This guide focuses on the trend of thinner cores and explains how superabsorbent polymers and hot melt adhesive technologies produce thin and comfortable disposable hygiene products with minimized environmental impact, enhanced performance, optimized shelf space and lower transport costs.
- The Case for Thinner Cores
- Core Construction
- Stabilizing Thinner Cores
- Specialty Nonwoven Adhesives to Optimize Core Performance
- H.B. Fuller Innovative Solutions for Thinner Cores
The Case for Thinner Cores
In recent years, there has been a trend to manufacture products containing thinner cores. Variables ranging from comfort, economics and environmental impact have initiated a global shift toward more stable and absorbent thinner cores.
Adults and infants alike have welcomed thinner cores for improved comfort, fit, and discretion, achieved by permitting movement and reducing bulky appearance under clothing. Using strong high performance adhesives have allowed these thinner cores to remain stable, even when they have reached their absorbent capacity.
Yet economics are also considered, not only from a consumer perspective, but from a manufacturer’s as well. Thinner cores yield lower freight costs and optimized shelf space, making it ideal for both manufacturers and retailers. In fact, in order to compete globally, manufacturers are finding that thinner cores are a growing requirement, making them more commonplace in today’s market.
Thinner cores also require less material to produce, which is not only economical for manufacturers, but it is also a more sustainable manufacturing practice. Less bulk results in material savings, less energy consumption and less end-product waste. Thinner cores have more appeal to more environmentally conscious consumers, further driving sales of thinner core disposable hygiene products.
However, to meet the growing demands for thinner cores in baby diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, thinner cores must be specially tailored to meet both consumer demands and industry manufacturing requirements, the quality of which is determined in the early stages of core construction.
Manufacturers soon realized the challenge of integrating thinner cores into their product. While thinner cores achieved goals, such as improved comfort and minimized environmental impact, it failed to enhance performance. In order to reduce the size of the core, without compromising its integrity, adhesive solutions need to be designed into the core structure.
Cores are generally composed of fluff and superabsorbent polymers, the purpose of which is to retain fluid and prevent leakage. To draw off moisture from the wearer and evenly distribute fluid throughout the core, a porous acquisition layer dresses the core. These two components are fixed with nonwoven adhesive technologies, the performance of which is central to the integrity of the final product.
Yet during core construction, manufacturers often face the challenge of stabilizing the thinner cores, which requires specific adhesive technologies.
Stabilizing Thinner Cores
Inclusion of penetrative adhesive technologies stabilize thinner cores and prevent leakage and core separation, as well as enhance the integrity of thinner cores through delayed crystallization technologies and versatile application.
Traditionally, hot melt adhesives sit on top of the core surface. However, in core stability demonstrations, this method of adhesive application results in core failure. Alternatively, hot melt adhesives that penetrate the core anchor the fluff to the top sheet and remain stable, allowing the core to endure more movement than those fixed with traditional nonwoven adhesives.
Penetrative hot melt adhesives not only improve the integrity of thinner cores, but they also enhance core performance. With stronger anchors and delayed crystallization technologies, thinner cores prove to have improved wet strength over conventional adhesives. It also provides more options to manufacturers with versatile application that can be either directly or transfer sprayed.
While penetrative hot melt adhesives assist in stabilizing the core, other varieties of nonwoven adhesives can be applied to enhance the performance of the final product and distinguish it among other competitors’ brands.
Specialty Nonwoven Adhesives to Optimize Core Performance
Specialty nonwoven hygiene adhesives can optimize performance of thinner cores. The availability of specialty hot melt adhesives gives manufacturers the option to create a variety of products, with specific features, to serve various consumer needs, including enhanced absorbency, color changing wetness indicators.
These adhesives, which can be low odor, can deliver non-blocking performance on the line, after packing and during transportation and storage.
Varieties of specialty nonwoven adhesives include, but are not limited to:
To produce drier, thinner core products, manufacturers can implement patented adhesive technologies, such as an absorbent thermoplastic, applied like a typical hot melt adhesive. Similar to superabsorbent polymers, but with none of the dusty mess that accompanies handling it, thermoplastic material has been specially formulated for maximum fluid absorption.
These hot melt adhesives offer targeted absorbency and zero leakage through side panels, especially when applied as a strip barrier around the core, resulting in high-performance products that keep the user drier than with conventional hot melt adhesive technologies.
Diaper wetness indicator adhesives are unique to other hot melt technologies, because they quickly and distinctly change color at the moment of wetness, providing a lasting visual change and more efficient consumer cost management.
Consumers will know at a glance when the core has absorbed any fluid, and with high humidity resistance, the color will not change prematurely.
H.B. Fuller Innovative Solutions for Thinner Cores
To meet the steadily increasing demand for thinner cores, H.B. Fuller provides a diverse selection of nonwoven adhesive technologies that are proven to stabilize the core and enhance overall performance of disposable hygiene products.
H.B. Fuller knows what matters to customers. As a leading global adhesives provider, it formulates wide-ranging adhesive technologies that assist in improving manufacturer’s production processes, resulting in enhanced quality and performance of the end product, which is achieved through a blend of disposable hygiene materials, such as thinner cores and patented nonwoven adhesives.
As demand for high-performance thinner cores rises, H.B. Fuller is committed to providing innovative adhesive solutions for the manufacturing of baby diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence disposable hygiene products. H.B. Fuller has formulated a variety of performance enhancing hot melt adhesives that not only meet the requirements of industry manufacturers, but also fulfill the needs of the end user.
The global drive for thinner cores will continue to accelerate, and with H.B. Fuller’s technical knowledge and experience, improvements in nonwoven adhesives will continue to address global industry challenges and develop new innovative concepts to manufacture competitive products.
Contact us to learn more.
- Request the presentation: “Understanding the key parameters to optimize core integrity in thinner core diapers” by H.B. Fuller's Dr. Stefan Eller (presented at INDEX, Geneva, April 2014)
- Request the presentation: “Understanding the key parameters to optimize thinner diaper integrity” by H.B. Fuller's Evan Yuan (presented at Asia Disposable Hygiene and Personal Care Products Summit, Shanghai, June 2014)
Adhesive Solutions for
in disposable hygiene products
Manufacturers of thin core products, such as baby diapers and materials for feminine hygiene and adult incontinence, face challenges to meet three requirements:
Consumers have demanded improved comfort, fit and discretion to enable movement.
Thinner cores must remain stable when they have reached their absorbent capacity.
Products should be more economical for companies to manufacture, store and transport.
In order to reduce the size of the core, without compromising its integrity, the core performance can be optimized through adhesive solutions.
Standard Construction Adhesive
- Minimal Penetration
- Fast Setting
- Superficial Bonding
- Lower Wet Strength
- High Adhesive Coat Weight
Specialty Core Adhesive
- Allows For Deeper Penetration
- Mechanical Anchoring
- Low Coat Weights
- Reduces Cellulose Needed In Core
- High Green Strength Core Bonding
To stabilize thinner cores, penetrative hot melt adhesives are implemented to:
fluff to the top sheet and remain stable
more movement than traditional nonwoven adhesives
Nonwoven adhesives can connect your customers with lighter, thinner, more flexible products.
Optimize Core Performance with Targeted Absorbency
To produce drier thinner core products:
- Thermoplastic material has been specially formulated for maximum fluid absorption
- Adhesives were developed for targeted absorbency and enhanced core integrity
Add Functionality with Diaper
- Quick and distinct color change when wetness detected
- High humidity resistance virtually eliminates premature color change