(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,451,895 Bi
Topolkaraev et al. (45) Date of Patent: Sep. 17,2002
Ogata et al. J. Appl. Polym. Sci 66: 573-581, 1997.*
Ogata, N. et al., "Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Clay and Polyethylene Oxide)-Clay Blends Prepared Using Water as Solvent," J. Appl. Polym. Sci., vol. 66, No. 3, pp. 573-581 (1997).
Patent Abstracts of Japan, JP 61222536 (Mar. 10, 1986), Nippon Kayaku Co. Ltd.
Patent Abstracts of Japan, JP 60200822 (Nov. 10, 1985), Agency of Ind Science & Technology.
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—Edward J. Cain
Assistant Examiner—Kat W. Lee
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
This invention discloses novel water-responsive compositions with improved stability to aqueous liquids and an improved method of making the compositions. The addition of organically modified clay to poly(ethylene oxide) significant improves the liquid stability and melt processability of the PEO. The PEO compositions can be produced using an economical one step process comprising blending a dry mixture of PEO and organically modified clay particles and melt processing the dry mixture. The melt processing of a mixture of PEO and organically modified clay particles facilitates the melt processing of PEO over a broad range of molecular weights, most notably high molecular weights. Advantageously, the process described herein eliminates expensive and complex processing steps and is useful for manufacturing fhishable articles such as disposable diapers, feminine pads, pantiliners, etc.