Sanitary Napkins | Properties of Sanitary Napkins | Manufacturing Process Sanitary Napkins

Sanitary Napkins:
Sanitary napkin is a hygiene absorbent product used by women during menstrual periods. It is a product of technical textile. A sanitary napkin, sanitary towel, sanitary pad, menstrual pad, maxi pad, or pad is an absorbent item worn by a woman while she is menstruating, recovering from vaginal surgery, for lochia (post birth bleeding), abortion, or any other situation where it is necessary to absorb a flow of blood from a woman's vagina.

Sanitary napkin
The menstrual cycle stars for young women between the ages 11-17, frequently around 12-13 years. On average a woman experiences a period every 28th day, 12-13 times in a year. A menstrual period normally lasts 3-7 days. The loss of fluid in a period is on average half a cup or 65-80 ml. The menstrual pattern is influenced by giving birth and contraceptive methods. Menstruation lasts until menopause at the age 45-55. The feminine hygiene products market has evolved over more than 100 years. 
Important properties of sanitary napkins:
  • No Leakage,
  • No unaesthetic appearance or color,
  • No odour,
  • No noise,
  • Stay in place,
  • Comfortable to wear,
  • Hygienic  
Types of Sanitary Napkins:
There are 3 major types of products, 
(a)Thick sanitary napkins; 
(b) Ultra thin sanitary napkins and 
(c) Panty liners being used in the market. 
The size of each and their content vary from market to market.

Raw Material of Sanitary Napkins:
Materials used in absorbent hygiene products:
  • Nonwoven
  • Pulp
  • Super absorbent
  • Plastic film
  • Elastic materials
  • Fastening devices
  • Packaging
Specification of the Raw Material of the Sanitary Napkins:
  1. Pulp : fluff pulp ,thickness 1-2mm, width 280-410mm(500gmm2 up)
  2. Tissue: so called tissue 18gm/square meter standard width 180mm
  3. P.E. Film: the thickness 0.0015mm, width 85-105mm
  4. Non-woven fabric: good thermo-bonding 16-18gm/square meter, standard width:175-180mm
  5. Hot melt gum: it is pressure sensitive and endurance ,good stickiness,white solid adhesive.
  6. Release paper: good release, width 19-50mm(standard)
Production Process Sanitary Napkins:
Pulp grinding mat formation tissue spread (up layer, lower layer)mat section wrap P.E.Film hot-melt seal embossing applying hot melt adhesive release belt finished products section finished products arranged in parallel (sanitary napkin)
Production process of sanitary napkin
Manufacturing Method of Sanitary Napkins:
The absorbent pad is the most important component of napkin. Absorbant pad is made of wood pulp mixed with SAP. Absorbent pad is prepared first. The absorbent pad is first created by using shredded wood pulp and vacuum laid to required shape and size, the weight is automatically controlled. By pressing it is formed to required thickness. Before forming the pad the pulp is mixed with super absorbent polymers (SAP) for enhancing fluid holding capacity.

The super absorbent polymer is basically acrylic based polymer that forms gel after absorbing liquid. By this it can hold water up to 30 times its weight. Sodium acrylate, potassium acrylate, alkyl acrylate. This absorbent pad is attached to permeable top sheet made of nonwoven, mainly spunlace fabric. Then the same is attached to non-permeable bottom sheet made of polyethylene. The three layers/components are glued and sealed to prevent leakage by using heat or ultrasonic vibrations. The content of absorbing pad composite will vary for different types napkins.

The application of accessories like tapes, sealing, etc for comfort of fit to the undergarments is required in some cases. This multi-step manufacturing and folding and packaging is carried out automatically. Precise control on SAP mixing with pulp, pulp weight, size and thickness, quality of seal to ensure leakage prevention, wastage control, etc is an important step in the manufacturing. However, the counting and packaging can be made non-automatic to reduce machine cost. But it may increase recurring cost and wastage.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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