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Title:
TACKY ALLERGEN TRAP AND FILTER MEDIUM, AND METHOD FOR CONTAINING ALLERGENS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/012333
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention provides a specific filtration media which includes a substrate having cellulose fibers, bicomponent fibers, adhesion fibers, binder, and pressure sensitive adhesive. Also contemplated are fire retardant filtration media containing bicomponent fibers and polyester fibers or acrylic fibers, and optionally cellulose fibers. The cellulose fibers of the invention are pretreated with flame retardant, providing a beneficial material for filtration purposes.

Inventors:
SKIRIUS, Stephen, A. (348 Duscoe Cove, Collierville, TN, 38017, US)
ROBERTS, John, H. (1950 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN, 38104, US)
BOEHMER, Brian (1817 Talisker Drive, Cordova, TN, 38016, US)
MOOSE, Laurence, A., Jr. (3668 Stonetrace Circle, Bartlett, TN, 38135, US)
NAMITHA, Sundara, R. (2263 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN, 38104, US)
Application Number:
US2008/070222
Publication Date:
January 22, 2009
Filing Date:
July 16, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BKI HOLDING CORPORATION (300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 900Wilmington, DE, 19081, US)
SKIRIUS, Stephen, A. (348 Duscoe Cove, Collierville, TN, 38017, US)
ROBERTS, John, H. (1950 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN, 38104, US)
BOEHMER, Brian (1817 Talisker Drive, Cordova, TN, 38016, US)
MOOSE, Laurence, A., Jr. (3668 Stonetrace Circle, Bartlett, TN, 38135, US)
NAMITHA, Sundara, R. (2263 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN, 38104, US)
International Classes:
A47C27/00; D04H13/00
Domestic Patent References:
2006-10-12
2000-11-30
Foreign References:
EP1661503A22006-05-31
EP0480724A11992-04-15
US20020148047A12002-10-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FEHLNER, Paul, F. et al. (Baker Botts L.L.P, 30 Rockefeller PlazaNew York, NY, 10112-4498, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A filtration media comprising a woven or nonwoven substrate which contains: i) cellulose fibers; ii) bicomponent fibers; iii) adhesion fibers; iv) binder; and v) pressure sensitive adhesive, wherein the substrate is airlaid.

2. The filtration media of claim 1, wherein the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 150 gsm.

3. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate exhibits a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 8 at 472 CFM.

4. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate has a basis weight of from about 200 gsm to about 300 gsm.

5. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate exhibits a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 10 at 472 CFM.

6. A filtration media comprising a woven or nonwoven substrate which contains: i) cellulose fibers pretreated with pressure sensitive adhesive binder; ii) bicomponent fibers; iii) adhesion fibers; iv) binder; and v) pressure sensitive adhesive binder.

7. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive binder of (v) is applied as a separate layer to the substrate.

8. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm.

9. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cellulose fiber is pretreated with the pressure sensitive adhesive binder prior to forming the substrate.

10. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is an acrylate, a polyurethane, a poly-alpha-olefϊn, a silicone, or a self-tacky or tackified natural or synthetic rubber.

11. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is an acrylate, a polyurethane, a poly-alpha-olefin, a silicone, or a self-tacky or tackified natural or synthetic rubber.

12. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is an essentially no-tacky adhesive tackified with a resin.

13. The tacky material of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is a substantially non-tacky acrylate tackified with a rosin ester, an aliphatic resin, or a terpene resin.

14. The filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is an essentially no-tacky adhesive tackified with a resin.

15. The tacky material of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the pressure sensitive adhesive is a substantially non-tacky acrylate tackified with a rosin ester, an aliphatic resin, or a terpene resin.

16. The tacky material of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate exhibits a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 9 at 472 CFM.

17. A fire retardant filtration media comprising a substrate which contains i) polyester fibers having low combustibility; and ii) bicomponent fibers.

18. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate has a basis weight of about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm.

19. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising cellulose fibers pretreated with flame retardant.

20. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the flame retardant is Flovan.

21. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate has a basis weight of about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm.

22. The fire retardant of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate when subjected to a burn test, self-extinguished and shrank away from the flame.

23. A fire retardant filtration media comprising a substrate which contains i) acrylic fibers; and ii) bicomponent fibers.

24. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate further comprises an amino-siloxane water proofing agent.

25. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the substrate further comprises cellulose fibers pretreated with flame retardant.

26. The fire retardant filtration media of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the flame retardant is Flovan.

27. A filtration medium comprising: (a) a substrate having a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 500 gsm comprising, based on the total weight of the substrate, from about 30 weight percent to about 95 weight percent matrix fibers and from about 5 weight percent to about 70 weight percent of a binder in a multilayer structure comprising

(al) a first layer containing synthetic fibers and having a top surface and a bottom surface,

(a2) a second layer having a top surface and a bottom surface, the second layer containing cellulosic fibers and binder with the top surface of the second layer contacting the bottom surface of the first layer,

(b) optionally, a dusting layer of latex on the bottom surface of the second layer having an outer surface, and

(c) a pressure sensitive adhesive add-on, and

(d) a scrim having a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 200 gsm comprising fibers having a diameter of about 1 micron or less, wherein the scrim is positioned in contact with the bottom surface of the second layer or the outer surface of the dusting layer

28. The filtration medium of claim 27, wherein the scrim comprises nanofibers having a diameter of about 0.01 microns to about 0.5 microns.

29. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-28, wherein the scrim comprises electrospun nanofibers.

30. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-29, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is selected from the group consisting of 3M Fasbond™ Insulation Adhesive 49, DUR-O-SET®, FLEXCRYL® 1625, and NACOR® 38-088A.

31. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-30, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used as a 10% mixture solids content.

32. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-31, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used as a 15% mixture solids content.

33. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-32, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used as a 20% mixture solids content.

34. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-33, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used in an amount of about 20 gsm.

35. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-34, wherein the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used in an amount of about 30 gsm.

36. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-35, wherein the substrate exhibits a MERV of 8 at 1968 cfm.

37. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-36, wherein the substrate exhibits a MERV of 10 at 1968 cfm.

38. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-37, wherein the substrate exhibits a MERV of 11 at 1968 cfm.

39. The filtration medium of one of claims 27-28, wherein the substrate is configured in a pleated construction comprising a plurality of individual pleats.

40. The filtration medium of claim 39, wherein the pleated construction is configured with at least about 20 pleats.

41. The filtration medium of claim 39, wherein the pleated construction is configured with at least about 24 pleats.

Description:

TACKYALLERGEN TRAP AND FILTERMEDIUM, AND METHOD FORCONTAINING ALLERGENS CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Application Serial No. 1 1/779,751, filed July 18, 2007, and to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/950,269, filed July 17, 2007. The teachings of these referenced applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to nonwoven materials. The invention further relates to nonwoven substrates which provide one or more allergen-retaining layers for trapping dust mites or other allergens into and out of cushioning material. The invention also relates to a process for the manufacture of a filtration medium employing a nonwoven substrate having at least one stratum bearing a tacky adhesive for trapping allergens.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Some humans experience sensitivities or allergic reactions to airborne micro- particles. Such particles may be feline-spawned allergens such as cat dander. Other particles may be, for example, dust mites or the feces or exoskeleton of dust mites. Dust mites are of particular concern due to their propensity to propagate in cushioning materials such as mattresses, pillows and furniture cushions. Dust mites are arachnids, and belong to the subclass acari. There are two common dust mites: the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) and the European house dust mite (D. pteronyssinus). Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found where they live. They are extremely small, being only about 100-1000 μ. Moreover, dust mites are virtually transparent and can be difficult to see without sophisticated microscopy. Dust mite feces and exoskeletal particles are even smaller, and can be 10 to 20 microns.

It is now generally accepted that dust mites, dust mite feces and other microscopic allergens are a significant cause of many asthmatic and allergic reactions

in the home. Such micro-particles may be inhaled by a human coming into contact with infested pillows or bedding. To reduce exposure to dust mite allergens, various suggestions have been made for covering bedding in covers which act as a barrier to the passage of allergens. In this respect, it is known to cover allergen-bearing articles such as mattresses and cushions with a cover which serves as a dust-mite barrier.

Such coverings define plastic materials or finely woven materials having openings of a size sufficiently small to inhibit the passage of dust mites there through. For instance, U.S. Patent No. 5,050,256 discloses an allergen-barrier bedding cover made from a coated fabric. The fabric is said to have a pore size of less than 10 microns to prevent the passage of dust mites. The fabric is sewn to form the cover and the seams are sealed with an additional coating of polyurethane. U.S. Patent No. 5,321,861 discloses a protective cover for upholstered or padded articles. The cover is made from a microporous ultrafilter material having pores of less than 0.5 microns. To eliminate possible leakage of allergens through the seams or zipper closure, the cover is constructed using high frequency welding, and the zipper is covered by an adhesive tape.

U.S. Patent No. 6,017,601 entitled Allergen-Barrier Cover presents a cover fabricated from a multi-layered fabric material. The material defines meltblown and spunbonded layers made from polypropylene which permits the passage of air but is said to be impermeable to the passage of water and of dust mites.

It is noted that the solutions offered from the above patents primarily attempt to trap dust mites within an allergen-carrying article, but do not seek to eliminate them. Further, the solutions do not enhance the cushioning or comfort of the user on the allergen-carrying article as would be offered by a nonwoven-based article. Conventional miticides (or acaricides) based upon organophosphate compounds have been used for the extermination of mites. Such compounds are typically diluted in an aqueous spray. However, such compounds, while effective in eradicating mite infestations outdoors such as in farms, are not feasible for indoor use.

In this respect, such acaricides are toxic to humans, and the extermination of mites by spraying of miticide chemicals has the side-effect of polluting the inhabited environment while also posing a toxicity risk for humans, particularly children and infants, as well as cats. Further, organophosphate acaricides cannot be used on beddings and, therefore the mites are left undisturbed in their main living site.

It is proposed here to provide a nonwoven structure having a tacky characteristic as a trap or filtering medium for allergens. In addition, a method for trapping allergens using a tacky material around an allergen carrying article is provided. Also provided herein is a "tacky material" defining a substrate which receives a tacky adhesive for trapping micro-sized particles such as dust mites.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The benefits and advantages of the present invention are achieved by a woven or nonwoven material, which could also be characterized as a composite fibrous material or pad, with adhesive properties.

In one aspect of the present invention, a filtration media is provided having a woven or nonwoven substrate which contains cellulose fibers, bicomponent fibers, adhesion fibers, binder, and pressure sensitive adhesive, wherein the substrate is airlaid. In certain embodiments, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 150 gsm and exhibits a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 8 at 472 CFM. In other embodiments, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 200 gsm to about 300 gsm, exhibiting a Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 10 at 472 CFM.

In a different embodiment, the present inventions provides for a filtration media with a woven or nonwoven substrate which contains cellulose fibers pretreated with pressure sensitive adhesive binder, bicomponent fibers, adhesion fibers, binder, and pressure sensitive adhesive binder. In a specific embodiment, the pressure sensitive adhesive binder is applied as a separate layer to the substrate.

In certain aspects of the filtration media, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm. In one aspect, the substrate exhibits a

Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) of 9 at 472 CFM. In other aspects, the cellulose fiber is pretreated with the pressure sensitive adhesive binder prior to forming the substrate. In one aspect, the pressure sensitive adhesive is an acrylate, a polyurethane, a poly-alpha-olefin, a silicone, or a self-tacky or tackified natural or synthetic rubber. In an other embodiment, the pressure sensitive adhesive is an essentially no-tacky adhesive tackified with a resin. In a different embodiment, the pressure sensitive adhesive is a substantially non-tacky acrylate tackified with a rosin ester, an aliphatic resin, or a terpene resin.

In another aspect of the invention, the fire retardant filtration media is provided that includes a substrate which contains polyester fibers having low combustibility; and bicomponent fibers. In a specific embodiment, the substrate has a basis weight of about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm. In other embodiments, the substrate also contains cellulose fibers pretreated with flame retardant. In specific embodiments, the flame retardant is Flovan. The substrates of the invention when subjected to a burn test, self-extinguish and shrink away from the flame.

In a different aspect of the invention, the fire retardant filtration media is provided that includes a substrate which contains acrylic fibers; and bicomponent fibers. In a specific aspect, the fire retardant filtration media further comprises an amino-siloxane water proofing agent.

In another aspect of the present invention, a filtration medium is provided having a substrate with a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 500 gsm based on the total weight of the substrate, from about 30 weight percent to about 95 weight percent matrix fibers and from about 5 weight percent to about 70 weight percent of a binder in a multilayer structure. The multilayer structure contains a first layer containing synthetic fibers and having a top surface and a bottom surface, a second layer having a top surface and a bottom surface, the second layer containing cellulosic fibers and binder with the top surface of the second layer contacting the bottom surface of the first layer, optionally, a dusting layer of latex on the bottom surface of the second layer having an outer surface, a pressure sensitive adhesive add-on, and a scrim having a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 200 gsm with fibers having a diameter of about 1 micron or less, wherein the scrim is positioned in contact with the bottom surface of the second layer or the outer surface of the dusting layer In specific embodiments, the scrim contains nanofibers having a diameter of about 0.01 microns to about 0.5 microns. In other embodiments, the scrim contains electrospun nanofibers.

In one aspect of the filtration medium, the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is selected from the group consisting of 3M Fasbond™ Insulation Adhesive 49, DUR- O-SET®, FLEXCRYL® 1625, and NACOR® 38-O88A. In one embodiment, the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used as a 10% mixture solids content, a 15% mixture solids content, or a 20% mixture solids content. In certain aspects, the pressure-sensitive adhesive add-on is used in an amount of about 20 gsm, or more preferably in an amount of about 30 gsm.

In various embodiments of the present invention, the substrate of the filtration medium exhibits a MERV of 8 at 1968 cfm, preferably a MERV of 10 at 1968 cfm, and more preferably a MERV of 11 at 1968 cfm.

The substrate of the filtration medium may be configured in a pleated construction comprising a plurality of individual pleats, wherein the pleated construction is configured with at least about 20 pleats or with at least 24 pleats.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 presents a perspective view of a multistrata substrate tacky material 100. Figure 1 depicts a top layer or strata 10; the tacky material 100, with an upper intermediate stratum 20, top surface 22, and bottom surface 24. Figure 1 also shows a lower intermediate nonwoven material layer 30, with a top surface 32 and bottom surface 34. Also shown is a release liner 40 and a light-weight container 50. The light-weight container 50 has a water-tight interior 52, a removable sealing member 58 and an upper lip 56.

Figure 2 presents a photograph of a padformed sample taken at a magnification of 150X. Figure 3 shows a scanning electron micrograph of a padformed sample with dust retention taken at a magnification of 15OX. Figure 4 is a micrograph of a cross-section of a Pilot Plant sample of NTL3,

Substrate 1 coated with the Flexcryl 1625 adhesive. The image is magnified at 9OX. Figure 5 is a micrograph of a cross-section of a Pilot Plant sample of NTL3, Substrate 1 coated with the Flexcryl 1625 adhesive. The image is magnified at 9OX. Figure 6 is a micrograph image of an NTL3 layer after a 25 day test period where the magnification is set at 150X.

Figure 7 provides a micrograph of the layers after 25 days of use at a magnification of 400X. Figure 8 provides a micrograph of the layers after 25 days of use at a magnification of 800X. Figure 9 provides a still image of an NTL3 substrate with American house dust mites. All but 2 dust mites (circled) were immobilized by an NTL3 adhesive barrier.

Figure 10 provides a still image from a video showing all dust mites moving freely on a mattress encasement product without adhesive.

Figure 11 presents a micrograph showing a dried dust mite a dust mite larva trapped by an NTL3 substrate 1 barrier material at 200X magnification. Figure 12 presents a micrograph showing a dust mite trapped by an NTL3 substrate 1 barrier material at 180 magnification. Figure 13 presents a micrograph showing the filter media having captured 200 mesh activated carbon applied to an NTL3 Substrate 1 barrier fabric at a magnification of 60X.

Figure 14 presents a micrograph showing the filter media having captured 200 mesh activated carbon applied to an NTL3 Substrate 1 barrier fabric at a magnification of 250X.

Figure 15 shows an image of a representative frame used for ASHRAE 52.2 testing at Blue Heaven Technologies.

Figure 16 provides a scanning electron micrograph of NTL3 taken at a magnification of 2000X illustrating dust re- wetting capability of FLEXCRYL® 1625. Figure 17 provides a scanning electron micrograph of NTL3 taken at a magnification of 1500X illustrating dust re-wetting capability of FLEXCRYL® 1625.

Figures 18A-D provide graphical representations of data for initial airflow resistance (in WG) testing for substrates AFMl (Figure 18A), AFM2 (Figure 18B), AFM3 (Figure 18C), and AFM2X2 (Figure 18D). Data is provided as Airflow in CFM over resistance in WG.

Figures 19A-D provide graphical representations of data for particle removal efficiency testing for substrates AFMl (Figure 19A), AFM2 (Figure 19B), AFM3 (Figure 19C), and AFM2X2 (Figure 19D). Data is provided as removal efficiency in percentage over particle diameter in micromolar. Figure 20 provides a secondary electron image of dosed substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 1OkV at a working distance of 0.0134 meters. The substrate was dosed with imitation dust and then sputter-coated with gold using the

Emitech® K550X Sputter Coate.

Figure 21 provides a secondary electron image of dosed substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 1 OkV at a working distance of 0.0134 meters. The substrate was dosed with imitation dust and then sputter-coated with gold using the

Emitech® K550X Sputter Coate.

Figure 22 illustrates this dust-capturing capability of the substrate similar to the NTL4-Roll 2 media. The substrate was sputter coated with gold using the

Emitech® K550X Sputter Coater. A secondary electron image, Figure 22, was captured at a magnification of 1500X at an accelerating voltage of 15kV at a working distance of 0.0100 meters.

Figure 23 is representative of a gold-coated sample of the substrate taken at a magnification of 9OX at an accelerating voltage of 15kV and a working distance of

0.0118 meters.

Figure 24 is a secondary image of a substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 12kV at working distances ranging from 0.01200 meters to 0.0132 meters.

This figure is representative of the pre-treated fluff prior to dosing with dust. Figure 25 is a secondary image of a substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 12kV at working distances ranging from 0.01200 meters to 0.0132 meters. This figure is representative of the pre-treated fluff prior to dosing with dust.

Figure 26 is a secondary image of a substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 12kV at working distances ranging from 0.01200 meters to 0.0132 meters. This figures is representative of the dosed fluff fibers.

Figure 27 is a secondary image of a substrate captured at an accelerating voltage of 12kV at working distances ranging from 0.01200 meters to 0.0132 meters.

This figures is representative of the dosed fluff fibers.

Figure 28 is an image of the flame-facing surface of Sample 16 substrate after subjection to the flame.

Figure 29 illustrates the nature of the flame-facing surface of the handsheet after exposure to the flame.

Figure 30 provides an image of a 20-pleat sample (M08-5-20). Figure 31 provides an image of a 24-pleat sample (M08-1-40).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention advantageously provides for a nonwoven substrate, which provides allergen-retaining layers capable of trapping various allergens. The invention provides for a tacky material comprising the substrate with a tacky adhesive for use in a variety of filter type applications. In certain embodiments, the substrate may optionally contain a pest control substance. These and other aspects of the invention are discussed more in the detailed description and examples. The terms used in this specification generally have their ordinary meanings in the art, within the context of this invention and in the specific context where each

term is used. Certain terms are defined below to provide additional guidance in describing the compositions and methods of the invention and how to make and use them.

Definitions As used herein, the term "matrix fiber" refers to any natural or synthetic fiber, or mixtures thereof. Natural fibers may include cellulose-based fibers such as those derived from wood pulp or cotton linter pulp. The term "substrate" may refer to a single layer of material or multiple layers of material bonded together. The term "tacky adhesive" refers to an adhesive that is either inherently tacky, or has been tackified by mixture with or application of a tackifier. "Allergen-carrying articles" means any material in which dust-mites may reside or populate. Non-limiting examples of such items include but are not limited to mattresses, pillows, bolsters, duvets, quilts, articles of clothing, including for example the insulating lining of jackets, sleeping bags, furniture, furniture cushions, cushions used in boats and recreational vehicles and any other upholstered or padded item which may harbor dust mites and related allergens.

The term "tack" refers to a sticky or adhesive quality or condition. A "tacky material" is any substance that is capable of holding materials together in a functional manner by surface attachment that resists separation.

The term "pressure sensitive adhesive" means an adhesive material which bonds to adhered surfaces at room temperature immediately as low pressure is applied, or which requires only pressure application to effect permanent adhesion to an adherent. The term "release layer" may be used interchangeably with the terms liner, release film, release liner and release sheet.

The term "weight percent" is meant to refer to the quantity by weight of a compound in the material as a percentage of the weight of the material or to the quantity by weight of a constituent in the material as a percentage of the weight of the final nonwoven product.

The term "basis weight" as used herein refers to the quantity by weight of a compound over a given area. Examples of the units of measure include grams per square meter as identified by the acronym (gsm).

As used in the specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a compound" includes mixtures of compounds.

The term "about" or "approximately" means within an acceptable error range for the particular value as determined by one of ordinary skill in the art, which will depend in part on how the value is measured or determined, i.e., the limitations of the measurement system. For example, "about" can mean within 3 or more than 3 standard deviations, per the practice in the art. Alternatively, "about" can mean a range of up to 20%, preferably up to 10%, more preferably up to 5%, and more preferably still up to 1% of a given value. Alternatively, particularly with respect to biological systems or processes, the term can mean within an order of magnitude, preferably within 5-fold, and more preferably within 2-fold, of a value.

Allergen Trap Substrate

An allergen trap is disclosed herein. The allergen trap is generally referred to herein as a "tacky material." The tacky material serves as a filtering medium for capturing allergens. Preferably, the tacky material serves to capture dust mites by providing a tacky characteristic to a layer or a "matrix" of fibers. The tacky material may define a structure for covering an allergen-bearing material such as a bed mattress, it may define a filtering medium in an air or other fluid filtering device, or may serve other micro-particle-trapping functions.

The tacky material first includes a substrate. The substrate may be fabricated or derived or made from woven or nonwoven fibers. In one specific embodiment, the substrate is made from nonwoven fibers. A wide variety of natural and synthetic fibers are suitable for use as matrix fibers for the substrate. Preferred matrix fibers are cellulosic fibers, though synthetic fibers or a mixture of cellulosic and synthetic fibers may be employed. In one aspect, the matrix fibers are any synthetic or cellulosic fiber that does not melt or dissolve to any degree during the formation or bonding of the nonwoven fibers.

Cellulosic fibrous materials suitable for use in the substrate of the present invention include both softwood fibers and hardwood fibers. See M. J. Kocurek & C.

F. B, Stevens, Pulp and Paper Manufacture— Vol. 1: Properties of Fibrous Raw Materials and Their Preparation for Pulping, The Joint Textbook Committee of the

Paper Industry, pp. 182 (1983),which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Exemplary, though not exclusive, types of softwood pulps are derived from

slash pine, jack pine, radiata pine, loblolly pine, white spruce, lodgepole pine, redwood, and Douglas fir. North American southern softwoods and northern softwoods may be used, as well as softwoods from other regions of the world.

Hardwood fibers may be obtained from oaks, genus Quercus, maples, genus Acer, poplars, genus Populus, or other commonly pulped species. In general, softwood fibers are preferred due to their longer fiber length as measured by T 233 cm-95, and southern softwood fibers are most preferred due to a higher coarseness as measured by T 234 cm-84, which leads to greater intrinsic fiber strength as measured by breaking load relative to either northern softwood or hardwood fibers. One particularly suitable cellulose fiber is bleached Kraft southern pine fibers sold under the trademark FOLEY FLUFFS ® (Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, Tennessee). Also preferred is cotton linter pulp, chemically modified cellulose such as cross-linked cellulose fibers and highly purified cellulose fibers, such as Buckeye HPF, each available from Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, Tennessee. Other suitable cellulose fibers include those derived from Esparto grass, bagasse, jute, ramie, kenaff, sisal, abaca, hemp, flax and other lignaceous and cellulosic fiber sources.

The fibrous material may be prepared from its natural state by any pulping process including chemical, mechanical, thermomechanical (TMP) and chemithermomechanical pulping (CTMP). These industrial processes are described in detail in R. G. Macdonald & J. N. Franklin, Pulp and Paper Manufacture in 3 volumes; 2 nd Edition, Volume 1: The Pulping of Wood, 1969; Volume 2: Control,

Secondary Fiber, Structural Board, Coating, 1969, Volume 3: Papermaking and

Paperboard Making, 1970, The joint Textbook Committee of the Paper Industry, and in M. J. Kocurek & C. F. B. Stevens, Pulp and Paper Manufacture, Vol. 1: Properties of Fibrous Raw Materials and Their Preparation for Pulping, The Joint Textbook

Committee of the Paper Industry, p. 182 (1983)., both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. Preferably, the fibrous material is prepared by a chemical pulping process, such as a Kraft or sulfite process. The Kraft process is especially preferred. Pulp prepared from a southern softwood by a Kraft process is often called SSK. In a similar manner, southern hardwood, northern softwood and northern hardwood pulps are designated SHK, NSK & NHK, respectively. Bleached pulp, which is fibers that have been delignified to very low levels of lignin, are preferred, although unbleached Kraft fibers may be preferred for some applications

due to lower cost, especially if alkaline stability is not an issue. Thermomechanical cellulose fiber may be used. Desirably, the cellulose fiber for use as a matrix fiber has been derived from a source which is one or more of Southern Softwood Kraft, Northern Softwood Kraft, hardwood, eucalyptus, mechanical, recycle and rayon, but preferably Southern Softwood Kraft, Northern Softwood Kraft, or a mixture thereof, and more preferably, Southern Softwood Kraft.

The cellulose or fluff fibers may be blended with synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, polyethylene or polypropylene. Alternatively, only synthetic fibers may be employed in the substrate. Synthetic fibers suitable for use as a matrix fiber include cellulose acetate, polyolefins (including polyethylene and polypropylene), nylon, polyester (including polyethylene terephthalate (PET)), vinyl chloride, and regenerated cellulose such as viscose rayon, glass fibers, ceramic fibers, and the various bicomponent fibers known in the art. While bicomponent fibers may serve as matrix fibers in the nonwoven material of this invention, they will be more fully described and discussed below in the context of their role as a binder fiber.

Other synthetic fibers suitable for use in various embodiments as matrix fibers or as bicomponent binder fibers for the substrate include fibers made from various polymers including, by way of example and not by limitation, acrylic, polyamides (such as, for example, Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6, Nylon 12, polyaspartic acid, polyglutamic acid, and so forth), polyamines, polyimides, polyacrylics (such as, for example, polyacrylamide, polyacrylonitrile, esters of methacrylic acid and acrylic acid, and so forth), polycarbonates (such as, for example, polybisphenol A carbonate, polypropylene carbonate, and so forth), polydienes (such as, for example, polybutadiene, polyisoprene, polynorbornene, and so forth), polyepoxides, polyesters (such as, for example, polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, polytrimethylene terephthalate, polycaprolactone, polyglycolide, polylactide, polyhydroxybutyrate, polyhydroxyvalerate, polyethylene adipate, polybutylene adipate, polypropylene succinate, and so forth), polyethers (such as, for example, polyethylene glycol (polyethylene oxide), polybutylene glycol, polypropylene oxide, polyoxymethylene (paraformaldehyde), polytetramethylene ether

(polytetrahydrofuran), polyepichlorohydrin, and so forth), polyfluorocarbons, formaldehyde polymers (such as, for example, urea-formaldehyde, melamine- formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde, and so forth), natural polymers (such as, for example, cellulosics, chitosans, lignins, waxes, and so forth), polyolefins (such as, for

example, polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, polybutene, polyoctene, and so forth), polyphenylenes (such as, for example, polyphenylene oxide, polyphenylene sulfide, polyphenylene ether sulfone, and so forth), silicon containing polymers (such as, for example, polydimethyl siloxane, polycarbomethyl silane, and so forth), polyurethanes, polyvinyls (such as, for example, polyvinyl butyral, polyvinyl alcohol, esters and ethers of polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl acetate, polystyrene, polymethylstyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl pryrrolidone, polymethyl vinyl ether, polyethyl vinyl ether, polyvinyl methyl ketone, and so forth), polyacetals, polyarylates, and copolymers (such as, for example, polyethylene-co-vinyl acetate, polyethylene-co-acrylic acid, polybutylene terephthalate-co-polyethylene terephthalate, polylauryllactam-block-polytetrahydrofuran, and so forth).

The matrix fibers desirably are present in the substrate in an amount of from about 30 percent by weight to about 95 percent by weight based on the total weight of the material, more desirably, from about 55 percent to about 95 percent by weight, or from about 55 percent to about 90 percent by weight based on the total weight of the material, preferably in an amount of about 75 percent by weight to about 95 percent by weight.

As noted, the fiber matrix in the substrate may optionally include a binder. Binders suitable for use in the nonwoven material may be various bicomponent binder fibers or mixtures thereof, various latices or mixtures thereof, or bicomponent fibers or mixtures thereof in combination with various latices or mixtures thereof, which may be thermoplastic, thermosetting or a mixture thereof. Thermoplastic powders may be used in various embodiments, and may be included in the nonwoven as a fine powder, chip or in granular form. In addition, binders having dense fine powder filler such as, for example, calcium carbonate, various kinds of clay, such as, for example, bentonite and kaolin, silica, alumina, barium sulfate, talc, titanium dioxide, zeolites, cellulose-type powders, diatomaceous earth, , barium carbonate, mica, carbon, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminum hydroxide, pulp powder, wood powder, polymer particles, chitin and chitin derivatives are suitable for use in forming the substrate.

Various latex binders are suitable for use in the nonwoven material of this invention, such as, for example, ethyl vinyl acetate copolymers such as AirFlex 124 ® offered by Air Products of Allentown, Pennsylvania. AirFlex 124 ® is used with 10 percent solids and 0.75 percent by weight AEROSOL ® OT which is an anionic

surfactant offered by Cytec Industries of West Paterson, New Jersey. Other classes of emulsion polymer binders such as styrene-butadiene and acrylic binders may also be used. BINDERS AIRFLEX ® 124 and 192 from Air Products, Allentown, Pennsylvania, optionally having an opacifier and whitener, such as, for example, titanium dioxide, dispersed in the emulsion may be used. Other classes of emulsion polymer binders such as styrene-butadiene, acrylic, and carboxylated styrene butadiene acrylonitrile (SBAN) may also be used. A carboxylated SBAN is available as product 68957-80 from Dow Reichhold Specialty Latex LLC of Research Triangle

Park, NC. The Dow Chemical Company of Midland, Michigan is a source of a wide variety of suitable latex binders, such as, for example, Modified Styrene Butadiene

(S/B) Latexes CP 615NA and CP 692NA, and Modified Styrene Acrylate (S/A)

Latexes, such as, for example, CP6810NA. A wide variety of suitable latices are discussed in Emulsion Polymers, Mohamed S. El-Aasser (Editor), Carrington D.

Smith (Editor), I. Meisel (Editor), S. Spiegel (Associate Editor), C. S. Kniep (Assistant Editor), ISBN: 3-527-30134-8, from the 217th American Chemical Society

(ACS) Meeting in Anaheim, CA in March 1999, and in Emulsion Polymerization and

Emulsion Polymers, Peter A. Lovell (Editor), Mohamed S. El-Aasser (Editor), ISBN:

0-471-96746-7, published by Jossey-Bass, Wiley. Also useful are various acrylic, styrene-acrylic and vinyl acrylic latices from Specialty Polymers, Inc., 869 Old Richburg Rd., Chester, SC 26706. Also useful are Rhoplex™ and Primal™ acrylate emulsion polymers from Rohm and Haas.

Bicomponent fibers having a core and sheath are known in the art. Many varieties are used in the manufacture of nonwoven materials, particularly those produced by airlaid techniques. Various bicomponent fibers suitable for use in the present invention are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,372,885 and 5,456,982, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. Examples of bicomponent fiber manufacturers include KoSa (Salisbury, North Carolina), Trevira

(Bobingen, Germany) and ES Fiber Visions (Athens, Georgia). Bicomponent fibers may incorporate a variety of polymers as their core and sheath components. Bicomponent fibers that have a PE (polyethylene) or modified PE sheath typically have a PET (polyethyleneterephthalate) or PP (polypropylene) core. In one embodiment, the bicomponent fiber has a core made of polyester and sheath made of polyethylene. The denier of the fiber preferably ranges from about 1.0 dpf to about 4.0 dpf, and more preferably from about 1.5 dpf to about 2.5 dpf. The

length of the fiber is preferably from about 3 mm to about 12 mm, more preferably from about 4.5 mm to about 7.5 mm. Various geometric configurations can be used for the bicomponent fiber useful in this invention, including concentric, eccentric, islands-in-the-sea, and side-by-side. The relative weight percentages of the core and sheath components of the total fiber may be varied.

In the present invention, binder material is present in amounts ranging from about 1 weight percent to about 90 weight percent, where the weight percentages are based on the total weight of the nonwoven substrate. In a specific embodiment, the binder is present in amounts ranging from about 5 weight percent to about 70 weight percent, or alternatively from about 5 weight percent to about 50 weight percent, or alternatively from about 5 weight percent to about 25 weight percent based on the total weight of the nonwoven substrate.

In one aspect of the invention, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 1,000 gsm or, alternatively, has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 500 gsm or, alternatively still, has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 250 gsm or, alternatively still, has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 125 gsm, or alternatively still, has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 75 gsm. In another aspect, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 1,000 gsm or, alternatively, has a basis weight of from about 250 gsm to about 1,000 gsm or, alternatively still, has a basis weight of from about 500 gsm to about 1 ,000 gsm. In yet another aspect, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 1,000 gsm, or alternatively from about 100 gsm to about 500 gsm, or alternatively from about 150 gsm to about 300gsm, or alternatively still, from about 200 gsm to about 300 gsm, or from about 200 gsm to about 220 gsm. In yet another aspect, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 100 gsm to about 1,000 gsm, or alternatively, of from about 100 gsm to about 500 gsm, or alternatively, of from about 100 gsm to about 200 gsm, or from about 100 gsm to about 150 gsm. In another aspect, the substrate has a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 500 gsm and contains from about 30 weight percent to about 95 weight percent matrix fibers and from about 5 weight percent to about 70 weight percent of a binder where the weight percentages are based on the total weight of the nonwoven substrate. Optionally, the substrate may contain from about 50 weight percent to about 95 weight percent matrix fibers and from about 5 weight percent to about 50 weight percent of a binder. Alternatively, the substrate may contain from about 75 weight

percent to about 95 weight percent matrix fibers and from about 5 weight percent to about 25 weight percent of a binder. In one embodiment of the invention, the substrate has a density of from about

0.035 g/cm3 to about 0.10 g/cm3. In addition to being useful as a binder in the nonwoven material defining the substrate, a latice may be used on an outer surface of the material to control dusting. In this application, the amount used would be in the range of about 1 to about 10 gsm on an individual surface.

The materials of the present invention may also include additives including but not limited to ultra white additives, colorants, opacity enhancers, delustrants and brighteners, and other additives to increase optical aesthetics as disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/707,598 filed December 23, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

In a preferred process suitable for commercial production, the nonwoven material that serves as the matrix for the substrate is prepared as a continuous airlaid web. The airlaid web is typically prepared by disintegrating or defiberizing a cellulose pulp sheet or sheets, typically by hammermill, to provide individualized fibers. Rather than a pulp sheet of virgin fiber, the hammermills or other disintegrators can be fed with recycled airlaid edge trimmings and off-specification transitional material produced during grade changes and other airlaid production waste. Being able to thereby recycle production waste would contribute to improved economics for the overall process. The individualized fibers from whichever source, virgin or recycle, are then air conveyed to forming heads on the airlaid web-forming machine. A number of manufacturers make airlaid web forming machines suitable for use in this invention, including Dan- Web Forming of Aarhus, Denmark, M&J

Fibretech A/S of Horsens, Denmark, Rando Machine Corporation, Macedon, New

York which is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,972,092, Margasa Textile Machinery of

Cerdanyola del Valles, Spain, and DOA International of WeIs, Austria. While these many forming machines differ in how the fiber is opened and air-conveyed to the forming wire, they all are capable of producing the webs of this invention.

The Dan- Web forming heads include rotating or agitated perforated drums, which serve to maintain fiber separation until the fibers are pulled by vacuum onto a foraminous forming conveyor or forming wire. In the M&J machine, the forming head is basically a rotary agitator above a screen. The rotary agitator may comprise a

series or cluster of rotating propellers or fan blades. Other fibers, such as a synthetic thermoplastic fiber, are opened, weighed, and mixed in a fiber dosing system such as a textile feeder supplied by Laroche S. A. of Cours-La Ville, France. From the textile feeder, the fibers are air conveyed to the forming heads of the airlaid machine where they are further mixed with the comminuted cellulose pulp fibers from the hammer mills and deposited on the continuously moving forming wire. Where defined layers are desired, separate forming heads may be used for each type of fiber.

The airlaid web is transferred from the forming wire to a calender or other densifϊcation stage to densify the web, if necessary, to increase its strength and control web thickness. The fibers of the web are then bonded by passage through an oven set to a temperature high enough to fuse the included thermoplastic or other binder materials. Secondary binding from the drying or curing of a latex spray or foam application may occur in the same oven. The oven may preferably be a conventional through-air oven or be operated as a convection oven, but may achieve the necessary heating by infrared or even microwave irradiation. The airlaid web may be treated with flame retardants before or after heat curing.

In a specific embodiment of the invention, the cellulose wood pulp sheets may be treated with a solid solution of a pressure-sensitive adhesive binder, such as NACOR® 38-088 A or other applicable binder. This pretreatment of cellulose occurs prior to any exposure to a comminution device.

In another embodiment of the inventions, the nonwoven structure making up the substrate is an airlaid structure, and the nonwoven material is an airfelt or other nonbonded matrix of fiber or, when bonded, an airlaid matrix. The caliper, also know as the thickness, for the substrate may range from about 1 mm to about 60 mm, while in some desirable embodiments it may be from about 1 mm to about 30 mm, or from about 1 mm to about 15 mm, or from about 1 mm to about 7 mm, or from about 1 mm to about 3 mm. The nonwoven structure has an airflow resistance of from about 500 to about 10,000 Rayls (NS/m3), or desirably in some embodiments, of from about 500 to about 5,000 Rayls (NS/m3), or desirably in some embodiments, of from about 500 to about 3,000 Rayls (NS/m3). By means of the selection of materials used to make the nonwoven structure, it is possible to produce materials with a variety of airflow resistances. Airflow resistance will also depend upon the application and number of layers employed. Air filtration applications may require a lower airflow resistance.

Various materials, structures and manufacturing processes useful in the practice of this invention are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,241,713; 6,353,148; 6,353,148; 6,171,441; 6,159,335; 5,695,486; 6,344,109; 5,068,079; 5,269,049; 5,693,162; 5,922,163; 6,007,653; 6,355,079; 6,403,857; 6,479,415; 6,562,742; 6,562,743; 6,559,081; 6,495,734; 6,420,626; in U.S. Patent applications with serial numbers and filing dates, 09/719,338 filed 1/17/01; 09/774,248 filed 1/30/01; and 09/854,179 filed 5/11/01, and in U.S. Patent Application Publications or PCT

Application Publications US 2002/0074097 Al, US 2002/0066517 Al 5 US 2002/0090511 Al, US 2003/0208175 Al, US 2004/0116882 Al, US 2004/0020114 Al, US 2004/0121135 Al, US 2005/0004541 Al, and WO 2005/013873 Al, and PCT/US04/43030 claiming the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Serial o. 60/569,980, filed May 10, 2004 and U.S. provisional patent application Serial No. 60/531,706, filed December 19, 2003, and U.S. provisional patent application Serial No. 60/667,873, filed April 1, 2005, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Tacky Adhesive

As noted, the substrate of the allergen trap is coated with or will otherwise receive a tacky material, also referred to as an adhesive add-on. Preferably, the tacky material is a tackified pressure sensitive adhesive. The term "pressure sensitive adhesive" generally refers to an adhesive which in dry form is aggressively and permanently tacky at room temperature and firmly adheres to a variety of dissimilar surfaces upon contact without a need of more than finger or hand pressure. See Glossary of Terms Used in Pressure Sensitive Tape Industry, Pressure Sensitive Tape

Council (PSTC), Glenview, IL ,1959, as quoted on page 345 in Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering, Vol. 13, 1988, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. See also Pressure-Sensitive Formulation, by Istvan Benedek, ISBN 9 067 64330 0, Publisher

VSP, 2000.

Pressure sensitive adhesives typically include materials (e. g., elastomers) that are either inherently tacky or that are tackified with the addition of tackifying resins. They can be defined by the Dahlquist criteria described in Handbook of Pressure

Sensitive Adhesive Technology, D. Satas, 2nd ed., page 172 (1989) at use temperatures. Use temperature will typically be room temperature, i.e., about 20 °C to about 30 0 C. This criterion defines a good pressure-sensitive adhesive as one having a one-second creep compliance of greater than 1 x 10 "6 cm 2 /dyne.

Alternatively, since modulus is, to a first approximation, the inverse of compliance, pressure sensitive adhesives may be defined as adhesives having a modulus of less than 1 x 10 6 dynes/cm 2 .

Another suitable definition of a pressure sensitive adhesive is that it preferably has a room temperature storage modulus within the area defined by the following points as plotted on a graph of modulus versus frequency at 25 °C : a range of moduli from approximately 2 x 10 5 to 4 x 10 5 dynes/cm 2 at a frequency of approximately 0. 1 radian/second (0.017 Hz), and a range of moduli from approximately 2 x 10 6 to 8 x

10 6 dynes/cm 2 at a frequency of approximately 100 radians/second (17 Hz) (for example, see Figure 8-16 on p. 173 of Handbook of Pressure Sensitive Adhesive

Technolga, D. Satas, 2nd ed., (1989)).

Other methods of identifying a pressure sensitive or add-on adhesive are also known. Any of these methods of identifying a pressure sensitive adhesive may be used to define pressure sensitive adhesives of the present invention. Major classes of pressure sensitive adhesives include acrylics, polyurethanes, poly-alpha-olefins, silicones, and tackified natural and synthetic rubbers. Some examples of synthetic rubbers include tackified linear, radial (e.g., star), tapered, and branched styrenic block copolymers, such as styrene-butadiene-styrene, styrene-ethylene/butylene- styrene, and styrene-isoprene- styrene. The pressure-sensitive or add-on adhesive material can include a single, pressure-sensitive adhesive, a mixture of several pressure-sensitive adhesives, or a mixture of a pressure-sensitive adhesive and a material that is a non-pressure-sensitive adhesive. An example of a non-pressure-sensitive adhesive is a nontacky thermoplastic material. Examples of some pressure-sensitive adhesive blends are described in PCT International Applications having numbers WO 97/23577, WO 97/23249, and WO 96/25469, such descriptions being incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

A variety of pressure-sensitive adhesives are available for application to the fibrous material employed herein. The pressure-sensitive adhesive may be a rubber substance such as natural rubber latex, butadiene rubber latex or styrene-butadiene rubber latex. The pressure-sensitive adhesive may alternatively be an acrylate or methacrylate copolymer, a self-tacky poly-α-olefin, a polyurethane, or a self-tacky or tackified silicone.

It is desirable to use a water-based pressure-sensitive add-on adhesive. This avoids the difficulties encountered with solvent-based adhesives, including flammability and environmental issues. It is perceived that a water-based adhesive will also avoid issues of human toxicity, as one application for the tacky material of the present invention is in use as a mattress cover. In other words, the adhesive is applied to a fibrous material that will, in certain contexts and applications, be in close proximity to a consumer's respiratory system. Another application will be as a layer or medium in an air filtration system which is designed to improve air quality, meaning that non-toxic materials are preferred. At least a portion of the fiber matrix is impregnated with the pressure-sensitive adhesive. Preferably, the adhesive is a rubber substance that is either a natural rubber latex or a synthetic rubber latex. Examples of a synthetic rubber latex include butadiene rubber latex and styrene-butadiene rubber latex. It is preferred that the synthetic rubber material be inherently tacky, or self-tacky. More specific examples of inherently tacky synthetic rubber pressure-sensitive adhesives include butyl rubber, a copolymer of isobutylene with less than 3 percent isoprene, polyisobutylene, a homopolymer of isoprene, polybutadiene, or styrenel-butadiene rubber.

The rubber material is preferably provided in the form of an aqueous latex emulsion which can be sprayed onto the fibrous material. Spraying provides the best opportunity for the emulsion to penetrate fibers material beneath the immediate surface being sprayed. The latex emulsion is preferably applied to the substrate while the substrate is in a substantially dry condition. However, the emulsion may alternatively be applied to the substrate in a pre-wetted condition. This permits the latex emulsion to further impregnate the hydroentangled material. In some applications it is desirable that the adhesive material be applied only on the outer surface of the substrate as an add-on adhesive. In this case, it is preferred that the latex emulsion be printed, foamed, or rolled onto the fibrous material. Alternatively, a light spray may be applied, followed immediately by drying in an oven. In order to improve the particle-entrapping characteristic of the substrate, it is desirable that the adhesive be "tackified." A "tackifier" is a substance that will increase the coefficient of friction of the material being treated, thereby increasing the ability of the pressure-sensitive adhesive to attract and retain dust and allergen particles. Generally, when additives (such as a tackifier) are used to alter properties

of pressure sensitive adhesives, the additives should be miscible with the pressure sensitive adhesive or form homogeneous blends at the molecular level. General examples of suitable tackifiers or add-on adhesive include, but are not limited to, acetate, acrylic polymer, polystyrene and butadiene-styrene. Some types of pressure sensitive adhesives have been modified with tackified thermoplastic elastomers (e.g., styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymers), thermoplastics (e.g., polystyrene, polyethylene, or polypropylene), and elastomers (e.g., polyolefms, natural rubbers, and synthetic rubbers). For example, thermoplastic materials have been added to acrylic pressure sensitive adhesives to add tack. Such materials are described in International Publication Nos. WO 97/23577 and WO 96/25469 (each to

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.).

As used herein, a thermoplastic elastomer (i.e., thermoplastic rubber) is a polymer having at least two homopolymeric blocks or segments, wherein at least one block has a Tg of greater than room temperature (i.e., about 20 0 C to about 25 0 C) and at least one block has a Tg of less than room temperature. As used herein, "Tg" is a measurement known in the art as the glass transition temperature at which an amorphouse polymer or regions thereof change from hard condition to a viscous or rubber-like conditions. In a thermoplastic elastomer these two blocks are generally phase separated into one thermoplastic glassy phase and one rubbery elastomeric phase. A radial block copolymer is a polymer having more than two arms that radiate from a central core (which can result from the use of a multifunctional coupling agent, for example), wherein each arm has two or more different homopolymeric blocks or segments as discussed above. See, for example, the Handbook of Pressure Sensitive

Adhesive Technology, D. Satas, 2nd ed., Chapter 13 (1989). Natural rubber pressure-sensitive adhesives generally contain masticated natural rubber, tackified with one or more tackifying resins. They may also contain one or more antioxidants.

Synthetic rubber pressure sensitive adhesives are also contemplated by the present invention. Styrene block copolymer pressure-sensitive adhesives generally comprise elastomers of the A-B or A-B-A type, wherein, in this context, A represents a thermoplastic polystyrene block and B represents a rubbery block of polyisoprene, polybutadiene, or poly(ethylene/butylene), and tackifying resins. Examples of the various block copolymers useful in block copolymer pressure-sensitive adhesives include linear, radial, star, and tapered block copolymers. Specific examples include

copolymers such as those available under the trade designations KRATON™ from

Shell Chemical Company of Houston, Texas, and EUROPRENE SOL™ from EniChem Elastomers Americas, Inc., also of Houston, Texas. Examples of tackifying resins for use with such styrene block copolymers include aliphatic olefin-derived resins, rosin esters, hydrogenated hydrocarbons, polyterpenes, terpene phenolic resins derived from petroleum or terpentine sources, polyaromatics, cournarone-indene resins, and other resins derived from coal tar or petroleum and having softening points above about 85 0 C.

Pressure sensitive adhesives may also be acrylic pressure sensitive adhesives. Acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives comprise about 80 wt % to about 100 wt % isooctyl acrylate and up to about 20 wt % acrylic acid. The acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives may be inherently tacky or tackified using a tackifier such as a rosin ester, an aliphatic resin, or a terpene resin. (Meth)acrylate (i.e., acrylate and methacrylate or "acrylic") pressure-sensitive adhesives generally have a glass transition temperature of about -20 0 C or less and typically include an alkyl ester component such as, for example, isooctyl acrylate, 2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate, and n-butyl acrylate, and a polar component such as, for example, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, ethylene vinyl acetate, and N-vinyl pyrrolidone.

An example of an acrylic pressure-sensitive add-on adhesive that may be used on a nonwoven substrate is 3 M Fastbond™ Insulation Adhesive 49. 3M Fastbond™ is an aqueous dispersion of an acrylate polymer. Another example is an ethylene- vinyl acetate copolymer available as DUR-O-SET® manufactured by Vinamul®. DUR-O-SET® is sold as a spray-on adhesive emulsion. Yet another example is FLEXCRYL® 1625, which is a high-solids, water-based vinyl acrylate pressure sensitive adhesive. It is sold as an acrylic emulsion and manufactured by Air

Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, Pennsylvania. Still another example is NACOR® 38-088A, which is an aqueous emulsion of an acrylic copolymer available from National Starch and Chemical Co. of Bridgewater, New Jersey. The various adhesives used in the present invention may be added at different percent solids, wherein the total percent solid of the adhesive may be about 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or greater. The amount of the adhesive solution may be added to a surface of a layer in amounts of about 5 gsm, about 10 gsm, about 20 gsm, about 30 gsm, about 35 gsm, about 40 gsm, about 60 gsm or greater. More specifically, amounts of adhesive used on a surface of a layer may be about 14.5 gsm, about 27 gsm, about

29.5 gsm, about 36 gsm or greater. The pressure sensitive adhesives of the present invention may include poly- α-olefϊn pressure-sensitive adhesives. Poly-α-olefin pressure-sensitive adhesives, also called poly(l-alkene) pressure-sensitive adhesives, generally comprise either a substantially uncrosslinked polymer or an uncrosslinked polymer that may have radiation activatable functional groups grafted thereon as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,971 (Babu et al.) (the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety). Useful poly-α-olefin polymers include, for example, C 3 -Ci 8 poly(l-alkene) polymers. The poly-α-olefin polymer may be inherently tacky and/or include one or more tackifying materials such as resins derived by polymerization of Cs-C 9 unsaturated hydrocarbon monomers, polyterpenes, synthetic polyterpenes, and the like. Silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives may also be used on the present invention. Silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives comprise two major components, a polymer or gum and a tackifying resin. The polymer is typically a high molecular weight polydimethylsiloxane or polydimethyldiphenylsiloxane, that contains residual silanol functionality (SiOH) on the ends of the polymer chain, or a block copolymer comprising polydiorganosiloxane soft segments and urea terminated hard segments.

The tackifying resin is generally a three-dimensional silicate structure that is endcapped with trimethylsiloxy groups (OSiMe 3 ) and also contains some residual silanol functionality. Silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives are described in U.S.

Patent No. 2,736,721, which is incorporated herein by reference. Silicone urea block copolymer pressure-sensitive adhesives are described in U.S. Patent No. 5,461,134, and PCT International Application Nos. WO 96/34028 and WO 96/35458, also incorporated herein by reference. The tackifier is preferably applied in an aqueous vehicle, that is, an emulsion, along with the adhesive. Thereafter, the fibrous material is dried, preferably in an oven, to cause the carrier to retain the rubber or other adhesive material.

While a wide variety of adhesives are suitable for use in this invention on a wide variety of substrates, it is desirable that the material with tack exhibit adequate performance in a Dust Capture Performance Test. Example 4 below provides a detailed description of the execution of this test. In this test, it is desirable that a material with tack having a basis weight of from about 35 gsm to about 125 gsm when tested with a 0.5 g sample of Arizona Test Dust ("ATD") have a Dust Capture of about 60 % or greater, more desirably, the Dust Capture is about 70 % ox greater, still

more desirably, the Dust Capture is about 80 % or greater, preferably, the Dust

Capture is about 90 % or greater. In one instance, dust mite allergens and feline allergens are reduced by about 95 % or more in an Allergen Barrier Test.

In a specific embodiment, the tacky adhesive is applied to the substrate at the time of manufacture. The product is then shipped to the customer or user as a final product. However, in one aspect the user will open the packaging and then apply the tacky adhesive after the substrate has been placed adjacent to an allergen-bearing article. Application of the adhesive may be by a pump spray or an aerosol can. The applicator may be included in the packaging with the substrate, or may be sold separately by the manufacturer or other source as an "after-market" product.

Pest Control Substances

In addition to a tacky adhesive, the substrate may also be treated with a miticidal compound or substance. The miticide (or acaricide or other pesticide) is preferably applied to the substrate after the fiber matrix has received a tacky adhesive. Alternatively, the miticide may be dissolved or suspended within the binder for the nonwoven material. The miticidal compound or substance will be a material that is nontoxic to humans and pets. Acceptable miticides include pyrethroid compounds such as viz permethrin, cypermethrin and deltamethrin, both of which are available.

Such pyrethroids may be mixed in a 10 % by weight emulsifiable concentrate formulation and sprayed onto the substrate. Particular examples of permethrin that may be used are Permanone™ WP 25 available from AgrEvo of Montvale, New

Jersey and Smite™ from Medachieve, Inc. in Washington Courthouse, Ohio. Pyrethrin also comes in a natural or "botanical" form. Pyrethrin is an extract of the crushed dried flowers of Chrysanthemum cinerarifolium, a perennial daisy like plant from Kenya.

Alternatively, borate-type compounds such as those disclosed in U.S. Patent

Nos. 5,587,221 and 5,672,362 may be used, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. One borate-based product that may be used in the invention herein is supplied as Dustmitex™, which is available from The Ecology Works of San Rafael, California. Dustmitex™ is a formulated borate compound sold in powder form. Rotenone, also known as Cube root, is known to be an effective botanical in controlling a number of insects, including mites. Rotenone comes from the Derris family of plants grown in the tropics throughout the world. Rotenone acts as an insect stomach poison.

As an alternative to an acaricidal substance, an allergen neutralizer may be applied to the substrate of the tacky material. One option of a neutralizer is a tannic acid material. Such a material is found naturally in strong teas such as black tea. Tannic acid is considered a "denaturant." Tannic acid is capable of breaking down mite fecal allergens. Allergen denaturation is accomplished by the phenol groups of tannic acid, which polymerize the allergens, making them more hydrophobic and less allergenic. However, a disadvantage to the use of tannic acid is that it stains fabric. Tannic acid powders are available on the market, such as ALLERSEARCH X MITE™ powder (available from Alkaline Corporation of Oakhurst, New Jersey) which provides a benzyl tannate complex in a cellulose aqueous slurry. The product may be sprinkled on carpets or other areas where mite allergens are found. This product is available on-line through www.healthgoods.com or www.allersearch- us.com. In the present invention, such a dust mite allergen neutralizer may be sprinkled lightly onto the substrate where it is then held by the tacky adhesive. As another alternative to a pesticide, an insect growth regulator (IGR) may be applied to the matrix fibers. This may be done either by attaching the insect growth regulator to the sticky adhesive, or by dissolving or suspending the growth regulator within the binder. Growth inhibitors or insect growth regulators (any of which is commonly known as an IGR) are products or materials that interrupt or inhibit the life cycle of a pest. IGR' s operate under the principle that if the pest cannot reach adulthood, it is not capable of reproducing. By inhibiting the maturity of an insect, the IGR keeps the insect from reaching the critical adult stage, thus stopping the life cycle and infestation.

Various IGR compounds have been developed. Methoprene and hydroprene are both considered to have beneficial effect on dust mite populations. Methoprene and hydroprene are synthetic compounds that mimics the insect's juvenile hormone. They are also considered to have low human toxicity.

Fire and Flame Retardant Materials

The filtration mediums of the present invention may include a fire or flame retardant. For example, the cellulose fibers may be pretreated with a fire or flame retardant material prior to being incorporated in the filtration media to provide a fire retardant filtration media.

Various fire-retardants known in the art may be applied to one or more components of the filtration media (e.g. the cellulose fibers). These fire-retardant

agents may include sodium borate or sodium or ammonium phosphates or phosphate esters of various types. Proprietary fire-retardant mixtures, such as, for example,

Spartan™ AR 295 Flame Retardant from Spartan Flame Retardants Inc. of Crystal

Lake, Illinois, include both organic and inorganic constituents. Another non-limiting example of a fire-retardant is GLO-TARD FFR2, which is an ammonium polyphosphate fire-retardant from GLO-TEX International, Inc. of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Another example is Fire Retard 3496, which is a phosphate ester supplied by Manufacturers Chemicals, L.P. of Cleveland, Tennessee. Another contemplated fire-retardant additive is SPARTAN™ AR 295, a diammonium phosphate based flame retardant from Spartan Flame Retardants, Inc. (Crystal Lake, Illinois). Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is another fire-retardant product available from U.S. Borax Inc. (Valencia, California). Borax typically comes in powder form, but is dissolved in water and can be sprayed onto the substrate. In a preferred embodiment, fire-retardant agent that may be used in the present invention is Flovan CGN, a multi-purpose phosphonic acid salt containing nitrogen that is supplied by Huntsman (Salt Lake City, Utah). Flovan CGN may be provided as a clear liquid having a specific gravity at 20 0 C of 1.190 - 1.230 g/cm 3 and a pH

(100 g/1) of 4.5-6.0.

Use of Multiple Layers The nonwoven substrate may define more than one layer of material. In this respect, the tacky material may optionally include a second, a third, or even a fourth layer of nonwoven material.

In one embodiment, a thin second layer of nonwoven material is applied along one surface of a first nonwoven stratum. This thin second layer is referred to herein as a "scrim." The optional scrim preferably has a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 200 gsm. As a result of the manufacturing process, the scrim is integral with a surface of the nonwoven material that makes up the first layer. In one aspect, the scrim is used as a carrier sheet in an airlaid process, with the interior surface of the scrim in direct contact with the interior surface of the nonwoven first layer. In a preferred method of production using airlaying techniques, the nonwoven first layer is formed directly on the interior surface of the scrim. However, the process may combine the scrim with a pre-formed airlaid or other nonwoven material in a converting process.

The nonwoven scrim, or carrier, can be made from natural fibers such as cellulose fibers. Synthetic fibers of various sorts which are spun-bonded, meltblown or spunlaced may also be used. A wide variety of materials including, cloth, textile, unbacked carpeting and other woven materials made of various natural fibers, synthetic fibers and mixtures thereof may further be used as carriers. Examples are

3024 cellulosic carrier tissue, 18 gsm, from Cellu Tissue Co., now Cellu Tissue

Neenah, 249 N. Lake Street, Neenah, Wisconsin 54956, needle-punched nonwoven fabrics, spunbonded polypropylene nonwovens, such as HybondTM, a spunlaid thermalbonded soft fabric available in basis weights from 14 gsm to 20 gsm and ULTRATEXTM , a spunlaid (continuous filament) thermalbonded polypropylene nonwoven in basis weights of 20, 40, 50, 60, 70, 100, 120,-and 150 gsm, from

Texbond S.P.A., Via Fornaci 15/17, 38068 Rovereto (TN), Italy. Polyester spunbond nonwovens, with a uniform surface, high tear strength and high porosity, can be used.

Polyester spunbond, which is a manufactured sheet of randomly orientated polyester filaments bonded by calendaring, needling, chemically or a combination of these methods in basis weights from 15 to 500 g/m 2 is available from Johns Manville Sales

GmbH, Max-Fischer-Strasse 11, 86399 Bobingen/Germany. In general the scrim may be formed via the spunbond process, the melt-blown process, the spunlaced process, the carding process or a combination of any of these processes, such as, for example, spunbond-melt-blown-spunbond or spunbond-meltblown-meltblown-spunbond. Of interest also are other useful materials such as those where the scrim is made of a polyester, such as, for example, polyethylene terephthalate, polytrimethylene terephthalate and so forth, a polyolefin, such as, for example, polyethylene, polypropylene and so forth, polylactic acid, nylon or a combination of these materials. While the scrim can have a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 200 gsm, it may be desirable for the scrim to have a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 100 gsm, more desirable, from about 8 gsm to about 75 gsm, or it may be preferable that the scrim has a basis weight of from about 8 gsm to about 50 gsm, or even from about 8 gsm to about 25 gsm. The scrim material useful in the practice of this invention may contain nanofibers, often times referenced as microfibers or very fine fibers. Use of nanofibers allows for an effective barrier against contaminants or particles of micron size. Such fibers allow for greater filter efficiency. Various nanofibers, including but not limited to electrospun fibers, have diameters of less than 0.3 microns. Nanofibers

having a diameter of less than 0.3 microns are contemplated for use in the scrim layer of the present invention. Preferably, nanofibers having a diameter of less than 1 micron are used in the scrim layer, more preferably from about 0.01 microns to about

0.5 microns. A variety of nanofibers are known, such as, for example, nanofibers in webs from electrospinning. SEE Nαnofώer Webs from Electrospinning, by Timothy H Grafe and Kristine M. Graham, presented at the Nonwovens in Filtration - Fifth International Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, March, 2003. See also U.S. Patent No. 's 7,270,692, 7,291,300, 7,390,760, 7,235,122 and 7,318,853, all of which are hereby incorporated herein in their entirety.

In addition to electrospun fibers, it is also possible to use other types of nanofibers in the various embodiments described herein. For example, in one embodiment hollow nanofibers are used for improved thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, dialysis materials, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis filters, or chemical separations. Formation of hollow nanofibers can be achieved by a technique described by I. G. Loscertales et al, in J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126, 5376 (2004), hereby incorporated herein by reference, which yields hollow fibers with nanometer-sized interior diameters in a single step. The method exploits electrohydrodynamic forces that form coaxial jets of liquids with microscopic dimensions. By the injection of two immiscible or poorly miscibJe liquids through a pair of concentric needles at high voltage, coaxial jets of liquids are formed. An outer shell solidifies around an interior liquid that can be evaporated or otherwise removed after the fibers are formed, yielding hollow fibers. With this method, hollow silica fibers can be spun with fairly uniform-sized inner diameters measuring a few hundred nanometers. The shells can be formed via sol-gel chemistry from tetraethylorthosilicate around cores of common liquids such as olive oil and glycerin. Many other compounds, such as ceramic materials and ceramic polymer combinations, can also be used to form hollow fibers.

In another embodiment, cellulose nanofibers are produced according to methods known in the art in which cellulose is dissolved in a solvent and then electrospun. Suitable solvents can include N-methylmorphomine-N-oxide (NMMO), zinc chloride solutions, and the like. Particles can be present as a suspension or dispersion in the solution being used to make the fibers and combined with the electrospun fibers during the formation process. Alternatively, a particle-forming precursor can be present, or the particles can be added as a dry powder or entrained in

a mist or spray as nano fibers are being produced. Charge on the particles or the entraining droplets can be added to enhance delivery of the particles to the electrospun web. Suitable particles can include silver (e.g., nanoparticles of silver), superabsorbent particles that can be entrained or entrapped in electrospun fibers (typically added external to electrospinning needles), minerals such as titanium dioxide or kaolin, odor control agents such as zeolites, sodium bicarbonate, or activated carbon particles, and the like.

In another embodiment, protein nanofϊbers, such as fibrinogen fibers or elastin-mimetic fibers are combined with the coarse fibers. In one embodiment inorganic and hybrid (organic/inorganic) nanofibers are used. In another embodiment, polysaccharide nanofibers made from bacteria (e.g., bacterial cellulose) are used.

In various embodiments, nanofibers known as splittable fibers are used, in which a fiber, such as a microfiber, is exposed to a swelling agent such as sodium hydroxide to cause it to split into numerous small filaments, or "islands-in-the-sea" fibers, in which a precursor fiber comprises multiple filaments (islands) in a removable matrix (sea) that typically is dissolved away. In other embodiments, fibers prepared by nanofabrication techniques such as printing, atomic force microscopy assembly, or any of the techniques known for producing the setae in gecko-like adhesives are used. Other techniques include obtaining nanofibers made from polymer materials as discussed in U.S. Patent No. 7,318,853, or meltblown methods through melt fibrilliation processes as discussed in U.S. Patent No. 7,291,300.

In another embodiment of the tacky material of the present invention, a layer or stratum of nonwoven material impregnated with a tacky adhesive is provided to form a tacky layer. The tacky layer is then placed between nonwoven material layers that do not have a tacky adhesive applied thereon. In this way, an allergen-carrying article (such as a mattress) which receives the tacky material is not in immediate contact with the tacky adhesive. Likewise, a user which sits or rests on the tacky material is not in immediate contact with the tacky adhesive. The result is that a tackier adhesive may be employed for the intermediate layer. Further, tacky material units may be packaged one on top of the other without use of a release liner.

The adhesive of the tacky layer may be coextensively contiguous with a major interior or exterior surface of the substrate. Alternatively, the adhesive may be coextensively contiguous with only one or more selected areas of the substrate. The

adhesive may be applied to a layer of matrix fibers after the layer is formed such that the steps are performed in a series of unitary steps in a continuous process. Alternatively, the tacky adhesive may be adhered to a previously formed substrate in a converting process. In still another embodiment of the tacky material, a miticidal compound is applied to a tacky layer between two non-tacky layers of nonwoven material. The tacky layer having the miticidal compound may be placed adjacent a second tacky layer which does not have a miticidal compound. The two tacky layers are then sandwiched between two nonwoven layers that do not have a tacky adhesive. In this way, a user which sits or rests on the tacky material is not in immediate contact with the tacky adhesive.

In yet another embodiment of the tacky material, an activated charcoal material is applied to a tacky layer between two non-tacky layers of nonwoven material. The tacky layer having the activated charcoal material may be placed adjacent a second tacky layer which has a miticidal compound.

In another embodiment of the tacky material of the present invention, an outer nonwoven layer or strata of the substrate is sprayed with a tacky adhesive on an exterior surface. A release layer is then applied or adhered to the tacky adhesive. The release layer is non-tacky, and permits multiple tacky material units to be stacked one on top of the other prior to or within packaging. The release liner is preferably left in place after the tacky material is packaged and shipped to the ultimate user. The release liner is peeled from the substrate prior to or shortly after placement of the tacky material onto an allergen-carrying article.

The material used for the liner is preferably matched to the type of adhesive used on the substrate. Release liners include, for example, paper, metal foils, and polymeric films, that is, polyolefin, polyethylene, polyester, and plasticized vinyl films. Polyethylene and polypropylene films are advantageous because they do not require a separate coating (e.g. silicones) to provide a release surface. Silicone-coated polyester release liners are also known in the art. Release liners may also include woven or nonwoven fabrics which have been treated on at least one major surface, and preferably on both major surfaces, with a release agent such as silicone, perfluoropolyether, TEFLON™, and the like. Method for Containing Allergens

A method for containing allergens is also disclosed herein. In one embodiment, the method includes a step of providing a tacky material, such as tacky material 100 in Figure 1. It is understood, however, that the tacky material may be any embodiment understood from the disclosures above. In this respect, the tacky materia! will include a substrate that contains matrix fibers that may be either woven or nonwoven, and which may be either natural, synthetic, or a combination. Further, the tacky material will include a tacky adhesive that is either impregnated within one or more stratum of the substrate, or which is applied to a surface of the substrate or one of its stratum. At least a portion of the matrix fibers may be treated with a nontoxic miticidal compound.

The tacky material is placed over and, optionally, around an allergen-bearing article. Examples of such an article include a mattress, a pillow or a furniture cushion. Over a period of time, allergens such as dust mites are trapped by the adhesive within the tacky material. After an additional period of time, the tacky material is removed from the allergen-bearing article and disposed of. A new tacky material is then provided. Use of Tacky Material for Filtering

The tacky material may also be used as a filtering media. In this respect, the tacky material may be sized to be placed within a filter housing. The tacky material may be the only medium used in the filter housing, or may be used in combination with a charcoal filter, a HEPA filter or other filtering media. Consistent with this arrangement, a process for immobilizing and containing allergens is provided.

According to the present invention, methods are provided for filtering. The methods generally involve utilization of media as described to advantage, for filtering. As will be seen from the descriptions and examples below, media according to the present invention can be specifically configured and constructed to provide relatively long life in relatively efficient systems, to advantage. In one embodiment of the invention, the substrate is used as it produced, but cut to an appropriate size and attached over an air filter. This simple use provides an inexpensive means for a high quality filter cartridge.

In another embodiment, the substrate can be substantially pleated, rolled or otherwise positioned on support structures. Preferably, the filter substrate is configured in a pleated construction containing a plurality of individual pleats. The number of pleats may vary depending on the size of the filter substrate, and may be in

configurations of at least about 12-pleats, 16-pleats, 20-pleats, 24 pleats, or 30 pleats. The substrate material can be optionally further shaped. In at least some instances, the shaped adsorbent material substantially retains its shape during the normal or expected lifetime of the filter assembly. The shaped substrate material can be formed by, for example, a molding, a compression molding, or an extrusion process. Shaped articles are taught, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,189,092 (Koslow), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,331 ,037 (Koslow), which are incorporated herein by reference. Various filter designs are shown in patents disclosing and claiming various aspects of filter structure and structures used with the filter materials. Engel et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,720,292, disclose a radial seal design for a filter assembly having a generally cylindrical filter element design, the filter element being sealed by a relatively soft, rubber-like end cap having a cylindrical, radially inwardly facing surface. Kahlbaugh et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,082,476, disclose a filter design using a depth media comprising a foam substrate with pleated components combined with the microfiber materials of the invention. Stifelman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,104,537, relate to a filter structure useful for filtering liquid media. Liquid is entrained into the filter housing, passes through the exterior of the filter into an interior annular core and then returns to active use in the structure. Such filters are highly useful for filtering hydraulic fluids. Engel et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,613,992, show a typical diesel engine air intake filter structure. The structure obtains air from the external aspect of the housing that may or may not contain entrained moisture. The air passes through the filter while the moisture can pass to the bottom of the housing and can drain from the housing. Gillingham et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,646, disclose a Z filter structure that uses a specific pleated filter design involving plugged passages that require a fluid stream to pass through at least one layer of filter media in a "Z" shaped path to obtain proper filtering performance. The filter media formed into the pleated Z shaped format can contain the fine fiber media of the invention. Glen et al., U.S. Pat. No.

5,853,442, disclose a bag house structure having filter elements that can contain the fine fiber structures of the invention. Berkhoel et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,954,849, show a dust collector structure useful in processing typically air having large dust loads to filter dust from an air stream after processing a workpiece generates a significant dust load in an environmental air. Lastly, Gillingham, U.S. Design Pat. No. 425,189, discloses a panel filter using the Z filter design. The following materials were produced using the following electrospin process conditions.

In certain embodiments of the claimed invention, a filtration media is contemplated containing the material noted above. In a specific embodiment, the filtration media contains a substrate that contains cellulose fibers, bicomponent fibers, adhesion fibers, binder and a pressure sensitive adhesive. In another embodiment, the filtration media includes a substrate that contains cellulose fibers pretreated with pressure sensitive adhesive binder, bicomponent fibers, adhesion fibers, binders, and separately, a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive binder. In another aspect of the present invention, a fire retardant filtration media is contemplated. In a specific embodiment, the fire retardant filtration media contains a substrate with polyester fibers having low combustibility and bicomponent fibers. In another embodiment, the substrate contains acrylic fibers and bicomponent fibers. In yet another embodiment, the substrate further comprises an amino-siloxane water proofing agent. In yet another embodiment, the substrate further comprises cellulose fibers pretreated with flame retardant. In addition, a filter element for filtering a fiuidized stream of materials is provided. The filter element includes a filter housing, and any embodiment of the tacky material disclosed above. In one aspect, the filter element is the housing for an air mover in a house, or is otherwise sized to fit a residential air conditioning unit within the air stream. The filter housing may house a substrate defining a plurality of layers, including more than one layer having a tacky adhesive.

A process for filtration of a fiuidized stream of materials is also provided. The process includes the step of providing a tacky material in any embodiment disclosed above. The tacky material is incorporated into a filtering element as a filtering medium. The fiuidized stream of materials is then passed through the tacky material in order to filter suspended particulate matter or dissolved matter. The fiuidized stream may, in one aspect, be air or another gas. The suspended particulate matter may contain dust, allergens, or a mixture thereof. In another aspect, the fiuidizing stream is a liquid.

EXAMPLES

The following examples are merely illustrative of the present invention and they should not be considered as limiting the scope of the invention in any way.

EXAMPLE 1: Basic Airlaid Structures

Nonwoven substrates were produced having dimensions of 0.3556 meters by

0.3556 meters (14 inches by 14 inches). The substrates were produced using a laboratory padformer that deposits individualized fibers on a forming wire under vacuum. Airfelts having basis weights of 40 gsm (grams per square meter), 45 gsm,

50 gsm, 80 gsm, and 100 gsm, respectively, were prepared on the padformer. The raw materials used were southern softwood Kraft fluff pulp, available as FOLEY

FLUFFS® from Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, and bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core, available as Type T-255 with merge number 1661, which had a 2.2 dtex denier and 6-mm length, made by

Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, Germany. Table 1 shows the amount of pulp and bicomponent fiber used in the experimental substrates. Table 1 : Composition of Laboratory Padformed Samples

EXAMPLE 2: Airlaid Substrate

An airlaid substrate called NTL3 was prepared on a Dan- Web pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee. The raw materials were (1) a southern softwood Kraft fluff pulp, available as FOLEY FLUFFS® from Buckeye Technologies Inc.; (2) bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core, available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, Fibervisions™; (3) AL-Adhesion polyolefϊn bicomponent fibers produced by Fibervisions; and (4) an ethylene vinyl acetate latex binder available as AIRFLEX® 192 manufactured by Air Products. (AIRFLEX® 192 usually has an opacifier and whitener, such as titanium dioxide, dispersed in the emulsion). Trevira's T-255 Merge No. 1663 bicomponent fiber has a denier of 2.2-dtex, and is 3-mm in length and a 50/50 ratio of polyester to polyethylene. Fibervision's™ AL-Adhesion bicomponent fibers consist of a

polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath. Fibervision™ AL-fibers are suitable for blends with wood pulp as they have an improved ability to bind cellulosic fibers and reduce dust to the minimum.

The airlaid structure substrate NTL3 had a basis weight of 69.9 gsm and was prepared according to the composition given in Table 2 on the pilot line.

Table 2: Composition of Pilot Example 1 (NTL3 Control)

The first forming head added 29.1 gsm of Fibervisions™ AL-Adhesion. The second forming head added a mixture of 32.3 gsm of FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and

7.30 gsm of Trevira 1663 bicomponent fibers. Immediately after this, the web was compacted with a compaction roll. 1.20 gsm AIRFLEX® 192 latex emulsion was then sprayed onto the top of the web. The web was then cured in a Moldow Through

Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 135° C. After this, the web was wound in a roll.

The machine speed was approximately 10-20 meters/minute.

EXAMPLE 3: Padformed Samples of Allergen Barrier Material Basic padformed structures A, B, and C, see Table 1, formed in

Example 1 were each trimmed to 0.3556 meters by 0.3556 meters (14 inch by 14 inch) samples. One surface of each of substrates A and B was sprayed with a water- based adhesive available as 3M Fastbond™ Insulation Adhesive 49 produced by 3M, and the product was cured in a laboratory oven at 150° C for 15-20 minutes. 3M Fastbond™ Insulation Adhesive 49 is an aqueous dispersion of an acrylate polymer, with a solids content of 53-57 percent and a pH of 4.1-4.5, and which is nonflammable in the wet state. Against a glass substrate the 180 peel strength is 2.8 N/10 mm and the overlap shear is 0.37 Mpa.

The basis weights of Samples A and B with the adhesive add-on were 50 gsm. Sample C formed in Example 1 to a 50.0 gsm basis weight served as the control for

this experiment. The samples were sticky to the touch. Table 3 below shows the amount of adhesive add-on to each substrate.

Table 3: Composition of 50.0 gsm Padformed Samples

Samples D and E of the basic padformed structures formed in Example 1, see Table 1, were each trimmed to 0.3556 meters by 0.3556 meters (14 inch by 14 inch). One surface of substrate D was sprayed with a water-based adhesive available as 3 M

Fastbond™ Insulation Adhesive produced by 3 M, and the product cured in a laboratory oven at 150° C for 15-20 minutes to produce D-I . The procedure was repeated using an acrylic vinyl acetate copolymer available as DUR-O-SET® manufactured by Vinamul® as the spray-on adhesive emulsion to produce D-2, and a very soft acrylic binder available as FLEXCRYL® 1625 produced by Air Products as the spray-on adhesive emulsion to produce D-3. The basis weight of Samples D-I, D-2 and D-3 after adhesive add-on was 100 gsm. Sample E from Example 1 with a

100.0 gsm basis weight served as the control for this experiment. The samples were sticky to the touch.

DUR-O-SET® is a high-solids, surfactant stabilized ethylene-vinyl acetate terpolymer emulsion with a pH of 4.5-5.5 and a solids content of 55-60 percent. FLEXCRYL® 1625 is a high- solids water-based vinyl acrylate pressure sensitive adhesive with a solids content of about 68 percent, a pH of about 5, a Tg of about -48° C. It is sold as a carboxylated acrylic emulsion and manufactured by Air

Products.

Table 4 below shows the type and amount of adhesive add-on to each substrate.

Table 4: Composition of 100.0 gsm Padformed Samples

Figure 2 presents a photograph of padformed sample D-3 taken at a magnification of 150X. Unless otherwise indicated, this and all other images presented herein were taken in-house using a HITACHI ® S-35OON Scanning Electron Microscope.

EXAMPLE 4: Dust Capture Performance

The performance of the five padformed barrier substrates and the two controls was tested to explore their dust capturing capacities. The material used was a silica- based material available as Arizona Test Dust (A.T.D.), manufactured by Powder Technology, which is used to test filters and has particles that range in size from

0.807-μm to 78.16-μm.

0.2032 meter (8-inch) diameter circles from each of the test samples were cut and were each positioned with adhesive side down on an ASTM No. 30 (600-μm) sieve of a RO-TAP® Testing Sieve Shaker Model B. A bottom pan was placed below the No. 30 screen. Approximately 0.5-grams of A.T.D. was deposited in the center of the non-adhesive surface of the test substrate and the dust then permitted to permeate through the sample by RO-TAP® oscillations for a duration of 30 minutes. The RO- TAP® instrument has 278 uniform oscillations per minute and 150 taps per minute as specified by ASTM standards.

Complete instructions and procedures on the use and calibration of testing sieves are contained in ASTM STP447B. Note that in standard RO-TAP® applications, sieve analysis results from two testing sieves of the same sieve designation may not be the same because of the variances in sieve opening permitted by this specification. To minimize the differences in sieve analysis results, the use of testing sieves matched on a performance basis is suggested. ASTM STP447B also contains a list of all published ASTM standards on sieve analysis procedures for specific materials or industries. This list may be referenced to obtain statements of precision and bias for sieve analysis of specific materials. Since the RO-TAP®

Testing Sieve Shaker was used, in the case of this experiment, for its agitation capabilities (which permitted a subsequent measurement of the dust holding capacity of the test substrates), and not for classification of particle sizes, minor variations in mesh size of testing sieves used should not make a difference.

The percent of A.T.D. that remained associated with the substrates after oscillation was then calculated. Table 5 below summarizes the performance results.

Table 5: Summary of Dust Capturing Capacity of 50-gsm and 100-gsm

Padformed Barrier Substrates

The RO-TAP® laboratory tests suggest that Sample D-3, the 100-gsm pad with FLEXCRYL® 1625, has the best dust holding capacity of the substrates tested. Figure 3 shows a scanning electron micrograph of the padformed sample D-3. Arizona Test Dust retained after a Dust Capture Performance Test is visible. The image is at a magnification of 15OX.

EXAMPLE 5: Pilot Samples of Allergen Barrier Material

A sample of the basic NTL3 nonwoven product prepared in Example

2, see Table 2, was sprayed on one surface with a very soft acrylic adhesive,

FLEXCRYL® 1625 produced by Air Products, and air-dried for several hours. A sample of NTL3 without adhesive add-on served as the control for this portion of the experiment. Table 6 below shows the amount of adhesive add-on to the substrates.

Table 6: Composition of NTL3 Pilot Samples

Figure 4 is a micrograph of a cross-section of the Pilot Plant sample of NTL3, Substrate 1 coated with the Flexcryl 1625 adhesive. The image is magnified at 9OX.

The micrograph of Figure 4 shows the low density nature of the barrier fabric as well as the penetration of the adhesive through the top half of the material.

The performance of the pilot samples was tested in multiple ways. Phase 1. The first phase of testing of the prepared substrates sought to explore the dust-trapping capacity of the nonwoven NTL3 Substrate 1. The material used, as in the case of the padformed samples, was a silica-based dust, Arizona Test Dust

(A.T.D.), manufactured by Powder Technology. The procedure described in Example 4 using the RO-TAP® Sieve Shaker was used to analyze the pilot samples.

Table 7 summarizes the performance results from Phase 1. Table 7: Summary of Dust Capturing Capacity of Pilot Substrate

The closer the values are to 100 percent, the higher is the measured efficiency of the nonwoven material as a filter and a sticky trap that is able to capture and hold microscopic dust-like particles. Potentially, NTL3 Substrate 1 could have a filtering efficiency approaching 100% if the A. T. D. is applied as an even dispersion, and is not deposited in its entirety at the center of the substrate, where there is a propensity to overload the holding capacity of the material at the center. Phase 2. The second phase of testing involved cutting 0.6096-meter by 0.6096-meter (2-feet by 2-feet) squares of NTL3 Substrate 1 and applying it, adhesive side down, to a mattress with only a sheet over it and to a pillow inside of a pillowcase that were in consistent use. The nonwoven material remained adhered to the mattress and pillow for a duration of 25 days and were subject to the normal wear and tear and pressure brought about by the occupants of the bed. The nonwoven barriers remained intact at the end of this period, indicating that it was of sufficient basis weight and durability to be able to withstand use while adhered to mattress and pillow in regular use. Figure 5 is an image of the material after the 25 day test. Figure 6 presents another micrograph taken after 25 days of use. The micrograph was taken at a magnification of 150X (WD=26.1mm, kV=15). The micrograph shows that the NTL3 layer is intact and has trapped many particles during the 25 day period.

Figures 7 and 8 present additional micrographs taken after 25 days of use. The micrographs were taken at increased magnifications of 400X and 800X, respectively. Entrapped particles are more clearly seen. Phase 3. The next phase of testing NTL3 Substrate 1 occurred under the supervision of entomologist and acorologist Dr. Glen R. Needham, Ph.D. Dr.

Needham is on faculty at The Ohio State University (OSU) in the Department of Entomology. The University test facility is located in Columbus, Ohio. Phase 3 testing is described in detail in Example 6.

EXAMPLE 6: Dust Mite Trapping

Samples of NTL3 Substrate 1 were shipped to OSU for a preliminary Trap Test that would examine dust mite adherence and movement. The experiment involved cutting small circles of NTL3 Substrate 1 and of mattress ticking material to fit the bottom of a glass Petri dish. The mattress ticking was first placed at the bottom of the dish. Approximately 20 live mites from a culture were placed on the

FLEXCRYL® 1625 side of the NTL3 Substrate 1 disc. This sample was then inverted and placed on the mattress ticking in the Petri dish. It was held next to the ticking by a fine steel wire mesh placed on top of the NTL3 Substrate 1 sample. The sides of the Petri dish were lined with petroleum jelly to keep the mites from crawling out of the dish. The experiment was allowed to proceed overnight. The following day, it was observed that the mites placed on the adhesive surface of NTL3 Substrate

1 showed evidence of movement of their extremities, indicating that they were still alive, but there was considerable impediment to locomotion due to the trapping ability and adhesive drag of the FLEXCRYL ® 1625 adhesive. Mite appearance and behavior on NTL3 Substrate 1 was recorded in real time using a video camera as shown in Figure 9. See Figure 9 for a still image from Dr. Needham' s video clip showing all but two dust mites (circled) immobilized by the

NTL3 adhesive barrier.

The experiment was repeated using a commercially available synthetic nonwoven mattress barrier for comparison to NTL3 Substrate 1. At the end of the experiment, it was observed that, in this case, the mites were freely moving about, unaffected by the barrier layer. Figure 10 presents a still image from a video showing all of the dust mites moving freely on a known mattress encasement product.

It was concluded that NTL3 Substrate 1 functioned very effectively as a trap for dust mites as all but two mites were trapped within the adhesive of the sample and incapacitated as a result, as indicated in Figure 9.

Figure 11 presents a micrograph showing a dust mite and dust mite larva having been trapped by the NTL3 Substrate 1 barrier material. This, again, was in conjunction with Dr. Glen Needham's experiment at The Ohio State University. The image is magnified 200X to more clearly show features of the dust mite. It is noted that the mite appears flat because the sample was dessicated in a drying oven to preserve the sample. Figure 12 presents another micrograph showing a dust mite trapped by the NTL3 Substrate 1 barrier material. The image is magnified 180X to more clearly show features of the dust mite. It can be seen that the dust mite was initially captured by the adhesive. The mite molted, moved, and then was recaptured by the barrier fabric.

EXAMPLE 7: Clinical Testing

Barrier samples obtained from Example 6 were sent for testing to IBT Reference Laboratory located in Lenexa, Kansas, a national research and specialty clinical lab that provides a wide range of tests and services in the area of allergy, clinical immunology and molecular biology. Buckeye's NTL3 Substrate 1 was tested for specific allergen barrier properties using a modified Fussnecker filtration apparatus. This apparatus is based on the design reported by Vaughn, JW et al (JACI

1999; 103: 227-231). The procedure involved calibrating airflow measurements through the NTL3 Substrate 1 against a fabric control with a known airflow rate.

Next, 500-mg of a dust sample containing known amounts of feline FeI dl and dust mite Der fl allergens were pulled across each fabric. A filter cassette mounted downstream from the fabric collected any allergen that was able to penetrate the fabric. The filter was then extracted in 2.0 mL of 1% bovine serum albumin (BSA) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS)-Tween 20 overnight. The extract was assayed the following day with an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for the relevant allergen. The detection limits of the airflow test for the FeI dl allergen and the Der fl allergen are 0.31 ng and 1.3 ng respectively. If results fall below the detection limits of the test, it can be concluded that the fabric being tested is an effective barrier to FeI dl and Der fl allergen transfer. The Allergen Barrier Test was performed on a sample of NTL3 Substrate 1, as well as on a high porosity barrier

fabric labeled "High Fabric Control" and on a low porosity barrier fabric labeled "Low Fabric Control." Table 8 below summarizes results obtained from IBT

Reference Laboratory on the Allergen Barrier Test. Table 8: Results of Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow Device on NTL3 Substrate 1

Allergen Barrier Test data from IBT show the following. The NTL3 Substrate 1 experimental barrier was almost as porous as the high porosity High Fabric Control, permitting a substantial volume of airflow through the fabric. The NTL3 Substrate 1 barrier had almost twice the airflow of the low porosity Low Fabric Control. When compared to the High Fabric Control with the similar porosity, the NTL3 Substrate 1 decreased the FeI dl feline allergen by 99% and reduced the Der fl dust mite allergen to below detectable limits. The NTL3 Substrate 1 had the airflow of a high porosity fabric, while it performed almost as effectively as a low porosity fabric in blocking feline and dust mite allergens.

EXAMPLE 8: Other Adhesives

A sample of the basic airlaid structure, NTL3 formed in Example 2 (Table 2) was sprayed on one surface with a 9.77% aqueous solution of NACOR® 38-088A, produced by Natural Starch, and air-dried for several hours to produce NTL3-15 to produce an effective add-on of 14.5 gsm. Another NTL3 sample was sprayed with a 15% aqueous solution of NACOR® 38-088A to produce NTL3-30 an effective addon of 29.5 gsm.

NACOR® 38-088A is an aqueous emulsion of an acrylic copolymer with a solids content of 52 percent and a pH of 7.0 with a 180 24 hour peel from stainless steel of 70 oz/in and a shear at 22 0 C of 8 hours at 4 psi and a tack of 32 oz/in 2 . NACOR is available from National Starch and Chemical Co. of Bridgewater, New

Jersey.

Table 9 below shows the amount of adhesive add-on to each of the two substrates. Note that although the substrate used was the same one as the basic airlaid

NTL3 formed in Example 2, formation irregularities in airfelts causes the basis weight to differ slightly from area to area. Table 9: Composition of NTL3 Control with NACOR® 38-088A

NTL3-15 and NTL3-30 barrier samples were tested by IBT Reference

Laboratory using the procedure described above. Table 10 below summarizes results obtained from IBT Reference Laboratory on the Allergen Barrier Test.

Table 10: Results of Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow Device on

NTL3-15 and NTL3-30

The Allergen Barrier Test data from IBT show the following. The NTL3-15 and NTL3-30 experimental barrier substrates were virtually as porous as the high porosity High Fabric Control, permitting a substantial volume of air through the fabric. The NTL3-15 and NTL3-3O experimental barrier substrates had almost twice the airαow of the low porosity Low Fabric Control. When compared to the High

Fabric Control with the similar porosity, the NTL3-15 substrate decreased the FeI dl feline allergen by 98% and reduced the Der f 1 dust mite allergen to below detectable limits. When compared to the High Fabric Control with the similar porosity, the

NTL3-30 substrate decreased the FeI dl feline allergen by 99% and reduced the Der fl dust mite allergen to below detectable limits. The NTL3-15 and NTL3-3O substrates had the airflow of a high porosity fabric, while they performed almost as effectively as a low porosity fabric in blocking feline and dust mite allergens. NTL3-15 and NTL3-30 with FDA-approved NACOR® 38-088A were as effective as NTL3 Substrate 1 with FLEXCR YL® 1625 in blocking and trapping

feline and dust mite allergens. Based on the similarity in effective function of the

NTL3-15 and NTL3-30 barriers, it was concluded that aNACOR® 38-088A add-on of 20.0 gsm to NTL3 would be adequate for routine use as a dust mite barrier and trap on mattresses and pillows and in air filters.

EXAMPLE 9: Filter Substrate for Active Particulate

A sample of the basic airlaid structure NTL3 formed in Example 1 was trimmed to 0.0508-m by 0.0508-m (2 inches by 2 inches). It was then sprayed on one surface with a very soft acrylic binder, available as FLEXCRYL® 1625 produced by Air Products, and air-dried for several hours. Granular Activated Carbon available from Sigma Chemical Company was ground with a mortar and pestle. It was sieved using a U. S. A. Standard Test Sieve No. 200. The fine carbon powder was then applied to the prepared NTL3 -FLEXCRYL® 1625 substrate. Any fine carbon that was unattached to the substrate was removed with compressed air, leaving the substrate with only non-removable activated carbon. The effective add-on of nonremovable activated carbon was 19.78% of the total weight of the product, referred to as NTL3-Carbon. Table 11 below shows the composition of the product.

Table 11 : Composition of NTL3-Carbon

NTL3-Carbon could be used as an active filter. Activated carbon is a charcoal that is treated with oxygen in order to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms, resulting, in a highly adsorbent material. Also, this type of substrate may be used to support any types of particles which adhere to the adhesive, enabling the customization of the filter media.

Figures 13 and 14 present micrographs showing the filter media having captured activated carbon. The micrographs were taken at magnifications of 6OX and

250X, respectively. Carbon particles are even more clearly seen. The activated carbon particles will aid in trapping odors and chemicals.

EXAMPLE 10: Filtration Media Substrate

Three airlaid substrates designated AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3 were prepared on a DannWebb pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc., Memphis, TN. The raw materials in all three substrates consisted of a southern softwood Kraft fluff pulp, available as FOLEY FLUFFS® from

Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, TN, bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number

1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion bicomponent fibers produced by Fibervisions, an ethyl vinyl acetate latex binder available as AIRFLEX® 192 manufactured by Air Products and an acrylic waterborne pressure sensitive adhesive available as NACOR® 38-088A, manufactured by the

Adhesives Division of National Starch & Chemical Company. Trevira's T-255

Merge No. 1663 bicomponent fiber has a denier of 2.2-dtex, and is 0.003-meter (3- mm) in length, with a 50/50 ratio of polyester to polyethylene. Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion bicomponent fibers consist of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath. The produced airlaid structures, AFM-I, AFM-2 and AFM-3, had total basis weights of 106.5 gsm, 106.5 gsm, and 113.5 gsm respectively. The pilot substrate AFM-I was prepared according to the composition given in Table 12 on the pilot line. Table 12: Composition of AFM-I

The pilot substrate AFM-2 was prepared according to the composition given in Table 13 on the pilot line. Table 13: Composition of AFM-2

AFM-I and AFM-2 were prepared individually in three layers. The first forming head added a mixture of 40.0 gsm of FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and 9.0 gsm of

Trevira 1663 bicomponent fibers. The second forming head added 36.0 gsm of Fibervision™ AL 4-Adhesion. Immediately after this, the web was compacted via the compaction roll at 4.3 bars. Then, 20.0 gsm NACOR® 38-088A pressure-sensitive adhesive at 15.0% mixture solids content (AFM-I), or at 10.0% mixture solids content (AFM-2) was sprayed onto the top of the web. The web was cured in a Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 14O 0 C. After this, the web from each condition was wound as a 20-inch diameter roll. The roll was then unwound and run back through the pilot line and 1.5 gsm AIRFLEX®-192 latex emulsion was applied onto the reverse side of the web. The machine speed was 15 meters/minute.

The substrate, AFM-3, was also prepared on a DannWebb pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc., Memphis, TN. This substrate was identical in manufacture and composition to AFM-I and AFM-2, with the exception of the gsm add-on of the pressure sensitive adhesive, NACOR® 38-088A. The pilot substrate AFM-3 was prepared according to the composition given in Table 14 on the pilot line. Table 14: Composition of AFM-3

The filtration efficiency performance of the 3 substrates prepared at the pilot plant was tested off-site at Blue Heaven Technologies, located in Louisville,

Kentucky. The experiment performed at Blue Heaven involved cutting the 3 substrates

(AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3) to a size of 24-inches by 24-inches, affixing them

each to a 24-inch by 24-inch by 1-inch frame (Figure 15), and sealing it in an

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning

Engineers) standard 52.2-1999 test duct. ASHRAE Standard 52.2-1999 entitled

"Method of Testing General Ventilation Air Cleaning Devices for Removal by

5 Particle Size" is a standardized laboratory test method and HVAC industry standard for measuring the filtration efficiency of ventilation air filters used in residential and commercial buildings. The substrates, AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3, were oriented in the test duct in such a way that the side with the Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion bicomponent fibers layer faced upstream. 0 The airflow in the ASHRAE standard 52.2-1999 test duct was then set at a constant value of 472 cfm. A test aerosol was injected upstream of the substrates while a particle counter was used to count the number of particles upstream and downstream of the substrates in 12 size ranges from 0.3 - 10 μm diameter. This particular size range is chosen in order to test a filter's ability to filter respirable size 5 particles. The ratio of the downstream counts to the upstream counts was used to compute the filtration efficiency of AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3 for each of the 12 size ranges. Based on the minimum filtration efficiencies observed during the test of the substrates, the analyst at Blue Heaven Technologies was able to assign each of the substrates a MERV value as defined by the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test method. 0 MERV is the "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value" for a filter. It is assigned to a substrate depending on its particle filtering efficiency (PSE) in three different particle size ranges (0.3 to one micrometer, one to three micrometers, and three to 10 micrometers). The MERV value is an indication of the minimum efficiency that can be expected from that particular filter substrate, and is an excellent representation of 5 filter performance. This number is also intended to help people compare filters.

Table 15 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies on the three filter substrates, AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3. Table 15. ASHRAE 52.2 Test Data on AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3

Value (MERV) | 472 CFM | 472 CFM | 472 CFM

Based on the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results, the following conclusions were made.

The substrate AFM-2 had the highest percent filtration efficiency in all of the 5 three different particle size ranges (0.3 to one micrometer, one to three micrometers, and three to 10 micrometers). Consequently, at a MERV 8 at an airflow rate of 472 CFM, Substrate AFM-2 exhibited the best filter performance of the three substrates. Based on the data, it is evident that the differences in the formulation and0 quantity of application of the solution of NACOR® 38-088A, the pressure sensitive adhesive used in the preparation of substrates AFM-I, AFM-2, and AFM-3, resulted in a difference in filtration efficiency as represented by the MER value.

Based on the data generated from substrate AFM-2 led to a secondary experiment at Blue Heaven Technologies. The procedure in this case involved5 generating a fourth substrate by placing two samples of the substrate AFM-2 together in the same orientation. This substrate will henceforth be referred to as AFM-2X2. The substrate AFM-2X2 had the composition listed in Table 16. Table 16: Composition of AFM-2X2

0 AFM-2X2 was then subjected to the identical ASHRAE Standard 52.2- 1999 test as the previous substrates. As before, the substrate was oriented in the test duct in such a way that the side with the top layer of Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion bicomponent fibers faced upstream.

Table 17 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies5 on the filter substrate, AFM-2X2.

Table 17. ASHRAE 52.2 Test Data on AFM-2X2

Table 18 below summarizes the data for initial resistance obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies for each of the substrates tested. Graphical representations of the data are provided in Figures 18A-D. Table 18

Table 19 below summarizes the data for particle removal efficiency obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies for each of the substrates tested. Graphical representations of the data are provided in Figures 19A-D.

Table 19

Based on the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results on AFM-2X2, the following conclusions were derived.

An increase in basis weight of the substrate resulted in a significant improvement in filtration efficiency as represented by the MER value.

For a MERV 10 @ 472 CFM filter, the relatively low initial resistance as expressed in units of Water Gauge may indicate good porosity and, possibly, better energy efficiency associated with operating an air filtration system with substrate

AFM-2X2. Previous analysis on a similar substrate, NTL3 from Example 2, involved visually examining the dust-capturing characteristics of the pilot plant substrate using the Hitachi S3500-N Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope on-site. Prior to examination, the substrate had been dosed with imitation dust, a silica-based material available as Arizona Test Dust (A.T.D.), manufactured by Powder Technology. This dust is normally used to test filters and has particles that range in size from 0.807-μm to 78.16-μm. The dust-dosed substrate was then sputter-coated with gold using the EMITECH K550x Sputter Coater. Secondary electron images

(Figures 16 and 17) were captured at an accelerating voltage of 15.0 kV at a working distance of 10-mm. Based on visual examination, it was concluded at the time that the dust- capturing capacity of the substrate NTL-3 was greater than that predicted merely from the apparent surface area of the fibers comprising the media. The waterborne pressure-sensitive adhesive, FLEXCRYL® 1625, coating the fibers of the NTL3 media appeared to have a re-wetting capability, making it possible to capture a dust particle, and then wet and incorporate that particle into the adhesive. This resulted in that area of the adhesive-coated fiber becoming available again for dust capture.

It was also noted during visual analysis of NTL3 from Example 2, and AFM- 1, AFM-2, and AFM-3, that the waterborne pressure-sensitive adhesives, FLEXCRYL® 1625 and the NACOR® 38-088 A, that had been sprayed on the web during manufacture of the substrate in the pilot plant, did not remain entirely on the top surface of the substrate, but had penetrated through the pores of the top layer of fibers, settling in the body of the material. Much of this effect can be attributed to the fact that the top layer of Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion bicomponent fibers, consisting of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath, is hydrophobic, causing the waterborne adhesive to selectively migrate to the more hydrophilic wood fiber layer underneath. This made it possible to wind the web into a roll in the pilot plant and efficiently unroll it, as the top surface did not exhibit significant tack.

EXAMPLE 11 : Non-Limiting Example of Tacky Material with Multiple

Layers Figure 1 presents a perspective view of a tacky material 100, in one embodiment. In this arrangement, a multi-strata substrate is employed.

First, a top layer 10 is provided. The top layer 10 represents a nonwoven, airlaid fiber matrix. This layer 10 is not treated with any adhesive or miticide, and is fabricated or made from a soft, cotton linter in order to serve as a sleeping surface. The top strata 10 includes an upper surface on which a user may place a fitted sheet and then lay.

Second, the tacky material 100 includes an upper intermediate nonwoven material layer 20. This upper intermediate stratum 20 has a top surface 22 and a bottom surface 24. The upper intermediate layer 20 is impregnated with an aggressively tacky adhesive for trapping dust mites and other allergens moving into and out of a mattress (not shown).

Third, the tacky material 100 includes a lower intermediate nonwoven material layer 30. This lower intermediate stratum 30 has a top surface 32 and a bottom surface 34. The lower intermediate layer 30 is impregnated with a mildly tacky adhesive, and then lightly treated with a nontoxic miticide.

Fourth, the tacky material 100 includes a release liner 40. The liner 40 defines a thin poly-olefin film which engages the bottom surface 34 of the lower intermediate layer 30. The film 40 is releasable and is removed before the user places the tacky material 100 onto a mattress (or other allergen-bearing article). The film 40 permits

multiple tacky material units 100 to be vertically stacked, and then packaged for shipment or sale.

The strata 10, 20, 30 preferably include a binder which permits the strata to be melded together in an oven. Alternatively, or in addition, the strata 10, 20, 30 include a hotmelt adhesive applied to perimeter surfaces for sealing the edges.

A light-weight container 50 is provided for packaging. The light-weight container may be a transparent polyethylene sleeve or plastic bag that is labeled for retail sale. Alternatively, it may be a cardboard box. Alternatively still, the container 50 may be a more durable and stackable poly-carbonate container as shown in Figure 1. Other containers may be employed, and the tacky material 100 is not limited in scope to the method of packaging or shipping. The container 50 includes a watertight interior 52 for receiving the tacky material 100. A removable sealing member 58 is applied along an upper lip 56 of the container 50 to seal the container 50.

Preferably, the container 50 is smaller in area than the tacky material 100. The tacky material 100 is folded over one or more times before being inserted into the container 50. This permits multiple tacky material units 100 to fit more readily into the container 50.

It is understood that the tacky material 100 of Figure 1 is merely exemplary; other arrangements and materials consistent with this disclosure may be employed. Figure 1 is intended to present various features and options together that might more preferably be independent features. For instance, the tacky material might only have a single layer that has a mildly tacky adhesive sprayed onto one exterior surface. The material may be rolled or folded and then inserted into a sleeve for transport. The tacky material might then be carried through a converting process to place it in retail form.

EXAMPLE 12: Filtration Media Substrate

Basic Airlaid Handsheet Former Procedure. The working examples described herein employed a laboratory airlaid handsheet apparatus which lays down a 35.5 x 35.5 cm (14 x 14 inch) pad. This size pad is termed a handsheet and is suitable for range-finding experiments before going to an actual airlaid machine to produce a continuous web. To make a handsheet on the handsheet former, weighed amounts of various fibers are added to a mixing chamber where jets of air fluidize and mix the fibers. The fluidized cloud of fibers is pulled down onto the forming wire by

a vacuum source. A tissue or other porous carrier is used to minimize the loss of fiber to the vacuum system. While some applications call for a spunbond carrier to be attached to one face of the material, in other instances the carrier may be removed after formation of the handsheet. In the working examples that follow, the tissue carrier is removed.

Prior to feeding to the handsheet apparatus, chosen fibers are mechanically defibrated, or "comminuted," into a low density, individualized, fibrous form known as "fluff." Mechanical defibration may be performed by a variety of methods which are known in the art. Typically a hammer mill, such as, for example, a Kamas Mill, is employed. A Kamas Mill from Kamas Industri AB, Sweden with a 51 mm (2 inch) slot is particularly useful for laboratory scale production of fluff and is used in this procedure. The binder fibers and other synthetic fibers come loosely baled and do not require a separate opening step when used in the laboratory handsheet former.

The laboratory scale airlaid handsheet apparatus can be operated step-wise to simulate the commercial multiple-forming-head airlaid process to airlay the fiber mixtures into the 35.56 cm (14 inch) square handsheets. The handsheet former is located in a temperature- and relative humidity-controlled room maintained at 23 0 C +

1.5 0 C (73.4 0 F ± 2.7°F) and 50 + 5 percent relative humidity. The fibrous raw materials are equilibrated in the controlled humidity room for at least 30 minutes prior to forming the handsheet. Controlling the humidity and temperature are necessary to avoid static electricity problems that can be generated in connection with the air- handling of finely divided materials.

For high basis weight materials, the handsheet apparatus is used to build a handsheet in up to 24 steps to produce as many layers. Forming the handsheet in this many steps helps to ensure that the batch-type forming head of the laboratory airlaid handsheet apparatus better simulates the degree of homogeneity which is obtained in a multiple forming head, continuous airlaid manufacturing machine. After each portion of the total weight of fibers is laid down, the forming wire is turned 90 degrees in the apparatus. This procedure helps to minimize air turbulence artifacts and delivers a more uniform handsheet. In this step- wise fashion the entire airlaid handsheet is formed. In this step- wise fashion the entire airlaid handsheet is formed.

After the airlaid step, the handsheet is pressed to a target thickness in a laboratory press heated to 15O 0 C. The handsheet is then held under compression from

5 to 30 minutes so to fully activate the thermoplastic sheath of the bicomponent binder fiber.

Two airlaid substrates called NTL4 and NTL4-Roll2 were prepared on a Dan Web pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc., Memphis, TN. The raw materials consisted of a southern softwood Kraft fluff pulp, available as FOLEY FLUFFS® from Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, TN, bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, Fibervision™ AL 4-Adhesion bicomponent fibers produced by Fibervisions, an ethyl vinyl acetate latex binder available as AIRFLEX® 192 manufactured by Air Products (AIRFLEX® 192 usually has an opacifier and whitener, such as titanium dioxide, dispersed in the emulsion), and an acrylic waterborne pressure sensitive adhesive available as NACOR® 38-088, manufactured by the Adhesives Division of National Starch & Chemical Company. Trevira's T-255 Merge No. 1663 bicomponent fiber has a denier of 2.2-dtex, and is 0.003-meter (3-mm) in length. It has a 50/50 ratio of polyester to polyethylene. Fibervision™ AL 4-Adhesion bicomponent fibers consist of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath. Fibervision™ AL-fibers are suitable for blends with wood pulp as they have an improved ability to bind cellulosic fibers and reduce dust to the minimum. The produced airlaid structure had a total basis weight of 106.5 gsm. The pilot substrate NTL4 was prepared according to the composition given in Table 20 on the pilot line.

Table 20 Composition of Pilot Example 12 (NTL4 and NTL4-Roll2)

NTL4 and NTL4-Roll2 were prepared individually in three layers. The first forming head added a mixture of 40.0 gsm of FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and 9.0 gsm of

Trevira 1663 bicomponent fibers. The second forming head added 36.0 gsm of

Fibervision™ AL 4- Adhesion. Immediately after this, the web was compacted via the compaction roll at 4.3 bars. 1.5 gsm AIRFLEX®-192 latex emulsion was foamed onto the bottom of the web. Then, 20.0 gsm NACOR® 38-088 pressure-sensitive adhesive at 15.0% mixture solids content (NTL4), or at 10.0% mixture solids content

(NTL4-Roll2) was sprayed onto the top of the web. Then the web was cured in a

Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 140 0 C. After this, the web from each condition was wound as a 20-inch diameter roll and collected. The machine speed was 15 meters/minute. In addition to the airlaid substrates, NTL4 and NTL4-Roll 2, an additional substrate called NTL4-Roll 3 was prepared on a Dan Web pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc., Memphis, TN. This substrate was identical in manufacture and composition to NTL4 and NTL4-Roll 2, with the exception of the gsm add-on of the pressure sensitive adhesive, NACOR® 38-088. The pilot substrate NTL4-Roll 3 was prepared according to the composition given in Table 21.

Table 21 Composition of Pilot Example 12 (NTL4 -Roll 3)

The filtration efficiency performance of the 3 substrates prepared at the pilot plant was tested off-site at a company called Blue Heaven Technologies. Blue Heaven Technologies is a subsidiary of Jordan Technologies, and is located in Louisville, Kentucky. This company offers a full range of air filtration testing services, including careful product performance analysis as well as government mandated emissions testing.

The experiment performed at Blue Heaven involved cutting the 3 substrates (NTL4, NTL4 -Roll 2, and NTL4 -Roll 3) to a size of 20-inches by 20-inches,

affixing them each to a 20-inch by 20-inch by 1-inch frame, and sealing it in an

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning

Engineers) standard 52.2-1999 test duct. ASHRAE Standard 52.2-1999 entitled

"Method of Testing General Ventilation Air Cleaning Devices for Removal by Particle Size" is a standardized laboratory test method and HVAC industry standard for measuring the filtration efficiency of ventilation air filters used in residential and commercial buildings. The substrates, NTL4, NTL4-Roll 2, and NTL4 -Roll 3, were oriented in the test duct in such a way that the side with the Fibervision™ AL 4-

Adhesion bicomponent fibers layer faced upstream. The airflow in the ASHRAE standard 52.2-1999 test duct was then set at a constant value of 472 cfm. A test aerosol was injected upstream of the substrates while a particle counter was used to count the number of particles upstream and downstream of the substrates in 12 size ranges from 0.3 - 10 μm diameter. This particular size range is chosen in order to test a filter's ability to filter respirable size particles. The ratio of the downstream counts to the upstream counts was used to compute the filtration efficiency of NTL4, NTL4-Roll 2, and NTL4-Roll 3 for each of the 12 size ranges. Based on the minimum filtration efficiencies observed during the test of the substrates, the analyst at Blue Heaven Technologies was able to assign each of the substrates a MERV value as defined by the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test method. MERV is the "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value" for a filter. It is assigned to a substrate depending on its particle filtering efficiency (PSE) in three different particle size ranges (0.3 to one micrometer, one to three micrometers, and three to 10 micrometers). The MERV value is an indication of the minimum efficiency that can be expected from that particular filter substrate, and is an excellent representation of filter performance.

Table 22 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies on the three filter substrates, NTL4, NTL4-Roll 2, and NTLA-RoIl 3.

Table 22 ASHRAE 52.2 Test Data on NTL4, NTL4 -Roll 2, and NTL4-Roll 3

Based on the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results, the following conclusions were made:

(1) The substrate NTL4-Roll 2 had the highest percent filtration efficiency in all of the three different particle size ranges (0.3 to one micrometer, one to three micrometers, and three to 10 micrometers).

(2) Consequently, at a MERV 8 at an airflow rate of 472 CFM, Substrate NTL4- RoIl 2 exhibited the best filter performance of the three substrates.

(3) Based on the data, it is evident that the differences in the formulation and quantity of application of the solution of NACOR® 38-088, the pressure sensitive adhesive used in the preparation of substrates NTL4, NTL4-Roll 2, and NTL4-Roll 3, results in a difference in filtration efficiency as represented by the MERV value.

The promising nature of the data generated from Substrate NTL4-Roll 2 resulted in the performance of a secondary experiment at Blue Heaven Technologies. The procedure in this case involved generating a fourth substrate by placing two samples of the substrate NTL4-Roll 2 together in the same orientation. This substrate will henceforth be referred to as 2XNTL4-Roll 2. The substrate 2XNTL4-Roll 2 had the composition listed in Table 23.

Table 23 Composition of 2XNLT4-Roll 2

2XNTL4-Roll 2 was then subjected to the identical ASHRAE Standard 52.2- 1999 test as the previous substrates. As before, the substrate was oriented in the test

duct in such a way that the side with the top layer of Fibervision™ AL 4-Adhesion bicomponent fibers faced upstream. Table 24 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies on the filter substrate, 2XNTL4-Roll 2. Table 24

ASHRAE 52.2 Test Data on 2XNTL4-Roll 2

Based on the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results on 2XNTL4-RoII 2, the following conclusions were derived: (1) An increase in basis weight of the substrate resulted in a significant improvement in filtration efficiency as represented by the MER value. (2) For a MERV 10 @ 472 CFM filter, the relatively low initial resistance as expressed in units of Water Gauge may indicate good porosity and, possibly, better energy efficiency associated with operating an air filtration system with substrate 2XNTL4-Roll 2.

The next phase of analysis involved visually examining the dust -capturing characteristics of a substrate constructed in a manner similar to the pilot plant substrate NTL4-Roll 2, using the Hitachi S3500-N Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope on-site. Prior to examination, this substrate was dosed with imitation dust, a silica-based material available as Arizona Test Dust (A.T.D.), manufactured by Powder Technology. This dust is normally used to test filters and has particles that range in size from 0.807-μm to 78.16-μm. The dosed substrate was then sputter-coated with gold using the Emitech® K55OX Sputter Coater. The secondary electron images (Figures 20 and 21) were captured at an accelerating voltage of 1OkV at a working distance of 0.0134 meters.

Based on visual examination, it was concluded that the dust-capturing capacity of the filter substrate similar to NTL4-Roll 2 was greater than that predicted merely from the apparent surface area of the fibers comprising the media. The waterborne pressure sensitive adhesive, NACOR® 38-088, coating the fibers of the media

appeared to have a re-wetting capability, making it possible to capture a dust particle, and then wet and incorporate that particle into the adhesive. This resulted in that area of the adhesive-coated fiber becoming available again for dust capture. Figure 22 illustrates this dust-capturing capability of the substrate similar to the NTL4-Roll 2 media. As in the case of Figures 20 and 21, NTL4-Roll 2 was sputter coated with gold using the Emitech® K550X Sputter Coater. A secondary electron image, Figure

22, was captured at a magnification of 1500X at an accelerating voltage of 15kV at a working distance of 0.0100 meters.

It was also noticed during the visual analysis that the waterborne pressure sensitive adhesive, NACOR® 38-088, that had been sprayed last on the web during manufacture of the substrate in the pilot plant, did not remain entirely on the top surface of the substrate, but had penetrated through the pores of the top layer of fibers, settling in the body of the material. This made it possible to wind the web into a roll in the pilot plant and efficiently unroll it as the top surface did not exhibit significant tack. Figure 23 exhibits this feature of a substrate similar to NTL4-Roll 2. The image shows the sample in cross-section, illustrating that a similar pressure-sensitive adhesive had seeped into the lower layers of the sample and did not remain pooled on the top surface only. Figure 23 is representative of a gold-coated sample of the substrate taken at a magnification of 9OX at an accelerating voltage of 15kV and a working distance of 0.0118 meters.

EXAMPLE 13: Laboratory Filtration Media Handsheet prepared using Pre- treated FOLEY FLUFFS®

Strips of a FOLEY FLUFFS® cellulose wood pulp sheet 0.0254 meters by 0.1016 meters (1 inch by 4 inch) were treated with a 10.70 percent solids solution of the pressure-sensitive adhesive binder, NACOR® 38-088A, to a dry add-on level of 20 gsm. The treated strips were run through the laboratory comminution device, which is a three stage fluffer, and collected. The treated fluff was then dried in an oven at 105 0 C to eliminate any residual moisture remaining from the pre-treatment. The dried cellulose fluff and additional raw materials were blown into a 0.254 meters by 0.254 meters (10 inch by 10 inch) 210 gsm airlaid handsheet using the laboratory handsheet former as described earlier in this document. The additional raw materials consisted bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira GmbH of

Bobingen, Fibervision™ AL- Adhesion bicomponent fibers produced by Fibervisions, and an ethyl vinyl acetate latex binder available as AIRFLEX® 192 manufactured by

Air Products (AIRFLEX® 192 usually has an opacifier and whitener, such as titanium dioxide, dispersed in the emulsion). Trevira's T-255 Merge No. 1663 bicomponent fiber has a denier of 2.2-dtex, and is 0.003-meter (3-mm) in length. It has a 50/50 ratio of polyester to polyethylene. Fibervision™ AL-Adhesion bicomponent fibers consist of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath. These Fibervision™ AL- fibers have a denier of 16.7-dtex, a length of 4-mm, and are suitable for blends with wood pulp as they have an improved ability to bind cellulosic fibers and reduce dust to the minimum. Table 25 below details the composition of the airlaid handsheet:

Table 25 Composition of Laboratory Example 13

The pad was blown in such a way that the pre-treated FOLEY FLUFFS® fibers and the Trevira 1663 bicomponent fibers were combined to form the first layer, while the second layer consisted of the Fibervisions AL Delta Adhesion II fibers. This surface of the handsheet with the Fibervisions AL Delta Adhesion II fibers is henceforth being referred to as the "top surface" of the handsheet. The top surface of the prepared handsheet was sprayed with an additional 20 gsm add-on of a 10.70 percent solids solution of NACOR® 38-088A. The bottom layer of the handsheet was sprayed with 0.50 gsm of a 9.63 percent solids solution of

AIRFLEX® 192 binder solution. The pad structure prepared in this manner was cured in an oven at a temperature of 140°C for 15 minutes. It was set to a density of 0.02 - 0.03 g/cc by being held for 15 minutes in a laboratory press heated to 140 0 C. The final product, Example 13, had a measured basis weight of 210 gsm, a thickness of 0.0082 meters, and a density of 0.026 g/cc. In order to visually examine the dust-capturing characteristics of the pre- treated FOLEY FLUFFS®, a sample of the fiberized pre-treated fluff was collected

after the three stage fluffer, prior to blowing into a handsheet, and examined using the

Hitachi S3500-N Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope on-site. Prior to examination, one sample of the pre-treated fluff fibers was dosed with imitation dust, a silica-based material available as Arizona Test Dust (A.T.D.), manufactured by

Powder Technology. This dust is normally used to test filters and has particles that range in size from 0.807-μm to 78.16-μm. The pre-treated fluff and the pre-treated fluff dosed with A. T. D. were sputter-coated with gold using the Emitech® K55OX

Sputter Coater. Secondary electron images, Figures 24-27, were then captured at an accelerating voltage of 12kV at working distances ranging from 0.01200 meters to

0.0132 meters. Figures 24 and 25 are representative of the pre-treated fluff prior to dosing with dust, and Figures 26 and 27 are representative of the dosed fluff fibers.

Example 13 was sent to Blue Heaven Technologies, a Filtration and Environmental testing lab located in Louisville, Kentucky. Blue Heavens performed a Flat Sheet Test on Example 13. The pertinent data obtained from this test is listed below in Table 26. Table 26

*WG = Water Gauge

EXAMPLE 14: Laboratory Filtration Media Handsheet prepared using

Untreated FOLEY FLUFFS®

A 0.254 meters by 0.254 meters (10 inch by 10 inch) sample, Example 14, was manufactured in the laboratory in an identical manner as Example 13, with the exception of the pre-treatment of the FOLEY FLUFFS® fiber. The composition and targeted add-on percentages of the components were identical to Example 14.

The final product, Example 14, had a measured basis weight of 200 gsm, a measured thickness of 0.0081 -meters, and a density of 0.025 g/cc.

As before, Example 14 was sent to Blue Heaven Technologies, a Filtration and Environmental testing lab located in Louisville, Kentucky. Blue Heavens performed a Flat Sheet Test on Example 14. The pertinent data obtained from this test is listed in

Table 27. Table 27

*WG = Water Gauge

Based on the data obtained, it appeared that the filtration efficiency of Example 13 exceeded that of Example 14 in the lower micron ranges, i.e. 0.3 and 0.5 microns, as a result of the pre-treatment of the FOLEY FLUFFS® fiber with

NACOR® 38-088A.

EXAMPLE 15: ASHRAE Standard 52.2 Initial Efficiency Test on Example

13

Four samples of Example 13 were carefully taped together at the internal seams to form a continuous square sample that measured approximately 0.6096 meters by 0.6096 meters (24 inches by 24 inches). This sample, termed Example 15, was sent to Blue Heavens Technologies, a Filtration and Environmental testing lab located in Louisville, Kentucky for testing of initial efficiency and resistance using the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test detailed in Example 12 of this document. Table 28 below provides pertinent data obtained from this test:

Table 28

At a value of 9 @ 472 CFM, the MERV rating of the Example 15 filter exceeded that of the samples of Example 12. The pre-treatment of the FOLEY FLUFFS® fiber appears to boost the filtration efficiency of the airlaid media.

EXAMPLE 16: Flame Retardant Filtration Media containing Polyester Fiber with Low Combustibility

A laboratory handsheet was manufactured using the handsheet former as describer earlier. The raw materials used were bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number

1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, and flame-retardant polyester fiber available as Trevira Type T.270, also made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen. Trevira's

T-255 Merge No. 1663 bicomponent fiber has a denier of 2.2-dtex, and is 0.003-meter

(3-mm) in length. It has a 50/50 ratio of polyester to polyethylene. Trevira's T.270 polyester fibers have a denier of 1.7 dtex and are 38 millimeters long. They were manually cut with scissors to a length of 0.00635 meters (0.25 inches) for the purposes of this example. The flame-retardancy of Trevira's T.270 fibers is inherent, and is based on phosphorus.

Table 29 below details the composition of the airlaid handsheet: Table 29

Composition of Laboratory Example 16

The prepared handsheet was centered approximately two inches over the top of the flame of a Bunsen burner and its burn characteristics observed. Example 16 performed very well in that there was no visible smoke and no dripping of molten fiber. The sample melted and shrank away from the flame. Figure 28 is an image of the flame-facing surface of Sample 16 after subjection to the flame.

EXAMPLE 17: Flame Retardant Filtration Media containing Flame- Retardant Cellulose and Polyester Fiber with Low Combustibility

0.1016 meters (4 inch) wide rolls of FOLEY FLUFFS® cellulose pulp were pre-treated with a 30 percent solids solution of the flame retardant, Flovan® CGN, using a manifold delivery system at the pilot plant at Buckeye Technologies in Memphis, Tennessee. Each meter of Foley Fluffs® pulp was pre-treated with approximately 12.0 grams of a 30 percent solids solution of Flovan® CGN. The pre- treated pulp strips were allowed to pass through a hammermill after which the fiberized flame-retardant FOLEY FLUFFS® were collected and used to manufacture a handsheet in the laboratory. The other raw materials used in the manufacture of

Example 17 were bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, and flame-retardant polyester fiber available as Trevira Type T.270, also made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen. The Type T.270 fibers had a denier of 1.7 dtex and were originally 38-millimeters in length. They were manually cut with scissors to a length of 0.00635 meters (0.25 inches) for the purposes of this example.

The composition of the handsheet was as follows:

Table 30 Composition of Laboratory Example 17

Additionally, a mixture of a 5 percent solids AIRFLEX®-192 latex emulsion, a 6 percent Flovan® CGN flame-retardant solution, and a 0.5 percent solution of an amino-siloxane waterproofing agent available as GE Magnasoft silicone from GE Advanced Materials Silicones in Wilton, CT was sprayed on the top and bottom surfaces of the prepared Example 17 structure. The total percent solids of the mixture was 11.44 percent. The amount of the mixture added to each surface was 6 gsm.

As in the case of the previous example, the prepared handsheet, Example 17, was centered approximately two inches over the top of the flame of a Bunsen burner and its burn characteristics observed. Example 15 generated minimal flames and smoke, but performed well in that it self-extinguished and shrank away from the point of initial contact with the flame, leaving a hole on the product.

An additional product was manufactured using a composition and technique identical to that of Example 17, with the exception that the amount of Trevira T.270 polyester was increased to 70 gsm, and the amount of bicomponent fiber was correspondingly decreased to 10 gsm. This sample functioned very well when exposed to a flame.

EXAMPLE 18: Flame Retardancy of Filtration Media containing

Acrylic Fiber

Example 18 was prepared to a 100 gsm basis weight in the laboratory using the handsheet apparatus as described earlier in this document. The raw materials used were as follows: bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira

GmbH of Bobingen, and short-cut, uncrimped acrylic fibers obtained from MiniFibers, Inc. of Johnson City, Tennessee. The acrylic fibers had a denier per filament of 3.0 and a cut length of 6-millimeters. The specific composition of the handsheet is listed in Table 31.

Table 31 Composition of Laboratory Example 18

Additionally, a mixture of a 5 percent solids AIRFLEX®-192 latex emulsion, a 6 percent Flovan® CGN flame-retardant solution, and a 0.5 percent solution of an amino-siloxane waterproofing agent available as GE Magnasoft silicone from GE Advanced Materials Silicones in Wilton, CT was sprayed on the top and bottom surfaces of the prepared Example 19 structure. The total percent solids of the mixture was 11.44 percent. The amount of the mixture added to each surface was 10 gsm.

As in the case of the previous examples, the prepared handsheet, Example 18, was centered approximately two inches over the top of the flame of a Bunsen burner and its burn characteristics observed. Example 18 worked very well, self-extinguished and shrank away from the flame with minimal flames and smoke. Example 19: Flame Retardancy of Filtration Media containing Acrylic Fiber and FR Wood Cellulose

A 100 gsm basis weight handsheet was prepared in the laboratory using the handsheet apparatus as described earlier in this document. The raw materials used were as follows: fiberized FOLEY FLUFFS® cellulose pulp that had been pre- treated with a 30 percent solids solution of the flame retardant, Flovan® CGN, bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core available as Type T-255 with merge number 1663, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, and uncrimped, short-cut acrylic fibers obtained from MiniFibers, Inc. of Johnson City, Tennessee. The acrylic fibers had a denier per filament of 3.0 and a cut length of 6- millimeters. The specific composition of the handsheet is listed in Table 32. Table 32

Composition of Laboratory Example 19

Additionally, a mixture of a 5 percent solids AIRFLEX®-192 latex emulsion, a 6 percent Flovan® CGN flame-retardant solution, and a 0.5 percent solution of an amino-siloxane waterproofing agent available as GE Magnasoft silicone from GE Advanced Materials Silicones in Wilton, CT was sprayed on the top and bottom surfaces of the prepared Example 18 structure. The total percent solids of the mixture was 11.44 percent. The amount of the mixture added to each surface was 10 gsm.

As in the case of the previous examples, the prepared handsheet, Example 19, was centered approximately two inches over the top of the flame of a Bunsen burner and its burn characteristics observed. Example 19 worked very well, self-extinguished and shrank away from the flame with minimal flames and smoke. Figure 29 illustrates the nature of the flame-facing surface of the handsheet after exposure to the flame.

EXAMPLE 19: Filtration Media Substrate

Seven airlaid substrates, M08-1-20 through M08-7-20, were prepared on a Dan- Web pilot scale airlaid manufacturing unit at Buckeye Technologies, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee. The raw materials were (1) a southern softwood Kraft fluff pulp, available as FOLEY FLUFFS® from Buckeye Technologies Inc.; (2)

bicomponent binder fiber with a polyethylene sheath over a polyester core, available as Type T-255 with Merge No. 1661, which had a 2.2 dtex denier and 6-mm length, made by Trevira GmbH of Bobingen, Germany; (3) Fibervisions™ AL Delta II

Adhesions polyolefin eccentric bicomponent fibers, which had 16.7 dtex and 4-mm length, produced by Fibervisions; (4) an ethylene vinyl acetate latex binder available as AIRFLEX® 192 manufactured by Air Products, AIRFLEX® 192 usually has an opacifier and whitener, such as titanium dioxide, dispersed in the emulsion; and (5) an acrylic waterborne pressure sensitive adhesive available as Nacor ® 38-088A, manufactured by the Adhesives Division of National Starch & Chemical Company.

The airlaid structures for the seven substrates were prepared according to the compositions given in Table 33 on the pilot line. The data presented is the basis weights (BW) of the components.

Table 33: Composition of Pilot Substrates M08-1-20 through M08-7-20

* FR-I: Flame Retardant FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp (Flovan treated).

* FR-2: Flame Retardant Fibervisions™ AL Delta II adhesions eccentric bicomponent fibers (Type-276; 12 dtex)

The first forming head added a mixture of FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and Trevira 1661 bicomponent fibers (ratios depending on the substrate). For example, substrate M08-1-20, consisted of a mixture of 40.0 gsm FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and 9.0 gsm Trevira 1661 bicomponent fibers. The next two forming heads added Fibervisions™ AL Delta II adhesions eccentric bicomponent fibers (for M08-1-20, a total of 36.0 gsm was added). Immediately after this, the web was compacted with a

compaction roll at 4.3 bars. The web was then cured in a Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 140° C. After this, the web from each condition was wound as a 20-inch diameter roll and collected. The machine speed was 20 meters/minute. The rolls from each of the seven conditions were then taken back to the front of the line where 1.5 gsm AIRFLEX® 192 latex emulsion at 10 % solids was sprayed onto the FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp and Trevira 1661 bicomponent fibers mixture side of the web. The machine speed was 25 meters/minute. Once the latex was sprayed, the web was dried in a Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 140° C. After exiting the tunnel, the web was rolled up and again taken to the front of the line for treatment of the pressure sensitive adhesive, Nacor ® 38-088. A target weight of 20 gsm of Nacor ® 38-088 at 10 % mixture solids content was sprayed on top of the layer of Fibervisions™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefϊn eccentric bicomponent fibers. The web was then dried in a Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 140° C. The web was once again wound as a 20- inch diameter roll and collected. The machine speed was 7.5 meters/minute. Examination of the material indicates an add-on of 30 gsm is preferred.

An attempt to double the amount of pressure sensitive adhesive, Nacor ® 38-088, was executed. The target weight was 40 gsm of Nacor ® 38-088 at 10 % mixture solids content. After the initial treatment of the 20 gsm of Nacor ® 38-088 at 10 % mixture solids content was applied and dried on top of the layer of Fibervisions™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefϊn eccentric bicomponent fibers, as described above, the web was rolled up and again taken to the front of the line for an additional treatment of the pressure sensitive adhesive, Nacor ® 38-088. A target weight of 20 gsm of Nacor ® 38-088 at 10 % mixture solids content was sprayed on top of the already existing dried layer of target weight 20 gsm Nacor ® 38-088. The web was then dried in a Moldow Through Air Tunnel Dryer at a temperature of 140° C. The web was once again wound as a 20-inch diameter roll and collected. The machine speed was 7.5 meters/minute. The airlaid structures for the seven additional substrates were prepared according to the compositions given in Table 34 on the pilot line. The data presented is the basis weights (BW) of the components. Examination of the material indicates an add-on of 60 gsm is preferred.

Table 34: Composition of Pilot Substrates M08-1-40 through M08-7-40

* FR- 1 : Flame Retardant FOLEY FLUFFS® pulp (Flovan treated).

* FR-2: Flame Retardant Fibervisions™ AL Delta II adhesions eccentric bicomponent fibers (Type-276; 12 dtex)

Samples containing the target weights of 20 gsm and 40 gsm of Nacor® 38- 088 were analyzed using the Scanning Electron Microscope. The samples were examined in cross-section and on the surface, after sputter coating with gold. Based on visual examination, it appeared that the waterborne pressure-sensitive adhesive, Nacor® 38-088, was penetrating at least the top portion of the web through the inter- fiber pores of the Fibervisions™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefin eccentric bicomponent fibers. Much of this effect can be attributed to the fact that the top layer of Fibervision™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefin eccentric bicomponent fibers, consisting of a polypropylene core and a polyethylene sheath, is hydrophobic, causing the waterborne adhesive to selectively migrate to the more hydrophilic wood fiber layer underneath. This made it possible to wind the web into a roll in the pilot plant and efficiently unroll it, as the top surface did not exhibit significant tack. The penetration was definitely superior on the 20- gsm Nacor® 38-088 sample when compared with the 40-gsm sample. The 40-gsm Nacor® 38-088 sample appeared to be overloaded with the pressure sensitive adhesive to the extent that it had formed a

"crust" on the surface of the sample, occluding many of the pores. It appears that this was caused by drying the first addition of Nacor® 38-088 which then blocked the second addition of Nacor® 38-088.

Filter Efficiency Testing

The filter efficiencies of the pilot plant samples M08-1-20, 40 through M08-7-20, 40 were tested at Blue Heaven Technologies, located in Louisville, Ky. The experiment performed at Blue Heaven involved cutting two - eight foot lengths from each roll. Approximately two inches was then removed from these pieces lengthwise and then the edges were overlapped by a half inch. The seam was held together using masking tape on the Foley Fluff® pulp and Trevira 1661 bicomponent fibers mixture side of the web. Substrates M08-1-20, M08-1-40, M08-2-40, M08-3- 20, M08-3-40, M08-4-20, M08-4-40, and M08-5-20 were then pleated into a two inch, twenty-four pleated form which was then placed into a 24-inch by 24-inch by 2- inch frame and then sealed in a ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standard 52.2-2007 test duct. The substrates (M08-1-20, M08-1-40, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-3-40, M08-4-20, M08- 4-40, and M08-5-20) were oriented into the test duct in such a way that Fibervisions™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefin eccentric bicomponent fibers layer is faced upstream. See Figures 30 and 31 for images of the 20-pleat sample (M08-5- 20) and 24-pleat sample (M08-1-40), respectively.

The airflow in the ASHRAE 52.2-2007 test duct was then set at a constant value of 1968 cfm. A test aerosol was injected upstream of the substrates while a particle counter was used to count the number of particles upstream and downstream of the substrates in 12 size ranges from 0.3-10 μm diameter. This particular size range is chosen in order to test a filter's ability to filter respirable size particles. The ratio of the downstream counts to the upstream counts was used to compute the filtration efficiency of M08-1-20, M08-1-40, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-3-40, M08- 4-20, M08-4-40, and M08-5-20 for each of the twelve size ranges. Based on the minimum filtration efficiencies observed during the test of the substrates, the analyst at Blue Heaven Technologies was able to assign each of the substrates a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) value as defined by the ASHRAE 52.2-2007 test method. The MERV was assigned according to the substrate's particle filtering efficiency in three different ranges (0.3 to one micrometer, one to three micrometers, and three to ten micrometers).

Table 35 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies on the eight filter substrates M08-1-20, M08-1-40, M08-2-40, M08-3- 20, M08-3-40, M08-4-20, M08-4-40, and M08-5-20.

Table 35

Based on the ASHRAE 52.2-2007 test results, the following conclusions were made:

(1) The substrate M08-3-20 had exhibited the best filter performance of the eight substrates.

(2) Doubling the amount of NACOR® used on each substrate did not affect the MERV.

(3) An increase in basis weight up to 120 gsm in the substrates significantly increased the filtration efficiency as represented by the MERV. (4) As the basis weight increased the initial resistance increased.

(5) MERV remained the same above basis weights of 120 gsm.

(6) Doubling the amount of NACOR® increased the resistance which is a negative effect.

The promising nature of the data generated from substrates M08-1-20, M08-1-40, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-3-40, M08-4-20, M08-4-40, and M08-5-20 resulted in the performance of a secondary experiment at Blue Heaven Technologies.

The procedure in this case involved a 20-pleat sample instead of 24 for substrates M08-1-20, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-4-20, M08-5-20, and M08-7-20.

These substrates were pleated exactly the same as the 24 pleated samples and then subjected to the identical ASHRAE 52.2-2007 test. As before the substrates were oriented in the test duct in such a way that the side with the Fibervisions™ AL Delta II Adhesions polyolefin eccentric bicomponent fibers faced upstream.

Table 36 below summarizes results obtained from Blue Heaven Technologies on the filter substrates, M08-1-20, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-4-20, M08-5-20, and M08-7-20.

Table 36

Based on the ASHRAE 52.2-2007 test results on M08-1-20, M08-2-40, M08-3-20, M08-4-20, M08-5-20, and M08-7-20, the following conclusions were derived:

(1) As the number of pleats decrease so did the initial resistance for all substrates.

(2) For substrates M08-3-20 and M08-5-20 the MERV decreased by a value of one.

All patents, patent applications, publications, product descriptions and protocols, cited in this specification are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. In case of a conflict in terminology, the present disclosure controls.

While it will be apparent that the invention herein described is well calculated to achieve the benefits and advantages set forth above, the present invention is not to be limited in scope by the specific embodiments described herein. It will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the spirit thereof. For instance, the nonwoven structure is described in the context of an airlaid process. However, non-airlaid processes are also contemplated.