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How can we rapidly move liquid against gravity in a cost-effective manner?
engineering product design engineering fluid dynamics material science
top 50%
63 months ago
Small pic kcc diaper 4

When consumers purchase our personal care products, such as disposable diapers or adult incontinence products, they have specific needs that must absolutely be met. These products need to effectively manage bodily fluids in a form that is:
• Cost effective
• Discrete enough to preserve dignity
• Safe
• Comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and varying levels of activity.

At Kimberly-Clark, our brands like Cottonelle, Depend, Huggies, Kleenex, Kotex, Pull-Ups, and Scott, use several different materials to construct the absorbent system within our products, including melt-spun, wet-laid tissue, bonded air-laid mixtures of natural and synthetic fibers, bonded carded webs, and granulated superabsorbent polymers. 

However, the materials we use have a trade-off between permeability and capillarity. Some materials have high permeability to allow large amounts of liquid to penetrate, but can't move that liquid against gravity. Other materials have high capillarity, able to move liquids against gravity, but not able to absorb much volume. Our goal is to achieve the ability to move large volumes (up to 100ml) of liquid against gravity (height of 15cm) quickly (within 15 seconds). This would allow for full utilization, prevent saturation, and improve wet fit. 


Provide your cost-effective solution that can be used to rapidly move liquid against gravity with proposed targets of moving 100ml at a height of 15cm within 15 seconds. Specifically:

1. Explain your proposal, including details for materials, structure, and design.

2. What is the scientific basis for your technology?

3. Include a visual to illustrate your idea. PowerPoint slides are encouraged.

Suggested approaches for your focus include:
• Material pore size and wettability gradients
• Responsive materials and smart materials that change, form, or react to pressure, moisture, heat, pH, etc.
• Integrated material combinations
• Post-processing steps and treatments

Your solution should not be cost-prohibitive to the customer. Solutions can be entirely disposable, as the product is now, or part-disposable and part-durable.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
Reward Tiers
Top 10%
will share $1,000
Next 15%
will share $400
Next 25%
will share $200
Actual individual rewards will be based on the total number of eligible solutions.
$166.70 S Stephen Ahwin Rowan University
$166.70 E Eric Kinn Purdue University
$166.70 Square pic 60 mindsumo portrait Yevgeniy Parfilko Rochester Institute of Technology
$166.70 Picture?width=160 Arefeh Sherafati Washington University in St. Louis
$166.70 Square pic 60 matthew gaiser calgary bow headshot  1 Matthew Gaiser Queen's University
$166.70 J Johnson Nguyen Langara College
$57.10 K Katarzyna Clarke Georgetown University
$57.10 J Jesse Lu University of California at San Diego
$57.10 Square pic 60 11061729 10153291816037422 8610228348602706849 o Archit Nandi University of Florida
$57.10 Square pic 60 pb300022 Jumaa Alnaas Almergib University, Libya
$57.10 S Seth Leavitt Utah Valley University
$57.10 Square pic 60 t53r33gt6k Nandan Kumar IIEST
$57.10 Square pic 60 img 20201203 185411 639 Samantha Thompson Brock University
$15.40 Square pic 60 ryan murphy 2 Ryan Murphy Purdue University
$15.40 Square pic 60 mindsumo dp Tarun Jha University of Florida
$15.40 Square pic 60 haxewgim Mohamed Elshahidi Mansoura Faculty of Medicine
$15.40 Square pic 60 neat o Patrick Frank Harford Community College
$15.40 Square pic 60 20986256 10212532789906916 2097171505 n Stephanus Justin Huang St. Laurence High School Jakarta
$15.40 Picture?width=160 Logan Carter Penn Foster
$15.40 Square pic 60 ajay pic Ajay Sharma JAMK University of Applied Science,Finland
$15.40 N Nikhil Patil McMaster University
$15.40 Square pic 60 sxcfc Vijay Kumar University of hyderabad
$15.40 G George Kiprono Tonuy JKUAT
$15.40 S sreedhar naik karamthot National Institute of Technology Trichy
$15.40 Picture?width=160 Sanjay Chotu University of Hyderabad
$15.40 V Vivek Patil
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