensitive adhesive until the sheet is pressed against itself. Various details regarding the aforementioned materials and features, along with other materials, features, manufacturing methods, etc. that may be suitable for various embodiments and implementations of the present invention can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,489,022, 6,421,052, 6,194,062, 6,193,918, 5,965,235, 5,871,607, and 5,662,758, each of which was previously incorporated by reference.

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of a plurality or set 200 of connected sheets of the aforementioned material. The set 200 of sheets in FIG. 2 are shown as having been rolled together. In alternative embodiments, the rolled sheets may be wound around a cylindrical member. In set 200, a plurality of perforation lines 210 are provided, which define the boundaries between each of the adjacent sheets. The perforation lines 210 also facilitate separation of the sheets from one another. The embodiment of FIG. 2 therefore provides a convenient set of disposable sheets that allow a user to easily dispense one sheet at a time and dispose of soiled diapers or other items in a sanitary and hygienic manner. Examples of other items that may be disposed of using one or more of the embodiments disclosed herein include sanitary napkins, tampons, dirty rags, dead animals, feces, etc.

FIG. 3 depicts another embodiment of a set 300 of disposable sheets for wrapping diapers or other odorous items. In set 300, the sheets are stacked on top of one another. Each of the sheets in set 300 also includes an associated tab 310. Tabs 310 are configured such that pulling a tab 310 allows for the sheet connected with the pulled tab to be separated from an adjacent sheet. In set 300, each of the tabs 310 also extends beyond the periphery of the sheets, to thereby facilitate use of the tabs 310 to separate the sheets in the set 300. However, it should be understood that other embodiments are contemplated in which the tabs do not extend beyond the periphery of the sheets. In addition, although the tabs 310 in set 300 are shown as integrally formed with the sheets, it is also contemplated that other embodiments may provide tabs that are attached or otherwise connected with the sheets. Relative to the sheets, the tabs may therefore be made of the same material, partially of the same material, or entirely of a different material.

In still other embodiments, a means for facilitating separation may comprise a plurality of spacer members positioned in between each of the adjacent sheets. The spacer members may comprise a plurality of non-adhesive separation sheets. These separation sheets may be of the same dimensions as the sheets for wrapping diapers or, alternatively, the separation sheets may be of a different dimension. In some embodiments, the separation sheets may be larger than the diaper-wrapping sheets, such that at least a portion of the separation sheets extends beyond the periphery of the diaper-wrapping sheets, to further facilitate use of the separation sheets to separate the diaper-wrapping sheets from adjacent diaper-wrapping sheets.

The above description fully discloses the invention including preferred embodiments thereof. Without further elaboration, it is believed that one skilled in the art can use the preceding description to utilize the invention to its fullest extent. Therefore the examples and embodiments disclosed herein are to be construed as merely illustrative and not a limitation of the scope of the present invention in any way.

It will be obvious to those having skill in the art that many changes may be made to the details of the above-described embodiments without departing from the underlying principles of the invention. The scope of the present invention should, therefore, be determined only by the following claims.