(19)
(11)EP 2 692 948 B2

(12)NEW EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION
After opposition procedure

(45)Date of publication and mention of the opposition decision:
19.04.2023 Bulletin 2023/16

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/01

(21)Application number: 12305973.5

(22)Date of filing:  03.08.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
D21H 27/02(2006.01)
D21H 27/00(2006.01)
D21H 27/30(2006.01)
B31F 1/07(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
B31F 1/07; D21H 27/002; D21H 27/02; D21H 27/30; B31F 2201/0733; B31F 2201/0738; B31F 2201/0761; B31F 2201/0787; A47K 10/16

(54)

Multi-ply tissue paper product and method for manufacturing the same

Mehrlagiges Tissuepapierprodukt und Verfahren zu dessen Herstellung

Produit en papier de soie multicouche et son procédé de fabrication


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
05.02.2014 Bulletin 2014/06

(73)Proprietor: SCA TISSUE FRANCE
93400 Saint-Ouen (FR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Jeannot, Sébastien
    68320 Holtzwihr (FR)
  • Kientz, Emmanuelle
    68320 Wickerschwihr (FR)
  • Bertin, Marie
    68700 Uffholtz (FR)

(74)Representative: Gabriel, Franck 
PROXIP Tour CIT Bureau 918 3, rue de l'Arrivée
75749 Paris Cedex 15
75749 Paris Cedex 15 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-02/103112
WO-A1-2011/069532
WO-A1-2011/035803
  
      


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] An aspect of the invention relates to a method for manufacturing a multi-ply tissue paper product. Such a multi-ply tissue paper product finds a particular, though non exclusive, application in the tissue paper industry. Tissue paper may be used for sanitary or domestic purposes. As an example, a web of tissue paper is wound onto a core for the purpose of manufacturing paper towel, toilet tissue rolls, facial rolls, bathroom tissue, wiping tissue or kitchen tissue rolls. As another example, a web of tissue paper is fold for the purpose of manufacturing facial tissue, handkerchiefs or bathroom tissue.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] In the following a tissue paper product relates to an absorbent paper based on cellulose wadding which is also called tissue paper base-sheet in this field of technology. A typical absorbent paper has a low basis weight, in the range from 10 to 50 g/m2.

    [0003] The tissue paper can be produced from paper fibers according to the Conventional Wet Press (CWP) manufacturing method, or by the Through Air Drying (TAD) manufacturing method, or any alternative manufacturing method (e.g. Advanced Tissue Molding System ATMOS of the company Voith, or Structured Tissue Technology SST of the company Metso Paper). The paper fibers can be produced from virgin and/or recycled paper pulp raw material.

    [0004] The CWP manufacturing method comprises the steps of:
    • pressing and drying the wet paper fibers as a sheet on a large-diameter, heated cylinder (also called Yankee dryer); and
    • subsequently detaching and creping the sheet of dried paper fibers by means of a metal blade applied against said cylinder, across its direction of rotation.


    [0005] The creping operation creates undulations in the sheet across its direction of travel. The creping operation increases the thickness of the sheet, and confers elasticity and gives touch properties to the sheet.

    [0006] The TAD manufacturing method comprises the steps of:
    • molding the sheet of wet paper fibers on a fabric; and
    • subsequently drying the sheet, at least partly, by means of a current of hot air passing through it.


    [0007] Subsequently, the dried sheet may be creped.

    [0008] Once, the tissue paper has been manufactured, a distinct manufacturing operation called converting operation is necessary to form the end product (i.e. the paper towel, toilet tissue rolls, bathroom tissue, wiping tissue, kitchen tissue rolls, handkerchiefs, etc...). During the converting operation, several of such sheets, also called plies, can be combined to form said end product.

    [0009] It is possible to combine several plies together to confer particular properties on a sheet such as thickness, bulkiness, softness, and strength.

    [0010] Several plies may be combined together by a combining operation of a chemical nature (e.g. by adhesive bonding), or of a mechanical nature (e.g. by knurling or embossing), or a combination of both. During adhesive bonding, a film of adhesive is deposited over some or all of the surface of one of the plies, then the adhesive-treated surface is placed in contact with the surface of at least one other ply. During the mechanical combination, the plies may be combined by knurling, or by compression, or by embossing. Embossing is a process by which a raised or depressed design is produced, generally by pressure between engraved rolls or plates or between an engraved roll or plate and an elastic or a deformable supporting surface.. It results in a CWP ply having a particular relief or indentation. The thickness of the CWP ply or of the multiple plies is increased after embossing compared with its initial thickness.

    [0011] In order to produce very soft multi-ply tissue paper product, for example toilet tissue comprising two TAD plies or TAD ply combined with one CWP ply, it was until now assumed that:
    • the TAD ply to be used should be as soft and smooth as possible,
    • the TAD ply should not be embossed or at least embossed as little as possible so as to preserve its properties, in particular thickness and strength during the converting operation, and
    • the TAD ply is already structured as a consequence of the manufacturing process (a face of the TAD ply reproduces the structure of the fabric supporting the wet paper fibers), and thus conferring an additional pattern to the TAD ply is not considered as desirable.


    [0012] In order to achieve a TAD ply of high softness and suppleness, it was commonly accepted to reduce the strength of the TAD tissue (for a given grammage) during the TAD manufacturing process (TAD papermaking machine), for example below 40N/m CDT or 110N/m MDT. Further, below a determined strength, the breaks of the TAD tissue increase significantly during the TAD manufacturing process. This may even reach the point where it is no longer possible to produce the TAD tissue. Furthermore, it is possible to reduce the number of TAD tissue breaks by reducing the speed of production of the TAD tissue by the TAD papermaking machine. Furthermore, it is possible to increase the TAD tissue strength by increasing the grammage. However, these solutions are difficult to implement within the frame of an industrial production of TAD tissue without negatively affecting productivity and cost of production.

    [0013] The document WO 2011/069532 describes a fibrous product, especially tissue paper product, nonwoven product or a hybrid thereof, preferably hygiene and cleaning product, has at least one ply, the surface of which is partly covered with an embossing pattern, and is characterized in that the pattern comprises at least one first zone being micro-embossed with at least 30 embossing depressions per cm2, preferably 30 to 160 embossing depressions/cm2, more preferably 30 to 120 embossing depressions/cm2 and most preferably 45 to 100 depressions/cm2, forming a background embossing area, a plurality of second zones being unembossed and forming a motive element and in addition to the second zones at least one third zone being largely surrounded by linear depressions. The document also describes an embossing roll and an embossing device including a method for manufacturing such fibrous products. In this document, the micro-embossed zone results either by micro-embossing a creped tissue paper during a converting process, or by using the intrinsic effect linked to the TAD process during the papermaking process.

    [0014] The document WO 02/103112 describes a multi-ply tissue paper product and a method for producing same. The multi-ply tissue paper comprises at least three embossed plies of paper, wherein a first outer ply has a first microstructure pattern with first protuberances with a density of more than 40 protuberances/cm2 The second outer ply is provided with a second microstructure pattern also having a density of second protuberances of more than 40 protuberances/cm2. A middle ply is sandwiched between the first outer ply and the second outer ply and has a third structure pattern being an embossing pattern with a density of less than 40 protuberances/cm2. All three plies are ply bonded together after the first outer ply, the second outer ply and the middle ply have been structured separately. In this document, the TAD process is presented as an alternative to the micro-embossing of a tissue ply produced by a conventional wet press CWP manufacturing method.

    [0015] The document WO 2011/035803 describes a fibrous product, especially tissue paper product, non-woven product or a hybrid thereof and preferably hygiene and cleaning product, comprising at least: one top ply with either an embossing pattern forming pillow-like chambers at least partially surrounded by first embossing protuberances or with second embossing protuberances; at least one middle ply embossed in register with the at least one top ply so that either second embossing protuberances of the at least one middle ply nest into the pillow-like chambers of the at least one top ply or second embossing protuberances of the at least one top ply nest into the pillow-like chambers at least partially surrounded by first embossing protuberances of the at least one middle ply; and at least one bottom ply not in register with the at least one top ply and being bonded to both the at least one top ply and the at least one middle ply. In this document, the TAD process is also presented as an alternative to the micro-embossing of a tissue ply produced by a conventional wet press CWP manufacturing method.

    [0016] Thus, the above mentioned documents generally describe two main alternatives in order to micro-structure a ply, either by micro-embossing a classical CWP type ply or by manufacturing the ply by a TAD process.

    [0017] There is a need to improve the suppleness and softness of the multi-ply tissue products. Further, this should be obtained in economical or cost effective manner.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0018] It is an object of the invention to propose a multi-ply tissue paper product manufacturing method that overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art multi-ply tissue paper products comprising a TAD ply manufacturing method. In particular, it is desirable to improve softness and/or suppleness of multi-ply tissue paper products comprising at least one TAD ply, while at least maintaining productivity and/or cost of production of multi-ply tissue paper products comprising at least one TAD ply.

    [0019] The manufacturing method of the invention proposes to micro-emboss the outer structured TAD ply during the converting operation once dried after the tissue paper has been produced by the paper machine.

    [0020] According to an aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing multi-ply tissue paper product comprising at least two plies made of tissue paper base-sheet, wherein the manufacturing method comprises manufacturing at least one outer ply as a structured outer ply produced by a structuring manufacturing method, and further comprises micro-embossing the structured outer ply on substantially at least 80% of its surface during a converting operation, the micro-embossing step comprises adjusting a micro-embossing pressure applied to the structured outer ply such as to adjust a softness related property relatively to a strength related property of the structured outer ply in a defined range, the structured outer ply is chosen among the group of structured ply comprising a through air dried ply produced by a through air drying TAD manufacturing method, or a dried ply produced by an advanced tissue molding system ATMOS, or a dried ply produced by a structured tissue technology SST manufacturing method, and the structured outer ply is micro-embossed between a first cylinder and a second cylinder engraved with a microstructure pattern comprising a series of protuberances having a density ranging from approximately 30 to 100 protuberances/cm2, and the micro-embossing pressure ranges from approximately 10 to 40 kg/cm linear such as to adjust the softness related property of the structured outer ply between approximately 83 and 87 according to measurements provided by an EMTEC tissue softness analyzer and using a specific tissue related algorithm (referred as the QA1 algorithm by EMTEC), and a machine direction strength MDT related property of the structured outer ply between approximately 90 and 130 N/m measured according to the standard EN ISO 12625-4:2005.

    [0021] The multi-ply tissue paper product manufacturing method may further comprise manufacturing at least another ply as a wet pressed ply produced by a wet press manufacturing method.

    [0022] The invention enables producing a multi-ply tissue paper product comprising a TAD outer ply that is softer and results in a better hand-feel compared to prior art multi-ply tissue paper products.

    [0023] With the invention, it is possible to adjust during the converting step the softness relatively to the strength of the final tissue product. Incidentally, this enables commonly producing TAD tissue with the same papermaking machine whatever the subsequent final tissue product to be produced during the converting operation, the final tissue product being either a toilet tissue paper with great softness and less strength, or a kitchen tissue paper with less softness and higher strength. In one hand, this enables using a unique TAD papermaking machine resulting in less financial immobilization, and, on the other hand, maintaining the productivity of the TAD papermaking machine that typically produces around 1300 meters of TAD tissue per minute within the frame of an industrial production. Thus, the invention enables producing TAD tissue product with levels of softness, suppleness and strength adapted to the final use of the tissue product in efficient economical conditions. In summary, the present invention can be used to manufacture a multi-ply tissue paper product that is softer than prior art multi-ply tissue paper product after the converting operations while maintaining the productivity of the papermaking machine.

    [0024] The invention is also well adapted to produce facial tissue or handkerchiefs having an excellent softness and being absorbent while reducing the number of plies compared to prior art facial tissue or handkerchiefs. Further, reducing the number of plies results in economical and environmental benefits, as similar or even better properties are obtained while using less paper fiber.

    [0025] Other advantages will become apparent from the hereinafter description of the invention.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0026] The present invention is illustrated by way of examples and not limited to the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements:
    • FIGS. 1 to 4 are side cross-section views in a multi-ply tissue paper product of the invention schematically illustrating a first, second, third and fourth embodiment, respectively;
    • FIG. 5 is a graphic illustrating the effect of the micro-embossing pressure onto the hand-feel/softness;
    • FIG. 6 is a graphic illustrating the effect of the micro-embossing onto the machine direction strength;
    • FIG. 7 is a graphic illustrating the effect of various micro-embossing patterns onto the hand-feel/softness;
    • FIG. 8 is a graphic illustrating the softness gain with the third embodiment of the invention;
    • FIG. 9 schematically and partially illustrates an example of a converting assembly and method for manufacturing the multi-ply tissue paper product according to the first, second and third embodiment; and
    • FIG. 10 is a top view of the multi-ply tissue paper product of the invention schematically illustrating an example of aesthetic pattern.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0027] FIGS. 1 to 4 are side cross-section views schematically illustrating the layer structure of the multi-ply tissue paper product of the invention.

    [0028] FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a first embodiment of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 of the invention. It comprises a first structured ply 2 and a second wet press ply 3. Each of these plies is made of tissue paper base-sheet having a low basis weight, in the range from 10 to 45 g/m2. The structured ply 2 may be a through air dried ply produced by a through air drying TAD manufacturing method. Alternatively to the through air drying TAD manufacturing method, other manufacturing method like the advanced tissue molding system ATMOS manufacturing method that generate a similarly structured ply may be used. The wet pressed ply 3 is produced by a wet press CWP manufacturing method.

    [0029] After the structured ply 2 has been produced by a paper making machine, a converting operation takes place. The converting operation comprises micro-embossing the structured ply 2 on substantially at least 80% of its surface. The structured ply 2 may be embossed on substantially all its surface.

    [0030] The structured ply 2 may be provided with a first microstructure pattern at two levels, namely combining a series of first 7 and second 8 protuberances. For example, the second protuberances 8 may be obtained by embossing the structured ply 2 at a second height h2 ranging from 1 to 3 times greater than the first height h1, for example 1,4 times greater. The density of the first protuberances 7 is greater than the density of the second protuberances 8.

    [0031] The wet pressed ply 3 may be provided with a second microstructure pattern at one level, namely with a series of third protuberances 9. The third protuberances 9 may have a third height h3 that may be for example substantially identical to the first height h1.

    [0032] As an example, the first height h1 may range from approximately 0,5 to 0,7 mm and the second height h2 from approximately 0,7 to 1 mm. The density of the series of first protuberances 7 and third protuberances 9 may range from approximately 30 to 100 protuberances/cm2. The density of the series of second protuberances 8 may be 5 to 10 times less than the density of the series of first protuberances 7. The surface of a second protuberance 8 may be approximately between 0,5 to 2 mm2. The series of second protuberances 8 may form a decorative motif (flower, leaf, brand name, etc...) that may be repeated on the surface of the outer ply.

    [0033] Alternatively, one of the microstructure pattern may comprise a series of elongated protuberances having a density ranging from approximately 30 to 100 protuberances/cm2.The elongated protuberances may have a length approximately 3 to 20 times longer than the length of the protuberances of the first series of protuberances.

    [0034] FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a second embodiment of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 of the invention. The second embodiment differs from the first embodiment in that the first structured ply 2 is provided with the second microstructure pattern at one level (series of third protuberances 9), while the second wet press ply 3 is provided with the first microstructure pattern at two levels (combining a series of first 7 and second 8 protuberances).

    [0035] FIG. 3 schematically illustrates a third embodiment of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 of the invention. The third embodiment differs from the first embodiment in that the wet press ply 3 has been replaced by a second structured ply 4.

    [0036] FIG. 4 schematically illustrates a fourth embodiment of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 of the invention. The fourth embodiment comprises two structured plies 2 and 4 and one wet press ply 5. The two structured plies 2 and 4 form the outer plies of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1. The wet press ply 5 is positioned as an intermediate and central ply within the multi-ply tissue paper product 1. The wet press ply 5 may be not-embossed (as illustrated in FIG. 4) or, alternatively, embossed with any of the microstructure patterns hereinbefore presented (not shown).

    [0037] Surprisingly, it was found that if the outer structured TAD ply is micro-embossed during the converting operation once dried after the tissue paper has been produced by the paper machine, the suppleness and/or softness would be substantially improved. This surprising effect is in contradistinction with the common knowledge until now as hereinafter illustrated by the graphics.

    [0038] FIG. 5 is a graphic illustrating the effect of the micro-embossing pressure (charge in kg/cm linear) onto the hand-feel/softness HF. The protocol of test consists in embossing the TAD structured ply between a steel cylinder and a rubber cylinder with a micro-embossing pattern having a density of 80 protuberances/cm2. Firstly, a reference is produced by processing the tissue product into a converting assembly (as depicted in FIG. 9) without embossing the tissue product. This reference relates to hand-feel/softness measurement made at 0 kg/cm linear. Subsequently, multiple samples are produced by processing the tissue product into a converting assembly (as depicted in FIG. 9) and embossing the tissue product by applying an increasing embossing pressure.

    [0039] The softness of the resulting tissue product is measured by a tissue softness analyzer of the company EMTEC. The tissue softness analyzer operates as follows in order to determine a softness value or a hand-feel value combining "real" softness, smoothness/roughness and stiffness. The tissue product sample is positioned and secured in a measuring cell, e.g. like a drumhead. Below is placed a vibration sensor, above is placed a vertical movable measuring head with a rotating blade, which is pushed onto the tissue product sample with a defined load. Then a rotation of the rotating blades with a defined speed is executed. The motion of the blades over the tissue product sample generates different types of vibrations/noise, which are detected by means of the vibration sensor. The resulting vibrations/noise spectrum is an overlapping of two single spectra. The first peak of the spectrum represents the smoothness/roughness (vertical vibrations of the tissue product sample like a membrane, caused by the motion of the blades over the tissue product sample surface). The second peak of the spectrum represents the "real" softness (horizontal vibrations of the blades itself caused by momentary blocking and swinging back of the blades by the fibers of the tissue product sample, when moving over the surface). Further, the tissue product sample is deformed to measure elastic, visco-elastic and plastic properties (stiffness). The three parameters softness, smoothness and stiffness are combined together with the caliper, grammage and number of plies with different algorithms and results in a hand-feel value HF. In particular, an algorithm used for the measurements is referred as the QA1 algorithm by EMTEC. The higher the hand-feel value, the softer is the tissue product. A mathematical equation can be created such that the results correlate with a certain reference panel of consumers by using specific algorithms for each material (base tissue, toilet paper, facials, etc...).

    [0040] The graphic illustrates that an equivalent hand-feel/softness can be reached with an embossed standard TAD ply compared to a soft TAD ply (though having less strength) obtained through the paper making process. Further, by embossing the soft TAD ply, a gain in hand-feel/softness is also to be noticed. Furthermore, by embossing the TAD ply over a determined embossing pressure, namely around 10 and 20 kg/cm linear for soft TAD ply and standard TAD ply, respectively, the effect on hand-feel/softness is nil, at least decreases significantly.

    [0041] FIG. 6 is a graphic illustrating the effect of the micro-embossing onto the strength (Machine Direction Tensile MDT). The MD strength (dry strength) is measured according to the standard EN ISO 12625-4:2005. The graphic shows that, for an equivalent hand-feel/softness, an embossed standard TAD ply has more strength than an embossed soft TAD. Though not shown, the effect on the cross machine CD strength is similar. Thus, with the invention, it is possible to adjust the strength related property of the TAD ply in a given range without modifying the hand-feel/softness of the resulting product.

    [0042] FIG. 7 is a graphic illustrating the effect of various micro-embossing patterns onto the softness. Various microstructure patterns have been tested with the same tissue product, namely a first pattern ME80 comprising a density of 80 protuberances/cm2, a second pattern ME51 comprising 51 protuberances/cm2 and a third pattern Mixte1 comprising a combination of a series of elongated protuberances and a series of rounded protuberances. The graphic illustrates that independently of the pattern used to micro-emboss the TAD structured ply, the softness of the TAD structured ply is improved by the micro-embossing. The graphic is coherent with the graphic of FIG. 5 and further shows that greater is the micro-embossing pressure, greater is the softness in a limited range (above approximately 30 kg/cm linear, there is a stabilization in the softness improvement).

    [0043] FIG. 8 is a graphic illustrating the softness gain with the third embodiment of the invention. In this graphic, the softness value is obtained from a blind test using a panel of consumers testing various multi-ply tissue paper products. Similar results are obtained by means of a measurement by the tissue softness analyzer of the company EMTEC. The reference point RE indicates the softness related property relatively to the strength related property of a tissue product comprising two standard TAD plies (namely comprising TAD plies obtained with a standard through air drying manufacturing process). The point SO indicates the softness related property relatively to the strength related property of a tissue product comprising two softest possible TAD plies (namely comprising TAD plies obtained with a softest possible papermaking manufacturing process). The point ME indicates the softness related property relatively to the strength related property of a tissue product comprising two micro-embossed TAD plies obtained according to the invention. With the invention, a significant gain in softness is obtained while maintaining the strength (Cross Machine Tensile CD) at an acceptable value. The CD strength (dry strength) is measured according to the standard EN ISO 12625-4:2005. Though not shown, the effect on the Machine Direction Tensile MDT strength is similar. Further, with the invention, it is possible to adjust the strength related property of the TAD ply in a determined range (70 to 105 N/m) while maintaining the softness of the resulting product in an softness range (2,1 to 2,3) better than standard TAD ply or softest possible TAD ply resulting only from the papermaking process.

    [0044] FIG. 9 schematically and partially illustrates an example of a converting assembly and method for manufacturing the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 of the first to third embodiment (depicted in FIGS. 1-3). The converting assembly comprises a glue dispenser 20, a first embossing unit 30, a second embossing unit 40 and a joining unit 50. The converting assembly and the converting method for manufacturing such a multi-ply tissue paper product that will be explained in details hereinafter is based on a facility designed for manufacturing a conventional, nested two or three ply paper product without requiring substantial changes in components or adjustments (nested flat internal ply process as described in EP 1 081 284). Thus, manufacturing the multi-ply tissue paper product of the invention based on an existing converting assembly is particularly cost effective.

    [0045] The first embossing unit 30 comprises an engraved cylinder 31 and a mating rubber cylinder 32, both rotating in opposite directions. The cylinder 31 is engraved with a microstructure pattern combining first embossing tips of height H1 and second embossing tips of height H2. The first embossing tips are shallower than the second embossing tips. The first outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3) is embossed in the first embossing apparatus 30. The engraved cylinder 31 enables performing a double-level engraving. The obtained embossed first outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3) comprises at least partly high discrete protuberances of height h2 (for example discrete truncated protuberances and/or linear protuberances such as flowers), and low protuberances of height h1 (for example discrete truncated protuberances). The heights h1 and h2 depend on the heights H1 and H2 of the engravings and also on the other embossing parameters, namely pressure, rubber quality, etc...

    [0046] The microstructure pattern may comprise punctual or elongated corrugations, undulations, wave-like profiles, pyramid or cone based micro-embossments, truncated pyramid or truncated cone micro-embossments.

    [0047] As an example, the first embossing tips on the cylinder 31 have an engraving height H1 between 0.2 and 2 mm and the second embossing tips on the cylinder 31 have an engraving height H2 such that the height difference H2-H1 is between 0.1 and 0.7 mm. The microstructure patterns may have a density higher than 30 protuberances/cm2.

    [0048] The glue dispenser 20 applies an adhesive 22 to the external side of the outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3). The adhesive 22 may be applied to the external side of the outer ply opposite the distal areas of the protuberances of height h2 of the embossed first outer ply.

    [0049] The glue dispenser 20 comprises a vat 21, an applicator cylinder 23 and a dipping cylinder 24. The applicator cylinder 23 abuts the superposed through air dried ply 10 and the embossed first outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3) against the engraved cylinder 31. The dipping cylinder 24 picks up the adhesive 22 in the vat 21 and transfers the adhesive 22 to the applicator cylinder 23. The applicator cylinder 23 is arranged to exercise a determined pressure on the engraved cylinder 31 at the distal area of the protuberances of height h2 of the embossed first outer ply. At said determined pressure, the adhesive 22 crosses the embossed first outer ply. Alternatively, the applicator cylinder 23 may be fitted with an engraved surface so as to apply the adhesive 22 only to part of the protuberances. This enables providing smoothness to the multi-ply tissue paper product 1.

    [0050] Because the gluing areas are limited to the distal planar areas of the high protuberances of the embossed first outer ply, the resulting stiffness of the multi-ply tissue paper product 1 can be predetermined. Thus, the resulting stiffness may be adjusted. FIG. 9 only illustrates a particular example comprising a rate of one high protuberance for three shallow protuberances.

    [0051] The adhesive 22 may be a polyvinyl acetate glue or a hot-melt glue. The adhesive may be diluted in water according to a proportion enabling an appropriate transfer to the various plies.

    [0052] Substantially simultaneously to the formation of the embossed first outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3), the second outer ply 3 (embodiment of FIG. 1) or 2 (embodiments of FIGS. 2 and 3) is embossed in the second embossing apparatus 40.

    [0053] The second embossing unit 40 comprises an engraved cylinder 41 and a mating rubber cylinder 42, both rotating in opposite directions. The cylinder 41 is engraved with a microstructure pattern having embossing tips of height H3. The height H3 may be substantially equal to the height H1.

    [0054] The resulting second outer ply 3 (embodiment of FIG. 1) or 2 (embodiments of FIGS. 2 and 3) comprises at least partly low discrete protuberances of height h3. The second engraved cylinder 41 may also comprise an aesthetic pattern (for example a decorative motif comprising flowers).

    [0055] FIG. 10 is a top view of the resulting second outer ply 2 schematically illustrating an example of such an aesthetic pattern comprising a first series of protuberances 7 (protuberances of important density) and a second series of protuberances 8 (flower).

    [0056] Subsequently, the embossed first outer ply 2 (embodiment of FIG. 1), 3 (embodiment of FIG. 2) or 4 (embodiment of FIG. 3), and the embossed second outer ply 3 (embodiment of FIG. 1) or 2 (embodiments of FIGS. 2 and 3) are joined together in a nesting mode in the joining unit 50.

    [0057] The joining unit 50 comprises a marrying cylinder 51 working in cooperation with the engraved cylinder 31 of the first embossing unit 30. The surface of the marrying cylinder 51 may be smooth. Alternatively, it may also be engraved and may comprise gaps in order to adjust the surface of joining and the final multi-ply tissue paper product smoothness.

    [0058] The joining of the embossed first outer ply to the embossed second outer ply is carried out in such a manner that:
    • on the one hand, the distal areas of the high protuberances of the embossed first outer ply nest at least partly with the distal areas of the protuberances of the embossed second outer ply, and
    • on the other hand, sufficient pressure is applied to bond the two plies 3 and 2, 2 on one side, and 3, or 2 and 4 on the other side with the help of the adhesive 22.


    [0059] As an alternative to the glue dispenser 50 as illustrated in FIG. 11, the adhesive (e.g. a hot melt glue, an aqueous glue, etc...) may be sprayed by appropriate means on each of the sides of the first outer ply before it is joined with the second outer ply.

    [0060] Then, the multi-ply tissue paper product may be wound onto a core 71 as a roll of sheet material 70, or may be stacked and folded into a package 81 as a folded sheet material 80. These operations are not germane to the present invention and will not be further described. The multi-ply tissue paper product may be used as paper towel, toilet tissue rolls, bathroom tissue, wiping tissue, kitchen tissue rolls, facial tissue or handkerchiefs, etc...

    [0061] The converting assembly and method hereinbefore described can be easily adapted to manufacture the embodiment depicted in FIG. 4. The CWP intermediate ply 5 may be superposed on the protuberances of the embossed first outer ply 4 at the level of the engraved cylinder 31. The CWP intermediate ply 5 fits closely onto the high protuberances of the embossed first outer ply 4. It further remains substantially planar between two consecutive high protuberances. Alternatively, it may be supported by the planar areas of the shallow protuberances. Thus, the corresponding converting assembly and method will not be further described as it is based on the converting assembly and method depicted in FIG. 9.

    [0062] The drawings and their descriptions hereinbefore illustrate rather than limit the invention.

    [0063] Though the invention has been described with respect to various embodiments of multi-ply tissue paper products comprising two and three plies, these are not limitative examples. The skilled person will readily recognize that the multi-ply tissue paper product may comprise more plies, e.g. four, five, six, etc... provided that the structured outer ply is micro-embossed so as to confer a soft hand-feel to the tissue paper product.

    [0064] The numbers, densities, positions and shapes of the micro-embossments in the depicted embodiments are non limitative examples. The skilled person will readily recognize that these numbers, densities, positions and shapes may be changed if desired or deemed necessary with respect to, for example, the desired aesthetic effect to be achieved by the multi-ply tissue paper products.

    [0065] Any reference sign in a claim should not be construed as limiting the claim. The word "comprising" does not exclude the presence of other elements than those listed in a claim. The word "a" or "an" or "at least one" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such element.


    Claims

    1. A method for manufacturing multi-ply tissue paper product (1) comprising at least two plies (2, 3, 4, 5) made of tissue paper base-sheet, wherein the manufacturing method comprises:

    - manufacturing at least one outer ply as a structured outer ply (2, 4) produced by a structuring manufacturing method;

    characterized in that:

    - the manufacturing method further comprises micro-embossing the structured outer ply (2, 4) on substantially at least 80% of its surface during a converting operation, said micro-embossing step comprising adjusting a micro-embossing pressure applied to the structured outer ply (2, 4) such as to adjust a softness related property relatively to a strength related property of the structured outer ply (2, 4) in a defined range,

    - the structured outer ply (2, 4) is chosen among the group of structured ply comprising a through air dried ply produced by a through air drying TAD manufacturing method, or a dried ply produced by an advanced tissue molding system ATMOS, or a dried ply produced by a structured tissue technology SST manufacturing method,

    - the structured outer ply (2, 4) is micro-embossed between a first cylinder (32) and a second cylinder (31) engraved with a microstructure pattern comprising a series of protuberances (7, 8, 9) having a density ranging from approximately 30 to 100 protuberances/cm2, and

    - the micro-embossing pressure ranges from approximately 10 to 40 kg/cm linear such as to adjust the softness related property of the structured outer ply (2, 4) between approximately 83 and 87 according to measurements provided by an EMTEC tissue softness analyzer, and a machine direction strength MDT related property of the structured outer ply (2, 4) between approximately 90 and 130 N/m measured according to the standard EN ISO 12625-4:2005.


     
    2. The multi-ply tissue paper product manufacturing method of claim 1, further comprising manufacturing at least another ply as a wet pressed ply (3, 5) produced by a wet press manufacturing method.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines mehrlagigen Tissuepapierprodukts (1) mit wenigstens zwei Lagen (2, 3, 4, 5), die aus einem Tissuepapierbasisblatt hergestellt werden, wobei das Herstellungsverfahren aufweist:

    - Herstellen wenigstens einer äußere Lage als eine strukturierte äußere Lage (2, 4), die durch ein Strukturierungsherstellungsverfahren hergestellt wird,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    - das Herstellungsverfahren weiterhin Mikroprägen der strukturierten äußeren Lage (2, 4) auf im Wesentlichen 80 % ihrer Oberfläche während eines Verarbeitungsvorgangs aufweist, der Mikroprägungsschritt Anpassen eines Mikroprägungsdrucks aufweisen, der auf die strukturierte äußere Lage (2, 4) ausgeübt wird, um eine Weichheitseigenschaft relativ zu einer Festigkeitseigenschaft der strukturierten äußeren Lage (2, 4) in einem bestimmten Bereich einzustellen,

    - die strukturierte äußere Lage (2, 4) aus der Gruppe von strukturierten Lagen ausgewählt wird, die eine durchströmgetrocknete Lage, die durch ein Herstellungsverfahren mit Durchströmtrocknung TAD hergestellt wird, oder eine getrocknete Lage, die durch ein fortgeschrittenes Tissueformsystem ATMOS hergestellt wird, oder eine getrocknete Lage aufweist, die durch ein Herstellungsverfahren mit einer strukturierten Tissuetechnologie SST hergestellt wird, und

    - die strukturierte äußere Lage (2, 4) zwischen einem ersten Zylinder (32) und einem zweiten Zylinder (31) mikrogeprägt wird, der mit einem Mikrostrukturmuster konturiert ist, das eine Reihe von Erhöhungen (7, 8, 9) aufweist, die eine Dichte im Bereich von etwa 30 bis 100 Erhöhungen/cm2 aufweisen, und

    - der Mikroprägungsdruck im Bereich von etwa 10 bis 40 kg/cm linear liegt, um die Weichheitseigenschaft der strukturierten äußeren Lage (2, 4) zwischen 83 und 87 gemäß den durch einen EMTEC-Tissueweichheitsanalysator bereitgestellten Messungen, und eine auf die Festigkeit in Maschinenlaufrichtung MDT bezogene Eigenschaft der strukturierten äußeren Lage (2, 4) zwischen etwa 90 und 130 N/m einzustellen, gemessen nach dem Standard EN ISO 12625-4:2005.


     
    2. Mehrlagiges Tissuepapierproduktherstellungsverfahren nach Anspruch 1, das weiterhin Herstellen wenigstens einer weiteren Lage als nassgepresste Lage (3, 5) aufweist, die durch ein Nasspressenherstellungsverfahren hergestellt wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Un procédé de fabrication de produit de papier de soie multicouche (1) comprenant au moins deux couches (2, 3, 4, 5) constituées d'une feuille de base de papier de soie, dans lequel le procédé de fabrication comprend :

    - la fabrication d'au moins une couche externe comme étant une couche externe structurée (2, 4) produite par un procédé de fabrication structurant ;

    caractérisé en ce que :

    - le procédé de fabrication comprend en outre le micro-gaufrage de la couche externe structurée (2, 4) sur sensiblement au moins 80 % de sa surface lors d'une opération de transformation, ladite étape de micro-gaufrage comprend l'ajustement d'une pression de micro-gaufrage appliquée à la couche externe structurée (2, 4) afin d'ajuster une propriété de douceur par rapport à une propriété de résistance de la couche externe structurée (2, 4) dans une plage définie,

    - la couche externe structurée (2, 4) est choisie parmi le groupe de couches structurées comprenant une couche séchée à l'air traversant produite par un procédé de fabrication par séchage à l'air traversant TAD, ou une couche séchée produite par un système perfectionné de moulage de papier de soie ATMOS, ou une couche séchée produite par un procédé de fabrication de technologie de papier de soie structuré SST,

    - la couche externe structurée (2, 4) est micro-gaufrée entre un premier cylindre (32) et un deuxième cylindre (31) gravé d'un motif microstructuré comprenant une série de protubérances (7, 8, 9) présentant une densité allant d'environ 30 à 100 protubérances/cm2, et

    - les plages de pression du micro-gaufrage sont comprises entre environ 10 et 40 kg/cm linéaire afin d'ajuster la propriété de douceur de la couche externe structurée (2, 4) entre environ 83 et 87 selon les mesures fournies par un analyseur de douceur de papier de soie EMTEC, et une propriété de résistance dans le sens machine MDT de la couche externe structurée (2, 4) comprise entre environ 90 et 130 N/m mesurée selon la norme EN ISO 12625-4:2005.


     
    2. Le procédé de fabrication de produit de papier de soie multicouche selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la fabrication d'au moins une autre couche comme étant une couche pressée à l'état humide (3, 5) produite par un procédé de fabrication par pressage à l'état humide.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description