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Title:
AIR-CURED BATTING INSULATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/081771
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Air-cured batting includes a nonwoven web. The batting contains 75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture, and 2.5 to 25 wt % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, wherein the resin is present on a first surface of the batting, and on a second surface of the batting, the second surface being parallel to the first surface, and wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form. Articles comprising the air-cured batting and methods of making the air-cured batting are also provided.

Inventors:
MINEHARDT, Jon-Alan (Inc.19 British American Blvd, Latham New York, 12110, US)
Application Number:
US2017/059188
Publication Date:
May 03, 2018
Filing Date:
October 31, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRIMALOFT, INC. (19 British American Blvd, Latham, New York, 12110, US)
International Classes:
D04H1/4374; D04H1/06; D04H1/4391
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016118614A12016-07-28
Foreign References:
US20150020965A12015-01-22
US20140093698A12014-04-03
US5620541A1997-04-15
US5356754A1994-10-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HINES, Erica M. (HESLIN ROTHENBERG FARLEY & MESITI P.C, 5 Columbia CircleAlbany, New York, 12203, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Air-cured batting comprising a nonwoven web, said batting comprising:

75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture; and

2.5 to 25 wt % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate,

wherein the resin is present on a first surface of the batting, and on a second surface of the batting, the second surface being parallel to the first surface, and wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

2. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the batting is in the form of a sheet.

3. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the fiber mixture comprises natural fibers.

4. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the fiber mixture comprises synthetic fibers.

5. The air-cured batting according to claim 4, wherein the synthetic fibers comprise polyester fibers.

6. The air-cured batting according to claim 4, wherein the synthetic fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

7. The air-cured batting according to claim 6, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

25 to 90 wt % siliconized synthetic fibers.

8. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

35 to 80 wt % microdenier fibers; and

20 to 65 wt % macrodenier fibers.

9. The air-cured batting according to claim 8, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

50 to 75 wt % microdenier fibers; and

25 to 50 wt % macrodenier fibers.

10. The air-cured batting according to claim 8, wherein the microdenier fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

11. The air-cured batting according to claim 8, wherein the macrodenier fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

12. The air-cured batting according to claim 11, wherein the macrodenier fibers additionally comprise non-siliconized fibers.

13. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the fiber mixture comprises greater than 95 wt % polyester fibers.

14. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the air-cured batting does not comprise synthetic binder fibers.

15. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein the air-cured batting does not comprise melted fibers.

16. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, wherein greater than 95% of the fibers in the fiber mixture are staple fibers.

17. The air-cured batting according to claim 16, wherein the staple fibers have a staple length of 12 mm to 70 mm.

18. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, further comprising a scrim layer in contact with at least one of the first surface and the second surface.

19. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, said batting comprising a plurality of nonwoven web layers.

20. The air-cured batting according to claim 19, wherein the plurality of nonwoven web layers are crosslapped with one another.

21. The air-cured batting according to claim 1, having a density of 1 to 8 kg/m3.

22. An article comprising the air-cured batting according to any one of claims 1-21.

23. The article according to claim 22, wherein said article is selected from the group consisting of an outerwear product, clothing, a sleeping bag, and bedding.

24. A method of making the air-cured batting according to any one of claims 1 to 21, said method comprising:

forming a nonwoven web from a fiber mixture and, optionally, layering two or more web layers, thereby creating an intermediate batting insulation structure having a first surface and a second surface parallel to the first surface;

applying to the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure a resin solution comprising:

15 to 60 vol. % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate;

20 to 80 vol. % of a fast-drying solvent that is soluble in water; and

0 to 70 vol. % water,

thereby forming a solution-applied batting structure; and

exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air, thereby causing solvent in the resin solution to evaporate and resin to cure, thus forming the air-cured batting comprising 75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture and 2.5 to 25 wt % of the resin, wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

25. The method according to claim 24, wherein the fast-drying solvent is isopropyl alcohol.

26. The method according to claim 24, wherein said forming a nonwoven web from the fiber mixture is performed using a carding machine or air-lay process.

27. The method according claim 24, wherein said applying comprises spraying the resin solution on the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure.

28. The method according to claim 24, wherein the method does not comprise heating the nonwoven web.

29. The method according to claim 24, wherein the method comprises heating the nonwoven web.

0. The method according to claim 24, wherein said exposing the solution-applied batting air comprises subjecting the solution-applied batting to forced air or circulated air.

Description:
AIR-CURED BATTING INSULATION

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. provisional application number 62/415, 137, filed on October 31, 2016, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to air-cured batting, to articles comprising the batting, and to methods of making the batting.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In order to make batting (e.g., synthetic batting such as polyester batting), a binder resin or a low melt fiber is used in order to bond a web of fibers together, thereby reinforcing and giving structure and/or strength to the batting. The resins and binder fibers that are used require heat in order to bond the fibers together. In practice, this is accomplished by passing the web through an oven. Ovens typically used are single pass, 3-pass, or 5 pass ovens (i.e., the web is passed through the oven once, three, or five times). The heat from the oven either cures the resin, and/or melts the binder fiber causing the loose fibers to be adhered together. To allow the insulation to pass through the oven, both ends of the oven are open. Thus, heat readily escapes and there is a need to use excessive energy to maintain a desired temperature in the oven. Ovens having more than one level allow even more heat to escape. As ovens are typically heated using oil, coal, electricity, or gas, processes of record for making batting are high in energy consumption, can pollute the environment by releasing carbon monoxide due to composition, and can be draining on nonrenewable resources. In addition to their high energy usage, in view of their open ends in particular, ovens can create a hazardous environment, posing risks of, for example, potential burning and heat exhaustion.

[0004] Thus, a need exists for new batting and processes of making the batting that require less energy expenditure, are less taxing on energy sources (including nonrenewable resources), and avoid the hazardous environmental risks discussed above.

[0005] While certain aspects of conventional technologies have been discussed to facilitate disclosure of the invention, Applicant in no way disclaims these technical aspects, and it is contemplated that the claimed invention may encompass one or more conventional technical aspects.

[0006] In this specification, where a document, act or item of knowledge is referred to or discussed, this reference or discussion is not an admission that the document, act or item of knowledge or any combination thereof was, at the priority date, publicly available, known to the public, part of common general knowledge, or otherwise constitutes prior art under the applicable statutory provisions; or is known to be relevant to an attempt to solve any problem with which this specification is concerned.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Briefly, the present invention satisfies the need for improved batting and processes of making the same that require less energy expenditure, are less taxing on energy sources (e.g., nonrenewable resources), and/or avoid hazardous environmental risks associated with ovens used to make batting. In solving these problems, embodiments of the inventive batting and processes are considered to advantageously be eco-friendly, particularly as compared to processes of record.

[0008] The present invention may address one or more of the problems and deficiencies of the art discussed above. However, it is contemplated that the invention may prove useful in addressing other problems and deficiencies in a number of technical areas. Therefore, the claimed invention should not necessarily be construed as limited to addressing any of the particular problems or deficiencies discussed herein.

[0009] In a first aspect, the invention provides air-cured batting comprising a nonwoven web, said batting comprising:

75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture; and

2.5 to 25 wt % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, wherein the resin is present on a first surface of the batting, and on a second surface of the batting, the second surface being parallel to the first surface, and wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[0010] In a second aspect, the invention provides an article comprising the air-cured batting according to the first aspect of the invention.

[0011] In a third aspect, the invention provides a method of making the air-cured batting according to the first aspect of the invention, said method comprising: forming a nonwoven web from a fiber mixture and, optionally, layering two or more web layers, thereby creating an intermediate batting insulation structure having a first surface and a second surface parallel to the first surface; applying to the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure a resin solution comprising:

15 to 60 vol. % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate;

20 to 80 vol. % of a fast-drying solvent that is soluble in water; and

0 to 70 vol. % water, thereby forming a solution-applied batting structure; and exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air, thereby causing solvent in the resin solution to evaporate and resin to cure, thus forming the air-cured batting comprising 75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture and 2.5 to 25 wt % of the resin, wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[0012] Certain embodiments of the presently-disclosed batting, articles comprising the batting, and methods of making the batting have several features, no single one of which is solely responsible for their desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of the batting, articles, and methods as defined by the claims that follow, their more prominent features will now be discussed briefly. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section of this specification entitled "Detailed Description of the Invention," one will understand how the features of the various embodiments disclosed herein provide a number of advantages over the current state of the art. For example, embodiments of the batting offer eco-friendly alternatives to commercially-available batting, are produced by methods that require less energy expenditure, are less taxing on energy sources, and/or avoid hazardous environmental risks. Embodiments of the batting can be used to make various articles, including clothing, outerwear, footwear, etc.

[0013] These and other features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the various aspects of the invention taken in conjunction with the appended claims and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, wherein like numerals denote like elements, and:

[0015] FIG. 1 A is a top-view photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting.

[0016] FIG. IB is a line drawing of the top-view photograph of the embodiment 10 of inventive batting depicted in FIG. 1 A.

[0017] FIG. 2A is a side-view photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting.

[0018] FIG. 2B is a line drawing of the side-view photograph of the embodiment 10 of inventive batting depicted in FIG. 2A.

[0019] FIG. 3 A is a photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting draped over a structure.

[0020] FIG. 3B is a line drawing of the photograph in FIG. 3 A of embodiment 10 of inventive batting draped over a structure.

[0021] FIG. 4A is a profile-view photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting.

[0022] FIG. 4B is a line drawing of the photograph in FIG. 4A of a profile-view of embodiment 10 of inventive batting. [0023] FIG. 5 is a simplified profile view of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting.

[0024] FIG. 6 is a simplified profile view of an embodiment 20 of the inventive batting.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0025] Aspects of the present invention and certain features, advantages, and details thereof are explained more fully below with reference to the non-limiting embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Descriptions of well-known materials, fabrication tools, processing techniques, etc., are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the invention in detail. It should be understood, however, that the detailed description and the specific example(s), while indicating embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, and are not by way of limitation. Various substitutions, modifications, additions and/or arrangements within the spirit and/or scope of the underlying inventive concepts will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure.

[0026] In a first aspect, the invention provides air-cured batting comprising a nonwoven web, said batting comprising:

75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture; and

2.5 to 25 wt % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate, wherein the resin is present on a first surface of the batting, and on a second surface of the batting, the second surface being parallel to the first surface, and wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[0027] Some embodiments of the inventive batting are made by the method of making air- cured batting according to the third aspect of the invention (described below in greater detail), which generally comprises forming a nonwoven web from a fiber mixture (and optionally layering two or more web layers), thereby creating an intermediate batting insulation structure having a first surface and a second surface parallel to the first surface; applying a specified resin solution to the first and second surfaces, thereby forming a solution-applied batting structure, and exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air (air-curing it), thereby causing solvent in the resin solution to evaporate and the resin to cure, thus forming the air- cured batting wherein the resin and the fiber mixture form a bonded structure, such that the air- cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[0028] In short, the invention provides batting embodiments having "handleability", wherein fibers within the fiber mixture of the batting are sufficiently adhered to one another via the resin from the resin solution so as to form a discrete batting structure that has structural integrity and is capable of being handled and used as-is, without falling apart or otherwise compromising the structural integrity of the batting so as to make it unfit for end use (e.g., as insulation in an article). As discussed below, binder fibers are optionally included in certain embodiments of the inventive batting, and heat treatment is optionally used in processes of preparing the batting. However, the Applicant's testing revealed that even embodiments of the inventive batting that are completely free of binder fiber, and that were produced without any heat treatment, surprisingly had good structural integrity and handleability, and could easily be used alone, in non-thermally-bonded form, in place of traditional (e.g., thermally bonded) batting.

[0029] As discussed below, in some embodiments, the inventive air-cured batting is formed by applying a resin solution to a first batting surface and a second batting surface, then subjecting the solution-applied batting to air, thereby causing the resin solution to evaporate and thus forming the inventive batting embodiment. In some processes, the solution contains 15 to 60 vol. % of a resin comprising a cross-linked acrylic polymer, 20 to 80 vol. % of a fast- drying solvent that is soluble in water; and 0 to 70 vol. % water. These embodiments typically involve spraying an intermediate to the batting (e.g., a nonwoven web or a layered batting structure made up of two or more layered nonwoven webs) with (or otherwise applying to the intermediate) a solution that air-cures - it quickly dries (e.g., in some embodiments it dries within 5 to 20 minutes) and the resin adheres to fiber in the fiber mixture, leaving on the surfaces a cross-linked polymer that, together with the fiber mixture, forms a bonded batting. In other words, by virtue of the cross-linked polymer, fibers in the batting are held together that would not otherwise be held together, thereby resulting in an eco-friendly batting that does not require the taxing energy expenditures associated with heat treatment used to melt binder fibers or otherwise cure and bond together fibers for battings known in the art.

[0030] Embodiments of the inventive batting offer a low density, high loft, thermally insulative batting with desirable drape and compressibility characteristics suitable for use in articles including, inter alia, apparel (e.g., clothing such as cold weather clothing apparel, gloves, etc.), bedding (e.g., quilts and comforters), pillows, pads, and sleeping bags.

[0031] In some embodiments, the inventive air-cured batting comprises a single non-woven web that contains the fiber mixture. This is the case, for example, in FIG. 5, which is a simplified profile view of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting. The depicted batting 10 comprises a single nonwoven web 12. Batting 10 has a first surface 2 and second surface 4, which correspond to first and second surfaces of nonwoven web 12.

[0032] In other embodiments, the inventive batting comprises two or more non-woven webs, which are layered. This is the case, for example, in FIG. 6, which is a simplified profile view of an embodiment 20 of the inventive batting. The depicted batting 20 comprises three nonwoven webs, 12, 14, and 16, which are layered. Batting 20 has a first surface 2 and a second surface 4' . As can be seen, in layered batting 20, second surface 4' corresponds to a surface of nonwoven web 16. In the depicted embodiment 20, nonwoven webs 12 and 14 are in direct contact with one another, as are nonwoven webs 14 and 16.

[0033] In some embodiments, the inventive batting comprises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 nonwoven webs. Where a single nonwoven web is used in the batting, the batting may be referred to as a non-layered batting. Where a plurality (i.e., 2 or more) of nonwoven webs are used, the batting may be referred to as a layered batting. Where more than one nonwoven webs are present in the inventive batting, the fiber composition of the nonwoven webs may be the same or different.

[0034] In various embodiments, when the resin solution is applied to the first and second surfaces of the batting, it permeates into an inner portion of batting. Accordingly, in some batting embodiments, resin is present throughout an entire thickness (e.g., with reference to FIG. 2A, is present in the batting 10 throughout thickness X) of the batting. In some embodiments, the resin penetrates from a surface on which it is applied into the batting in a thickness direction of 0.5 to 30 mm (e.g., 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30 mm), including any and all ranges and subranges therein. For example, in some embodiments, the resin penetrates into the batting in a thickness direction of 0.5 to 30 mm (e.g., 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30 mm) from the first surface of the batting toward the second surface of the batting, including any and all ranges and subranges therein, and/or the resin penetrates into the batting in a thickness direction of 0.5 to 30 mm (e.g., 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30 mm) from the second surface of the batting toward the first surface of the batting, including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[0035] The inventive batting comprises: 75 to 97.5 wt % (e.g., 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, or 97.5 wt %), including any and all ranges and subranges therein, of a fiber mixture; and 2.5 to 25 wt % (e.g., 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, or 25 wt %), including any and all ranges and subranges therein, of a resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.

[0036] As used herein, the resin solution comprises an acrylic polymer (e.g., a self- crosslinking acrylic polymer). In various embodiments, the self-crosslinking acrylic polymer is a "cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate," which refers to a polymer that comprises structural units from the monomers butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate. Typically, cross-linked copolymers of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate result from polymerization of a reaction mixture that comprises monomers including butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.

[0037] In some embodiments, the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate contains carboxylic acid groups. In some embodiments, the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate does not contain hydroxyl groups.

[0038] In some embodiments, the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate does not contain any carbohydrate moieties. In some embodiments, the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate does not contain any non-polymerized monomers.

[0039] In some embodiments, the resin is an acrylic polymer according to, or sharing properties with any embodiment described herein, wherein the resin has one or more of the following attributes, including any combination thereof:

Is self-crosslinking;

Comprises the monomers butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate; Comprises a copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate;

- Does not contain any carbohydrate moieties;

- Does not contain formaldehyde;

- Does not contain alkylphenols (e.g., alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs));

- Has a pH of about 6.0 to about 10.0 (e.g., pH of 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, or 10.0), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., a pH of about 7.5-8.5); Comprises a nonionic and/or anionic emulsifier;

- Does not comprise a cationic compound or residue thereof;

- Has a solids content of 45% to 55%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein, e.g., 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, or 55 %;

- Has a glass transition temperature (Tg) of -30 °C to +30 °C (e.g., -30, -29, -28, - 27, -26, -25, -24, -23, -22, -21, -20, -19, -18, -17, -16, -15, -14, -13, -12, -11, - 10, -9, -8, -7, -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30 °C), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., -20 to 10 °C, -18 to 0 °C, etc.);

- Has a specific gravity of 0.90 to 1.20, including any and all ranges and

subranges therein, e.g., 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 0.95, 0.96, 0.97, 0.98, 0.99, 1.0, 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, 1.08, 1.09, 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, 1.19, or 1.20;

- Has a viscosity such that the resin is pourable;

Is not fully crosslinked;

Is of a nature such that, when applied to a surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure, it continues to cross-link (e.g., at room temperature), in some embodiments, even in the absence of formaldehyde;

Allows for soft hand feel, and good drape;

Is of a nature such that it is capable, upon being applied to the surface, of continuing to crosslink for hours, e.g., up to 48 hours, at 25 °C and ambient conditions;

Is dilutable in water;

- Has a boiling point of 205 °F to 220 °F, including any and all ranges and

subranges therein (e.g., 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, or 220 °F); - Has an evaporation rate slower than ether;

- Has a weight of 8 to 10 lb. /gal (e.g., 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, or 10.0 lb./gal), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 8.30 - 9.20 lb./gal);

Is stable, when contained, for at least 7 days at 25 °C (e.g., for at least 6 months or at least 12 months).

[0040] As will be clear to a person having ordinary skill in the art, in some embodiments of the inventive batting that comprise a single nonwoven web, the entirety of the fiber mixture and the resin may be comprised within the single nonwoven web (including on the first and second surfaces thereof). On the other hand, in embodiments comprising a plurality of nonwoven webs, the entirety of the fiber mixture and the resin may be comprised within the plurality of nonwoven webs (including on the first and second surfaces of the layered batting formed by the plurality of webs), although the distribution of resin may vary by layer.

Indeed, in some embodiments of multi-layered batting provided herewith, a nonwoven web that contributes the first or second surface of the batting will comprise a higher concentration of resin than a nonwoven web that is not adjacent to a first or second surface of the batting (e.g., in FIG. 6, nonwoven web 12 contributes first surface 2 of batting 20, and nonwoven web 16 contributes second surface 4' of the batting 20; in some embodiments, nonwoven webs 12 and 16 comprise higher concentrations of resin than interior nonwoven web 14).

[0041] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises synthetic fibers. Persons having ordinary skill in the art are readily familiar with many synthetic fibers, and it is well within their purview to select an appropriate synthetic fiber for use in inventive batting embodiments depending on desired properties of the batting and/or article within which it is intended to be employed. Embodiments of the inventive batting can comprise any synthetic fiber known in the art as being conducive to the preparation of textile materials. In some embodiments, nonexclusive synthetic fibers that may be used in the invention are selected from nylon, polyester, polypropylene, polylactic acid (PLA), poly(butyl acrylate) (PBA), polyamide, acrylic, acetate, polyolefin, nylon, rayon, lyocell, aramid, spandex, viscose, and modal fibers, and combinations thereof. In particular embodiments, synthetic fibers comprise polyester fibers. For example, in some embodiments, the polyester is selected from poly(ethylene terephthalate), poly(hexahydro-p-xylylene terephthalate), poly(butylene terephthalate), poly- 1,4-cyclohexelyne dimethylene (PCDT), polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT), and terephthalate copolyesters in which at least 85 mole percent of the ester units are ethylene terephthalate or hexahydro-p-xylylene terephthalate units. In a particular embodiment, the polyester is polyethylene terephthalate. In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise virgin fibers. In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise recycled fibers (e.g., recycled polyester fibers).

[0042] The fiber mixture comprises 0 to 100 wt% synthetic fibers, for example, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 wt%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 10 to 100 wt %, 30 to 100 wt %, 51 to 100 wt %, 40 to 90 wt %, 20 to 80 wt %, etc.). In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises greater than 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, or 75 wt % synthetic fiber.

[0043] Generally speaking, fibers may be crimped or uncrimped. Various crimps, including spiral and standard (e.g., planar) crimp, are known in the art.

[0044] In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers are staple fibers (i.e., fibers of

standardized length). For example, in some embodiments, the synthetic fibers have a staple length of 12 mm to 70 mm, for example, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, or 70 mm, including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[0045] While the fibers may be linear, optionally with crimp, in some embodiments, the inventive batting comprises fibers that have a desirable shape that is not linear or linear with crimp. While persons having ordinary skill in the art are familiar with various desirable shapes to choose for the fiber, which are contemplated as being used in embodiments of the invention, some non-limiting examples include Y-shaped fibers, bow-tie shaped fibers, etc.

[0046] Denier is a unit of measure defined as the weight in grams of 9000 meters of a fiber or yarn. It is a common way to specify the weight (or size) of the fiber or yarn. For example, polyester fibers that are 1.0 denier typically have a diameter of approximately 10 micrometers. Microdenier fibers are those having a denier of 1.0 or less, while macrodenier fibers have a denier greater than 1.0. [0047] In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers have a denier of 0.7 denier to 8.0 denier, including any and all ranges and subranges therein. For example, in some embodiments, the synthetic fibers have a denier of 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0,

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1,

4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2,

6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, or 8.0 denier, including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[0048] In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise microdenier fibers (e.g., fibers having a denier of 0.7 to 1.0 denier). In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise macro-denier fibers (e.g., fibers having a denier of 1.1 to 8.0 denier). In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise micro-denier fibers and macro-denier fibers.

[0049] In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise siliconized fibers. The term "siliconized" means that the fiber is coated with a silicon-comprising composition (e.g., a silicone). Siliconization techniques are well known in the art, and are described, e.g., in U.S. Patent No. 3,454,422. The silicon-comprising composition may be applied using any method known in the art, e.g., spraying, mixing, dipping, padding, etc. The silicon-comprising (e.g., silicone) composition, which may include an organosiloxane or polysiloxane, bonds to an exterior portion of the fiber. In some embodiments, the silicone coating is a polysiloxane such as a methylhydrogenpolysiloxane, modified methylhydrogenpolysiloxane,

polydimethylsiloxane, or amino modified dimethylpolysiloxane. As is known in the art, the silicon-comprising composition may be applied directly to the fiber, or may be diluted with a solvent as a solution or emulsion, e.g. an aqueous emulsion of a polysiloxane, prior to application. Following treatment, the coating may be dried and/or cured. As is known in the art, a catalyst may be used to accelerate the curing of the silicon-comprising composition (e.g., polysiloxane containing Si— H bonds) and, for convenience, may be added to a silicon- comprising composition emulsion, with the resultant combination being used to treat the synthetic fiber. Suitable catalysts include iron, cobalt, manganese, lead, zinc, and tin salts of carboxylic acids such as acetates, octanoates, naphthenates and oleates. In some

embodiments, following siliconization, the fiber may be dried to remove residual solvent and then optionally heated to between 65° and 200° C to cure.

[0050] In the fiber mixture, 0 to 100 wt% of the fibers are siliconized fibers, for example, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 wt%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 20 to 95 wt %, 25 to 90 wt %, 30 to 90 wt %, 40 to 85 wt %, 51 to 90 wt %, etc.). In some embodiments, the siliconized fibers are polyethylene fibers.

[0051] Durable water repellant (DWR) treatments are well known in the art, and provide water repellent properties to treated components. Persons having ordinary skill in the art are familiar with a variety of DWR treatments, any of which may optionally be used on fiber populations in connection with the present invention. In some embodiments, fibers used in the inventive batting (which may be referred to as DWR-treated fibers or water repellant fibers) have been treated with a polymer solution of zirconium acetate, which can impart durable water repellant properties while minimizing and/or avoiding negative effects on fiber performance. In some embodiments, fibers treated with a durable water repellant are treated with a water-repellant, bacterial-resistant, low friction cured zirconium acetate finish, such that the fibers have improved driability following washing and enhanced handle and resistance to clumping. An example of a zirconium acetate solution that may be used as a DWR treatment in connection with the present invention is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 4,537,594. In some embodiments, the fiber treated with a durable water repellant is treated in a wet bath or dry spraying process. In some embodiments, the treatment comprises a surface energy modification technique, which, as is known in the art, may include, e.g., plasma treatment. Such treatments or processes are explained in U.S. Patent No. 4,869,922, U.S. Patent No. 5,262,208, U.S. Patent No. 5,895,558, U.S. Patent No. 6,416,633, U.S. Patent No. 7,510,632, U.S. Patent No. 8,309,033, and U.S. Patent No. 8,298,627.

[0052] In some embodiments, synthetic fibers comprise up to 15 wt % of particles or material that is different from the synthetic material that the synthetic fiber is primarily comprised of. For example, in some embodiments, the synthetic fibers comprise 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3,

2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4,

4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5,

6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6,

8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 12.0, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8, 12.9, 13.0, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 13.9, 14.0, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8, 14.9, or 15.0 wt % of particles or material different from the synthetic material that the synthetic fiber is primarily comprised of, including any and all ranges and subranges therein. In some embodiments, said particles or material is comprised within (e.g., encapsulated within) a polymer matrix that represents the synthetic material of which the synthetic fiber is primarily comprised. In some embodiments, the synthetic fibers in the fiber mixture comprise aerogel fiber, as described in International Application Publication No. WO 2017/087511.

[0053] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture of the batting comprises natural fibers. For example, in some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises one or more members selected from wool, cotton, tencel, kapok (cotton-like fluff obtained from seeds of a Kapok tree, which may optionally be further processed before use), flax, animal hair, silk, and down (e.g., duck or goose down).

[0054] The fiber mixture comprises 0 to 100 wt% natural fibers, for example, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 wt%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 0 to 50 wt %, 1 to 40 wt %, 5 to 25 wt %, 30 to 60 wt %, etc.). In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises less than 50, 40, 30, 20, or 10 wt % natural fiber.

[0055] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises synthetic fibers and natural fibers.

[0056] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises:

50 to 90 wt % siliconized synthetic fibers (e.g., polyester fibers) (e.g., 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, or 90 wt %, including any and all ranges and subranges therein) having a staple length of 40 to 60 mm and a denier of 0.6 to 1.0 denier (e.g., 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, or 1.0 denier, including any and all ranges and subranges therein); 10 to 50 wt % non-siliconized fibers (e.g., natural and/or synthetic fibers such as polyester) (e.g., 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, or 50 wt %, including any and all ranges and subranges therein) having a staple length of 40 to 60 mm and a denier of 2.5 to 5.0 denier (e.g., 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, or 5.0 denier, including any and all ranges and subranges therein); and

- 0 to 40 wt % (e.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, or 40 wt %, including any and all ranges and subranges therein) siliconized macrodenier synthetic fibers (e.g., polyester fibers) having a staple length of 40 to 70 mm and a denier of greater than 1.0. In some embodiments, the siliconized macrodenier fibers have a denier of greater than or equal to 3.0.

[0057] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises:

- 35 to 80 wt % micro-denier fibers (e.g., 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, or 80 wt %), including any and all ranges and subranges therein; and

- 20 to 65 wt % macro-denier fibers (e.g., 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, or 65 wt %), including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

The microdenier and macrodenier fibers can individually be siliconized or nonsiliconized. For example: of the microdenier fibers, 0 to 100 wt% (e.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 wt%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein) of the fibers are siliconized; and of the macrodenier fibers, 0 to 100 wt% (e.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 wt%, including any and all ranges and subranges therein) of the fibers are siliconized.

[0058] As discussed above, the invention provides batting embodiments wherein, even in the absence of heat treatment (e.g., in the absence of any fibers melting and bonding to other fibers in the batting), fibers within the batting are sufficiently adhered to one another so as to form a discrete batting structure that has structural integrity and is capable of being handled and used as-is, without falling apart or otherwise compromising the structural integrity of the batting so as to make it unfit for end use. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the fiber mixture is free of binder fiber. In some embodiments, the nonwoven web is free of binder fiber. In some embodiments, the batting is free of binder fiber.

[0059] In some embodiments, the batting does not comprise any melted fibers.

[0060] In some embodiments, no fibers within the batting (or within a nonwoven web of the batting) are bonded to one another via the melting of a fiber in the fiber mixture. This is different from a case where the fiber mixture comprises, e.g., a binder fiber, and the web is heat treated so as to melt the binder fiber and cause it to bond to other fibers in the fiber mixture comprised within the nonwoven web. In some embodiments, no fibers within the batting are adhered to one another unless it is via the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate. In some embodiments, 90 wt% or more of fibers present in the batting (e.g., greater than or equal to 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99 wt%) are only adhered to one another via the resin comprising the cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.

[0061] While several embodiments discussed above are free of binder fiber or other thermally melted fibers, other inventive embodiments comprise binder fibers. For example, at times, a skilled artisan may wish to use the inventive concept of using the cross-linked polymer to form an ambient temperature air-cured batting wherein fibers are adhered via the resin, such that the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form, but to also use binder fiber. Indeed, while using the air-cured resin to impart structural integrity allows for elimination of binder fiber and heat treatment to form batting, in some embodiments, one may desire to simply reduce or supplement binder fiber and/or heat treatment used. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises binder fiber.

[0062] In some embodiments, the fiber mixture comprises 1 to 25 wt % synthetic binder fibers, said binder fibers having a bonding temperature lower than the softening temperature of synthetic polymeric fibers present in the mixture.

[0063] In some embodiments, the synthetic binder fibers make up, e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, or 25 wt % of the fiber mixture, including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[0064] In some embodiments, the synthetic binder fibers have a denier of 1.5 to 4.0 denier, e.g., 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, or 4.0 denier, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 2.0-2.2 denier).

[0065] In some embodiments, the binder fibers have a staple cut length of 38 to 105 mm, including any and all ranges and subranges therein. For example, in some embodiments, the length is 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, or 105 mm, including any and all ranges/subranges therein (e.g., 38-51 mm).

[0066] As indicated above, the binder fibers have a bonding temperature lower than the softening temperature of the synthetic fibers. In some embodiments, the binder fibers have a bonding temperature of less than or equal to 200 °C. In some embodiments, the binder fibers have a bonding temperature of 50 to 200 °C, including any and all ranges and subranges therein. In some embodiments, the binder fibers have a bonding temperature of 80 °C to 150 °C. In some embodiments, the binder fibers have a bonding temperature of 100 °C to 125 °C.

[0067] In some embodiments, the binder fibers comprise low-melt polyester fibers.

[0068] In some embodiments, the binder fibers are bicomponent fibers comprising a sheath and a core, wherein the sheath comprises a material having a lower melting point than the core.

[0069] The inventive batting, in some embodiments, has been heat treated so as to melt all or a portion of the binder fibers, thereby forming a thermally bonded web-type batting. Persons having ordinary skill in the art will understand that, in such embodiments, although "binder fibers" are recited in the fiber mixture of the batting, said fibers may be wholly or partially melted fibers, as opposed to binder fibers in their original, pre-heat treatment form.

[0070] As discussed above, the inventive batting comprises at least one nonwoven web. In some embodiments, the fiber content of the nonwoven web(s) consists of the fiber mixture.

[0071] Generally speaking, by adding nonwoven web layers to the batting, the thickness and insulative properties of the batting can be increased. In some embodiments, the batting has a thickness of 4 to 30 mm (e.g., 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30 mm), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 10 to 20 mm).

[0072] In some embodiments, the batting has a density of 0.9 to 8 kg/m 3 (e.g., 0.9, 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, or 8.0 kg/m 3 ), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 1 to 4 kg/m 3 , 1.5 to 7 kg/m 3 , 2 to 6 kg/m 3 , 2.5 to 5 kg/m 3 , etc.)

[0073] In some embodiments, the batting has a thermal performance rating of at least 0.70 clo/oz/yd 2 when tested according to ISO 11092. For example, in some embodiments, the batting has a thermal performance rating of 0.70 clo/oz/yd 2 to 0.95 clo/oz/yd 2 (e.g., 0.70, 0.71, 0.72, 0.73, 0.74, 0.75, 0.76, 0.77, 0.78, 0.79, 0.80, 0.81, 0.82, 0.83, 0.84, 0.85, 0.86, 0.87, 0.88, 0.89, 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, or 0.95 clo/oz/yd 2 ), including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[0074] In some embodiments of the inventive batting, the members of the fiber mixture are homogenously mixed, meaning, the fiber mixture has a substantially uniform (i.e., 90 - 100% uniform) composition.

[0075] FIG. 1 A is a top-view photograph of one embodiment 10 of the inventive batting according to the first aspect of the invention. The depicted batting 10 is a single non-woven web that comprises first surface 2 and second surface 4 (not pictured, but which is parallel to first surface 2, and which, in the depicted embodiment, faces the surface on which batting 10 is placed). In some embodiments, when batting 10 is contained within an article (e.g., as insulation), first surface 2 will face toward an outer portion (e.g., fabric or other material or liner) of the article, e.g., a jacket, and second surface 4 will face toward an inner portion (e.g., fabric or other material or liner) of the article. In other embodiments, first surface 2 faces toward an inner portion of an article and second surface 4 faces toward an outer portion of an article.

[0076] FIG. IB is a line drawing of the top-view photograph of the embodiment 10 of inventive batting depicted in FIG. 1 A.

[0077] FIG. 2A is a side-view photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting, wherein X is the thickness of the batting.

[0078] FIG. 2B is a line drawing of the side-view photograph of the embodiment 10 of inventive batting depicted in FIG. 2A.

[0079] FIG. 3 A is a photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting draped over a structure. As can be seen, the depicted batting 10 has good drape (i.e., the batting hangs under its own weight). A batting's drape has bearing on qualities such as comfort and aesthetics of an article within which batting is used.

[0080] FIG. 3B is a line drawing of the photograph in FIG. 3 A of embodiment 10 of inventive batting draped over a structure.

[0081] In some embodiments, the batting has a drape of 1.5 cm to 3.5 cm (e.g., 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, or 3.5 cm) including any and all ranges and subranges therein, as measured in accordance with Method ASTM D1388.

[0082] FIG. 4A is a profile-view photograph of an embodiment 10 of the inventive batting, wherein X is the thickness of the batting.

[0083] FIG. 4B is a line drawing of the photograph in FIG. 4A of a profile-view of embodiment 10 of inventive batting.

[0084] In some embodiments, the batting has a weight of 25 to 200 gsm (e.g., 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, or 200 gsm), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 25 to 100 gsm, 40 to 100 gsm, etc.).

[0085] In some embodiments, the batting is in sheet form (suitable for use as a rolled good) and has not been shredded.

[0086] In some embodiments, the batting does not comprise pigment. In some

embodiments, where the batting does comprise pigment, the pigment is not present in the resin (i.e., the pigment, if present in the batting, is not contributed by the resin).

[0087] In a second aspect, the invention provides an article comprising the inventive batting. Non-limiting examples of such articles include, for example, outerwear (e.g.

outerwear garments such as jackets, etc.), clothing, pillows, pads, sleeping bags, bedding (e.g., quilts, comforters), etc.

[0088] In a third aspect, the invention provides a method of making air-cured batting, said method comprising: forming a nonwoven web from a fiber mixture and, optionally, layering two or more web layers, thereby creating an intermediate batting insulation structure having a first surface and a second surface parallel to the first surface; applying to the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure a resin solution comprising:

15 to 60 vol. % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate;

20 to 80 vol. % of a fast-drying solvent that is soluble in water; and 0 to 70 vol. % water, thereby forming a solution-applied batting structure; and exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air, thereby causing solvent in the resin solution to evaporate and resin to cure, thus forming the air-cured batting comprising 75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture and 2.5 to 25 wt % of the resin, wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[0089] The fiber mixture can be any embodiment as described above in the first aspect of the invention.

[0090] In some embodiments (e.g., where binder fiber is present in the fiber mixture), the inventive method comprises heating the batting to or in excess of the bonding temperature of the binder fibers. In other embodiments, the inventive method of the third aspect of the invention does not comprise heating the batting to or in excess of the bonding temperature of binder fibers employed in the fiber mixture. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, embodiments of the inventive method of making air-cured batting that do not comprise a specified heating step apply to the final air-cured batting and also any intermediate batting structure thereof comprising the nonwoven web.

[0091] In some embodiments, the inventive method of making air-cured batting does not comprise a process step performed in excess of 48 °C. In some embodiments, the inventive method of making air-cured batting does not comprise a process step performed in excess of 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 °C.

[0092] In some embodiments, the inventive method does not comprise a bonding step that results in bonding or adhesion of fibers within the fiber mixture at a temperature in excess of 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, or 100 °C. [0093] In some embodiments, the nonwoven web is formed using a carding machine or air- lay process. Both techniques are well known by persons having ordinary skill in the art.

[0094] As mentioned above, the resin solution comprises:

15 to 60 vol. % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate. For example, in some embodiments, the solution comprises 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, or 60 vol. % of the resin, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 20 to 50 vol.%, 25 to 35 vol.%, etc.);

20 to 80 vol. % of a fast-drying solvent that is soluble in water. For example, in some embodiments, the solution comprises 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, or 80 vol. % of the fast-drying solvent, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 30 to 75 vol.%, 50 to 70 vol.%, etc.); and

0 to 70 vol. % water. For example, in some embodiments, the solution comprises 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, or 70 vol. % water, including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 0 to 50 vol.%, 1 to 30 vol.%, 2 to 20 vol.%. 5 to 15 vol.%, etc.).

[0095] As used herein, the fast-drying solvent refers to a solvent having an evaporation rate of greater than or equal to 1.3. The evaporation rate is the rate at which a material will vaporize (evaporate, change from liquid to vapor), measured by ASTM D3539-11 method, compared to the rate of vaporization of n-butyl acetate measured in the same conditions. This quantity is a ratio, therefore it is unitless. In some embodiments, the fast-drying solvent has an evaporation rate of greater than 1.3 (e.g., greater than 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0,

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1,

4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, or 5.0). For example, in some embodiments, the fast- drying solvent has an evaporation rate of greater than 3.0. [0096] The fast-drying solvent is soluble in water, which, for the purposes of this application, means that the solvent has a solubility of at least 8 grams per 100 mL of water at 20 °C (i.e., at least 8 mL of the solvent will dissolve in 100 mL water at 20 °C). In some embodiments, the solvent has a solubility of greater than or equal to 10 grams per 100 mL water at 20 °C (e.g., greater than or equal to 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99 grams solvent per 100 mL water at 20 °C).

[0097] In some embodiments, the fast-drying solvent is selected from isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, methanol, glyme, acetone, tetrahydrofuran, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl acetate, and ethyl acetate, and combinations thereof. In particular embodiments, the fast- drying solvent is isopropyl alcohol.

[0098] In some embodiments, the resin solution does not comprise pigment.

[0099] In some embodiments, applying the resin solution to the first and second surfaces of the intermediate batting insulation structure comprises spraying the solution onto the first and/or second surfaces. In some embodiments, during spraying, spray drops of the resin solution have an average median diameter of 150 to 250 μπι (e.g., 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, or 250 μπι), including any and all ranges and subranges therein.

[00100] In some embodiments, during said applying, spray nozzles traverse over the top and across the width of the first and second surfaces of the batting structure.

[00101] In some embodiments, applying the resin solution to the first and second surfaces of the intermediate batting insulation structure comprises applying via a bath or padding, both techniques being known in the art, the solution onto the first and/or second surfaces. [00102] In some embodiments, exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air comprises subjecting the solution-applied batting to forced air or circulated air. In some embodiments, said exposing comprises subjecting the solution-applied batting to forced air or circulated air having an air speed, at time of contact with the solution-applied batting, of at least 2.5 m/s, at least 3.0 m/s, or at least 3.5 m/s. In some embodiments, said exposing comprises subjecting the solution-applied batting to forced air or circulated air having an air speed, at time of contact with the solution-applied batting, of 2.5 to 15 m/s (e.g., 2.5, 2.6, 2.7,

2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8,

4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9,

7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0,

9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 12.0, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8, 12.9, 13.0, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 13.9, 14.0, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8, 14.9, or 15.0 m/s), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 2.5 to 12 m/s, 2.5 to 10 m/s, etc.).

[00103] In some embodiments, when exposed to forced air or circulated air having an air speed, at time of contact with the solution-applied batting, of 2.5 to 15 m/s (e.g., 2.5, 2.6, 2.7,

2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8,

4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9,

7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 9.0,

9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 12.0, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8, 12.9, 13.0, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 13.9, 14.0, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8, 14.9, or 15.0 m/s), including any and all ranges and subranges therein (e.g., 2.5 to 12 m/s, 2.5 to 10 m/s, etc.), the solution-applied batting structure dries within 3 to 60 minutes (e.g., 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, or 60 min), including any and all ranges and subranges there in (e.g., 5 to 30 minutes, 6 to 25 minutes, 7 to 15 minutes, etc.).

[00104] In some embodiments, the inventive method comprises, after forming the air-cured batting, winding the batting into roll good form. Such embodiments lend themselves toward, e.g., easy shipping of the batting. In some embodiments, the air-cured batting is wound up along with a nonwoven scrim layer and shipped in roll good form.

CLAUSES

[00105] In some embodiments, the invention provides a batting, article or method according to an embodiment of one of the following clauses:

Clause 1. Air-cured batting comprising a nonwoven web, said batting comprising:

75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture; and

2.5 to 25 wt % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate,

wherein the resin is present on a first surface of the batting, and on a second surface of the batting, the second surface being parallel to the first surface, and wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

Clause 2. The air-cured batting according to clause 1, wherein the batting is in the form of a sheet.

Clause 3. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the fiber mixture comprises natural fibers.

Clause 4. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the fiber mixture comprises synthetic fibers.

Clause 5. The air-cured batting according to clause 4, wherein the synthetic fibers comprise polyester fibers.

Clause 6. The air-cured batting according to clause 4 or clause 5, wherein the synthetic fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

Clause 7. The air-cured batting according to clause 6, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

25 to 90 wt % siliconized synthetic fibers. Clause 8. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

35 to 80 wt % microdenier fibers; and

20 to 65 wt % macrodenier fibers.

Clause 9. The air-cured batting according to clause 8, wherein the fiber mixture comprises:

50 to 75 wt % microdenier fibers; and

25 to 50 wt % macrodenier fibers.

Clause 10. The air-cured batting according to clause 8 or clause 9, wherein the microdenier fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

Clause 11. The air-cured batting according to any one of clauses 8-10, wherein the macrodenier fibers comprise siliconized fibers.

Clause 12. The air-cured batting according to clause 11, wherein the macrodenier fibers additionally comprise non-siliconized fibers.

Clause 13. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the fiber mixture comprises greater than 95 wt % polyester fibers.

Clause 14. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the air-cured batting does not comprise synthetic binder fibers.

Clause 15. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein the air-cured batting does not comprise melted fibers.

Clause 16. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, wherein greater than 95% of the fibers in the fiber mixture are staple fibers.

Clause 17. The air-cured batting according to clause 16, wherein the staple fibers have a staple length of 12 mm to 70 mm.

Clause 18. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, further comprising a scrim layer in contact with at least one of the first surface and the second surface. Clause 19. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, said batting comprising a plurality of nonwoven web layers.

Clause 20. The air-cured batting according to clause 19, wherein the plurality of

nonwoven web layers are crosslapped with one another.

Clause 21. The air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses, having a density of 1 to 8 kg/m 3 .

Clause 22. An article comprising the air-cured batting according to any one of the preceding clauses.

Clause 23. The article according to clause 22, wherein said article is selected from the group consisting of an outerwear product, clothing, a sleeping bag, and bedding.

Clause 24. A method of making the air-cured batting according to any one of clauses 1 to

21, said method comprising:

forming a nonwoven web from a fiber mixture and, optionally, layering two or more web layers, thereby creating an intermediate batting insulation structure having a first surface and a second surface parallel to the first surface;

applying to the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure a resin solution comprising:

15 to 60 vol. % of resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate;

20 to 80 vol. % of a fast-drying solvent that is soluble in water; and 0 to 70 vol. % water,

thereby forming a solution-applied batting structure; and

exposing the solution-applied batting structure to air, thereby causing solvent in the resin solution to evaporate and resin to cure, thus forming the air-cured batting comprising 75 to 97.5 wt % of fiber mixture and 2.5 to 25 wt % of the resin, wherein the resin is adhered to fibers of the fiber mixture, thereby forming a bonded structure, such that, by virtue of the resin, the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

Clause 25. The method according to clause 24, wherein the fast-drying solvent is

isopropyl alcohol. Clause 26. The method according to any one of clauses 24-25, wherein said forming a nonwoven web from the fiber mixture is performed using a carding machine or air-lay process.

Clause 27. The method according to any one of clauses 24-26, wherein said applying comprises spraying the resin solution on the first surface and the second surface of the intermediate batting insulation structure.

Clause 28. The method according to any one of clauses 24-27, wherein the method does not comprise heating the nonwoven web.

Clause 29. The method according to any one of clauses 24-27, wherein the method comprises heating the nonwoven web.

Clause 30. The method according to any one of clauses 24-29, wherein said exposing the solution-applied batting to air comprises subjecting the solution-applied batting to forced air or circulated air.

EXAMPLES

[00106] The invention will now be illustrated, but not limited, by reference to the specific embodiment described in the following example.

[00107] Example 1

[00108] A fiber mixture is prepared by mixing the following:

50% 0.9 Denier, 51mm siliconized PCR (post-consumer recycled) polyester staple fiber

25% 3.0 Denier, 51mm non-siliconized PCR polyester staple fiber

25% 6.6 Denier, 64mm siliconized PCR polyester staple fiber

After being mixed/blended, the fiber mixture is then processed into web form on a traditional carding machine to form a nonwoven web. The web is then sent through a cross-lapper in order to get the desired weight and thickness. The cross-lapped webbing is then sprayed with a resin solution (30 vol. % resin comprising a cross-linked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate; 60 vol. % isopropyl alcohol; 10 vol. % water), and sent through a room temperature 3 pass oven with the convection fans running to help expedite the drying process. The resin in the resin solution is a milky white pourable liquid that comprises a self- crosslinking crosslinked copolymer of butyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate that is formaldehyde and APEO free, has a pH of -8.0, a specific gravity of 1.04, a solids content of 49% +/- 1.00%, a Tg of -15 °, comprises a nonionic and/or anionic emulsifier, is dilutable in water, has a product weight of 8.34 - 9.17 lb. /gal, and has a boiling point of -212 °F. As the batting is going through the oven (or an alternative system allowing forced air to blown on the batting), the resin solution is sprayed on both sides of the insulation. The resin solution cures within 10-15 minutes, leaving a dry, air-cured batting wherein the resin adheres to fibers of the fiber mixture forming a bonded structure, such that the air-cured batting has structural integrity that imparts handleability of the batting in sheet form.

[00109] The example batting has a weight of 61 gsm (grams per square meter), a density of 1.34 g/m 3 , and a thickness of 5.99 mm.

[00110] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular

embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprise" (and any form of comprise, such as "comprises" and "comprising"), "have" (and any form of have, such as "has" and "having"), "include" (and any form of include, such as "includes" and "including"), "contain" (and any form contain, such as "contains" and "containing"), and any other grammatical variant thereof, are open-ended linking verbs. As a result, a method or article that "comprises", "has", "includes" or "contains" one or more steps or elements possesses those one or more steps or elements, but is not limited to possessing only those one or more steps or elements. Likewise, a step of a method or an element of an article that "comprises", "has", "includes" or "contains" one or more features possesses those one or more features, but is not limited to possessing only those one or more features.

[00111] As used herein, the terms "comprising," "has," "including," "containing," and other grammatical variants thereof encompass the terms "consisting of and "consisting essentially of."

[00112] The phrase "consisting essentially of or grammatical variants thereof when used herein are to be taken as specifying the stated features, integers, steps or components but do not preclude the addition of one or more additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof but only if the additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed compositions or methods.

[00113] All publications cited in this specification are herein incorporated by reference as if each individual publication were specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference herein as though fully set forth.

[00114] Subject matter incorporated by reference is not considered to be an alternative to any claim limitations, unless otherwise explicitly indicated.

[00115] Where one or more ranges are referred to throughout this specification, each range is intended to be a shorthand format for presenting information, where the range is understood to encompass each discrete point within the range as if the same were fully set forth herein.

[00116] While several aspects and embodiments of the present invention have been described and depicted herein, alternative aspects and embodiments may be affected by those skilled in the art to accomplish the same objectives. Accordingly, this disclosure and the appended claims are intended to cover all such further and alternative aspects and

embodiments as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.