(19)
(11)EP 3 041 921 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 14772248.2

(22)Date of filing:  04.09.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C11D 17/04  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/053974
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/034975 (12.03.2015 Gazette  2015/10)

(54)

POUCHES COMPRISING WATER-SOLUBLE FIBROUS WALL MATERIALS AND METHODS FOR MAKING SAME

BEUTEL MIT WASSERLÖSLICHEN FASERIGEN WANDMATERIALIEN UND VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG DAVON

SACS COMPRENANT DES MATÉRIAUX DE PAROIS FIBREUX HYDROSOLUBLES ET LEURS PROCÉDÉS DE PRÉPARATION


(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

(30)Priority: 06.09.2013 US 201361874533 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
13.07.2016 Bulletin 2016/28

(73)Proprietor: The Procter & Gamble Company
Cincinnati, OH 45202 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • DREHER, Andreas, Josef
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)
  • SIVIK, Mark, Robert
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)
  • GORDON, Gregory, Charles
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)
  • BAO, Hailing
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)
  • TROKHAN, Paul, Dennis
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)
  • WEISMAN, Paul, Thomas
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (US)

(74)Representative: P&G Patent Belgium UK 
N.V. Procter & Gamble Services Company S.A. Temselaan 100
1853 Strombeek-Bever
1853 Strombeek-Bever (BE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 095 335
WO-A1-2012/003316
US-A1- 2013 172 226
WO-A1-2007/090818
WO-A1-2013/103629
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates to pouches, for example pouches that contain one or more active agents, such as a fabric care active agent and/or dishwashing active agent and/or detergent compositions, and more particularly to pouches comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material, pouches comprising fibrous wall materials that rupture during use, and methods for making same.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Pouches comprising detergent compositions and/or liquid compositions have been made in the past with porous water-insoluble fibrous wall materials. These water-insoluble fibrous wall materials were coated with a water-soluble composition that dissolves to release the pouch's contents through the pores of the water-insoluble fibrous wall materials rather than the pouch literally rupturing open (for example degrading, dissolving, and/or breaking apart) during use to release its contents. Further, use of such water-insoluble wall materials without the coating could lead to premature loss of the pouch's contents through the open pores of the water-insoluble fibrous wall materials.

    [0003] One problem with such known pouches is the water-insolubility of their fibrous wall materials, which results in the fibrous wall material remaining after use. The remaining water-insoluble fibrous wall material can attach to whatever articles are being cleaned making use of the pouches an unpleasant experience for consumers. Also, a pouch's water-insoluble fibrous wall material presents a disposal problem or task after its use as it needs to be discarded in a solid waste stream.

    [0004] WO 2012/003316 A1 discloses a process for making a film from a non-woven web by converting the non-woven web into a film, and films and unit dose products made therefrom are provided. US 2013/172226 A1 discloses fibrous structures containing one or more particles, and methods for making such fibrous structures. WO 2013/103629 A1 discloses a fibrous structure including filaments wherein the filaments comprise one or more filament-forming materials and one or more active agents that are releasable from the filament when exposed to conditions of intended use, the fibrous structure further having at least three regions; methods of treating fabrics with such fibrous structures are also disclosed. WO 2007/090818 A1 discloses a sachet for washing fabrics, in particular colored fabrics, including a surrounding bag containing an inner bag. EP 0 095 335 A1 discloses a device for conditioning fabrics in the tumble-dryer comprising a powdered conditioning agent inside a permeable container, for example a sachet of paper, non-woven fabric or plastics film, which in turn is inside an outer, substantially form-retaining, aperture container.

    [0005] Accordingly, there exists a need for a pouch made from a water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making same. Further, there exists a need for a pouch made from a water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making same wherein the pouch exhibits a rapid release of its contents under conditions of intended use. Further yet, there exists a need for a pouch made from a water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making the same that does not compromise the containment of materials and particulate matter within the pouch during distribution and handling. There also exists a need for a pouch made from an apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making same where there is containment of materials and particulate matter from the pouch during distribution and handling. Lastly, there is a need for a pouch made from a water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making same that provides for release of fragrances and scents during storage and use of the pouches.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] The present invention fulfills the needs described above by providing novel pouches that comprise a water-soluble fibrous wall material and methods for making same.

    [0007] One solution to the problem described above is a pouch comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material made from fibrous elements comprising a fibrous element-forming polymer, for example a hydroxyl polymer, that ruptures during use to release its contents as measured according to the Rupture Test Method described herein and/or retains its contents sufficiently after being subjected to the Shake Test Method described herein.

    [0008] The present invention provides a pouch comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material that defines a first internal volume of the pouch. The water-soluble fibrous wall material comprises one or more filaments and one or more active agents are present in and releasable from the at least one filament when the pouch is exposed to conditions of intended use. The pouch further comprises an active agent within the first internal volume of the pouch. In addition, the pouch comprises a discrete inner pouch present in the internal volume, wherein the inner pouch comprises a pouch wall material that defines a second internal volume. The inner pouch's pouch wall material comprises a fibrous wall material and/or a film wall material, and the second internal volume comprises an active agent.

    [0009] In an example of the present invention, a pouch that may rupture as measured according to the Rupture Test Method described herein is provided.

    [0010] In another example of the present invention, a pouch may exhibit a % Weight Loss of less than 10% as measured according to the Shake Test Method described herein.

    [0011] In even another example of the present invention, a pouch may comprise an apertured fibrous wall material that defines an internal volume of the pouch containing one or more active agents, wherein the pouch exhibits a % Weight Loss of less than 10% as measured according to the Shake Test Method described herein.

    [0012] In even yet another example, a pouch comprising a fibrous wall material that defines an internal volume of the pouch may contain one or more perfume agents that are released from the pouch.

    [0013] In even yet another example, a pouch comprising an apertured fibrous wall material that defines an internal volume of the pouch may contain one or more perfume agents that are released from the pouch.

    [0014] In still yet another example, a method for making a pouch comprising the steps of:
    1. a. providing a fibrous wall material, such as a water-soluble fibrous wall material; and
    2. b. forming a pouch defining an internal volume from the fibrous wall material, is provided.


    [0015] In still yet another example, a method for making a pouch may comprise the steps of:
    1. a. providing a fibrous wall material comprising a plurality of fibrous elements, wherein at least one of the fibrous elements comprises one or more filament-forming materials and one or more active agents present within the fibrous element; and
    2. b. forming a pouch defining an internal volume from the fibrous wall material.


    [0016] In still another example, a method for making a pouch may comprise the steps of:
    1. a. providing a fibrous wall material, such as a water-soluble fibrous wall material;
    2. b. creating a plurality of holes in the fibrous wall material to form an apertured fibrous wall material; and
    3. c. forming a pouch defining an internal volume from the apertured fibrous wall material.


    [0017] In even still another example, a method for treating a fabric article in need of treatment may comprise the step of treating the fabric article with a pouch according to the present invention, for example contacting the fabric article with a wash liquor formed by adding a pouch to water.

    [0018] In even still another example, a method for treating a dish in need of treatment may comprise the step of treating the dish with a pouch according to the present invention, for example contacting the dish with a wash liquor formed by adding a pouch to water.

    [0019] In even still another example, a method for treating a toilet bowl in need of treatment may comprise the step of treating the toilet bowl with a pouch according to the present invention, for example contacting the toilet bowl with a cleaning liquor formed by adding a pouch to water.

    [0020] As evidenced above, the present invention provides pouches comprising water-soluble fibrous wall materials that overcome the negatives associated with known water-insoluble fibrous wall material pouches.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0021] 

    Fig. 1 is a schematic representation of an example of a pouch according to the present invention;

    Fig. 2 is a schematic representation of the pouch of Fig. 1 during use;

    Fig. 3 is a schematic representation of an example of a process for making a fibrous wall material for use in a pouch according to the present invention;

    Fig. 4 is a schematic representation of an example of a die suitable for use in the process of Fig. 3;

    Fig. 5 is a front elevational view of a set-up for the Rupture Test Method;

    Fig. 6 is a partial top view of Fig. 5; and

    Fig. 7 is a side elevational view of Fig. 5.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION


    Definitions



    [0022] "Pouch wall material" as used herein means a material that forms one or more of the walls of a pouch such that an internal volume of the pouch is defined and enclosed, at least partially or entirely by the pouch wall material.

    [0023] "Fibrous wall material" as used herein means that the pouch wall material at least partially includes fibrous elements, namely filaments, such as inter-entangled filaments in the form of a fibrous structure. In one example, the fibrous wall material makes up greater than 5% and/or greater than 10% and/or greater than 20% and/or greater than 50% and/or greater than 70% and/or greater than 90% and/or 100% of the total surface area of the pouch. It is understood that any edge seams on the pouch may comprise film or film-like portions as a result of fusing/sealing the fibrous pouch wall together. In another example, the fibrous wall material makes up less than 100% and/or less than 70% and/or less than 50% and/or less than 20% and/or less than 10% of the total surface area of the pouch.

    [0024] The fibrous wall material comprises a plurality of fibrous elements. In one example, the fibrous wall material comprises two or more and/or three or more different fibrous elements.

    [0025] The fibrous wall materials of the present invention may be homogeneous or may be layered. If layered, the fibrous wall materials may comprise at least two and/or at least three and/or at least four and/or at least five layers.

    [0026] The fibrous wall material and/or fibrous elements, specifically filaments, making up the fibrous wall material comprise one or more active agents, for example a fabric care active agent, a dishwashing active agent, a hard surface active agent, and mixtures thereof. In one example, a fibrous wall material of the present invention comprises one or more surfactants, one or more enzymes (such as in the form of an enzyme prill), one or more perfumes and/or one or more suds suppressors. In another example, a fibrous wall material of the present invention comprises a builder and/or a chelating agent. In another example, a fibrous wall material of the present invention comprises a bleaching agent (such as an encapsulated bleaching agent).

    [0027] The fibrous wall material is a water-soluble fibrous wall material.

    [0028] In one example, the fibrous wall material exhibits a basis weight of less than 5000 g/m2 and/or less than 4000 g/m2 and/or less than 2000 g/m2 and/or less than 1000 g/m2 and/or less than 500 g/m2 as measured according to the Basis Weight Test Method described herein.

    [0029] "Fibrous element" as used herein means an elongate particulate having a length greatly exceeding its average diameter, i.e. a length to average diameter ratio of at least about 10. A fibrous element is a filament or a fiber. In one example, the fibrous element is a single fibrous element rather than a yarn comprising a plurality of fibrous elements.

    [0030] The fibrous elements may be spun from a filament-forming compositions also referred to as fibrous element-forming compositions via suitable spinning process operations, such as meltblowing, spunbonding, electro-spinning, and/or rotary spinning.

    [0031] The fibrous elements may be monocomponent and/or multicomponent. For example, the fibrous elements may comprise bicomponent fibers and/or filaments. The bicomponent fibers and/or filaments may be in any form, such as side-by-side, core and sheath, islands-in-the-sea and the like.

    [0032] "Filament" as used herein means an elongate particulate as described above that exhibits a length of greater than or equal to 5.08 cm (2 in.) and/or greater than or equal to 7.62 cm (3 in.) and/or greater than or equal to 10.16 cm (4 in.) and/or greater than or equal to 15.24 cm (6 in.).

    [0033] Filaments are typically considered continuous or substantially continuous in nature. Filaments are relatively longer than fibers. Non-limiting examples of filaments include meltblown and/or spunbond filaments. Non-limiting examples of polymers that can be spun into filaments include natural polymers, such as starch, starch derivatives, cellulose, such as rayon and/or lyocell, and cellulose derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, and synthetic polymers including, but not limited to thermoplastic polymer filaments, such as polyesters, nylons, polyolefins such as polypropylene filaments, polyethylene filaments, and biodegradable thermoplastic fibers such as polylactic acid filaments, polyhydroxyalkanoate filaments, polyesteramide filaments and polycaprolactone filaments.

    [0034] "Fiber" as used herein means an elongate particulate as described above that exhibits a length of less than 5.08 cm (2 in.) and/or less than 3.81 cm (1.5 in.) and/or less than 2.54 cm (1 in.).

    [0035] Fibers are typically considered discontinuous in nature. Non-limiting examples of fibers include staple fibers produced by spinning a filament or filament tow and then cutting the filament or filament tow into segments of less than 5.08 cm (2 in.) thus producing fibers.

    [0036] In one example, one or more fibers may be formed from a filament, such as when the filaments are cut to shorter lengths (such as less than 5.08 cm in length). Thus, in one example, a fiber made from a filament, such as a fiber comprising one or more filament-forming materials and one or more additives, such as active agents is provided. Therefore, references to filament and/or filaments herein also include fibers made from such filament and/or filaments unless otherwise noted. Fibers are typically considered discontinuous in nature relative to filaments, which are considered continuous in nature.

    [0037] "Filament-forming composition" and/or "fibrous element-forming composition" as used herein means a composition that is suitable for making a fibrous element such as by meltblowing and/or spunbonding. The filament-forming composition comprises one or more filament-forming materials, for example filament-forming polymers, that exhibit properties that make them suitable for spinning into a fibrous element. In one example, the filament-forming material comprises a polymer, for example a hydroxyl polymer and/or a water-soluble polymer. In addition to one or more filament-forming materials, the filament-forming composition comprises one or more additives, for example one or more active agents. In addition, the filament-forming composition may comprise one or more polar solvents, such as water, into which one or more, for example all, of the filament-forming materials and/or one or more, for example all, of the active agents are dissolved and/or dispersed prior to spinning a fibrous element, such as a filament from the filament-forming composition.

    [0038] One or more additives, for example one or more active agents, may be present in the fibrous elements, for example filament, rather than on the fibrous element, such as a coating composition comprising one or more active agents, which may be the same or different from the active agents in the fibrous elements. The total level of filament-forming materials and total level of active agents present in the filament-forming composition may be any suitable amount so long as the fibrous elements are produced therefrom.

    [0039] In one example, one or more active agents may be present in the fibrous element and one or more additional active agents, may be present on a surface of the fibrous element. In another example, a fibrous element may comprise one or more active agents that are present in the fibrous element when originally made, but then bloom to a surface of the fibrous element prior to and/or when exposed to conditions of intended use of the fibrous element.

    [0040] "Filament-forming material" as used herein means a material, such as a polymer or monomers capable of producing a polymer that exhibits properties suitable for making a fibrous element. In one example, the filament-forming material comprises one or more substituted polymers such as an anionic, cationic, zwitterionic, and/or nonionic polymer. In another example, the polymer may comprise a hydroxyl polymer, such as a polyvinyl alcohol ("PVOH"), a partially hydrolyzed polyvinyl acetate and/or a polysaccharide, such as starch and/or a starch derivative, such as an ethoxylated starch and/or acid-thinned starch, carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose. In another example, the polymer may comprise polyethylenes and/or terephthalates. In yet another example, the filament-forming material is a polar solvent-soluble material.

    [0041] "Particle" as used herein means a solid additive, such as a powder, granule, encapsulate, microcapsule, and/or prill. In one example, the particle exhibits a median particle size of 1600 µm or less as measured according to the Median Particle Size Test Method described herein. In another example, the particle exhibits a median particle size of from about 1 µm to about 1600 µm and/or from about 1 µm to about 800 µm and/or from about 5 µm to about 500 µm and/or from about 10 µm to about 300 µm and/or from about 10 µm to about 100 µm and/or from about 10 µm to about 50 µm and/or from about 10 µm to about 30 µm as measured according to the Median Particle Size Test Method described herein. The shape of the particle can be in the form of spheres, rods, plates, tubes, squares, rectangles, discs, stars, fibers or have regular or irregular random forms.

    [0042] "Additive" as used herein means any material present in the fibrous element that is not a filament-forming material. In one example, an additive comprises an active agent. In another example, an additive comprises a processing aid. In still another example, an additive comprises a filler. In one example, an additive comprises any material present in the fibrous element that its absence from the fibrous element would not result in the fibrous element losing its fibrous element structure, in other words, its absence does not result in the fibrous element losing its solid form. In another example, an additive, for example an active agent, comprises a non-polymer material.

    [0043] In another example, an additive may comprise a plasticizer for the fibrous element. Non-limiting examples of suitable plasticizers for the present invention include polyols, copolyols, polycarboxylic acids, polyesters and dimethicone copolyols. Examples of useful polyols include, but are not limited to, glycerin, diglycerin, propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, butylene glycol, pentylene glycol, cyclohexane dimethanol, hexanediol, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane-1,3-diol, polyethylene glycol (200-600), pentaerythritol, sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, manitol, lactitol and other mono- and polyhydric low molecular weight alcohols (e.g., C2-C8 alcohols); mono di- and oligo-saccharides such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup solids, and dextrins, and ascorbic acid.

    [0044] In one example, the plasticizer includes glycerin and/or propylene glycol and/or glycerol derivatives such as propoxylated glycerol. In still another example, the plasticizer is selected from the group consisting of glycerin, ethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, glycidol, urea, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, sugars, ethylene bisformamide, amino acids, and mixtures thereof

    [0045] In another example, an additive may comprise a rheology modifier, such as a shear modifier and/or an extensional modifier. Non-limiting examples of rheology modifiers include but not limited to polyacrylamide, polyurethanes and polyacrylates that may be used in the fibrous elements. Non-limiting examples of rheology modifiers are commercially available from The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI).

    [0046] In yet another example, an additive may comprise one or more colors and/or dyes that are incorporated into the fibrous elements to provide a visual signal when the fibrous elements are exposed to conditions of intended use and/or when an active agent is released from the fibrous elements and/or when the fibrous element's morphology changes.

    [0047] In still yet another example, an additive may comprise one or more release agents and/or lubricants. Non-limiting examples of suitable release agents and/or lubricants include fatty acids, fatty acid salts, fatty alcohols, fatty esters, sulfonated fatty acid esters, fatty amine acetates, fatty amide, silicones, aminosilicones, fluoropolymers, and mixtures thereof. In one example, the release agents and/or lubricants may be applied to the fibrous element, in other words, after the fibrous element is formed. In one example, one or more release agents/lubricants may be applied to the fibrous element prior to collecting the fibrous elements on a collection device to form a fibrous wall material. In another example, one or more release agents/lubricants may be applied to a fibrous wall material formed from the fibrous elements prior to contacting one or more fibrous wall materials, such as in a stack of fibrous wall materials. In yet another example, one or more release agents/lubricants may be applied to the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element prior to the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material contacting a surface, such as a surface of equipment used in a processing system so as to facilitate removal of the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material and/or to avoid layers of fibrous elements and/or plies of fibrous wall materials sticking to one another, even inadvertently. In one example, the release agents/lubricants comprise particulates.

    [0048] In even still yet another example, an additive may comprise one or more anti-blocking and/or detackifying agents. Non-limiting examples of suitable anti-blocking and/or detackifying agents include starches, starch derivatives, crosslinked polyvinylpyrrolidone, crosslinked cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, silica, metallic oxides, calcium carbonate, talc, mica, and mixtures thereof.

    [0049] "Conditions of intended use" as used herein means the temperature, physical, chemical, and/or mechanical conditions that a pouch and/or its fibrous wall material is exposed to when the pouch and/or its fibrous wall material is used for one or more of its designed purposes. For example, if a pouch and/or its fibrous wall material comprising a fibrous element is designed to be used in a washing machine for laundry care purposes, the conditions of intended use will include that temperature, chemical, physical and/or mechanical conditions present in a washing machine, including any wash water, during a laundry washing operation. In another example, if a pouch and/or its fibrous wall material comprising a fibrous element is designed to be used by a human as a shampoo for hair care purposes, the conditions of intended use will include that temperature, chemical, physical and/or mechanical conditions present during the shampooing of the human's hair. Likewise, if a pouch and/or its fibrous wall material comprising a fibrous element is designed to be used in a dishwashing operation, by hand or by a dishwashing machine, the conditions of intended use will include the temperature, chemical, physical and/or mechanical conditions present in dishwashing water and/or a dishwashing machine, during the dishwashing operation.

    [0050] "Active agent" as used herein means an additive that produces an intended effect in an environment external to a pouch and/or its fibrous wall material comprising a fibrous element, such as when the pouch and/or its fibrous wall material is exposed to conditions of intended use. In one example, an active agent comprises an additive that treats a surface, such as a hard surface (i.e., kitchen countertops, bath tubs, toilets, toilet bowls, sinks, floors, walls, teeth, cars, windows, mirrors, dishes) and/or a soft surface (i.e., fabric, hair, skin, carpet, crops, plants,). In another example, an active agent comprises an additive that creates a chemical reaction (i.e., foaming, fizzing, coloring, warming, cooling, lathering, disinfecting and/or clarifying and/or chlorinating, such as in clarifying water and/or disinfecting water and/or chlorinating water). In yet another example, an active agent comprises an additive that treats an environment (i.e., deodorizes, purifies, perfumes air). In one example, the active agent is formed in situ, such as during the formation of the fibrous element and/or particle containing the active agent, for example the fibrous element and/or particle may comprise a water-soluble polymer (e.g., starch) and a surfactant (e.g., anionic surfactant), which may create a polymer complex or coacervate that functions as the active agent used to treat fabric surfaces.

    [0051] "Treats" as used herein with respect to treating a surface or an environment means that the active agent provides a benefit to a surface or environment. Treats includes regulating and/or immediately improving a surface's or environment's appearance, cleanliness, smell, purity and/or feel. In one example treating in reference to treating a keratinous tissue surface (for example skin and/or hair) surface means regulating and/or immediately improving the keratinous tissue surface's cosmetic appearance and/or feel. For instance, "regulating skin, hair, or nail (keratinous tissue surface) condition" includes: thickening of skin, hair, or nails (e.g, building the epidermis and/or dermis and/or sub-dermal [e.g., subcutaneous fat or muscle] layers of the skin, and where applicable the keratinous layers of the nail and hair shaft) to reduce skin, hair, or nail atrophy, increasing the convolution of the dermal-epidermal border (also known as the rete ridges), preventing loss of skin or hair elasticity (loss, damage and/or inactivation of functional skin elastin) such as elastosis, sagging, loss of skin or hair recoil from deformation; melanin or non-melanin change in coloration to the skin, hair, or nails such as under eye circles, blotching (e.g., uneven red coloration due to, e.g., rosacea) (hereinafter referred to as "red blotchiness"), sallowness (pale color), discoloration caused by telangiectasia or spider vessels, and graying hair.

    [0052] In another example, treating means removing stains, soils, and/or odors from fabric articles, such as clothes, towels, linens, and/or hard surfaces, such as countertops and/or dishware including pots and pans.

    [0053] "Fabric care active agent" as used herein means an active agent that when applied to a fabric article provides a benefit and/or improvement to the fabric article. Non-limiting examples of benefits and/or improvements to a fabric article include cleaning (for example by surfactants), stain removal, stain reduction, wrinkle removal, color restoration, static control, wrinkle resistance, permanent press, wear reduction, wear resistance, pill removal, pill resistance, soil removal, soil resistance (including soil release), shape retention, shrinkage reduction, softness, fragrance, antibacterial, anti-viral, odor resistance, and odor removal.

    [0054] "Dishwashing active agent" as used herein means an active agent that when applied to dishware, glassware, pots, pans, utensils, and/or cooking sheets provides a benefit and/or improvement to the dishware, glassware, plastic items, pots, pans and/or cooking sheets. Non-limiting examples of benefits and/or improvements to the dishware, glassware, plastic items, pots, pans, utensils, and/or cooking sheets include food and/or soil removal, cleaning (for example by surfactants) stain removal, stain reduction, grease removal, water spot removal and/or water spot prevention, glass and metal care, sanitization, shining, and polishing.

    [0055] "Hard surface active agent" as used herein means an active agent when applied to floors, countertops, sinks, windows, mirrors, showers, baths, and/or toilets provides a benefit and/or improvement to the floors, countertops, sinks, windows, mirrors, showers, baths, and/or toilets. Non-limiting examples of benefits and/or improvements to the floors, countertops, sinks, windows, mirrors, showers, baths, and/or toilets include food and/or soil removal, cleaning (for example by surfactants), stain removal, stain reduction, grease removal, water spot removal and/or water spot prevention, limescale removal, disinfection, shining, polishing, and freshening.

    [0056] "Weight ratio" as used herein means the ratio between two materials on their dry basis. For example, the weight ratio of filament-forming materials to active agents within a fibrous element is the ratio of the weight of filament-forming material on a dry weight basis (g or %) in the fibrous element to the weight of additive, such as active agent(s) on a dry weight basis (g or % - same units as the filament-forming material weight) in the fibrous element. In another example, the weight ratio of particles to fibrous elements within a fibrous wall material is the ratio of the weight of particles on a dry weight basis (g or %) in the fibrous wall material to the weight of fibrous elements on a dry weight basis (g or % - same units as the particle weight) in the fibrous wall material.

    [0057] "Water-soluble" and/or "water-soluble material" as used herein means a material that is miscible in water. In other words, a material that is capable of forming a stable (does not separate for greater than 5 minutes after forming the homogeneous solution) homogeneous solution with water at ambient conditions.

    [0058] "Ambient conditions" as used herein means 23°C ± 1.0°C and a relative humidity of 50% ± 2%.

    [0059] "Weight average molecular weight" as used herein means the weight average molecular weight as determined using gel permeation chromatography according to the protocol found in Colloids and Surfaces A. Physico Chemical & Engineering Aspects, Vol. 162, 2000, pg. 107-121.

    [0060] "Length" as used herein, with respect to a fibrous element, means the length along the longest axis of the fibrous element from one terminus to the other terminus. If a fibrous element has a kink, curl or curves in it, then the length is the length along the entire path of the fibrous element from one terminus to the other terminus.

    [0061] "Diameter" as used herein, with respect to a fibrous element, is measured according to the Diameter Test Method described herein. In one example, a fibrous element exhibits a diameter of less than 100 µm and/or less than 75 µm and/or less than 50 µm and/or less than 25 µm and/or less than 20 µm and/or less than 15 µm and/or less than 10 µm and/or less than 6 µm and/or greater than 1 µm and/or greater than 3 µm.

    [0062] "Triggering condition" as used herein in one example means anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a change in the pouch of the present invention and/or its fibrous wall material, such as a loss or altering of the pouch's fibrous wall material's physical structure and/or a release of an additive, such as an active agent from the pouch. In another example, the triggering condition may be present in an environment, such as water, when a pouch of the present invention is added to the water. In other words, nothing changes in the water except for the fact that the pouch of the present invention is present therein.

    [0063] "Morphology changes" as used herein with respect to a pouch's fibrous wall material's fibrous element's morphology changing means that the fibrous element experiences a change in its physical structure. Non-limiting examples of morphology changes for a fibrous element include dissolution, melting, swelling, shrinking, breaking into pieces, exploding, lengthening, shortening, and combinations thereof. The fibrous elements may completely or substantially lose their fibrous element physical structure or they may have their morphology changed or they may retain or substantially retain their fibrous element physical structure as they are exposed to conditions of intended use.

    [0064] "By weight on a dry fibrous element basis" and/or "by weight on a dry fibrous wall material basis" and/or "by weight on a dry pouch basis" means the weight of the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material and/or pouch measured on a balance with at least four decimal places within 15 seconds after being subjected to drying in a forced air oven on top of foil for 24 hours at 70°C ± 2°C at a relative humidity of 4% ± 2%. The measurement occurs in a conditioned room at 23°C ± 1.0°C and a relative humidity of 50% ± 2%.

    [0065] In one example, a dry fibrous element and/or dry fibrous wall material and/or dry pouch comprises less than 20% and/or less than 15% and/or less than 10% and/or less than 7% and/or less than 5% and/or less than 3% and/or to 0% and/or to greater than 0% based on the dry weight of the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material and/or pouch of moisture, such as water, for example free water, as measured according to the Water Content Test Method described herein. In one example, the pouch exhibits a water content of from 0% to 20% as measured according to the Water Content Test Method described herein.

    [0066] "Total level" as used herein, for example with respect to the total level of one or more active agents present in the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material, means the sum of the weights or weight percent of all of the subject materials, for example active agents. In other words, a fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material may comprise 25% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of an anionic surfactant, 15% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of a nonionic surfactant, 10% by weight of a chelant on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis, and 5% by weight of a perfume a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis so that the total level of active agents present in the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material is greater than 50%; namely 55% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0067] "Different from" or "different" as used herein means, with respect to a material, such as a fibrous element as a whole and/or a filament-forming material within a fibrous element and/or an active agent within a fibrous element, that one material, such as a fibrous element and/or a filament-forming material and/or an active agent, is chemically, physically and/or structurally different from another material, such as a fibrous element and/or a filament-forming material and/or an active agent. For example, a filament-forming material in the form of a filament is different from the same filament-forming material in the form of a fiber. Likewise, starch is different from cellulose. However, different molecular weights of the same material, such as different molecular weights of a starch, are not different materials from one another for purposes of the present invention.

    [0068] "Random mixture of polymers" as used herein means that two or more different filament-forming materials are randomly combined to form a fibrous element. Accordingly, two or more different filament-forming materials that are orderly combined to form a fibrous element, such as a core and sheath bicomponent fibrous element, is not a random mixture of different filament-forming materials for purposes of the present invention.

    [0069] "Associate," "Associated," "Association," and/or "Associating" as used herein with respect to fibrous elements and/or particle means combining, either in direct contact or in indirect contact, fibrous elements and/or particles such that a fibrous wall material is formed. In one example, the associated fibrous elements and/or particles may be bonded together for example by adhesives and/or thermal bonds. In another example, the fibrous elements and/or particles may be associated with one another by being deposited onto the same fibrous wall material making belt and/or patterned belt.

    [0070] "Apertured fibrous wall material" as used herein means that the pouch wall material comprises a plurality of holes, for example more than 2 and/or more than 3 and/or more than 4 and/or more than 5. Film pouches that comprise a single hole for degassing of its contents are known and they are not "apertured" within the meaning of the present invention.

    [0071] "Machine Direction" or "MD" as used herein means the direction parallel to the flow of the fibrous wall material through the fibrous wall material making machine.

    [0072] "Cross Machine Direction" or "CD" as used herein means the direction perpendicular to the machine direction in the same plane of the fibrous wall material.

    [0073] As used herein, the articles "a" and "an" when used herein, for example, "an anionic surfactant" or "a fiber" is understood to mean one or more of the material that is claimed or described.

    [0074] All percentages and ratios are calculated by weight unless otherwise indicated. All percentages and ratios are calculated based on the total composition unless otherwise indicated.

    [0075] Unless otherwise noted, all component or composition levels are in reference to the active level of that component or composition, and are exclusive of impurities, for example, residual solvents or by-products, which may be present in commercially available sources.

    Pouch



    [0076] The pouch of the present invention comprises a discrete inner pouch present in the internal volume of the outer pouch. The inner pouch comprises a film wall material and/or a fibrous wall material that defines a second internal volume. In one example, the inner pouch comprises an apertured film wall material. In another example, the inner pouch comprises a non-apertured film wall material. The inner pouch's second internal volume comprises one or more active agents which may be the same or different from any active agents present in the outer pouch's internal volume.

    [0077] In one example, the inner pouch exhibits an Average Rupture Time equal to or greater than the Average Rupture Time of the outer pouch as measured according to the Rupture Test Method described herein.

    [0078] In an example of the present invention, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the pouch 10 may comprise a pouch wall material 12 comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material 14 wherein the water-soluble fibrous wall material comprises one or more filaments, that defines an internal volume 16 that contains one or more additional pouches, for example a film pouch 28 comprising a film wall material 22, such as a water-soluble film wall material, and/or a fibrous wall material pouch and/or fibrous wall materials and/or film materials. In addition to the film pouch 28, fibrous wall material pouch and/or fibrous wall materials and/or film materials, for example, the pouch 10 comprises further contents such as powder detergent compositions and/or one or more active agents. The water-soluble fibrous wall material 14 comprises one or more active agents present in and releasable from at least one filament when the pouch is exposed to conditions of intended use. Further, the film pouch 28 and/or fibrous wall material pouch may themselves contain one or more active agents, such as enzymes, and/or pouches within their internal volumes. The film pouch 28 and/or fibrous wall material pouch may comprise one or more active agents, for example powder detergent compositions and/or liquid detergent compositions and/or active agents. The film pouch 28 and/or fibrous wall material pouch is released upon the dissolution and/or rupturing of pouch 10, such as during use. The contents of pouch 10 and the contents of film pouch 28 and/or fibrous wall material pouch may be the same or different. In another example, the additional pouch(es) within pouch 10 may comprise a fibrous wall material and/or a combination of film wall material and fibrous wall material.In one example the pouch 10 of the present invention may be in the form of a multi-ply, for example 2-ply, fibrous wall material structure that appears more like a web than known pouches. In this form, the multi-ply fibrous wall material structure may be at least partially bonded and/or sealed around its perimeter and unbounded and/or sealed on its interior such that an internal volume in between the multi-ply fibrous wall material structure. The internal volume may itself comprise one or more active agents and/or one or more fibrous wall materials and/or film materials and/or smaller multi-ply fibrous wall material structures capable of being housed within the internal volume that may have a void internal volume themselves or may themselves contain one or more active agents, for example enzymes.

    [0079] A pouch 10 under conditions of intended use is represented in Fig. 2. Fig. 2 illustrates the scenario when a user adds the pouch 10 to a liquid 20, such as water, in a container 21 to create a wash liquor, such as when a user adds the pouch 10 to a washing machine and/or to a dishwashing machine. As shown in Fig. 2, when the pouch 10 contacts the liquid 20 the pouch 10 ruptures, such as by part of the fibrous pouch wall material 14 dissolving, causing at least a portion if not all of its contents 18, for example the film pouch 28, to be released from the internal volume 16 of the pouch 10.

    [0080] The pouch of the present invention may be of any shape and size so long as it is suitable for its intended use.

    [0081] In one example, the water-soluble fibrous wall material may exhibit a uniform or substantially uniform thickness throughout the pouch.

    [0082] In one example, holes may be punched into pouch wall materials using any suitable process and/or equipment, for example a needle punching needle with a thickness of 0.6 mm. Holes may be punched into a 1 cm2 area in the center of the rounded part (powder side) of each pouch. Each hole may be punched in a way that the needle completely penetrates the pouch wall material.

    [0083] In another example, the pouches of the present invention may exhibit a % Weight Loss of less than 10% and/or less than 5% and/or less than 3% and/or less than 1% and/or less than 0.5% and/or less than 0.1% and/or less than 0.05% and/or less than 0.025% and/or less than 0.01% and/or about 0% as measured according to the Shake Test Method described herein.

    [0084] Table 1 below shows the % Weight Loss as measured according to the Shake Test Method described herein of examples of pouches of the present invention.
    Table 1
    SampleApertured? # holes added% Weight Loss
    Inventive Pouch 1 No - None <0.05%
    Inventive Pouch 2 Yes - 20 <0.05%


    [0085] In one example, the pouch of the present invention comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material, exhibits an Average Rupture Time of less than 240 seconds and/or less than 120 seconds and/or less than 60 seconds and/or less than 30 seconds and/or less than 10 seconds and/or less than 5 seconds and/or less than 2 seconds and/or instantaneous as measured according to the Rupture Test Method described herein.

    [0086] Table 2 below shows the Average Rupture Time as measured according to the Rupture Test Method described herein of examples of pouches of the present invention.
    Table 2
    SampleFibrous and/or Film wall Material?Apertured? # holes addedAverage Rupture Time (seconds)
    Inventive Pouch 1 Fibrous (water-soluble) No - None Instantaneous
    Inventive Pouch 2 Fibrous (water-soluble) Yes - 20 Instantaneous

    Fibrous Wall Material



    [0087] The fibrous wall material comprised in the pouch of the present invention comprises a plurality of fibrous elements, namely a plurality of filaments. In one example, the plurality of fibrous filaments are inter-entangled to form a fibrous structure.

    [0088] In one example, the fibrous wall material is a water-soluble fibrous wall material.

    [0089] In another example, the fibrous wall material is an apertured fibrous wall material.

    [0090] Even though the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material are in solid form, the filament-forming composition used to make the fibrous elements may be in the form of a liquid.

    [0091] In one example, the fibrous wall material comprises a plurality of identical or substantially identical from a compositional perspective of fibrous elements. In another example, the fibrous wall material may comprise two or more different fibrous elements. Non-limiting examples of differences in the fibrous elements may be physical differences such as differences in diameter, length, texture, shape, rigidness, elasticity, and the like; chemical differences such as crosslinking level, solubility, melting point, Tg, active agent, filament-forming material, color, level of active agent, basis weight, level of filament-forming material, presence of any coating on fibrous element, biodegradable or not, hydrophobic or not, contact angle, and the like; differences in whether the fibrous element loses its physical structure when the fibrous element is exposed to conditions of intended use; differences in whether the fibrous element's morphology changes when the fibrous element is exposed to conditions of intended use; and differences in rate at which the fibrous element releases one or more of its active agents when the fibrous element is exposed to conditions of intended use. In one example, two or more fibrous elements and/or particles within the fibrous wall material may comprise different active agents. This may be the case where the different active agents may be incompatible with one another, for example an anionic surfactant (such as a shampoo active agent) and a cationic surfactant (such as a hair conditioner active agent).

    [0092] In another example, the fibrous wall material may exhibit different regions, such as different regions of basis weight, density, and/or caliper. In yet another example, the fibrous wall material may comprise texture on one or more of its surfaces. A surface of the fibrous wall material may comprise a pattern, such as a non-random, repeating pattern. The fibrous wall material may be embossed with an emboss pattern.

    [0093] In one example, the water-soluble fibrous wall material is a water-soluble fibrous wall material comprising a plurality of apertures. The apertures may be arranged in a non-random, repeating pattern.

    [0094] Apertures within the apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material may be of virtually any shape and size, as long as the apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material provides the function of defining at least a portion of a pouch's internal volume. In one example, the apertures within the apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall materials are generally round or oblong shaped, in a regular pattern of spaced apart openings. The apertures can each have a diameter of from about 0.1 to about 2 mm and/or from about 0.5 to about 1 mm. The apertures may form an open area within an apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material of from about 0.5% to about 25% and/or from about 1% to about 20% and/or from about 2% to about 10%. It is believed that the benefits of the present invention can be realized with non-repeating and/or non-regular patterns of apertures having various shapes and sizes.

    [0095] In one example, openings (apertures) may be punched into pouch wall materials, prior to or after being formed into a pouch, using any suitable process and/or equipment, for example a needle punching needle with a diameter of about 0.6 mm. Openings (apertures) may be punched into about 1 cm2 area in the center of the rounded part (powder side) of a pouch to form a pouch comprising an apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material. Each hole may be punched in a way that the needle completely penetrates the water-soluble fibrous wall material. In another example, the pouch may comprise a water-soluble fibrous wall material comprising a region of openings (apertures) - an apertured region, and a region of no openings (no apertures) - a non-apertured region.

    [0096] In another example, the fibrous wall material may comprise apertures. The apertures may be arranged in a non-random, repeating pattern. Aperturing of fibrous wall materials, for example water-soluble fibrous wall materials, can be accomplished by any number of techniques. For example, aperturing can be accomplished by various processes involving bonding and stretching, such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,949,127 and 5,873,868. In one embodiment, the apertures may be formed by forming a plurality of spaced, melt stabilized regions, and then ring-rolling the web to stretch the web and form apertures in the melt stabilized regions, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,628,097 and 5,916,661. In another embodiment, apertures can be formed in a multilayer, nonwoven configuration by the method described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,830,800 and 6,863,960. Still another process for aperturing webs is described in U.S. Pat. No. 8,241,543 entitled "Method And Apparatus For Making An Apertured Web".

    [0097] In one example, the fibrous wall material may comprise discrete regions of fibrous elements that differ from other parts of the fibrous wall material.

    [0098] The fibrous wall material may be used as is or may be coated with one or more active agents.

    [0099] In one example, the fibrous wall material exhibits a thickness of greater than 0.01 mm and/or greater than 0.05 mm and/or greater than 0.1 mm and/or to about 100 mm and/or to about 50 mm and/or to about 20 mm and/or to about 10 mm and/or to about 5 mm and/or to about 2 mm and/or to about 0.5 mm and/or to about 0.3 mm as measured by the Thickness Test Method described herein.

    [0100] In another example, the fibrous wall material exhibits a Geometric Mean (GM) Tensile Strength of greater than 0.1 kN/m and/or greater than 0.25 kN/m and/or greater than 0.4 kN/m and/or greater than 0.45 kN/m and/or greater than 0.50 kN/m and/or greater than 0.75 kN/m as measured according to the Tensile Test Method described herein.

    [0101] In another example, the fibrous wall material exhibits a Geometric Mean (GM) Elongation at Break of less than 1000% and/or less than 800% and/or less than 650% and/or less than 550% and/or less than 500% and/or less than 475% as measured according to the Tensile Test Method described herein.

    [0102] Table 3 shows the GM Tensile Strength and the GM Elongation of two examples of pouches of the present invention.
    Table 3
    SampleApertured? # holes addedGeometric Mean Tensile Strength (kN/m)Geometric Mean Elongation at Break (%)
    Inventive Pouch 1 No - None 0.54 461.1%
    Inventive Pouch 2 Yes - 20 0.49 528.3%

    Fibrous Elements



    [0103] The fibrous element, such as a filament and/or fiber, comprises one or more filament-forming materials. In addition to the filament-forming materials, the fibrous element may further comprise one or more active agents present within the fibrous element that are releasable from the fibrous element, for example a filament, such as when the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element is exposed to conditions of intended use. In one example, the total level of the one or more filament-forming materials present in the fibrous element is less than 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and the total level of the one or more active agents present in the fibrous element is greater than 20% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0104] In one example, the fibrous element comprises about 100% and/or greater than 95% and/or greater than 90% and/or greater than 85% and/or greater than 75% and/or greater than 50% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of one or more filament-forming materials. For example, the filament-forming material may comprise polyvinyl alcohol, starch, carboxymethylcellulose, and other suitable polymers, especially hydroxyl polymers.

    [0105] In another example, the fibrous element comprises one or more filament-forming materials and one or more active agents wherein the total level of filament-forming materials present in the fibrous element is from about 5% to less than 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and the total level of active agents present in the fibrous element is greater than 20% to about 95% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0106] In one example, the fibrous element comprises at least 10% and/or at least 15% and/or at least 20% and/or less than less than 80% and/or less than 75% and/or less than 65% and/or less than 60% and/or less than 55% and/or less than 50% and/or less than 45% and/or less than 40% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of the filament-forming materials and greater than 20% and/or at least 35% and/or at least 40% and/or at least 45% and/or at least 50% and/or at least 60% and/or less than 95% and/or less than 90% and/or less than 85% and/or less than 80% and/or less than 75% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of active agents.

    [0107] In one example, the fibrous element comprises at least 5% and/or at least 10% and/or at least 15% and/or at least 20% and/or less than 50% and/or less than 45% and/or less than 40% and/or less than 35% and/or less than 30% and/or less than 25% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of the filament-forming materials and greater than 50% and/or at least 55% and/or at least 60% and/or at least 65% and/or at least 70% and/or less than 95% and/or less than 90% and/or less than 85% and/or less than 80% and/or less than 75% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of active agents. In one example, the fibrous element comprises greater than 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of active agents.

    [0108] In another example, the one or more filament-forming materials and active agents are present in the fibrous element at a weight ratio of total level of filament-forming materials to active agents of 4.0 or less and/or 3.5 or less and/or 3.0 or less and/or 2. 5 or less and/or 2.0 or less and/or 1.85 or less and/or less than 1.7 and/or less than 1.6 and/or less than 1.5 and/or less than 1.3 and/or less than 1.2 and/or less than 1 and/or less than 0.7 and/or less than 0.5 and/or less than 0.4 and/or less than 0.3 and/or greater than 0.1 and/or greater than 0.15 and/or greater than 0.2.

    [0109] In still another example, the fibrous element comprises from about 10% and/or from about 15% to less than 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of a filament-forming material, such as polyvinyl alcohol polymer, starch polymer, and/or carboxymethylcellulose polymer, and greater than 20% to about 90% and/or to about 85% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of an active agent. The fibrous element may further comprise a plasticizer, such as glycerin and/or pH adjusting agents, such as citric acid.

    [0110] In yet another example, the fibrous element comprises from about 10% and/or from about 15% to less than 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of a filament-forming material, such as polyvinyl alcohol polymer, starch polymer, and/or carboxymethylcellulose polymer, and greater than 20% to about 90% and/or to about 85% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis of an active agent, wherein the weight ratio of filament-forming material to active agent is 4.0 or less. The fibrous element may further comprise a plasticizer, such as glycerin and/or pH adjusting agents, such as citric acid.

    [0111] In even another example, a fibrous element comprises one or more filament-forming materials and one or more active agents selected from the group consisting of: enzymes, bleaching agents, builder, chelants, sensates, dispersants, and mixtures thereof that are releasable and/or released when the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element is exposed to conditions of intended use. In one example, the fibrous element comprises a total level of filament-forming materials of less than 95% and/or less than 90% and/or less than 80% and/or less than 50% and/or less than 35% and/or to about 5% and/or to about 10% and/or to about 20% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and a total level of active agents selected from the group consisting of: enzymes, bleaching agents, builder, chelants, perfumes, antimicrobials, antibacterials, antifungals, and mixtures thereof of greater than 5% and/or greater than 10% and/or greater than 20% and/or greater than 35% and/or greater than 50% and/or greater than 65% and/or to about 95% and/or to about 90% and/or to about 80% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis. In one example, the active agent comprises one or more enzymes. In another example, the active agent comprises one or more bleaching agents. In yet another example, the active agent comprises one or more builders. In still another example, the active agent comprises one or more chelants. In still another example, the active agent comprises one or more perfumes. In even still another example, the active agent comprise one or more antimicrobials, antibacterials, and/or antifungals.

    [0112] In yet another example of the present invention, the fibrous elements may comprise active agents that may create health and/or safety concerns if they become airborne. For example, the fibrous element may be used to inhibit enzymes within the fibrous element from becoming airborne.

    [0113] In one example, the fibrous elements may be meltblown fibrous elements. In another example, the fibrous elements may be spunbond fibrous elements. In another example, the fibrous elements may be hollow fibrous elements prior to and/or after release of one or more of its active agents.

    [0114] The fibrous elements may be hydrophilic or hydrophobic. The fibrous elements may be surface treated and/or internally treated to change the inherent hydrophilic or hydrophobic properties of the fibrous element.

    [0115] In one example, the fibrous element exhibits a diameter of less than 100 µm and/or less than 75 µm and/or less than 50 µm and/or less than 25 µm and/or less than 10 µm and/or less than 5 µm and/or less than 1 µm as measured according to the Diameter Test Method described herein. In another example, the fibrous element exhibits a diameter of greater than 1 µm as measured according to the Diameter Test Method described herein. The diameter of a fibrous element may be used to control the rate of release of one or more active agents present in the fibrous element and/or the rate of loss and/or altering of the fibrous element's physical structure.

    [0116] The fibrous element may comprise two or more different active agents. In one example, the fibrous element comprises two or more different active agents, wherein the two or more different active agents are compatible with one another. In another example, the fibrous element comprises two or more different active agents, wherein the two or more different active agents are incompatible with one another.

    [0117] In one example, the fibrous element may comprise an active agent within the fibrous element and an active agent on an external surface of the fibrous element, such as an active agent coating on the fibrous element. The active agent on the external surface of the fibrous element may be the same or different from the active agent present in the fibrous element. If different, the active agents may be compatible or incompatible with one another.

    [0118] In one example, one or more active agents may be uniformly distributed or substantially uniformly distributed throughout the fibrous element. In another example, one or more active agents may be distributed as discrete regions within the fibrous element. In still another example, at least one active agent is distributed uniformly or substantially uniformly throughout the fibrous element and at least one other active agent is distributed as one or more discrete regions within the fibrous element. In still yet another example, at least one active agent is distributed as one or more discrete regions within the fibrous element and at least one other active agent is distributed as one or more discrete regions different from the first discrete regions within the fibrous element.

    Filament-forming Material



    [0119] The filament-forming material is any suitable material, such as a polymer or monomers capable of producing a polymer that exhibits properties suitable for making a filament, such as by a spinning process.

    [0120] In one example, the filament-forming material may comprise a polar solvent-soluble material, such as an alcohol-soluble material and/or a water-soluble material.

    [0121] In another example, the filament-forming material may comprise a non-polar solvent-soluble material.

    [0122] In still another example, the filament-forming material may comprise a water-soluble material and be free (less than 5% and/or less than 3% and/or less than 1% and/or 0% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis) of water-insoluble materials.

    [0123] In yet another example, the filament-forming material may be a film-forming material. In still yet another example, the filament-forming material may be synthetic or of natural origin and it may be chemically, enzymatically, and/or physically modified.

    [0124] In even another example, the filament-forming material may comprise a polymer selected from the group consisting of: polymers derived from acrylic monomers such as the ethylenically unsaturated carboxylic monomers and ethylenically unsaturated monomers, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylformamide, polyvinylamine, polyacrylates, polymethacrylates, copolymers of acrylic acid and methyl acrylate, polyvinylpyrrolidones, polyalkylene oxides, starch and starch derivatives, pullulan, gelatin, and cellulose derivatives (for example, hydroxypropylmethyl celluloses, methyl celluloses, carboxymethy celluloses).

    [0125] In still another example, the filament-forming material may comprise a polymer selected from the group consisting of: polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl alcohol derivatives, starch, starch derivatives, cellulose derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, proteins, sodium alginate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, polyethylene glycol, tetramethylene ether glycol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, hydroxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, and mixtures thereof.

    [0126] In another example, the filament-forming material comprises a hydroxyl polymer selected from the group consisting of: pullulan, hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, sodium alginate, xanthan gum, tragacanth gum, guar gum, acacia gum, Arabic gum, polyacrylic acid, dextrin, pectin, chitin, collagen, gelatin, zein, gluten, soy protein, casein, polyvinyl alcohol, carboxylated polyvinyl alcohol, sulfonated polyvinyl alcohol, starch, starch derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, proteins, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, polyethylene glycol, tetramethylene ether glycol, hydroxymethyl cellulose, and mixtures thereof.

    Water-soluble Materials



    [0127] Non-limiting examples of water-soluble materials include water-soluble polymers. The water-soluble polymers may be synthetic or natural original and may be chemically and/or physically modified. In one example, the polar solvent-soluble polymers exhibit a weight average molecular weight of at least 10,000 g/mol and/or at least 20,000 g/mol and/or at least 40,000 g/mol and/or at least 80,000 g/mol and/or at least 100,000 g/mol and/or at least 1,000,000 g/mol and/or at least 3,000,000 g/mol and/or at least 10,000,000 g/mol and/or at least 20,000,000 g/mol and/or to about 40,000,000 g/mol and/or to about 30,000,000 g/mol.

    [0128] Non-limiting examples of water-soluble polymers include water-soluble hydroxyl polymers, water-soluble thermoplastic polymers, water-soluble biodegradable polymers, water-soluble non-biodegradable polymers and mixtures thereof. In one example, the water-soluble polymer comprises polyvinyl alcohol. In another example, the water-soluble polymer comprises starch. In yet another example, the water-soluble polymer comprises polyvinyl alcohol and starch. In yet another example, the water-soluble polymer comprises carboxymethyl cellulose. An yet in another example, the polymer comprise carboxymethyl cellulose and polyvinyl alcohol.

    [0129] a. Water-soluble Hydroxyl Polymers - Non-limiting examples of water-soluble hydroxyl polymers include polyols, such as polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl alcohol derivatives, polyvinyl alcohol copolymers, starch, starch derivatives, starch copolymers, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, chitosan copolymers, cellulose derivatives such as cellulose ether and ester derivatives, cellulose copolymers, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, hemicellulose copolymers, gums, arabinans, galactans, proteins, carboxymethylcellulose, and various other polysaccharides and mixtures thereof.

    [0130] In one example, a water-soluble hydroxyl polymer comprises a polysaccharide.

    [0131] "Polysaccharides" as used herein means natural polysaccharides and polysaccharide derivatives and/or modified polysaccharides. Suitable water-soluble polysaccharides include, but are not limited to, starches, starch derivatives, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, cellulose derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, gums, arabinans, galactans and mixtures thereof. The water-soluble polysaccharide may exhibit a weight average molecular weight of from about 10,000 to about 40,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 100,000 g/mol and/or greater than 1,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 3,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 3,000,000 to about 40,000,000 g/mol.

    [0132] The water-soluble polysaccharides may comprise non-cellulose and/or non-cellulose derivative and/or non-cellulose copolymer water-soluble polysaccharides. Such non-cellulose water-soluble polysaccharides may be selected from the group consisting of: starches, starch derivatives, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, gums, arabinans, galactans and mixtures thereof.

    [0133] In another example, a water-soluble hydroxyl polymer comprises a non-thermoplastic polymer.

    [0134] The water-soluble hydroxyl polymer may have a weight average molecular weight of from about 10,000 g/mol to about 40,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 100,000 g/mol and/or greater than 1,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 3,000,000 g/mol and/or greater than 3,000,000 g/mol to about 40,000,000 g/mol. Higher and lower molecular weight water-soluble hydroxyl polymers may be used in combination with hydroxyl polymers having a certain desired weight average molecular weight.

    [0135] Well known modifications of water-soluble hydroxyl polymers, such as natural starches, include chemical modifications and/or enzymatic modifications. For example, natural starch can be acid-thinned, hydroxy-ethylated, hydroxy-propylated, and/or oxidized. In addition, the water-soluble hydroxyl polymer may comprise dent corn starch.

    [0136] Naturally occurring starch is generally a mixture of linear amylose and branched amylopectin polymer of D-glucose units. The amylose is a substantially linear polymer of D-glucose units joined by (1,4)-α-D links. The amylopectin is a highly branched polymer of D-glucose units joined by (1,4)-α-D links and (1,6)-α-D links at the branch points. Naturally occurring starch typically contains relatively high levels of amylopectin, for example, corn starch (64-80% amylopectin), waxy maize (93-100% amylopectin), rice (83-84% amylopectin), potato (about 78% amylopectin), and wheat (73-83% amylopectin). Though all starches are potentially useful herein, the present invention is most commonly practiced with high amylopectin natural starches derived from agricultural sources, which offer the advantages of being abundant in supply, easily replenishable and inexpensive.

    [0137] As used herein, "starch" includes any naturally occurring unmodified starches, modified starches, synthetic starches and mixtures thereof, as well as mixtures of the amylose or amylopectin fractions; the starch may be modified by physical, chemical, or biological processes, or combinations thereof. The choice of unmodified or modified starch for the present invention may depend on the end product desired. In one embodiment of the present invention, the starch or starch mixture useful in the present invention has an amylopectin content from about 20% to about 100%, more typically from about 40% to about 90%, even more typically from about 60% to about 85% by weight of the starch or mixtures thereof.

    [0138] Suitable naturally occurring starches can include, but are not limited to, corn starch, potato starch, sweet potato starch, wheat starch, sago palm starch, tapioca starch, rice starch, soybean starch, arrow root starch, amioca starch, bracken starch, lotus starch, waxy maize starch, and high amylose corn starch. Naturally occurring starches particularly, corn starch and wheat starch, are the desirable due to their economy and availability.

    [0139] Polyvinyl alcohols herein can be grafted with other monomers to modify its properties. A wide range of monomers has been successfully grafted to polyvinyl alcohol. Non-limiting examples of such monomers include vinyl acetate, styrene, acrylamide, acrylic acid, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, acrylonitrile, 1,3-butadiene, methyl methacrylate, methacrylic acid, maleic acid, itaconic acid, sodium vinylsulfonate, sodium allylsulfonate, sodium methylallyl sulfonate, sodium phenylallylether sulfonate, sodium phenylmethallylether sulfonate, 2-acrylamido-methyl propane sulfonic acid (AMPs), vinylidene chloride, vinyl chloride, vinyl amine and a variety of acrylate esters.

    [0140] In one example, the water-soluble hydroxyl polymer is selected from the group consisting of: polyvinyl alcohols, hydroxymethylcelluloses, hydroxyethylcelluloses, hydroxypropylmethylcelluloses, carboxymethylcelluloses, and mixtures thereof. A non-limiting example of a suitable polyvinyl alcohol includes those commercially available from Sekisui Specialty Chemicals America, LLC (Dallas, TX) under the CELVOL® trade name. Another non-limiting example of a suitable polyvinyl alcohol includes G Polymer commercially available from Nippon Ghosei. A non-limiting example of a suitable hydroxypropylmethylcellulose includes those commercially available from the Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI) under the METHOCEL® trade name including combinations with above mentioned polyvinyl alcohols.

    [0141] b. Water-soluble Thermoplastic Polymers - Non-limiting examples of suitable water-soluble thermoplastic polymers include thermoplastic starch and/or starch derivatives, polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoate, polycaprolactone, polyesteramides and certain polyesters, and mixtures thereof.

    [0142] The water-soluble thermoplastic polymers may be hydrophilic or hydrophobic. The water-soluble thermoplastic polymers may be surface treated and/or internally treated to change the inherent hydrophilic or hydrophobic properties of the thermoplastic polymer.

    [0143] The water-soluble thermoplastic polymers may comprise biodegradable polymers.

    [0144] Any suitable weight average molecular weight for the thermoplastic polymers may be used. For example, the weight average molecular weight for a thermoplastic polymer is greater than about 10,000 g/mol and/or greater than about 40,000 g/mol and/or greater than about 50,000 g/mol and/or less than about 500,000 g/mol and/or less than about 400,000 g/mol and/or less than about 200,000 g/mol.

    Active Agents



    [0145] Active agents are a class of additives that are designed and intended to provide a benefit to something other than the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material itself, such as providing a benefit to an environment external to the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material. Active agents may be any suitable additive that produces an intended effect under intended use conditions of the fibrous element. For example, the active agent may be selected from the group consisting of: personal cleansing and/or conditioning agents such as hair care agents such as shampoo agents and/or hair colorant agents, hair conditioning agents, skin care agents, sunscreen agents, and skin conditioning agents; laundry care and/or conditioning agents such as fabric care agents, fabric conditioning agents, fabric softening agents, fabric anti-wrinkling agents, fabric care anti-static agents, fabric care stain removal agents, soil release agents, dispersing agents, suds suppressing agents, suds boosting agents, anti-foam agents, and fabric refreshing agents; liquid and/or powder dishwashing agents (for hand dishwashing and/or automatic dishwashing machine applications), hard surface care agents, and/or conditioning agents and/or polishing agents; other cleaning and/or conditioning agents such as antimicrobial agents, antibacterial agents, antifungal agents, fabric hueing agents, perfume, bleaching agents (such as oxygen bleaching agents, hydrogen peroxide, percarbonate bleaching agents, perborate bleaching agents, chlorine bleaching agents), bleach activating agents, chelating agents, builders, lotions, brightening agents, air care agents, carpet care agents, dye transfer-inhibiting agents, clay soil removing agents, anti-redeposition agents, polymeric soil release agents, polymeric dispersing agents, alkoxylated polyamine polymers, alkoxylated polycarboxylate polymers, amphilic graft copolymers, dissolution aids, buffering systems, water-softening agents, water-hardening agents, pH adjusting agents, enzymes, flocculating agents, effervescent agents, preservatives, cosmetic agents, make-up removal agents, lathering agents, deposition aid agents, coacervate-forming agents, clays, thickening agents, latexes, silicas, drying agents, odor control agents, antiperspirant agents, cooling agents, warming agents, absorbent gel agents, anti-inflammatory agents, dyes, pigments, acids, and bases; liquid treatment active agents; agricultural active agents; industrial active agents; ingestible active agents such as medicinal agents, teeth whitening agents, tooth care agents, mouthwash agents, periodontal gum care agents, edible agents, dietary agents, vitamins, minerals; water-treatment agents such as water clarifying and/or water disinfecting agents, and mixtures thereof.

    [0146] Non-limiting examples of suitable cosmetic agents, skin care agents, skin conditioning agents, hair care agents, and hair conditioning agents are described in CTFA Cosmetic Ingredient Handbook, Second Edition, The Cosmetic, Toiletries, and Fragrance Association, Inc. 1988, 1992.

    [0147] One or more classes of chemicals may be useful for one or more of the active agents listed above. For example, surfactants may be used for any number of the active agents described above. Likewise, bleaching agents may be used for fabric care, hard surface cleaning, dishwashing and even teeth whitening. Therefore, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the active agents will be selected based upon the desired intended use of the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom.

    [0148] For example, if the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom is to be used for hair care and/or conditioning then one or more suitable surfactants, such as a lathering surfactant could be selected to provide the desired benefit to a consumer when exposed to conditions of intended use of the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material incorporating the fibrous element and/or particle.

    [0149] In one example, if the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom is designed or intended to be used for laundering clothes in a laundry operation, then one or more suitable surfactants and/or enzymes and/or builders and/or perfumes and/or suds suppressors and/or bleaching agents could be selected to provide the desired benefit to a consumer when exposed to conditions of intended use of the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material incorporating the fibrous element and/or particle. In another example, if the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom is designed to be used for laundering clothes in a laundry operation and/or cleaning dishes in a dishwashing operation, then the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material may comprise a laundry detergent composition or dishwashing detergent composition or active agents used in such compositions. In still another example, if the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom is designed to be used for cleaning and/or sanitizing a toilet bowl, then the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material made therefrom may comprise a toilet bowl cleaning composition and/or effervescent composition and/or active agents used in such compositions.

    [0150] In one example, the active agent is selected from the group consisting of: surfactants, bleaching agents, enzymes, suds suppressors, suds boosting agents, fabric softening agents, denture cleaning agents, hair cleaning agents, hair care agents, personal health care agents, hueing agents, and mixtures thereof.

    [0151] In one example, the pouch of the present invention comprises at least 5 g and/or at least 10 g and/or at least 15 g of active agents within its internal volume.

    [0152] In another example, the pouch of the present invention comprises a bleaching agents, citric acid, and perfume.

    Release of Active Agent



    [0153] One or more active agents may be released from the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material when the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material is exposed to a triggering condition. In one example, one or more active agents may be released from the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material or a part thereof when the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material or the part thereof loses its identity, in other words, loses its physical structure. For example, a fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material loses its physical structure when the filament-forming material dissolves, melts or undergoes some other transformative step such that its structure is lost. In one example, the one or more active agents are released from the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material when the fibrous element's and/or particle's and/or fibrous wall material's morphology changes.

    [0154] In another example, one or more active agents may be released from the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material or a part thereof when the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material or the part thereof alters its identity, in other words, alters its physical structure rather than loses its physical structure. For example, a fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material alters its physical structure when the filament-forming material swells, shrinks, lengthens, and/or shortens, but retains its filament-forming properties.

    [0155] In another example, one or more active agents may be released from the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material with its morphology not changing (not losing or altering its physical structure).

    [0156] In one example, the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material may release an active agent upon the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material being exposed to a triggering condition that results in the release of the active agent, such as by causing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to lose or alter its identity as discussed above. Non-limiting examples of triggering conditions include exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to solvent, a polar solvent, such as alcohol and/or water, and/or a non-polar solvent, which may be sequential, depending upon whether the filament-forming material comprises a polar solvent-soluble material and/or a non-polar solvent-soluble material; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to heat, such as to a temperature of greater than 23.0°C (75°F) and/or greater than 37.8°C (100°F) and/or greater than 65.6°C (150°F) and/or greater than 93.3°C (200°F) and/or greater than 100.0°C (212°F); exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to cold, such as to a temperature of less than 4.4°C (40°F) and/or less than 0.0°C (32°F) and/or less than -17.8°C (0°F); exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to a force, such as a stretching force applied by a consumer using the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material; and/or exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to a chemical reaction; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to a condition that results in a phase change; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to a pH change and/or a pressure change and/or temperature change; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to one or more chemicals that result in the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material releasing one or more of its active agents; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to ultrasonics; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to light and/or certain wavelengths; exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to a different ionic strength; and/or exposing the fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material to an active agent released from another fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material.

    [0157] In one example, one or more active agents may be released from the fibrous elements and/or particles when a fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous elements and/or particles is subjected to a triggering step selected from the group consisting of: pre-treating stains on a fabric article with the fibrous wall material; forming a wash liquor by contacting the fibrous wall material with water; tumbling the fibrous wall material in a dryer; heating the fibrous wall material in a dryer; and combinations thereof.

    Filament-forming Composition



    [0158] The fibrous elements are made from a filament-forming composition. The filament-forming composition is a polar-solvent-based composition. In one example, the filament-forming composition is an aqueous composition comprising one or more filament-forming materials and one or more active agents.

    [0159] The filament-forming composition may have a shear viscosity as measured according to the Shear Viscosity Test Method described herein of from about 1 Pascal·Seconds to about 25 Pascal·Seconds and/or from about 2 Pascal·Seconds to about 20 Pascal·Seconds and/or from about 3 Pascal·Seconds to about 10 Pascal·Seconds, as measured at a shear rate of 3,000 sec-1 and at the processing temperature (50°C to 100°C).

    [0160] The filament-forming composition may be processed at a temperature of from about 50°C to about 100°C and/or from about 65°C to about 95°C and/or from about 70°C to about 90°C when making fibrous elements from the filament-forming composition.

    [0161] In one example, the filament-forming composition may comprise at least 20% and/or at least 30% and/or at least 40% and/or at least 45% and/or at least 50% to about 90% and/or to about 85% and/or to about 80% and/or to about 75% by weight of one or more filament-forming materials, one or more active agents, and mixtures thereof. The filament-forming composition may comprise from about 10% to about 80% by weight of a polar solvent, such as water.

    [0162] In one example, non-volatile components of the filament-forming composition may comprise from about 20% and/or 30% and/or 40% and/or 45% and/or 50% to about 75% and/or 80% and/or 85% and/or 90% by weight based on the total weight of the filament-forming composition. The non-volatile components may be composed of filament-forming materials, such as backbone polymers, active agents and combinations thereof. Volatile components of the filament-forming composition will comprise the remaining percentage and range from 10% to 80% by weight based on the total weight of the filament-forming composition.

    [0163] In a fibrous element spinning process, the fibrous elements need to have initial stability as they leave the spinning die. Capillary Number is used to characterize this initial stability criterion. At the conditions of the die, the Capillary Number should be at least 1 and/or at least 3 and/or at least 4 and/or at least 5.

    [0164] In one example, the filament-forming composition exhibits a Capillary Number of from at least 1 to about 50 and/or at least 3 to about 50 and/or at least 5 to about 30 such that the filament-forming composition can be effectively polymer processed into a fibrous element.

    [0165] "Polymer processing" as used herein means any spinning operation and/or spinning process by which a fibrous element comprising a processed filament-forming material is formed from a filament-forming composition. The spinning operation and/or process may include spun bonding, melt blowing, electro-spinning, rotary spinning, continuous filament producing and/or tow fiber producing operations/processes. A "processed filament-forming material" as used herein means any filament-forming material that has undergone a melt processing operation and a subsequent polymer processing operation resulting in a fibrous element.

    [0166] The Capillary number is a dimensionless number used to characterize the likelihood of this droplet breakup. A larger capillary number indicates greater fluid stability upon exiting the die. The Capillary number is defined as follows:

    V is the fluid velocity at the die exit (units of Length per Time),

    η is the fluid viscosity at the conditions of the die (units of Mass per LengthTime),

    σ is the surface tension of the fluid (units of mass per Time2). When velocity, viscosity, and surface tension are expressed in a set of consistent units, the resulting Capillary number will have no units of its own; the individual units will cancel out.



    [0167] The Capillary number is defined for the conditions at the exit of the die. The fluid velocity is the average velocity of the fluid passing through the die opening. The average velocity is defined as follows:

    Vol' = volumetric flowrate (units of Length3 per Time),

    Area = cross-sectional area of the die exit (units of Length2).



    [0168] When the die opening is a circular hole, then the fluid velocity can be defined as

    R is the radius of the circular hole (units of length).

    [0169] The fluid viscosity will depend on the temperature and may depend of the shear rate. The definition of a shear thinning fluid includes a dependence on the shear rate. The surface tension will depend on the makeup of the fluid and the temperature of the fluid.

    [0170] In one example, the filament-forming composition may comprise one or more release agents and/or lubricants. Non-limiting examples of suitable release agents and/or lubricants include fatty acids, fatty acid salts, fatty alcohols, fatty esters, sulfonated fatty acid esters, fatty amine acetates and fatty amides, silicones, aminosilicones, fluoropolymers and mixtures thereof.

    [0171] In one example, the filament-forming composition may comprise one or more antiblocking and/or detackifying agents. Non-limiting examples of suitable antiblocking and/or detackifying agents include starches, modified starches, crosslinked polyvinylpyrrolidone, crosslinked cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, silica, metallic oxides, calcium carbonate, talc and mica.

    [0172] Active agents are added to the filament-forming composition prior to and/or during fibrous element formation and/or are added to the fibrous element after fibrous element formation. For example, a perfume active agent may be applied to the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element after the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material are formed. In another example, an enzyme active agent may be applied to the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element after the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material are formed. In still another example, one or more particles, which may not be suitable for passing through the spinning process for making the fibrous element, may be applied to the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous element after the fibrous element and/or fibrous wall material are formed.

    Extensional Aids



    [0173] In one example, the fibrous element comprises an extensional aid. Non-limiting examples of extensional aids can include polymers, other extensional aids, and combinations thereof.

    [0174] In one example, the extensional aids have a weight-average molecular weight of at least about 500,000 Da. In another example, the weight average molecular weight of the extensional aid is from about 500,000 to about 25,000,000, in another example from about 800,000 to about 22,000,000, in yet another example from about 1,000,000 to about 20,000,000, and in another example from about 2,000,000 to about 15,000,000. The high molecular weight extensional aids are especially suitable in some examples of the invention due to the ability to increase extensional melt viscosity and reducing melt fracture.

    [0175] The extensional aid, when used in a meltblowing process, is added to the composition in an amount effective to visibly reduce the melt fracture and capillary breakage of fibers during the spinning process such that substantially continuous fibers having relatively consistent diameter can be melt spun. Regardless of the process employed to produce fibrous elements and/or particles, the extensional aids, when used, can be present from about 0.001% to about 10%, by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis, in one example, and in another example from about 0.005 to about 5%, by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis, in yet another example from about 0.01 to about 1%, by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis, and in another example from about 0.05% to about 0.5%, by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0176] Non-limiting examples of polymers that can be used as extensional aids can include alginates, carrageenans, pectin, chitin, guar gum, xanthum gum, agar, gum arabic, karaya gum, tragacanth gum, locust bean gum, alkylcellulose, hydroxyalkylcellulose, carboxyalkylcellulose, and mixtures thereof.

    [0177] Non-limiting examples of other extensional aids can include modified and unmodified polyacrylamide, polyacrylic acid, polymethacrylic acid, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylacetate, polyvinylpyrrolidone, polyethylene vinyl acetate, polyethyleneimine, polyamides, polyalkylene oxides including polyethylene oxide, polypropylene oxide, polyethylenepropylene oxide, and mixtures thereof.

    Method for Making Fibrous Wall Materials



    [0178] The fibrous elements may be made by any suitable process. A non-limiting example of a suitable process for making the fibrous elements is described below.

    [0179] In one example, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, a method 30 for making a fibrous element 32, for example filament, comprises the steps of:
    1. a. providing a filament-forming composition 34, such as from a tank 36, comprising one or more filament-forming materials, and optionally one or more active agents; and
    2. b. spinning the filament-forming composition 34, such as via a spinning die 38, into one or more fibrous elements 32, such as filaments, comprising the one or more filament-forming materials and optionally, the one or more active agents, and collecting the fibrous elements 32 onto a collection device (not shown), such as a patterned belt, for example in an inter-entangled manner such that a fibrous wall material is formed.


    [0180] The filament-forming composition may be transported via suitable piping 40, with or without a pump 42, between the tank 36 and the spinning die 38.

    [0181] The total level of the one or more filament-forming materials present in the fibrous element 32, when active agents are present therein, may be less than 80% and/or less than 70% and/or less than 65% and/or 50% or less by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and the total level of the one or more active agents, when present in the fibrous element may be greater than 20% and/or greater than 35% and/or 50% or greater 65% or greater and/or 80% or greater by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0182] As shown in Fig. 4, the spinning die 38 may comprise a plurality of fibrous element-forming holes 44 that include a melt capillary 46 encircled by a concentric attenuation fluid hole 48 through which a fluid, such as air, passes to facilitate attenuation of the filament-forming composition 34 into a fibrous element 32 as it exits the fibrous element-forming hole 44.

    [0183] In one example, during the spinning step, any volatile solvent, such as water, present in the filament-forming composition 34 is removed, such as by drying, as the fibrous element 32 is formed. In one example, greater than 30% and/or greater than 40% and/or greater than 50% of the weight of the filament-forming composition's volatile solvent, such as water, is removed during the spinning step, such as by drying the fibrous element being produced.

    [0184] The filament-forming composition may comprise any suitable total level of filament-forming materials and any suitable level of active agents so long as the fibrous element produced from the filament-forming composition comprises a total level of filament-forming materials in the fibrous element of from about 5% to 50% or less by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and a total level of active agents in the fibrous element of from 50% to about 95% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis.

    [0185] In one example, the filament-forming composition may comprise any suitable total level of filament-forming materials and any suitable level of active agents so long as the fibrous element produced from the filament-forming composition comprises a total level of filament-forming materials in the fibrous element and/or particle of from about 5% to 50% or less by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis and a total level of active agents in the fibrous element and/or particle of from 50% to about 95% by weight on a dry fibrous element basis and/or dry particle basis and/or dry fibrous wall material basis, wherein the weight ratio of filament-forming material to total level of active agents is 1 or less.

    [0186] In one example, the filament-forming composition comprises from about 1% and/or from about 5% and/or from about 10% to about 50% and/or to about 40% and/or to about 30% and/or to about 20% by weight of the filament-forming composition of filament-forming materials; from about 1% and/or from about 5% and/or from about 10% to about 50% and/or to about 40% and/or to about 30% and/or to about 20% by weight of the filament-forming composition of active agents; and from about 20% and/or from about 25% and/or from about 30% and/or from about 40% and/or to about 80% and/or to about 70% and/or to about 60% and/or to about 50% by weight of the filament-forming composition of a volatile solvent, such as water. The filament-forming composition may comprise minor amounts of other active agents, such as less than 10% and/or less than 5% and/or less than 3% and/or less than 1% by weight of the filament-forming composition of plasticizers, pH adjusting agents, and other active agents.

    [0187] The filament-forming composition is spun into one or more fibrous elements and/or particles by any suitable spinning process, such as meltblowing, spunbonding, electro-spinning, and/or rotary spinning. In one example, the filament-forming composition is spun into a plurality of fibrous elements and/or particles by meltblowing. For example, the filament-forming composition may be pumped from a tank to a meltblown spinnerette. Upon exiting one or more of the filament-forming holes in the spinnerette, the filament-forming composition is attenuated with air to create one or more fibrous elements and/or particles. The fibrous elements and/or particles may then be dried to remove any remaining solvent used for spinning, such as the water.

    [0188] The fibrous elements and/or particles may be collected on a belt, such as a patterned belt to form a fibrous wall material comprising the fibrous elements and/or particles.

    Non-limiting Example for Making Fibrous Wall Materials



    [0189] An example of a fibrous wall material may be made as shown in Figs. 3 and 4. A pressurized tank 36, suitable for batch operation is filled with a suitable filament-forming composition 34 for spinning. A pump 42, such as a Zenith®, type PEP II, having a capacity of 5.0 cubic centimeters per revolution (cc/rev), manufactured by Parker Hannifin Corporation, Zenith Pumps division, of Sanford, N.C., USA may be used to facilitate transport of the filament-forming composition to a spinning die 38. The flow of the filament-forming composition 34 from the pressurized tank 36 to the spinning die 38 may be controlled by adjusting the number of revolutions per minute (rpm) of the pump 42. Pipes 40 are used to connect the pressurized tank 36, the pump 42, and the spinning die 38.

    [0190] The spinning die 38 shown in Fig. 4 has several rows of circular extrusion nozzles (fibrous element-forming holes 44) spaced from one another at a pitch P of about 1.524 millimeters (about 0.060 inches). The nozzles have individual inner diameters of about 0.305 millimeters (about 0.012 inches) and individual outside diameters of about 0.813 millimeters (about 0.032 inches). Each individual nozzle is encircled by an annular and divergently flared orifice (concentric attenuation fluid hole 48 to supply attenuation air to each individual melt capillary 46. The filament-forming composition 34 extruded through the nozzles is surrounded and attenuated by generally cylindrical, humidified air streams supplied through the orifices.

    [0191] Attenuation air can be provided by heating compressed air from a source by an electrical-resistance heater, for example, a heater manufactured by Chromalox, Division of Emerson Electric, of Pittsburgh, Pa., USA. An appropriate quantity of steam was added to saturate or nearly saturate the heated air at the conditions in the electrically heated, thermostatically controlled delivery pipe. Condensate was removed in an electrically heated, thermostatically controlled, separator.

    [0192] The embryonic fibrous elements are dried by a drying air stream having a temperature from about 149° C. (about 300° F.) to about 315° C. (about 600° F.) by an electrical resistance heater (not shown) supplied through drying nozzles and discharged at an angle of about 90° relative to the general orientation of the non-thermoplastic embryonic fibrous elements being spun. The dried embryonic fibrous elements are collected on a collection device, such as, for example, a movable foraminous belt or patterned collection belt. The addition of a vacuum source directly under the formation zone may be used to aid collection of the fibrous elements. The spinning and collection of the fibrous elements produce a fibrous structure comprising inter-entangled fibrous elements, for example filaments. This fibrous structure may be used as a pouch wall material for pouches of the present invention.

    Methods for Making a Pouch



    [0193] The pouch of the present invention may be made by any suitable process known in the art so long as a fibrous wall material, in particular a water-soluble fibrous wall material, is used to form at least a portion of the pouch.

    [0194] In one example, a pouch of the present invention may be made using any suitable equipment and method known in the art. Non-limiting examples of suitable processes for making water-soluble pouches, albeit with film wall materials, are described in EP 1504994, EP 2258820, and WO02/40351 (all assigned to The Procter & Gamble Company.

    [0195] In another example, the process for preparing the pouches of the present invention may comprise the step of shaping pouches from a fibrous wall material in a series of molds, wherein the molds are positioned in an interlocking manner. By shaping, it is typically meant that the fibrous wall material is placed onto and into the molds, for example, the fibrous wall material may be vacuum pulled into the molds, so that the fibrous wall material is flush with the inner walls of the molds. This is commonly known as vacuum forming. Another method is thermo-forming to get the fibrous wall material to adopt the shape of the mold.

    [0196] Thermo-forming typically involves the step of formation of an open pouch in a mold under application of heat, which allows the fibrous wall material used to make the pouches to take on the shape of the molds.

    [0197] Vacuum-forming typically involves the step of applying a (partial) vacuum (reduced pressure) on a mold which pulls the fibrous wall material into the mold and ensures the fibrous wall material adopts the shape of the mold. The pouch forming process may also be done by first heating the fibrous wall material and then applying reduced pressure, e.g. (partial) vacuum.

    [0198] The fibrous wall material is typically sealed by any sealing means. For example, by heat sealing, wet sealing or by pressure sealing. In one example, a sealing source is contacted to the fibrous wall material and heat or pressure is applied to the fibrous wall material, and the fibrous wall material is sealed. The sealing source may be a solid object, for example a metal, plastic or wood object. If heat is applied to the fibrous wall material during the sealing process, then said sealing source is typically heated to a temperature of from about 40°C to about 200°C. If pressure is applied to the fibrous wall material during the sealing process, then the sealing source typically applies a pressure of from about 1 x 104 Nm-2 to about 1 x 106 Nm-2, to the fibrous wall material.

    [0199] In another example, the same piece of fibrous wall material may be folded, and sealed to form the pouches. Typically more than one piece of fibrous wall material is used in the process. For example, a first piece of the fibrous wall material may be vacuum pulled into the molds so that the fibrous wall material is flush with the inner walls of the molds. A second piece of fibrous wall material may be positioned such that it at least partially overlaps and/or completely overlaps, with the first piece of fibrous wall material. The first piece of fibrous wall material and second piece of fibrous wall material are sealed together. The first piece of fibrous wall material and second piece of fibrous wall material can be the same or different.

    [0200] In another example of making pouches, a first piece of fibrous wall material may be vacuum pulled into the molds so that the fibrous wall material is flush with the inner walls of the molds. A composition, such as one or more active agents and/or a detergent composition, may be added, for example poured, into the open pouches in the molds, and a second piece of fibrous wall material may be placed over the active agents and/or detergent composition and in contact with the first piece of fibrous wall material and the first piece of fibrous wall material and second piece of fibrous wall material are sealed together to form pouches, typically in such a manner as to at least partially enclose and/or completely enclose its internal volume and the active agents and/or detergent composition within its internal volume.

    [0201] The pouch making process may be used to prepare pouches which have an internal volume that is divided into more than one compartment, typically known as a multi-compartment pouches. In the multi-compartment pouch process, the fibrous wall material is folded at least twice, or at least three pieces of pouch wall materials (at least one of which is a water-soluble fibrous pouch wall material) are used, or at least two pieces of pouch wall materials (at least one of which is a water-soluble fibrous pouch wall material) are used wherein at least one piece of pouch wall material is folded at least once. The third piece of pouch wall material, when present, or a folded piece of pouch wall material, when present, creates a barrier layer that, when the pouch is sealed, divides the internal volume of said pouch into at least two compartments.

    [0202] In another example, a process for making a multi-compartment pouch comprises fitting a first piece of the fibrous wall material into a series of molds, for example the first piece of fibrous wall material may be vacuum pulled into the molds so that the pouch wall material is flush with the inner walls of the molds. Active agents are typically poured into the open pouch formed by the first piece of fibrous wall material in the molds. A pre-sealed compartment made of a pouch wall material can then be placed over the molds containing the composition. These pre-sealed compartments and said first piece of fibrous wall material may be sealed together to form multi-compartment pouches, for example, dual-compartment pouches.

    [0203] The pouches obtained from the processes are water-soluble. The pouches are typically closed structures, made of a fibrous wall material described herein, typically enclosing an internal volume which may comprise active agents and/or a detergent composition. The fibrous wall materials are suitable to hold active agents, e.g. without allowing the release of the active agents from the pouch prior to contact of the pouch with water. The exact execution of the pouch will depend on for example, the type and amount of the active agent in the pouch, the number of compartments in the pouch, the characteristics required from the pouch to hold, protect and deliver or release the active agents.

    [0204] The active agents and/or compositions contained in the different compartments may be the same or different. For example, incompatible ingredients may be contained in different compartments.

    [0205] The pouches of the present invention may be of such a size that they conveniently contain either a unit dose amount of the active agents therein, suitable for the required operation, for example one wash, or only a partial dose, to allow the consumer greater flexibility to vary the amount used, for example depending on the size and/or degree of soiling of the wash load. The shape and size of the pouch is typically determined, at least to some extent, by the shape and size of the mold.

    [0206] The multi-compartment pouches of the present invention may further be packaged in an outer package. Such an outer package may be a see-through or partially see-through container, for example a transparent or translucent bag, tub, carton or bottle. The pack can be made of plastic or any other suitable material, provided the material is strong enough to protect the pouches during transport. This kind of pack is also very useful because the user does not need to open the pack to see how many pouches remain in the package. Alternatively, the package may have non-see-through outer packaging, perhaps with indicia or artwork representing the visually-distinctive contents of the package.

    Non-limiting Example for Making a Pouch



    [0207] An example of the methodology involved in making a pouch is as follows. Cut two layers of fibrous wall materials at least twice the size of the pouch size intended to make. For example if finished pouch size has a planar footprint of about 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm (2 inches x 2 inches), then the pouch wall materials are cut 127 mm x 127 mm (5 inches x 5 inches). Next, lay both layers on top of one another on the heating element of an impulse sealer (Impulse Sealer model TISH-300 from TEW Electric Heating Equipment CO., LTD, 7F, No. 140, Sec. 2, Nan Kang Road, Taipei, Taiwan). The position of the layers on the heating element should be where a side closure seam is to be created. Close the sealer arm for 1 second to seal the two layers together. In a similar way, seal two more sides to create two additional side closure seams. With the three sides sealed, the two pouch wall materials form a pocket. Next, add the appropriate amount of powder into the pocket and then seal the last side to create the last side closure seam. A pouch is now formed. For most fibrous wall materials which are less than 0.2 mm thick, heating dial setting of 4 and heating time 1 second is used. Depending on the fibrous wall materials, heating temperature and heating time might have to be adjusted to realize a desirable seam. If the temperature is too low or the heating time is not long enough, the fibrous wall material may not sufficiently melt and the two layers come apart easily; if the temperature is too high or the heating time is too long, pin holes may form at the sealed edge. One should adjust the sealing equipment conditions so as to the layers to melt and form a seam but not introduce negatives such as pin holes on the seam edge. Once the seamed pouch is formed, a scissor is used to trim off the excess material and leave a 1-2 mm edge on the outside of the seamed pouch.

    Methods of Use



    [0208] The pouches of the present invention comprising one or more active agents, for example one or more fabric care active agents, may be utilized in a method for treating a fabric article. The method of treating a fabric article may comprise one or more steps selected from the group consisting of: (a) pre-treating the fabric article before washing the fabric article; (b) contacting the fabric article with a wash liquor formed by contacting the pouch with water; (c) contacting the fabric article with the pouch in a dryer; (d) drying the fabric article in the presence of the pouch in a dryer; and (e) combinations thereof.

    [0209] In some embodiments, the method may further comprise the step of pre-moistening the pouch prior to contacting it to the fabric article to be pre-treated. For example, the pouch can be pre-moistened with water and then adhered to a portion of the fabric article comprising a stain that is to be pre-treated. Alternatively, the fabric article may be moistened and the pouch placed on or adhered thereto. In some embodiments, the method may further comprise the step of selecting of only a portion of the pouch for use in treating a fabric article. For example, if only one fabric care article is to be treated, a portion of the pouch may be cut and/or torn away and either placed on or adhered to the fabric article or placed into water to form a relatively small amount of wash liquor which is then used to pre-treat the fabric article. In this way, the user may customize the fabric treatment method according to the task at hand. In some embodiments, at least a portion of a pouch may be applied to the fabric article to be treated using a device. Exemplary devices include, but are not limited to, brushes, sponges and tapes. In yet another embodiment, the pouch may be applied directly to the surface of the fabric article. Any one or more of the aforementioned steps may be repeated to achieve the desired fabric treatment benefit for a fabric article.

    Test Methods



    [0210] Unless otherwise specified, all tests described herein including those described under the Definitions section and the following test methods are conducted on samples that have been conditioned in a conditioned room at a temperature of 23°C ± 1.0°C and a relative humidity of 50% ± 2% for a minimum of 2 hours prior to the test. The samples tested are "usable units." "Usable units" as used herein means sheets, flats from roll stock, pre-converted flats, sheet, and/or single or multi-compartment products. All tests are conducted under the same environmental conditions and in such conditioned room. Do not test samples that have defects such as wrinkles, tears, holes, and like. Samples conditioned as described herein are considered dry samples (such as "dry filaments") for testing purposes. All instruments are calibrated according to manufacturer's specifications.

    Basis Weight Test Method



    [0211] Basis weight of a fibrous wall material is measured on stacks of twelve usable units using a top loading analytical balance with a resolution of ± 0.001 g. The balance is protected from air drafts and other disturbances using a draft shield. A precision cutting die, measuring 88.900 mm ± 0.0889 mm (3.500 in ± 0.0035 in) by 88.900 mm ± 0.0889 mm (3.500 in ± 0.0035 in) is used to prepare all samples.

    [0212] With a precision cutting die, cut the samples into squares. Combine the cut squares to form a stack twelve samples thick. Measure the mass of the sample stack and record the result to the nearest 0.001 g.

    [0213] The Basis Weight is calculated in lbs/3000 ft2 or g/m2 as follows:

    For example,

    or,

    Report result to the nearest 0.1 lbs/3000 ft2 or 0.1 g/m2. Sample dimensions can be changed or varied using a similar precision cutter as mentioned above, so as at least 100 square inches of sample area in stack.

    Water Content Test Method



    [0214] The water (moisture) content present in a fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material and/or pouch is measured using the following Water Content Test Method. A fibrous element and/or particle and/or fibrous wall material or portion thereof in the form of a pre-cut sheet and/or pouch ("sample") is placed in a conditioned room at a temperature of 23°C ± 1.0°C and a relative humidity of 50% ± 2% for at least 24 hours prior to testing. Each fibrous wall material sample and/or pouch has an area of at least 4 square inches, but small enough in size to fit appropriately on the balance weighing plate. Under the temperature and humidity conditions mentioned above, using a balance with at least four decimal places, the weight of the sample is recorded every five minutes until a change of less than 0.5% of previous weight is detected during a 10 minute period. The final weight is recorded as the "equilibrium weight". Within 10 minutes, the samples are placed into the forced air oven on top of foil for 24 hours at 70°C ± 2°C at a relative humidity of 4% ± 2% for drying. After the 24 hours of drying, the sample is removed and weighed within 15 seconds. This weight is designated as the "dry weight" of the sample.

    [0215] The water (moisture) content of the sample is calculated as follows:



    [0216] The % Water (moisture) in sample for 3 replicates is averaged to give the reported % Water (moisture) in sample. Report results to the nearest 0.1%.

    Rupture Test Method


    Apparatus and Materials:



    [0217] With reference to Figs. 5-7:

    2000 mL glass beaker 50 (approximately 190.5 mm (7.5 inch) tall by 139.7 mm (5.5 inch) in diameter)

    Magnetic Stirrer Plate 52 (Labline, Melrose Park, IL, Model No. 1250 or equivalent)

    Magnetic Stirring Rod 54 (50.8 mm (2 inch) long by 9.5 mm (3/8 inch) in diameter, Teflon coated)

    Thermometer (1 to 100°C +/- 1 °C)

    31.75 mm (1.25 inch) paper binder clip

    Alligator clamp (about 25.4 mm) 56

    Depth adjuster rod 58 and holder 60 with base 62

    Timer (accurate to at least 0.1 second)

    Deionized water (equilibrated at 23°C ± 1°C)


    Sample Preparation:



    [0218] Pouch samples are equilibrated at 23°C ± 1°C and 50% ± 2% relative humidity for at least 24 hours prior to testing. The rupture test is conducted under this temperature and relative humidity condition as well.

    Equipment Setup:



    [0219] As shown in Figs. 5-7, a 2000 mL glass beaker 50 is filled with 1600 ± 5 mL deionized water and placed on top of a magnetic stirrer plate 52. A magnetic stirring rod 54 is placed at the bottom of the beaker 50. The stirring speed is adjusted so that a steady vortex develops at the center of the beaker 50 with the vortex bottom at the 1200 mL mark.

    [0220] A trial run may be necessary to ensure the depth adjuster rod is set up properly for the particular pouch to be tested. A pouch 64 is secured by its edge into the clasp of a paper binder clip, which is hung onto an alligator clamp 56 with one of its two wire handles. The alligator clamp 56 is soldiered to the end of a depth adjuster rod 58. The depth adjuster rod 58 is set up in a way, so that when the paper binder clip is lowered into the water, the entire pouch 64 is completely submerged in the water at the center of the beaker 50, the top of the pouch 64 is at the bottom of the vortex, and the bottom of the pouch 64 is not in direct contact with the stirring bar 54. Due to the different dimensions of different pouch samples, the depth adjuster rod 58 may need to be adjusted for each kind of pouch sample.

    Test Protocol:



    [0221] The pouch 64, which is attached to the paper binder clip, is dropped into the water in one motion and the timer is started immediately. The pouch 64 is closely monitored visually. The Rupture Time is defined as when the pouch initially breaks apart, releasing its contents, such as powders, into the water, which means the pouch ruptures.

    [0222] For clarity purposes, the dissolving of a coating present on a pouch's wall material does not satisfy the "breaking apart" condition even if the contents of the pouch are released from the pouch. In such a case, continue closely monitoring visually to determine if the pouch wall material breaks apart. If the pouch wall material is water-insoluble, then by default the pouch will have no Rupture Time and thus will not rupture.

    [0223] A pouch is said to have an instantaneous Average Rupture Time if it breaks apart immediately upon contact with the water.

    [0224] Three replicates of each sample are measured and the Average Rupture Time is reported to within +/- 0.1 seconds.

    Tensile Test Method


    Apparatus and Materials:



    [0225] Box cutter or utility knife
    Scissors
    25.4 mm (1 inch) Precision Die Cutter (model No. JDC25 made by Thwing-Albert Instrument Company, 14 W Collings Ave, West Berlin, NJ 08091) or equivalent

    Sample preparation:



    [0226] Using a box cutter, a corner of the pouch is cut open along its edge. After most of the pouch content is emptied out, using a pair of scissors, a sample of the pouch wall material is cut out along the pouch edge. The pouch wall material is then gently wiped clean to remove any residue. Any damage to the pouch wall material, such as stretching, scraping, pinching, puncturing, is avoided during sample preparation step. If the pouch wall material is damaged (i.e., torn, stretched, cut, punctured, etc.) as a result of separating the wall material from the pouch, the sample is discarded and another undamaged one is prepared.

    [0227] The tensile property of pouch wall material may depend on the direction of applied deformation in relative to its manufacturing orientation, i.e. machine direction (MD) and cross direction (CD). If the MD and CD are not apparent, the longer axial direction parallel to one edge of the pouch is assumed to be the MD and the orthogonal direction is assumed to be the CD. Or if the emptied pouch is almost square, again, assume an axial direction parallel to one edge of the pouch is assumed to be the MD and the orthogonal direction is assumed to be the CD.

    [0228] The pouch wall samples are cut to a dimension of 25.4mm (1 inch) by 12.7mm (0.5 inch) using a precision die cutter. The samples are equilibrated at 20 ± 1°C and 40% ± 2% relative humidity for at least 24 hours prior to testing. The tensile tests are performed in accordance with ASTM D882-02 at 23°C ± 1°C and 50% ± 2% relative humidity, along with the exceptions and/or conditions set forth below.

    Test Protocol:



    [0229] Due to the size of a typical pouch, initial gauge length is chosen to be 6.35 mm (0.25 inch) and gauge width is 25.4mm (1 inch). Tensile Strength and Elongation at Break are measured using a constant rate extension tensile tester with computer interface, such as an Instron Tension tester Model 5569 (made by Instron Corporation, 825 University Ave, Norwood, MA 02062) equipped with the Bluehill® Materials Testing software version 2.18. Testing speed is set at 500mm/minute. Both the upper movable and lower stationary pneumatic jaws are fitted with smooth stainless steel faced grips, 25.4 mm in height and wider than the width of the test specimen. An air pressure of about 60 psi is supplied to the jaws. A suitable load cell is chosen so that the calculated tensile strength is accurate to +/- 0.01 kN/m.

    [0230] Tensile Strength is defined as the maximum peak force (kN) divided by the sample width (m) and reported as kN/m to the +/- 0.01 kN/m.

    [0231] Elongation at Break is defined as the extension where the force has dropped to 10% of its maximum divided by the initial gauge length multiplied by 100 and reported as % to +/- 0.1%.

    [0232] Three replicates of each sample along the MD and the CD are tested.

    Calculations:



    [0233] 




    Shake Test Method


    Apparatus and Materials:



    [0234] 850 micron sieve (203.2 mm (8 inch) in diameter)
    Solid pan (203.2 mm (8 inch) in diameter) that fits underneath the sieve
    Lab-Line Orbit Environ Shaker Model No. 3528 (made by Lab-Line Instrument Inc., Melrose Park, IL 60160) or the equivalent
    Balance (accurate to 0.0001 gram)

    Sample preparation:



    [0235] Pouch samples are equilibrated at 20 ± 1°C and 40% ± 2% relative humidity for at least 24 hours prior to testing. The shake test is conducted under the same temperature and relative humidity condition.

    Test Protocol:



    [0236] Before the shake test is conducted, the mass of the pouch is measured to within +/- 0.1 mg. The pouch sample is placed at the center of the sieve, which sits on the solid pan. Both the sieve and the pan are placed onto the shaker plate. The shake rate is set to 150-170 rpm for 10 minutes. The mass of the pouch is measured again after the shake test to within +/- 0.1 mg.

    [0237] Three replicates of each sample are tested. The percent weight loss is calculated based on the mass of the pouch before and after shaking and is reported to +/- 0.1%.

    Median Particle Size Test Method



    [0238] This test method must be used to determine median particle size.

    [0239] The median particle size test is conducted to determine the median particle size of the seed material using ASTM D 502 - 89, "Standard Test Method for Particle Size of Soaps and Other Detergents", approved May 26, 1989, with a further specification for sieve sizes used in the analysis. Following section 7, "Procedure using machine-sieving method," a nest of clean dry sieves containing U.S. Standard (ASTM E 11) sieves #8 (2360 um), #12 (1700 um), #16 (1180 um), #20 (850 um), #30 (600 um), #40 (425 um), #50 (300 um), #70 (212 um), #100 (150 um) is required. The prescribed Machine-Sieving Method is used with the above sieve nest. The seed material is used as the sample. A suitable sieve-shaking machine can be obtained from W.S. Tyler Company of Mentor, Ohio, U.S.A.

    [0240] The data are plotted on a semi-log plot with the micron size opening of each sieve plotted against the logarithmic abscissa and the cumulative mass percent (Q3) plotted against the linear ordinate. An example of the above data representation is given in ISO 9276-1:1998, "Representation of results of particle size analysis - Part 1: Graphical Representation", Figure A.4. The seed material median particle size (D50), for the purpose of this invention, is defined as the abscissa value at the point where the cumulative mass percent is equal to 50 percent, and is calculated by a straight line interpolation between the data points directly above (a50) and below (b50) the 50% value using the following equation:

    where Qa50 and Qb50 are the cumulative mass percentile values of the data immediately above and below the 50th percentile, respectively; and Da50 and Db50 are the micron sieve size values corresponding to these data.

    [0241] In the event that the 50th percentile value falls below the finest sieve size (150 um) or above the coarsest sieve size (2360 um), then additional sieves must be added to the nest following a geometric progression of not greater than 1.5, until the median falls between two measured sieve sizes.

    [0242] The Distribution Span of the Seed Material is a measure of the breadth of the seed size distribution about the median. It is calculated according to the following:

    Where D50 is the median particle size and D84 and D16 are the particle sizes at the sixteenth and eighty-fourth percentiles on the cumulative mass percent retained plot, respectively.

    [0243] In the event that the D16 value falls below the finest sieve size (150 um), then the span is calculated according to the following:



    [0244] In the event that the D84 value falls above the coarsest sieve size (2360 um), then the span is calculated according to the following:



    [0245] In the event that the D16 value falls below the finest sieve size (150 um) and the D84 value falls above the coarsest sieve size (2360 um), then the distribution span is taken to be a maximum value of 5.7.

    Diameter Test Method



    [0246] The diameter of a discrete fibrous element or a fibrous element within a fibrous wall material is determined by using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) or an Optical Microscope and an image analysis software. A magnification of 200 to 10,000 times is chosen such that the fibrous elements are suitably enlarged for measurement. When using the SEM, the samples are sputtered with gold or a palladium compound to avoid electric charging and vibrations of the fibrous element in the electron beam. A manual procedure for determining the fibrous element diameters is used from the image (on monitor screen) taken with the SEM or the optical microscope. Using a mouse and a cursor tool, the edge of a randomly selected fibrous element is sought and then measured across its width (i.e., perpendicular to fibrous element direction at that point) to the other edge of the fibrous element. A scaled and calibrated image analysis tool provides the scaling to get actual reading in µm. For fibrous elements within a fibrous wall material, several fibrous element are randomly selected across the sample of the fibrous wall material using the SEM or the optical microscope. At least two portions of the fibrous wall material are cut and tested in this manner. Altogether at least 100 such measurements are made and then all data are recorded for statistical analysis. The recorded data are used to calculate average (mean) of the fibrous element diameters, standard deviation of the fibrous element diameters, and median of the fibrous element diameters.

    [0247] Another useful statistic is the calculation of the amount of the population of fibrous elements that is below a certain upper limit. To determine this statistic, the software is programmed to count how many results of the fibrous element diameters are below an upper limit and that count (divided by total number of data and multiplied by 100%) is reported in percent as percent below the upper limit, such as percent below 1 micrometer diameter or %-submicron, for example. We denote the measured diameter (in µm) of an individual circular fibrous element as di.

    [0248] In the case that the fibrous elements have non-circular cross-sections, the measurement of the fibrous element diameter is determined as and set equal to the hydraulic diameter which is four times the cross-sectional area of the fibrous element divided by the perimeter of the cross-section of the fibrous element (outer perimeter in case of hollow fibrous elements). The number-average diameter, alternatively average diameter is calculated as:


    Thickness Test Method



    [0249] Thickness of a fibrous wall material is measured by cutting 5 samples of a fibrous wall material sample such that each cut sample is larger in size than a load foot loading surface of a VIR Electronic Thickness Tester Model II available from Thwing-Albert Instrument Company, Philadelphia, PA. Typically, the load foot loading surface has a circular surface area of about 79.76 mm2 (3.14 in2). The sample is confined between a horizontal flat surface and the load foot loading surface. The load foot loading surface applies a confining pressure to the sample of 15.5 g/cm2. The thickness of each sample is the resulting gap between the flat surface and the load foot loading surface. The thickness is calculated as the average thickness of the five samples. The result is reported in millimeters (mm).

    Shear Viscosity Test Method



    [0250] The shear viscosity of a filament-forming composition is measured using a capillary rheometer, Goettfert Rheograph 6000, manufactured by Goettfert USA of Rock Hill SC, USA. The measurements are conducted using a capillary die having a diameter D of 1.0 mm and a length L of 30 mm (i.e., L/D = 30). The die is attached to the lower end of the rheometer's 20 mm barrel, which is held at a die test temperature of 75 °C. A preheated to die test temperature, 60 g sample of the filament-forming composition is loaded into the barrel section of the rheometer. Rid the sample of any entrapped air. Push the sample from the barrel through the capillary die at a set of chosen rates 1,000-10,000 seconds-1. An apparent shear viscosity can be calculated with the rheometer's software from the pressure drop the sample experiences as it goes from the barrel through the capillary die and the flow rate of the sample through the capillary die. The log (apparent shear viscosity) can be plotted against log (shear rate) and the plot can be fitted by the power law, according to the formula η = Kγn-1, wherein K is the material's viscosity constant, n is the material's thinning index and γ is the shear rate. The reported apparent shear viscosity of the filament-forming composition herein is calculated from an interpolation to a shear rate of 3,000 sec-1 using the power law relation.

    Weight Average Molecular Weight



    [0251] The weight average molecular weight (Mw) of a material, such as a polymer, is determined by Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) using a mixed bed column. A high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) having the following components: Millenium®, Model 600E pump, system controller and controller software Version 3.2, Model 717 Plus autosampler and CHM-009246 column heater, all manufactured by Waters Corporation of Milford, MA, USA, is utilized. The column is a PL gel 20 µm Mixed A column (gel molecular weight ranges from 1,000 g/mol to 40,000,000 g/mol) having a length of 600 mm and an internal diameter of 7.5 mm and the guard column is a PL gel 20 µm, 50 mm length, 7.5 mm ID. The column temperature is 55°C and the injection volume is 200 µL. The detector is a DAWN® Enhanced Optical System (EOS) including Astra® software, Version 4.73.04 detector software, manufactured by Wyatt Technology of Santa Barbara, CA, USA, laser-light scattering detector with K5 cell and 690 nm laser. Gain on odd numbered detectors set at 101. Gain on even numbered detectors set to 20.9. Wyatt Technology's Optilab® differential refractometer set at 50°C. Gain set at 10. The mobile phase is HPLC grade dimethylsulfoxide with 0.1% w/v LiBr and the mobile phase flow rate is 1 mL/min, isocratic. The run time is 30 minutes.

    [0252] A sample is prepared by dissolving the material in the mobile phase at nominally 3 mg of material/1 mL of mobile phase. The sample is capped and then stirred for about 5 minutes using a magnetic stirrer. The sample is then placed in an 85°C convection oven for 60 minutes. The sample is then allowed to cool undisturbed to room temperature. The sample is then filtered through a 5µm Nylon membrane, type Spartan-25, manufactured by Schleicher & Schuell, of Keene, NH, USA, into a 5 milliliter (mL) autosampler vial using a 5 mL syringe.

    [0253] For each series of samples measured (3 or more samples of a material), a blank sample of solvent is injected onto the column. Then a check sample is prepared in a manner similar to that related to the samples described above. The check sample comprises 2 mg/mL of pullulan (Polymer Laboratories) having a weight average molecular weight of 47,300 g/mol. The check sample is analyzed prior to analyzing each set of samples. Tests on the blank sample, check sample, and material test samples are run in duplicate. The final run is a run of the blank sample. The light scattering detector and differential refractometer is run in accordance with the "Dawn EOS Light Scattering Instrument Hardware Manual" and "Optilab® DSP Interferometric Refractometer Hardware Manual," both manufactured by Wyatt Technology Corp., of Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

    [0254] The weight average molecular weight of the sample is calculated using the detector software. A dn/dc (differential change of refractive index with concentration) value of 0.066 is used. The baselines for laser light detectors and the refractive index detector are corrected to remove the contributions from the detector dark current and solvent scattering. If a laser light detector signal is saturated or shows excessive noise, it is not used in the calculation of the molecular mass. The regions for the molecular weight characterization are selected such that both the signals for the 90° □ detector for the laser-light scattering and refractive index are greater than 3 times their respective baseline noise levels. Typically the high molecular weight side of the chromatogram is limited by the refractive index signal and the low molecular weight side is limited by the laser light signal.

    [0255] The weight average molecular weight can be calculated using a "first order Zimm plot" as defined in the detector software. If the weight average molecular weight of the sample is greater than 1,000,000 g/mol, both the first and second order Zimm plots are calculated, and the result with the least error from a regression fit is used to calculate the molecular mass. The reported weight average molecular weight is the average of the two runs of the material test sample.

    Fibrous Element Composition Test Method



    [0256] In order to prepare fibrous elements for fibrous element composition measurement, the fibrous elements must be conditioned by removing any coating compositions and/or materials present on the external surfaces of the fibrous elements that are removable. An example of a method for doing so is washing the fibrous elements 3 times with a suitable solvent that will remove the external coating while leaving the fibrous elements unaltered. The fibrous elements are then air dried at 23°C ± 1.0°C until the fibrous elements comprise less than 10% moisture. A chemical analysis of the conditioned fibrous elements is then completed to determine the compositional make-up of the fibrous elements with respect to the filament-forming materials and the active agents and the level of the filament-forming materials and active agents present in the fibrous elements.

    [0257] The compositional make-up of the fibrous elements with respect to the filament-forming material and the active agents can also be determined by completing a cross-section analysis using TOF-SIMs or SEM. Still another method for determining compositional make-up of the fibrous elements uses a fluorescent dye as a marker. In addition, as always, a manufacturer of fibrous elements should know the compositions of their fibrous elements.

    [0258] The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as "40 mm" is intended to mean "about 40 mm."

    [0259] The citation of any document herein is not an admission that it is prior art with respect to any invention disclosed or claimed herein or that it alone, or in any combination with any other reference or references, teaches, suggests or discloses any such invention. Further, to the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document cited herein, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.

    [0260] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.


    Claims

    1. A pouch comprising a water-soluble fibrous wall material that defines a first internal volume of the pouch wherein the water-soluble fibrous wall material comprises one or more filaments, wherein one or more active agents are present in and releasable from the at least one filament when the pouch is exposed to conditions of intended use, and wherein the pouch further comprises an active agent within the first internal volume of the pouch; and wherein the pouch further comprises a discrete inner pouch present in the internal volume, wherein the inner pouch comprises a pouch wall material that defines a second internal volume, wherein the inner pouch's pouch wall material comprises a fibrous wall material and/or a film wall material, and wherein the second internal volume comprises an active agent.
     
    2. The pouch according to Claim 1 wherein the pouch ruptures as measured according to the Rupture Test Method as defined herein, preferably wherein the pouch exhibits an Average Rupture Time of less than 240 seconds as measured according to the Rupture Test Method.
     
    3. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein at least one of the filaments comprises a filament-forming polymer, even more preferably wherein the filament-forming polymer comprises a hydroxyl polymer, most preferably wherein the hydroxyl polymer is selected from the group consisting of: pullulan, hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium alginate, xanthan gum, tragacanth gum, guar gum, acacia gum, Arabic gum, polyacrylic acid, dextrin, pectin, chitin, collagen, gelatin, zein, gluten, soy protein, casein, polyvinyl alcohol, starch, starch derivatives, hemicellulose, hemicellulose derivatives, proteins, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, polyethylene glycol, tetramethylene ether glycol, hydroxymethyl cellulose, and mixtures thereof.
     
    4. The pouch according to Claim 3, wherein at least one of the active agents is present in and releasable from the at least one filament is selected from the group consisting of: surfactants, bleaching agents, enzymes, suds suppressors, suds boosting agents, fabric softening agents, hueing agents, effervescent agents, and mixtures thereof.
     
    5. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the water-soluble fibrous wall material comprises a plurality of inter-entangled filaments.
     
    6. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the further active agent within the internal volume of the pouch, is selected from the group consisting of: surfactants, bleaching agents, enzymes, suds suppressors, suds boosting agents, fabric softening agents, denture cleaning agents, hair cleaning agents, hair care agents, personal health care agents, hueing agents, and mixtures thereof.
     
    7. The pouch according to Claim 6 wherein the active agent is in the form of a powder.
     
    8. The pouch according to Claim 6 or 7 wherein the pouch releases one or more of the active agents when the pouch is exposed to conditions of intended use.
     
    9. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the pouch exhibits a % Weight Loss of less than 10% as measured according to the Shake Test Method as defined herein, preferably wherein the pouch exhibits a % Weight Loss of less than 5% as measured according to the Shake Test Method.
     
    10. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the pouch exhibits a water content of from 0% to 20% as measured according to the Water Content Test Method as defined herein.
     
    11. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the water-soluble fibrous wall material that defines the first internal volume is an apertured, water-soluble fibrous wall material.
     
    12. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the pouch further comprises a film wall material, preferably wherein the film wall material comprises a hydroxyl polymer.
     
    13. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the inner pouch's film wall material is an apertured film wall material.
     
    14. The pouch according to any of the preceding claims wherein the inner pouch exhibits an Average Rupture Time equal to or greater than the Average Rupture Time of the pouch as measured according to the Rupture Time Test Method as defined herein.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Beutel, der ein wasserlösliches faseriges Wandmaterial umfasst, das ein erstes inneres Volumen des Beutels definiert, wobei das wasserlösliche faserige Wandmaterial einen oder mehrere Fäden umfasst, wobei ein oder mehrere Wirkstoffe in dem mindestens einen Faden vorhanden und von diesem lösbar sind, wenn der Beutel Bedingungen bestimmungsgemäßen Gebrauchs ausgesetzt wird, und wobei der Beutel ferner einen Wirkstoff innerhalb des inneren Volumens des Beutels umfasst; und wobei der Beutel ferner einen separaten inneren Beutel umfasst, der in dem inneren Volumen vorhanden ist, wobei der innere Beutel ein Beutelwandmaterial umfasst, das ein zweites inneres Volumen definiert, wobei das Beutelwandmaterial des inneren Beutels ein faseriges Wandmaterial und/oder ein Folienwandmaterial umfasst und wobei das zweite innere Volumen einen Wirkstoff umfasst.
     
    2. Beutel nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Beutel nach dem hierin definierten Reißprüfverfahren reißt, wobei der Beutel vorzugsweise eine durchschnittliche Reißzeit von weniger als 240 Sekunden aufweist, wie nach dem Reißprüfverfahren gemessen.
     
    3. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei mindestens einer der Fäden ein fadenbildendes Polymer umfasst, noch mehr bevorzugt wobei das fadenbildende Polymer ein Hydroxylpolymer umfasst, am meisten bevorzugt wobei das Hydroxylpolymer ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe, bestehend aus: Pullulan, Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Carboxymethylcellulose, Natriumalginat, Xanthangummi, Tragantgummi, Guargummi, Akaziengummi, Gummiarabikum, Polyacrylsäure, Dextrin, Pektin, Chitin, Kollagen, Gelatine, Zein, Gluten, Sojaprotein, Casein, Polyvinylalkohol, Stärke, Stärkederivate, Hemicellulose, Hemicellulosederivate, Proteine, Chitosan, Chitosanderivate, Polyethylenglykol, Tetramethylenetherglykol, Hydroxymethylcellulose und Mischungen davon.
     
    4. Beutel nach Anspruch 3, wobei mindestens einer der Wirkstoffe in dem mindestens einen Faden vorhanden und von diesem lösbar ist, ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe, bestehend aus: Tensiden, Bleichmitteln, Enzymen, Schaumunterdrückern, Schaumverstärkern, Gewebeweichmachern, Tönungsmitteln, efferveszenten Mitteln und Mischungen davon.
     
    5. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das wasserlösliche faserige Wandmaterial eine Vielzahl von ineinander verwickelten Fäden umfasst.
     
    6. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der weitere Wirkstoff innerhalb des inneren Volumens des Beutels ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe, bestehend aus: Tensiden, Bleichmitteln, Enzymen, Schaumunterdrückern, Schaumverstärkern, Gewebeweichmachern, Prothesenreinigungsmitteln, Haarreinigungsmitteln, Haarpflegemitteln, persönlichen Gesundheitspflegemitteln, Tönungsmitteln und Mischungen davon.
     
    7. Beutel nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Wirkstoff in Form eines Pulvers vorliegt.
     
    8. Beutel nach Anspruch 6 oder 7, wobei der Beutel einen oder mehrere der Wirkstoffe freisetzt, wenn der Beutel Bedingungen bestimmungsgemäßen Gebrauchs ausgesetzt wird.
     
    9. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Beutel einen Gewichtsverlust-% von weniger als 10 % aufweist, wie nach dem hierin definierten Schüttelprüfverfahren gemessen, wobei der Beutel vorzugsweise einen Gewichtsverlust-% von weniger als 5 % aufweist, wie nach dem Schüttelprüfverfahren gemessen.
     
    10. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Beutel einen Wassergehalt von 0 % bis 20 % aufweist, wie nach dem hierin definierten Wassergehalt-Prüfverfahren gemessen.
     
    11. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das wasserlösliche faserige Wandmaterial, das das erste innere Volumen definiert, ein mit Öffnungen versehenes wasserlösliches faseriges Wandmaterial ist.
     
    12. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Beutel ferner ein Folienwandmaterial umfasst, wobei das Folienwandmaterial vorzugsweise ein Hydroxylpolymer umfasst.
     
    13. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Folienwandmaterial des inneren Beutels ein mit Öffnungen versehenes Folienwandmaterial ist.
     
    14. Beutel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der innere Beutel eine durchschnittliche Reißzeit vorweist, die gleich oder größer als die durchschnittliche Reißzeit des Beutels ist, wie nach dem hierin definierten Reißzeitprüfverfahren gemessen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Sachet comprenant un matériau fibreux hydrosoluble de paroi qui définit un premier volume interne du sachet dans lequel le matériau fibreux hydrosoluble de paroi comprend un ou plusieurs filaments, dans lequel un ou plusieurs agents actifs sont présents dans et libérables de l'au moins un filament lorsque le sachet est exposé aux conditions d'utilisation prévue, et dans lequel le sachet comprend en outre un agent actif au sein du volume interne du sachet ; et dans lequel le sachet comprend en outre un sachet interne distinct présent dans le volume interne, dans lequel le sachet interne comprend un sachet dont tout le matériau définit un deuxième volume interne, dans lequel le matériau de paroi de sachet du sachet interne comprend un matériau fibreux de paroi et/ou un matériau de paroi en film, et dans lequel le deuxième volume interne comprend un agent actif.
     
    2. Sachet selon la revendication 1 dans lequel le sachet se rompt tel que mesuré selon le procédé de test de rupture tel que défini ici, de préférence dans lequel le sachet présente un temps moyen de rupture inférieur à 240 secondes tel que mesuré selon le procédé de test de rupture.
     
    3. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel au moins l'un des filaments comprend un polymère de formation de filament, encore plus préférablement dans lequel le polymère de formation de filament comprend un polymère hydroxyle, le plus préférablement dans lequel le polymère hydroxyle est choisi dans le groupe constitué de : pullulane, hydroxypropylméthylcellulose, hydroxyéthylcellulose, hydroxypropylcellulose, carboxyméthylcellulose, alginate de sodium, gomme de xanthane, gomme d'adragante, gomme de guar, gomme d'acacia, gomme arabique, acide polyacrylique, dextrine, pectine, chitine, collagène, gélatine, zéine, gluten, protéine de soja, caséine, alcool polyvinylique, amidon, dérivés d'amidon, hémicellulose, dérivés d'hémicellulose, protéines, chitosane, dérivés de chitosane, polyéthylène glycol, tétraméthylène éther glycol, hydroxyméthylcellulose, et des mélanges de ceux-ci.
     
    4. Sachet selon la revendication 3 dans lequel au moins l'un des agents actifs qui est présent dans et libérable de l'au moins un filament est choisi dans le groupe constitué de : agents tensioactifs, agents de blanchiment, enzymes, suppresseurs de mousse, agents renforçateurs de mousse, agents d'adoucissement des tissus, agents teintants, agents effervescents, et des mélanges de ceux-ci.
     
    5. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel le matériau fibreux hydrosoluble de paroi comprend une pluralité de filaments enchevêtrés mutuellement.
     
    6. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel l'agent actif supplémentaire au sein du volume interne du sachet, est choisi dans le groupe constitué de : agents tensioactifs, agents de blanchiment, enzymes, suppresseurs de mousse, agents renforçateurs de mousse, agents d'adoucissement des tissus, agents de nettoyage de dentier, agents de nettoyage des cheveux, agents de soin des cheveux, agents de soins individuels, agents teintants, et des mélanges de ceux-ci.
     
    7. Sachet selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'agent actif est sous la forme d'une poudre.
     
    8. Sachet selon la revendication 6 ou 7, dans lequel le sachet libère un ou plusieurs des agents actifs lorsque le sachet est exposé aux conditions d'utilisation prévue.
     
    9. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel le sachet présente un % de perte de poids inférieur à 10 % tel que mesuré selon le procédé de test de secouage tel que défini ici, de préférence dans lequel le sachet présente un % de perte de poids inférieur à 5 % tel que mesuré selon le procédé de test de secouage.
     
    10. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le sachet présente une teneur en eau allant de 0 % à 20 % telle que mesurée selon le procédé de test de teneur en eau tel que défini ici.
     
    11. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel le matériau fibreux hydrosoluble de paroi qui définit le premier volume interne est un matériau fibreux hydrosoluble de paroi perforé.
     
    12. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le sachet comprend en outre un matériau de paroi en film, de préférence dans lequel le matériau de paroi en film comprend un polymère hydroxyle.
     
    13. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel le matériau de paroi en film du sachet interne est un matériau de paroi en film perforé.
     
    14. Sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes dans lequel le sachet interne présente un temps moyen de rupture égal ou supérieur au temps moyen de rupture du sachet tel que mesuré selon le procédé de test de temps de rupture tel que défini ici.
     




    Drawing












    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




    Non-patent literature cited in the description