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It has been found that at high speeds, SAP particles are not always satisfactorily dropped (e.g. from a feeder / hopper) into the reservoirs of the drum. Reservoirs may only be partially filled, whilst at certain areas of the drum excess SAP may build up. If vacuum (in the drum) is used to aid filling of the reservoirs, then this SAP build-up may obstruct the vacuum suction and this it may further obstruct the filling of the reservoirs This thus may result in an inaccurate distribution of the SAP in the absorbent cores, or even defects in the formed absorbent cores.
A possible apparatus and method for producing, even at high speed, absorbent structures comprising SAP could have the following structure:
a)a SAP feeder for feeding particles to
b)a drum with multiple reservoirs receiving SAP and transferring it to
c)a substrate like a nonwoven web
d)with a three dimensional plate applying pressure on part of SAP and guiding it into drum reservoirs
Plate is essential to properly fill reservoirs and guarantee desired SAP profile. Plate type and design can be different and many patents have been filed to protect a specific shape or function.
Vacuum can be used to keep reservoirs filled until the very last moment SAP have to be released and positioned on the substrate.